Copycat Kraft Macaroni Salad

Copycat Kraft Macaroni Salad Recipe

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Macaroni salad has always been a favorite in my family, especially during summer picnics and barbecues. Growing up, my mom would make the most delicious macaroni salad that everyone looked forward to. I remember those warm, sunny days spent in our backyard, the smell of burgers grilling, and the taste of that creamy, tangy macaroni salad that seemed to complete every meal. Over the years, I’ve tried many versions, but there’s something special about a good, old-fashioned macaroni salad that brings back all those cherished memories.

When I stumbled upon this Copycat Kraft Macaroni Salad recipe, I was instantly intrigued. The combination of simple ingredients and easy preparation made it a must-try. The recipe includes classic elbow pasta mixed with a tangy dressing made from salad dressing, apple cider vinegar, and a blend of flavorful spices like onion powder, garlic, thyme, oregano, and more. The addition of finely chopped red bell pepper adds a nice crunch and a pop of color, making this salad not only tasty but visually appealing as well.

One thing I love about this recipe is its versatility. While the original recipe is already delicious, there are a few tweaks you can make to suit your taste. For instance, adding a bit of shredded cheddar cheese can give it a creamy texture that cheese lovers will adore. If you like a bit of heat, a dash of hot sauce or some diced jalapenos can spice things up nicely. And for those who prefer a healthier option, using whole wheat pasta and light salad dressing can make this dish a bit more nutritious without sacrificing flavor.

This Copycat Kraft Macaroni Salad is perfect for any occasion, whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, attending a potluck, or simply craving a comforting side dish. It’s quick to make, easy to customize, and guaranteed to be a hit with everyone who tries it. So next time you’re in the mood for a classic macaroni salad, give this recipe a try – it’s sure to bring a smile to your face and maybe even remind you of some happy memories from your own past.

Making Copycat Kraft Macaroni Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup salad dressing
  • 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 cloves minced finely)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

Directions

  1. Boil the elbow macaroni in salted water for approximately 12 minutes until it is just al dente. It’s better to have it slightly undercooked since the dressing will soften it further.
  2. Drain the macaroni in a colander and let it sit for a few minutes to drain thoroughly.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the salad dressing, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, paprika, white pepper, basil, celery salt, and a pinch of salt until everything is well blended.
  4. Mix the drained macaroni into the bowl, stirring thoroughly to coat every piece with the dressing mixture.
  5. Transfer the macaroni salad to a serving dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Copycat Kraft Macaroni Salad

FAQs:

Can I use mayonnaise instead of salad dressing?

Yes, you can substitute mayonnaise for salad dressing. The flavor will be slightly different, but it will still taste great. Add a bit of mustard or pickle juice if you want to mimic the tanginess of salad dressing.

How long can I store macaroni salad in the refrigerator?

Macaroni salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Ensure it is in an airtight container to keep it fresh and prevent it from absorbing other odors.

Can I add other vegetables to this macaroni salad?

Absolutely! You can customize the salad by adding vegetables like chopped celery, diced cucumbers, shredded carrots, or peas. This will add more texture and flavor to the salad.

What can I do if my macaroni salad is too dry?

If your macaroni salad is too dry, you can add a little more salad dressing or mayonnaise. Gradually mix in a tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, macaroni salad can be made a day in advance. In fact, allowing it to sit in the refrigerator overnight can help the flavors meld together, making it even tastier.

How do I prevent the pasta from getting mushy?

To prevent the pasta from getting mushy, make sure to cook it just until al dente. After boiling, drain it thoroughly and toss it with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking. Also, avoid overmixing the salad once the dressing is added.

Copycat Kraft Macaroni Salad Recipe

Copycat Kraft Macaroni Salad

Try this Copycat Kraft Macaroni Salad recipe for a delicious, easy-to-make side dish. Perfect for potlucks and picnics!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
...

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups uncooked elbow pasta
  • 1 cup salad dressing
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves minced finely
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Boil the macaroni in salted water for about 12 minutes until it's just al dente. Avoid overcooking, as the pasta will continue to soften from the dressing's moisture. Slightly undercooked is better than too soft.
  • Drain the cooked macaroni in a colander and let it drain thoroughly for a few minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients until well combined.
  • Add the drained macaroni to the bowl and stir well, ensuring each piece of pasta is evenly coated with the dressing.
  • Transfer to a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until it's time to serve.
Keyword Copykat, Macaroni

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