In the summer months especially, I love a cool and creamy macaroni salad. There's a deli near me that has the perfect macaroni salad that is a nice balance of sweet and creamy and made me a true macaroni salad fan. Since then, I have become obsessed with making a macaroni salad recipe that could compare and, dare I say, healthy. This is truly an easy and healthy macaroni salad, but you'd never know. I had more than one person taste test this with confusion because it didn't taste like a low fat macaroni salad. This tastes like the real deal, deli style macaroni salad we love.
This would be great for summer barbecues. Speaking of barbecues, y'all should check out my blueberry cobbler and lightened up cornbread because they'd pair perfectly with this.
What is in macaroni salad?
Traditional macaroni salad has elbow macaroni in a sweetened, mayo-based dressing. While there can be different vegetables mixed in, traditional macaroni salad has peppers, celery, and shredded carrots. Some recipes only have the pepper, but my favorite one had celery and carrots--it gives the salad a nice crunch and freshness.
Other popular mix-ins for macaroni salad include: hard-boiled eggs, cheese, bacon, pickles, red onion, and chives.
In my opinion, the macaroni salad dressing is key for a good macaroni salad. Dry macaroni salad bums me out. I add exactly 1 cup of vegetables to my pasta and dressing. While this could easily accommodate a sprinkling of bacon, herbs, or onion, keep in mind you may need more dressing.
Greek Yogurt Macaroni Salad?
Yes, I add Greek yogurt to my macaroni salad. No, you can't taste it. Anyone who has had light mayo knows the distinct sweetness light mayo has. The Greek yogurt balances out the mayo's sweetness, adds creaminess, and adds tang that is well balanced in the macaroni salad. Sure, I make many things with Greek Yogurt, but I hate the taste of plain Greek yogurt (although it's not as bad as the smell). My taste testers did not notice the flavor of Greek yogurt--I promise.
Easy and Healthy Macaroni Salad - Deli Style
This is truly an easy and healthy macaroni salad, but you'd never know. It tastes like the real deal, deli style macaroni salad we love.
- 8 oz. elbow noodles
- 1 cup Light Mayo
- 1/2 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tbsp. reserved pasta water
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1/3 cup red pepper, finely diced (about 1/2 a pepper)
- 1/3 cup celery, finely diced (about 2 celery stalks)
- 1/3 cup carrots, shredded(about 1 large carrot)
- kosher salt
- Boil pasta in salted water per directions on the box. Reserve some pasta water for the dressing.
- In a large bowl, whisk mayo, Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and pasta water until smooth.
- Add cooked pasta, red peppers, carrots, and celery. Stir to coat everything.
- Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator until cool. This tastes good once mixed but even better the next day.
Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 15gNet Carbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g
Weight Watchers Macaroni Salad
Many people who follow this blog follow WW, count calories, or follow some kind of healthy-ish lifestyle. This healthy macaroni salad is only 90 calories with 1 gram of fat per serving. This recipe makes 6 cups which came to 2 lb 8 oz. To track this healthy macaroni salad on the WW app, click here. While I wouldn't serve just any "healthy recipe" at a bbq or party, this has been my go-to recipe and people rave about it.
Want some more great health summer recipes? I got you covered.
Here are some of my favorite healthy, Weight Watchers friendly summer recipes.
I am picky about macaroni salad and I am a classically trained chef. This is some of the best macaroni salad I’ve ever had! I can’t believe it is light in any way!
That makes me so happy to hear!!!
THE best mac salad! It was a hit at our cookout. I took home an empty bowl!
Just made tastes great! In the fridge! This will definitely be a summer staple!
Don’t sleep on this yall 👏🏻👏🏻 It is so good!!! And nope ya can’t taste the Greek yogurt!
This was so good! I didn’t have celery seed or celery, but still amazing! Never wasting my time with any other macaroni salad recipe!
Made this tonight and it turned out so good!! Will be making this all summer long! Thanks, Ed!
Just made this today. It is AMAZING!!! I doubled the recipe and so glad I did. I will not make it through the night without going back for a few more bites....and that’s ok because it’s just that good.
After following on instagram for a while ( I love some late night Wegmans shopping!), I saw this post and knew I had to make it. This Macaroni salad is sooo yummy and anyone who is skeptical about the Greek yogurt, you can't taste it! I snuck a taste when waiting for it to cool and it delicious. I will absolutely make this again!
This is a good one! Loving this first taste of summer this weekend. Thanks for a great recipe!
Love this recipe! Made it yesterday to have with his new grilled bbq chicken legs tonight for dinner. Recipe says it’s even better the next day, so can’t wait to try it again tonight. Will definitely make again!
I made this salad for Memorial Day, it was out of this world delicious! I'm pretty picky when it comes to macaroni salad and this did not disappoint! I'm not usually fond of recipes that call for Greek yogurt, I think they have a funny aftertaste but this was not the case in this recipe. This is my new go to macaroni salad!
As I've started to check out your other recipes and have several on my "to try list", they all look delicious, I noticed you don't have a "jump to recipe" link. Would you ever consider adding this? I do read through all the notes about the recipes when planning my menus, but when it's time to make the recipe, I like to just click a link and be right where I need to be to start making it. This is just a suggestion, keep up the great work! I'm happy I stumbled upon your site and will be back!
I love this recipe! I have craved it every day since I made it, and have to restrain myself from eating the whole bowl. I used whole wheat rotini, because that’s what I had on hand. Big hit! This will a new staple in my home.