This is a fun twist on a classic recipe! It is a fast an east Cheesy Macaroni Salad that will save you time and money!
I have a super easy macaroni salad recipe for you guys. It’s not necessarily a traditional macaroni salad. But, when a recipe has ranch dressing and cheese in it, throwing tradition out the window is perfectly fine in my book.
I came up with this recipe on a lazy weeknight. I knew dinnertime was rolling around and I hadn’t defrosted anything yet (story of my life – it’s as if I’m somehow shocked that dinner happens every day. This is why I freezer cook, people), so I threw this together and was pleasantly surprised by how great it came out.
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise – Don’t be fooled into using Miracles Whip! For the true mayo taste, nothing beats this. Seriously, don’t even try! 🙂
Ranch Dressing – I don’t know about you, but a little ranch dressing goes well with just about everything! Heck, I even dip French Fries in it. It adds an amazing flavor to this dish as well!
Step One: Boil pasta in salted water and drain. Follow the directions on the package. It’s called macaroni salad, but as you can see, I’m a rebel and did not use macaroni. Hardcore, I know. Use any kind of small pasta.
Step Two: While the pasta is boiling, chop the pepper and onion and transfer into a large bowl. Add lemon juice, stir and let it sit while the pasta cooks.
Step Three: Transfer the drained pasta into the bowl containing the onion and pepper mixture and stir together. I recommend using a white or sweet onion as the Spanish onions seem to take over the flavor of the salad more than I liked.
Step Four: Add the mayo, ranch, and butter (if you’re using it) and combine. Once incorporated, stir in the cheese. Add a pinch of salt, if needed, and combine. This is what it looks like when it’s all mixed up:
I like to let it sit for two minutes just so the cheese can melt ever-so-slightly, and serve while still warm. It’s also tasty chilled.
💡 Recipe Tips
Wasn’t that easy? You can get the hardest part – chopping the veggies – out of the way before your water comes to a boil. So, this is an easy 20 minute recipe. It’s perfectly versatile too. Toss in some garlic salt or Adobo if you like a stronger taste or use whatever peppers/onions you have on hand.
Side note: Almost nothing in my kitchen is safe from Adobo. I add it to everything. I guess I can thank my Puerto Rican mom for that!
30 Minute Vegetarian Pasta – Fast and delicious are my criteria for a great dinner. This recipe hits both! Zucchini and fresh tomatoes make this dish feel so clean and healthy!
Easy Pasta Salad – This is another of my go-to recipes when life gets too busy to put a full meal on the table. Seriously good!
Easy Cheesy Macaroni Salad
- 8 oz Pasta macaroni is what I had on hand
- ⅓ cup Mayonnaise Hellmann's is my fave!
- 2 tbsp Ranch Dressing
- ⅓ cup Red Bell Pepper chopped
- ⅓ cup White Onion chopped
- ½ cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- ½ tbsp Butter melted, optional
- Boil the pasta in salted water and drain.
- While the pasta is boiling, chop the pepper and onions. Add the lemon juice.
- Add the pasta to the onions and peppers and mix together thoroughly.
- Add the mayonaisse, ranch dressing and butter (optional) and mix together.
- Add in the cheese and a pinch of salt.