Isn’t it funny how so many favorite recipes come from the kitchens of cooks who don’t consider themselves anything other than average? They aren’t culinary trained, they haven’t worked behind the line at fine restaurants and have never fathomed the thought of authoring a cookbook. Or even a food bloggity blog.
But those cooks, they all have at least one recipe they can rock in the kitchen.
That’s the secret to this Shrimp Macaroni Recipe. Years of experience and good, old fashioned home cooking.
This recipe is from a childhood neighbor, Mrs. Richardson, who has lived next door to my parents for the past 40+ years. She gave my mom this recipe several years ago (how many? I have no idea) and besides her Homemade Fudge and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies it is one of the very, very favorite things that comes out of my mama’s kitchen.
We culminated my Smudge’s birthday this past weekend with a family party—because who gives better presents than family members who’ve been bribed with the promise of a delicious dinner?
While the menu was summertime-Vietnamese-centric (recipes coming soon) when my mom asked what she could bring to the party, I didn’t hesitate when I pleaded for her Shrimp Macaroni Salad. It may have stepped outside the bounds of our theme, but it absolutely did. not. matter.
This recipe isn’t thick and gloppy with mayo. The binder is definitely thinner, more like a salad dressing that lightly coats the shells creating perfect little pockets to catch the tiny chunks of pickle, egg and celery for a full spectrum ingredient showcase with each bite.
Sometimes you just have to go back home to find the basics of what you’re looking for. I’m so glad I get to share this one with you.
- 3 cups uncooked medium shell pasta
- 1 pound bay salad shrimp
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 8-10 sweet pickles, chopped
- 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 6-8 tablespoons of pickle juice
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the macaroni shells according to the package directions, drain and let cool. Add the pasta to a large bowl with the bay salad shrimp, celery, green onions, pickles, and boiled eggs. Add the mayonnaise to a small bowl and thin with the pickle juice a few tablespoons at a time or to taste. Dress the macaroni with the mayo dressing and season if desired with kosher salt and pepper.
- Make the salad ahead of time and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 1 day before serving.
While there are plenty of favorite classic macaroni salads—and even some with a punched up twist like my Macaroni Salad with Smoked Mozzarella and Proscuitto—these are a few more favorites I discovered from some of the web’s foodie bloggers.
Adrianna reminisces about her summertime favorite meal, now adapted with a little Hawaiian punch: plenty of crunch thanks to chopped fresh veggies and a slather of mayo dressing makes the base of Cozy Kitchen’s Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.
A little protein (tuna) and something green (peas) make up Joy’s rendition of a lighter version in Little B Cooks’ Macaroni Salad.
Elbow noodles plus a riff on the more common addition of tuna spruces up Elise’s Salmon Macaroni Salad by Simply Recipes.
Tracy gives a grown up taste twist to Tracy Carolyn’s Macaroni Salad thanks to the addition of greens: arugula, apple and green onions.
Gina has a way with recipes, and Skinny Taste’s BLT Macaroni Salad is just one more of her recipe ringers perfect for any summer get together.
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