If you’re looking for a quick easy macaroni salad recipe for your upcoming Easter or spring time brunch, try my Easy Seafood Macaroni Salad.
Easy seafood macaroni salad recipe inspiration
Blue Plate Light Greek has half the fat of regular mayo (and 1 gram of protein per serving). It also has a wonderful tart, almost lemony flavor unlike other mayonnaise brands. It’s nice and thick, too, and ideal for my Easy Seafood Macaroni Salad recipe.
But how could I make a classic macaroni salad recipe different enough for my fish fry party? First, I decided to add some tiny shrimp to my Easy Macaroni Salad recipe since I knew the tangy taste of the Blue Plate mayo would compliment seafood. Then I added Old Bay Seasoning blend, which is basically celery seed, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and paprika. (No need to get five bottles out of the cupboard when you can get one tin down, right?)
For a bit of crunch to this recipe for easy homemade macaroni salad, I added minced onions, and chopped celery and orange bell peppers. I love the contrast of the fresh vegetables with the tangy Blue Plate Light Greek mayo.
What gives this easy seafood macaroni salad its uniqueness
Finally, I added three important ingredients to make this Easy Seafood Macaroni Salad recipe a success. First, there had to be fresh dill to compliment the shrimp and seafood seasonings. Don't you love the smell of dill?
Second is a secret my husband shared with me when he makes tuna melts – sweet relish! Adding sweet relish to easy macaroni salad recipes is especially nice since it offsets the tartness of the mayo. Not too sweet, not too tart – it’s just right.
Third, al dente macaroni. No mushy macaroni, please!
This Mama’s tips for making perfect Easy Seafood Macaroni Salad
Don’t forget to salt your pasta water. It makes the noodles taste better – and your easy macaroni salad taste better. Seriously, it makes a difference.
Start testing your macaroni noodles three minutes before the directions on the box say the noodles will be done. Then when you think the macaroni noodles are cooked al dented (firm), quickly drain the noodles in a colander. Then run cold water over the macaroni in the colander so you immediately stop the cooking process.
You can make gluten free, whole wheat, or regular pasta for this Easy Seafood Macaroni Salad recipe. For fun, use unusually shaped noodles. I like little shell shaped ones, which are very fun to use with shrimp or crab for a nautically themed Easy Macaroni Salad recipe. Bow tie or twisted noodles, would be fun, too, don't you think?
I find canned tiny shrimp easy and economical to use since you can always keep a few cans in the pantry for simple pasta salads, omelets, quiche, or other recipes. Fresh bay shrimp, canned crab, or fresh crab can also be used, of course, especially if you find it on sale! I also like imitation crab or lobster as both are very tasty and there are several gluten free brands available now. Plus, you can keep imitation crab or lobster in the freezer to use anytime.
You can use orange, red or yellow bell peppers in this macaroni salad recipe. I find that green peppers are kind of bitter and the other varieties are sweeter, don’t you?
Some folks like to put peas in their macaroni salad recipes. If you like peas, use defrosted frozen peas not canned peas, which can be mushy and flavorless. Yuck!
If there’s someone in your family who says they hate dill, just chop it up very fine so they don’t see it in this super easy macaroni salad. I like using a Vremi Food Chopper to chop up herbs – much easier to use than a knife. I especially love using it to chop onions as I don’t get all teary eyed.
If you like lots of mayo in your easy pasta salad, feel free to add more. So good! Other people like their Easy Seafood Macaroni Salad with less mayo. Totally up to you!
Easy Seafood Macaroni Salad
- 1 box elbow macaroni (to make at least 6 cups cooked macaroni)
- 2 cups Blue Plate Light Mayonnaise with Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 cup sweet relish
- 1 tablespoon classic seafood seasoning blend
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- 2 (4 ounce) cans baby shrimp, drained
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced bell pepper (orange, red or yellow)
- Cook macaroni as directed until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking process. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, relish, seafood seasoning blend, lemon juice, minced onion and dill. Stir until combined.
- Add baby shrimp, celery, and bell pepper. Gently stir until combined.
- Gently fold in 6 cups cooked macaroni until macaroni is combined with other ingredients. Cover and chill for 4 hours.
- Serving size: 8 (1 cup) servings