Macaroni-Ham Salad


As a self proclaimed “foodie”, I have to admit that I love a good potluck. Ever since the days when I worked the normal 8-5 office job, I always looked forward to them. Trying other peoples favorite dishes, exchanging a recipe or two. I love it!

I think potlucks and pasta salads should be synonymous. By the end of a potluck there’s more than a few macaroni salads sitting at the serving table. This salad though, is guaranteed to always be the star of the show.

One weekend a few years ago we had a barbeque at our house and invited quite a few of our friends and family over. It was a potluck, so everyone was bringing a side dish to go with the barbequed meat. Yes, we had about 3 pasta salads at this particular event. But one of my friends brought this salad with her. It was amazing! I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and a week or so later I emailed her asking for the recipe. I was shocked at how simple it was. The following 4th of July we had a few friends over and I made it for them. It’s been requested ever since, by every one of my friends, my husband, and my mother in law. I’ve made this for baby showers, relaxed barbeques, and even a formal Thanksgiving last year. One of my best friends since middle school was coming to visit from out of state and joined us for Thanksgiving. As I was going over my menu with her, she requested I make this as well since she had visited previously when I made it for another occasion. Now personally I think of macaroni salad as summertime fare, served with barbecued ribs, corn on the cob, and watermelon. But I can always make an exception for this one, and I’m sure once you make it you’ll see why.

The ingredients are so simple, but something about the way it all comes together is wonderful. The only thing that’s been changed from the recipe my friend gave me in the beginning was the addition of black olives. You can also change it to suit your diet and use whole wheat pasta and/or light or organic mayonnaise.
More often than not I use the light mayonnaise and it’s just as good!


2 cups macaroni (cooked)
1 cup cheddar cheese (diced)
2 tbsps salad oil
2 tbsps vinegar
1 tbsp minced onion
1 cup cooked ham (diced)
1 cup green pea (frozen, thawed)
1 cup celery (diced)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise


1 After the macaroni is cooked, while it is still hot, and has been drained, drizzle with oil and vinegar.
2 Add onion pepper, and cheese.
3 Toss with peas, ham and celery.
4 Stir in mayo.
5 Serve on lettuce if you prefer.

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