When I think of summer barbecues and graduation open houses, I basically just think of ALL THE PASTA SALADS. If there are multiple versions available at any one party, even better! I love the classic, macaroni salad my mom makes with celery, onion, mustard and mayonnaise – it’s simple and perfect. But you know food bloggers – always trying to jazz everything up.
This mega, super loaded macaroni salad is what I’ve started calling “dinner macaroni salad.” Because it’s loaded with tons of the stuff you would normally eat for dinner anyway – lean chicken, leafy spinach and lots of other veggies. Oh, and hard boiled eggs, bacon and blue cheese, too. It’s tossed with a creamy dressing made from Greek yogurt, mayo, buttermilk, and a little bit of mustard, vinegar and garlic.
If you can eat a big bowl of warm pasta for dinner in the winter, why not eat a bowl of cold pasta for a no-sweat lunch or dinner in the summer? Keep a stash of this in your fridge for the next time you want a great meal that doesn’t involve turning on the oven or stove, or need a dish to pass at a summer party!
Milk for the dairy products used in this recipe was produced by members of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. For more information on UDIM and to find out why Milk Means More, please visit their website and connect with them on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1-1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 slices smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cups lightly packed baby spinach
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Add bacon, eggs, celery, spinach, chicken, tomatoes, blue cheese, onion and cooked pasta to bowl with dressing. Toss until well combined; refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 3 days before serving.
Disclosure: As a Milk Means More Ambassador, this post was sponsored by The United Dairy Industry of Michigan. Posts like this help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.