This easy, tangy pasta salad mixes traditional macaroni salad with Mediterranean flavors to create a new family favorite potluck salad.
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.
But it doesn’t have to be like that at all…
Quinoa? Hot? Cold? Vegan? Gluten-free? Spicy? Not too spicy and no nuts for the 3 year old with allergies? Options, options, options!!
Let’s keep it easy and go with…
My mom’s potato salad that EVERYONE loves.
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 that I came up with, I love. My neighbors who we BBQ with ask for it every time. My man said it’s the best macaroni salad he’s ever had—and the boy’s had himself some slammin’ mac salad over the years.
So my well-mannered advice? Go easy, go basic and go macaroni.
About the Recipe
This mac salad ups the traditional ante by adding Italian flavors of smoked mozzarella, pepperoncini, capers and prosciutto. Smoked mozzarella can be found in the specialty deli case of most grocery stores. It adds a unique bite to this salad but if you can’t find it, go ahead and use mozzarella bocconcini balls instead.
The mayo is cut with a spunky dose of buttermilk, pepperoncini juice and red wine vinegar to give a coating of deliciously tart, creamy dressing.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Macaroni Salad with Smoked Mozzarella and Proscuitto
- 1 16- ounce package medium shell macaroni
- ½ cup red onion , chopped
- 1 ½ cups celery , chopped (about 3 ribs)
- ½ red bell pepper , seeded and chopped
- 1 cup pepperoncini , thinly sliced
- 1 cup prosciutto , sliced
- ½ pound smoked mozzarella , sliced in ¼-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoon capers , drained
- ½ cup Italian flat leaf parsley , chopped
- 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup buttermilk , low-fat if preferred
- ¼ cup pepperoncini juice , or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon pepper
- 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. Taste for sweetness and saltiness and add more to your liking. Add mayo mixture to pasta mixture and gently combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Creamy Pasta Salads to Add to the Potluck List
And now for few more options to add to your BBQ repertoire.
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.
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.
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.
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Linda Jo Lorenzo
Looks really tasty, I pinned this and your potato salad. Thought you might want to know you misspelled Prosciutto in the title in the macaroni salad.
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I would love to make this salad, but there are so many ads and pop ups on this page that the recipe won’t stay centered on my screen. I’ve been trying for 10 minutes to write down the ingredients and the page keeps jumping around. Cut the ads!
I’m sorry you’re experiencing that Laurie. I’ve emailed my web and ad reps to find out what is going on with them. Thanks for the info!
This was a complete hit! New favorite pasta salad. Insanely good. For those asking how much prosciutto: 1 3oz package of prosciutto was enough.
Rozella M. Ring
Green cucumber salad always very testy, Awesome .
Does this keep well if made the night before?
Yes, it will be great the next day.
Yes it does. Perfect for a party of potluck!
I am making the macaroni salad with smoked mozzarella and prosciutto for a side dish this weekend. How many slices of prosciutto make up a cup?
Yummy . I Love it
Yum!!! I’m always looking for ways to make macaroni salad a little more creative. Thanks for sharing :)
Very nice post! Thank you so much!
Jamie | The Kitchenarium
I saw you Snap this last week and I *had* to make it. Served it on Saturday (minus the prosciutto for the vegetarians) at my son’s birthday party. It was a MAJOR hit! I was craving a dish Sunday morning for breakfast. Thanks for sharing.
How many slices of prosciutto did you use?
Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
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!!!
Made the smoked mozzarella and prosciutto salad for a BBQ and oh my goodness was it a hit! Thank you, thank you :)
Lacey @ dishfolio.com
Beautiful! We’d love for you to share this over at dishfolio.com!
Awesome, will totally post. Thanks for letting me know about dishfolio.com