Insights & Actions for Healthy Living
Recipe Renovation™ – Not Grandma’s Macaroni Salad

Recipe Renovation™ – Not Grandma’s Macaroni Salad

Much of the country is buried in snow and icy cold temperatures right now and so many of us are longing to have warm weather and sunny days back.

Dreaming of refreshing spring salads and cold summer fruits that allow us to use the garden’s bounty shouldn’t limit you from actually having your favorites now.

Thinking about heart healthy foods and how to make our favorite family standards lower in fat, I have decided to add a little Mediterranean flair to a warm weather salad that will give our cold winter hearts and our mood a lift! We don’t just have to dream of summer but get a taste of it now!

One of our family’s favorite meals in warm weather is a cold salad, such as potato or macaroni. It is brings a picnic every time! Unfortunately, the traditional family favorite is usually loaded with mayonnaise, which means extra fat and calories.

In this recipe renovation, I have switched it up and added some ingredients to give us more healthy nutrition and great flavor! It is easy to prepare and is even better the next day so make enough for more than one meal.

It’s Not Your Grandma’s Macaroni Salad Recipe Renovation

As with every recipe renovation, here is the nutritional breakdown highlighting the improvements. Check out the difference in fat and calories! (*Please note that if you make your own vinaigrette the added sodium and sugar will be reduced even more.)

Nutritional Comparison per 1/2 cup servingNot My Grandma's Macaroni SaladMy Grandma's Macaroni Salad
Protein, g65
Carbohydrate, g2829
Total Fat, g717
Saturated Fat, g23
Mono/Poly unsaturated fat, g2/24/9
Cholesterol, mg88
Sodium, mg344*186
Fiber, g32


Not Your Grandma’s Macaroni Salad Recipe


 8 oz dry Rotini Macaroni (or your family’s favorite shape), cooked and drained

Note: rotini shape preferred to better hold the dressing

4 oz. Artichoke hearts, chopped

½ cup Celery, sliced

¼ cup Green peppers, chopped

¼ cup Onion, chopped

2 oz. Black olives, sliced

2 oz. Roasted red pepper, large chunks

½ cup Feta cheese crumbles

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

½ cup Italian dressing, reduced calorie (preferred homemade Oil and Vinegar Vinaigrette)


Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain.

After cooking the macaroni, rinse it with cold water before adding other ingredients.

Add remaining ingredients and toss with vinaigrette dressing.

Chill before serving.

Serving size: 1/2 cup cooked (1 oz dry)macaroni salad plate

Yield:  8  servings

Serving suggestion: Serve mixed with grilled chicken strips, poached salmon or cubed tofu

Hopefully this taste of spring will help you look forward to warmer days as you face six more weeks of winter! Enjoy!

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