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.
Classic 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 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.
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
Salt and pepper
Red bell pepper
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:
To the bowl add the cooked pasta, celery, red pepper, carrots and red onion and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. Pasta salad will keep up to 4 days.
Don’t need to be gluten-free? Use whatever pasta you’d like!
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.
Loading nutrition data...
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.
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
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).
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
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for spaghetti. Cook according to package instructions.
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.
In a small bowl mix together egg yolks, parmesan cheese and black pepper.
Once pasta has finished cooking, reserve about 1 1/2 cups pasta water. Drain pasta and return it back to the pot.
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.
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.
Depending on the brand of pasta you use, you may need more water to thin out the sauce.
Loading nutrition data...
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!
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
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!
Optional: 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese
In a large pot, make pasta as directed on the box/bag of pasta you are using.
Drain pasta and set aside.
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.
Remove the casing from the sausage and add to the pot. Cook until no pink remains.
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 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!
Ingredients Needed for Scallop Pasta recipe:
Butter or oil
Broth (Vegetable or Chicken)
Summer Squash or Zucchini
If you like this seafood recipe, check out these others:
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.
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.
Toss for 3-5 minutes, remove once zucchini is warm (not overly soft), and set aside
Chop chicken into cubes and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Heat 1 tbsp oil in your skillet and add in chicken
Cook chicken until no longer pink, remove and set aside
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)
Return zucchini noodles to your pan
Add in pesto, one tablespoon at a time until you reach desired amount*
Add in chicken and cherry tomatoes
Toss until combined and then transfer to serving plates
Garnish with fresh basil, sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and serve hot
*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!
**Can omit cheese for fully dairy-free, but if you tolerate it I highly recommend it!
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.
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.
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!
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
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
*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!
Loading nutrition data...
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!