My family hails from the South. So I grew up eating a lot of Southern Cuisine, or what we affectionately call Soul Food. Macaroni Salad is one of my favorite Southern dishes. It can be served as a side, or as a main dish since it’s loaded with protein due to the inclusion of canned fish. This Salmon Macaroni Salad is a hit in my home, and anywhere else I bring it.
Growing up, my mom always added sweet peas to her macaroni salad. I do this as well since the peas not only enhances the taste and texture of the dish, but adds another source of protein. I made my mom’s recipe my own by switching out canned tuna for salmon, and adding dijon mustard along with smoked paprika. I also use gluten free pasta since it tastes exactly the same, but is easier on the digestive tract. Elbows or rotini are my go to pasta choices for this recipe. However, you can use whatever type of pasta you like.
This Salmon Macaroni Salad is quick and easy to prepare. It can also feed a lot of people on the cheap, making it a perfect quarantine meal for families. I’ve been preparing this dish since I was a teen and learned how to make it by watching my Mom and Grandma. So I season to taste as they did, and therefore there are no exact measurements. This is a good thing as you have the freedom to make the dish your own. Enjoy!
Salmon Macaroni Salad With Sweet Peas
- Cook the elbows pasta al dente. Rinse, drain & set aside to cool.
- Hard boil the eggs. Peel & chop into pieces.
- Finely chop the onion.
- Add the elbows, salmon and eggs to a large bowl and season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Add the onion, sweet relish, mayo and mustards to the bowl. Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly, making sure the pasta is completed coated.
- Serve immediately, garnished with smoked paprika to enhance the flavor.
- You may also transfer the macaroni salad to a storage dish, sprinkle with smoked paprika, cover and let chill for 30 minutes before serving.
- Gluten Free Pasta is optional.
- Use either spicy brown or dijon mustard, or both depending on what you have on hand. Dijon definitely enhances the flavor of the dish though.
- The sweet vidalia onion can be substituted with red onion for a kick.
- Canned tuna, or even chicken may be used in place of the canned salmon.