Classic Macaroni Salad

This might be a recipe for a Classic Macaroni Salad, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! This dish is a staple at picnics and potlucks and for good reason–it’s delicious! Serve it for a crowd, or pair it with protein for a cool, summer dinner.

Bowl of classic macaroni saladClassic Macaroni Salad Recipe

This site is no stranger to pasta salads, having previously made a BLT Pasta Salad, Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad, and Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. But we realized as summer rolled on in that we were missing the beloved deli style pasta salad! This refreshing Classic Macaroni Salad may look simple, but it’s bright, with crunchy veggies and perfect for any summertime gathering. This creamy pasta salad looks like the same version you can buy in a deli, but obviously OH SO DELICIOUS because it’s homemade with fresh ingredients.

Want to know the best part about this pasta salad? It is a make-ahead dish! So make it a day before that party you’re bringing it to, or combine it with some protein like tuna, hard boiled eggs or shredded chicken and prep yourself lunch for a few days.

Ingredients for classic all American macaroni saladIngredients for our Classic Macaroni Salad

We admit, using the word classic can be touchy because everybody can have their own version of what makes something classic. But we decided on a version that’s creamy and bright (thanks to a hefty addition of apple cider vinegar), with lots of crunchy fresh vegetables and just the right amount of sweetness that brings the whole thing all together.

How to make macaroni salad

Here’s what’s in it:

  • Elbow Macaroni (gluten-free if you need it, of course!)
  • Mayonnaise (we use avocado oil mayo)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Celery
  • Red bell pepper
  • Carrots
  • Red onion

Easy macaroni salad in a bowl

Proteins to Pair to Make it a Meal

This is the perfect side dish to pair with just about any grilled main dish, but it would also make a great summer dinner or lunch meal prep. Pair it with a protein to make it a but more substantial:

Best classic macaroni salad recipe

If you like this potluck favorite, check out these others:


Classic Macaroni Salad

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:15 Total Time 00:25 Serves 6 as a side

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse well under cool water and drain.
  2. Meanwhile in a large bowl whisk together mayo, apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard and salt and black pepper.
  3. To the bowl add the cooked pasta, celery, red pepper, carrots and red onion and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. Pasta salad will keep up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes

  1. Don’t need to be gluten-free? Use whatever pasta you’d like!
  2. We tested this with a few different types of gluten-free pasta. Brown rice pasta is slightly hard when cold, while other brands that contained white rice flour, corn flour or soy flour stayed soft when cold. We’d recommend if you want to use brown rice pasta not making it ahead of time to keep it the correct consistency.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Slow-Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew [paleo-friendly, grain-free, dairy-free] | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

This Slow-Cooker Beef Stew is the perfect healthy comfort food for cold days! It’s hearty, flavorful, packed with veggies, and easy to make right in your crock pot. Make it for a cold winter night, or a festive St. Patrick’s Day meal! Beef stew is a simple recipe that will wow everyone who tries it.

Traditional Beef Stew Recipe

The Slow Cooker is an amazing phenomenon in my opinion. Even those friends of mine who aren’t big cookers use it! Throw all the ingredients in with the right flavor combo and BOOM: the perfect stew. It’s hands off, easy to use, and safe!

What is Irish stew made of?

Filled with beef, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and potatoes is the perfect main dish for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The beef is so tender, it just melts in your mouth!

Tips For Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • Brown your meat
  • Don’t use too much liquid
  • Don’t skimp on the cook time
  • Layer your beef and veggies
  • Set it and forget it! The beauty of a slow cooker!

Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This stew is: hearty, flavorful, tender melt-in-your-mouth beef, and packed with veggies! It is also paleo-friendly, dairy-free, whole30 compliant and has no sugar added… does it get any better than that? I love making this soup at the beginning of the week and enjoy it all week long!

What defines a stew?

  • In a stew you aren’t looking for the consistency of a soup, so minimizing added liquids is helpful!
  • Beef stew doesn’t need to be super, super thick. You’ll most likely be using potatoes, and their starch will naturally thicken your stew! If not, don’t worry, this stew thickens whithout it, too.

