Macaroni Salad with Smoked Mozzarella and Proscuitto

by heidi on June 10, 2011

Macaroni Salad with Smoked Mozzarella and Proscuitto

Common etiquette rules that if you’re invited to a friendly BBQ, you offer to bring something to add to the pot. So when I ask the big question, I often hear, “Sure that would be great. How about a side dish?”

Many hosts think they’re doing you a favor by offering the wide berth of side dish options. But this simple phrase can throw some self-respecting cooks into a triple gainer upside down axel with a spin.

Bringing a “little something” to a barbecue or potluck shouldn’t be that hard, but the vast spectrum of “side dish” gets some of us sideways. A green salad? Baked beans? Quinoa? Hot? Cold? Vegan? Gluten-free? Spicy? Not too spicy and no nuts for the 3 year old with allergies? Options, options, options!!

To that I say go basic. Take your little monopoly man and just move on back to start.

Although I was never a fan of macaroni salad as a child—it too often had an odd metallic taste, most likely due to being of the mass-produced, store-bought variety. I’ve now come to respect it as an adult. I even like crave it.

And this recipe I came up with, I love. Jeff said its the best macaroni salad he’s ever had—and the boy’s had himself some mac salad over the years.

So my well-mannered advice? Go easy, go basic and go macaroni.

Macaroni Salad with Smoked Mozzarella and Proscuitto

Yield: serves 10-12

Macaroni Salad with Smoked Mozzarella and Proscuitto


1 16 oz. package medium shell macaroni
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped (about 3 ribs)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup peperoncini, sliced
1 cup prosciutto, sliced
1/2 lb smoked mozzarella, sliced in 1/4 inch chunks
3 T capers
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk (low fat if preferred)
1/4 cup peperoncini juice (or more to taste)
1 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add macaroni and boil according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, gently combine pasta and next 8 ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, buttermilk, peperoncini juice, wine vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Add mayo mixture to pasta mixture and gently combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

And now for few more options to add to your BBQ repertoire.

FoodieCrush Magazine One Vanilla Bean Salmon Pasta Saladphoto > One Vanilla Bean

House smoked salmon is the star thanks to Cecilia’s smoking’ skillz in One Vanilla Bean‘s Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad. Based on her favorite recipe from Whole Foods, this homemade version showcases just 10 ingredients to create a saucy but simple side salad.

FoodieCrush Magazine Buns in My Oven BLT Macaroni Saladphoto > Buns in My Oven

One of my favorite summer dinners is thick cut bacon, crisp iceberg lettuce and tomato still warm from the garden on toasted and mayo’ed old school white bread. A classic BLT sandwich. So when I came across Buns In My Oven‘s BLT Macaroni Salad recipe it looked like a must try. And I 100% agree with Karly when she says, “Macaroni salad just screams summer!” And so does BLT.

FoodieCrush Magazine Lets Dish Macaroni Saladphoto > Lets Dish Recipes

Dunkley’s Famous Macaroni Salad from Let’s Dish is a classic macaroni salad with an Italian twist. Three different cheeses, salami and black olives with old school mini tube pastas are dressed in a simple mayonnaise dressing spiked with garlic. Danelle warns there’s a fair amount of chopping, but keeping your uniform will ensure you get a yummy taste in every bite.

FoodieCrush Magazine Luna Cafe Macaroni Saladphoto > Luna Cafe

The basic mac salad. Perfect. The Luna Cafe‘s Old-Fashioned Creamy Macaroni Salad combines crunchy celery and red bell pepper and chunky hard boiled eggs, sweetly soured dill pickles and sprinkles it all with sweet peas. This tangy salad makes enough for a crowd, but you may want to stash a take-away to stash for midnight munchies.

Thanks for reading. If you liked this post, please subscribe to foodiecrush and follow me on twitter.


Posted in: recipes,salads and sides

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lacey @ June 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Beautiful! We’d love for you to share this over at!


heidi June 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Awesome, will totally post. Thanks for letting me know about


Angela June 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Made the smoked mozzarella and prosciutto salad for a BBQ and oh my goodness was it a hit! Thank you, thank you :)


Gerry @ Foodness Gracious July 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I’m the same and my wife wonders why I sweat it so much, a “side” can open up a whole can o’ worms. What else is going to be there? will my side fit in? How many guests? gahhhhhhhh!!!


Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *

{ 2 trackbacks }