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!

Spaghetti Carbonara (Gluten-Free)

When we were in Italy, Carbonara was a staple at almost every restaurant. What I love about this dish is that it uses pantry staples and it’s easy enough to make on a quick night, while having robust flavor. It uses minimal ingredients that are inexpensive and easy to find! I knew I wanted to give you a perfect Gluten-Free Spaghetti Carbonara that everybody will love! You’ll feel fancy and totally surprise your family and guests. Made in partnership with ALDI.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Gluten-Free Spaghetti Carbonara

I am so excited to partner with my friends at ALDI to bring you today’s easy spaghetti carbonara recipe! It’s a total staple that’s affordable and beyond delicious.

There’s more to love about the liveGfree line at ALDI! The gluten-free brand is now backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal! This means that each liveGfree product was evaluated and quality tested by the food and nutrition experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute, so you know it’s a product you can trust. They also guarantee quality on all of their private-label products. If a customer doesn’t like an ALDI-exclusive product, they can bring it back and they’ll return your money and/or replace the product!

Essential Carbonara Ingredients:

  • Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti: I’m loving liveGfree Brown Rice Pasta from ALDI
  • Egg Yolks: ALDI has SimplyNature Organic Cage Free Brown Eggs
  • Bacon or Pancetta: I’m loving Appleton Farms Never Any! Bacon that was raised free from antibiotics, added hormones, steroids and animal byproducts. The more than 20 Never Any! meats have also earned the Good Housekeeping Seal.
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmesan: We used Priano Shredded Parmesan Cheese or you could use the Priano Parmesan Cheese Wedge in this recipe
  • Tons of fresh Stonemill Ground Pepper

Gluten-Free Pasta Aldi

Because it’s only a few simple pantry ingredients, you want them to be high quality! Normally when making a cheesy type of pasta, you thicken with some sort of starch or flour, but this dish is thickened with egg yolks, making it naturally gluten-free (assuming you are using gluten-free pasta).

spaghetti alla carbonara

How do you make carbonara

spaghetti carbonara recipe

Gluten-Free Spaghetti Carbonara

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:15 Total Time 00:20 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. liveGfree Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti
  • 1 1/2 cup pasta water
  • Stonemill Sea Salt Grinder for water
  • 6 pieces nitrate-free Appleton Farms Never Any! Bacon, sliced into 1/2" pieces (see note)
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6 SimplyNature Organic Cage Free Brown Egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Priano Shredded Parmesan Cheese , plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Stonemill Ground Pepper, plus more for garnish

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for spaghetti. Cook according to package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, cook bacon until crispy. If there is an excessive amount of bacon grease, as in more than 2 tablespoons drain the excess. Add smashed garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute and then remove them. You want to cook it just long enough to release the garlic flavor into the bacon.
  3. In a small bowl mix together egg yolks, parmesan cheese and black pepper.
  4. Once pasta has finished cooking, reserve about 1 1/2 cups pasta water. Drain pasta and return it back to the pot.
  5. Working quickly add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water into the egg yolk mixture and whisk together. Add this mixture to the pasta. The residual heat from the pan and the hot pasta will cook the egg yolks gently without scrambling them. The sauce should be rich and creamy, but not overly thick. Add more of the reserved pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce (see note). Add salt to taste if needed, but the parmesan cheese and bacon should be enough to season it.
  6. Serve immediately with additional black pepper, parmesan cheese and garnish with red pepper flakes, if desired.

Recipe Notes

  1. Traditionally carbonara uses pancetta. We used bacon here because you are more likely to have this on hand than pancetta. If you'd like to stick to the authentic flavor than sub in about 4 oz. diced pancetta.
  2. Depending on the brand of pasta you use, you may need more water to thin out the sauce.
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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!

 

Here’s the lovely GF Carbonara we enjoyed in Italy at Rome Cavalleri!

Carbonara in Italy

Want other gluten-free pasta dishes? Try these favorites:

This post is sponsored by ALDI. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

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Sausage and Vegetable Pasta

Gluten-free Sausage and Veggie Pasta | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

This Sausage and Vegetable Pasta is my go-to gluten-free dish for a quick weeknight meal or for entertaining. It’s delicious, serves a crowd, is easy to prepare, and is made using only ONE POT!

Sausage and Spring Vegetable Pasta

Sausage and Spring Vegetable Pasta

My blogging girlies and I are excited for SPRING, so we’ve teamed up to bring you five recipes packed with our favorite Spring produce. You have carrots, potatoes, leeks, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, strawberries, peas, and radishes!