What kind of beef is used for stew?

You can buy beef stew meat, which is cut and cubed and is generally chuck or round! Beef round cuts (bottom and eye) are generally leaner than chuck (shoulder, leg and butt) and very well-suited to stew.

I always add beef stew meat to my ButcherBox order in the cold weather months. Each month, ButcherBox  curates a one-of-a-kind selection of the healthiest, tastiest meats, humanely raised and free of antibiotics and hormones. Or you can customize your box and select your favorite cuts and get 20% more meat.The price works out to less than $6.00/meal and shipping is always free. You can also space it out so it’s not every 4 weeks, too! ButcherBox delivers your meat for the month, saves you money, and is the best quality! Order Today and get this amazing deal:

  • Get FREE bacon
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  • $15 OFF!

Can you put raw meat in a slow cooker?

You certainly can, but for this beef stew recipe, we prefer to sear the meat first to bring out the amazing flavor that you’ll get!

Easy Beef Stew

Tools used to make this easy slow cooker beef stew recipe:

  • Slow Cooker: Inexpensive and works great. I’ve had mine for years!
  • Cast Iron Skillet: I like a nice, hot cast iron skillet to sear our stew meat!
  • Chef’s Knife: My go-to chef’s knife. Use whatever you have on hand!
  • Tongs: To easily flip the meat while searing.
  • Cutting Board: A good cutting board, of course! To chop all those veggies!

Want other slow cooker recipes? Try these favorites:

If you like this beef stew recipe, make these other St Patrick’s Day Favorites:

Slow-Cooker Beef Stew

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 8 hr Total Time 8:10 Serves 6

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Sear meat for about 3 minutes on each side, until brown. Set aside.
  2. Place meat and vegetables in the crockpot
  3. Add in broth, tomato paste, tapioca, and spices
  4. Mix well to combine
  5. Set on low for 8-10 hours
  6. After 7 hours, taste and adjust spices to your liking (i.e. add additional salt, cayenne, or red pepper flakes)
  7. Remove bay leaf and serve hot
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Detox Smoothie Freezer Packs

This Detox Smoothie Freezer Pack is one of my favorites! A delicious make-ahead smoothie that is full of cleansing whole foods like pineapple, celery, cucumber, chia seeds, honey and lemon to nourish your body and assist with detox. This easy and healthy smoothie is the perfect start to your day.

detox smoothieDetox Smoothie

We are on week 4 of our Make-Ahead Freezer Smoothie Pack series! If you are a long-time reader of mine, you know that I believe that food can play a big part in not only keeping the body healthy, but also healing the body. This Detox Smoothie Freezer Pack is the end of a series of 4 nutritionally-minded smoothies packs that target specific health benefits. For the finale we’ll do a round-up and a bonus guide to making 30 Smoothie Freezer Packs that are budget friendly!

most powerful detox foods

This week we’re talking about how important it is to eat foods that naturally assist your body with detoxing!

Toxins are EVERYWHERE in our environment and unfortunately in the foods we eat. Our liver and kidneys naturally do a great job at detoxing, but it is also helpful to include foods that assist the body in detoxing. I have personally dealt with a lot of bloating throughout my gut healing journey so we wanted to incorporate some cleansing and de-bloating ingredients into this smoothie!

Best Detox and Cleansing Foods

Luckily there are a lot of of foods that assist in detoxing! Some popular ones are teas, citrus and seeds. Today in our smoothie we’re using pineapple, celery, cucumber, chia seeds, honey and lemon!

What is the best detox for your body

Check out the rest of the make-ahead smoothie freezer pack series:

Detox Smoothie Freezer Packs

Prep Time 00:05 Total Time 00:07 Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 stick celery, chopped in to 4 pieces
  • 2" piece of cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon chia seed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (more as needed)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)

Directions

To Make Freezer Packs:

  1. Place all ingredients except coconut milk and coconut water into a freezer safe bag. Freeze until ready to use, up to 1 month.

To blend:

  1. Combine all ingredients, including coconut milk and coconut water in a high speed blender.
  2. Blend until creamy, adding additional coconut water if necessary.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!