5 Healthy Spring Recipes

Now, this pasta! 

Sausage and Spring Vegetable Pasta

I always make this dish when entertaining. Super Bowl, a dinner party, or just having friends or family over. It’s always a hit, and super easy to prepare!

Sausage and Spring Vegetable Pasta

Watch the video:

Want more gluten-free pasta recipes? Try these favorites:

Sausage and Spring Vegetable Pasta

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:25 Total Time 0:30 Yields 6

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large pot, make pasta as directed on the box/bag of pasta you are using.
  2. Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté garlic for 30 seconds. Add in broccoli and asparagus and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes until fork tender. To speed up the time, add 2 teaspoons of water and cover the pot.
  4. Remove the casing from the sausage and add to the pot. Cook until no pink remains.
  5. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted.
  6. Add the pasta into the pot, add remaining olive oil, and salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and parmesan if adding. Taste and adjust spices as desired.
  7. 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!

Easy Scallop Pasta

This Zucchini Noodles with Scallops is a super delicious lightened version of scallop pasta using zoodles. This quick weeknight dinner is perfect for summer time. It’s gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly.

Zucchini and scallopZucchini Noodles with Scallops

This year I joined a local CSA and cannot believe it has taken me this long to get involved in one. So many of you ask how to shop and eat clean on a budget, and I highly recommend joining a local CSA to help with your shopping. For the money we spent for the 20 weeks, the amount of produce we get weekly is AMAZING. I am making all the fresh veggies with dinner. And lunch. And breakfast!

Like this delicious Zucchini Noodles with Scallops!

Probably one of the easiest, most delicious, light dinners around.

Perfect for SUMMER!

Scallop Pasta with noodlesIngredients Needed for Scallop Pasta recipe:

  • Fresh Scallops
  • Butter or oil
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Broth (Vegetable or Chicken)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Basil
  • Summer Squash or Zucchini
  • Bacon

Zucchini noodles with scallops being twisted with a fork

If you like this seafood recipe, check out these others:

If you like this zoodle recipe, check out these others:

Easy Scallop Pasta
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Sauce
  1. 1 lb. fresh scallops
  2. 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  5. 1 cup Pacific Organic Chicken Bone Stock
  6. 1 tsp fine pink sea salt, more to taste
  7. 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, more to taste
  8. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  9. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  10. 1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped
Everything else
  1. 3-4 summer squash or zucchini
  2. 4 strips crispy bacon
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper over scallops and set aside
  2. Add butter to your skillet and sauté minced garlic and onion for 5-7 minutes, stirring often
  3. Add in scallops and sear for 3 minutes on each side
  4. Once scallops are seared, add in broth, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
  5. Mix to combine, reduce heat, and let simmer for 7-10 minutes, until broth thickens slightly and flavors meld together
  6. Taste, add in basil, and adjust spices as desired
  7. While cooking, make bacon as desired and set aside
  8. Use your spiralizer to spiralize squash
  9. In a skillet heat an additional tbsp of oil or butter and sauté veggie noodles for 5 minutes, tossing often
  10. Place noodles in a bowl, top with scallops and sauce, add additional fresh basil and garnish with bacon
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

 

What is your favorite Summer dinner?

Creamy Pesto Chicken “Pasta”

If you have been here a while, you know I’m all about the spiralizer these days! I love pasta, so it really is the perfect way to satisfy that pasta craving- BUT WITH VEGGIES. So much yes!

This Creamy Pesto Chicken “Pasta” is flavorful, delicious, full of good-for-you ingredients, and makes the perfect nutritious dinner for your family.

Creamy Pesto Chicken "Pasta"

This weekend was kind of relaxed. We laid low and managed to have a fun-filled day of registering *gasps* for our wedding!  We binge-watched The Jinx (a new HBO Documentary short series), and I met my girlfriends for brunch yesterday.  A nice relaxing weekend for busy week ahead! Cooking for Passover, heading to NY, taking care of wedding stuff, blog work, gym time, and so much more. Busy busy busy. That’s why I need to fuel up with dinners like this.

Protein, good-for-you fats… the works!

Creamy Pesto Pasta | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Creamy Pesto Pasta | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

 

Creamy Pesto Chicken "Pasta"
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
For the pesto
  1. 1 cup spinach
  2. 1 cup fresh basil
  3. 1/3 cup walnuts or cashews
  4. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  6. 2 tsp lemon
  7. 1 avocado
  8. 1 tsp pink sea salt, more to taste
  9. 1/2 tsp fresh pepper, more to taste
  10. Optional: red pepper flakes, to taste
Optional
  1. 1-2 drops basil essential oil
  2. 1-2 drops lemon essential oil
Everything Else
  1. 4 medium organic zucchinis
  2. 1 lb. organic chicken
  3. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
  5. Basil for garnish
Instructions
  1. Using a spiralizer, a mandolin, or a vegetable peeler, shred zucchini into noodles
  2. In a medium size pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and add in zucchini
  3. Toss for 3-5 minutes, remove once zucchini is warm (not overly soft), and set aside
  4. Chop chicken into cubes and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in your skillet and add in chicken
  6. Cook chicken until no longer pink, remove and set aside
  7. In your high-speed blender or food processor combine all pesto ingredients and blend until smooth, taste and adjust spices as desired (i.e. add more salt, red pepper flakes, or fresh lemon juice)
  8. Return zucchini noodles to your pan
  9. Add in pesto, one tablespoon at a time until you reach desired amount*
  10. Add in chicken and cherry tomatoes
  11. Toss until combined and then transfer to serving plates
  12. Garnish with fresh basil, sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and serve hot
Notes
  1. *Depending on the size of your zucchini, this may make a lot more pesto then needed/desired. Start with a little, toss, and add more as desired! Leftover pesto can be tossed with additional shredded chicken for a pesto chicken salad!
  2. **Can omit cheese for fully dairy-free, but if you tolerate it I highly recommend it!
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Creamy Pesto Chicken "Pasta"

Creamy Pesto Pasta | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

What is your favorite type of pasta dish? How do you fuel your mind & body for busy weeks?

Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Two Ways (Gluten-Free)

This Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Two Ways takes some time to make, but it isn’t complicated once you get the hang of it and makes for such a fun hands-on task! Simply delicious, and guilt-free! I served it two ways, with my favorite easy tomato sauce and then with a spinach and butter sauce. So so good.


Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Two Ways

 

For a while now I’ve wanted to make a gnocchi recipe. I knew with the right combination of gluten-free flours I could achieve that dough-like pasta that is loved by many. I also knew it could be customizable based on your desired taste.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Two Ways

This dish was a huge hit. All of my trusty taste-testers requested seconds! I plan on making a spinach version, pumpkin, pesto, and so on one day!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Two Ways

Sweet Potato Gnocchi Without Ricotta

Sweet Potato gnocchi without ricotta

Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Prep Time 30 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 0:45

Ingredients

  • 3 cup sweet potato, peeled, boiled, and mashed
  • 2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/3 cup tapioca starch, more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • Dash sea salt

Easy Tomato Sauce

Spinach and Butter Sauce

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the mashed sweet potato, egg, sea salt, almond flour, tapioca flour, and coconut flour*
  2. The dough should be slightly sticky but not so sticky that you can't roll it into balls in your hand
  3. Lay a sheet of parchment paper down to work on and sprinkle it with tapioca or arrowroot starch, put some on your hand as well
  4. Roll the dough into balls (about 1 1/2 inches or so), and feel free to sprinkle with more tapioca flour as needed
  5. Roll it out into long logs and cut into desired gnocchi sizes
  6. Place your fork lightly into each piece to get an indent*
  7. Cover a medium pot with water and bring to a boil.
  8. Work in batches to drop pasta into the boiling water
  9. Your gnocchi is done cooking when they float to the top and stay there for 20 seconds or more
  10. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a dish
  11. For tomato sauce: In a skillet combine all ingredients- bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 7-10 minutes, pour over pasta and serve
  12. For spinach and butter sauce: In a skillet heat butter until it browns slightly- add in spinach, sea salt, and pepper and cook until spinach wilts, pour over pasta and serve

Recipe Notes

  • *Indents work better when the pasta is coated lightly with flour
  • *This recipe was updated as of 9/26/2017. We removed the coconut flour and added 1/4 cup of almond flour in the gnocchi and found it to be fluffier! Since so many of you love this recipe, we are putting these changes in the notes! Keep in mind that when removing the coconut flour, the dough will be a little harder to work with and you might need to use more tapioca starch when rolling the dough out!
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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!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes. I was compensated  for the time spent developing this recipe. All opinions expressed on Lexi’s Clean Kitchen are always my own. My sponsors help make this blog possible!

What is your all-time favorite pasta dish?