Old-fashioned macaroni salad sometimes contains jarred pimientos, diced ham or pickle relish, but this version is simple and deliciously plain with fresh chopped celery, carrot and onion. A combination of low-fat mayo and sour cream lightens up the dressing, and whole-wheat elbow noodles, spinach and edamame add extra nutrients.

Virginia Willis
Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2011


Recipe Summary

2 hrs 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl to cool for at least 15 minutes.

  • Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, salt, celery seed and pepper in a small bowl.

  • When the noodles have cooled, add celery, carrots, onion, spinach, edamame and the mayonnaise mixture; stir well to combine.

  • Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts

291 calories; protein 10.4g; carbohydrates 48.1g; dietary fiber 4.5g; sugars 4.4g; fat 7.2g; saturated fat 2.4g; cholesterol 12.8mg; vitamin a iu 2986.9IU; vitamin c 3.7mg; folate 129.4mcg; calcium 78mg; iron 2.1mg; magnesium 49.2mg; potassium 242.6mg; sodium 374.3mg; thiamin 0.3mg; added sugar 1g.

Reviews (2)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
Needs something... Pretty good but a little bland. I skipped the cheddar on top - not a fan of the cheddar/mayo combo so it wasn't worth the extra calories. Maybe a little dijon stirred into the dressing would help - I'll try that next time. Capers would probably help it as well. Just needs a little tartness brininess and/or spiciness (Sriracha maye?) in my opinion. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious lighter macaroni salad This is the perfect dish to bring to a summer potluck or picnic. I love the inclusion of cheese and the ingredients that make this a healthier lighter option for a picnic salad. Definitely will be making this one again! Pros: Easy to make crowd pleaser creamy Cons: Nothing! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Very tasty and fresh Great recipe. I ran out of seasoning so I used about 2 tsp of Old Bay which worked out well and added a bit of a kick. Threw all the veggies into the food processor to make the salad come together quickly. It made enough to feed 10 people as a side and we're still eating it a week later... Pros: easy tasty light Cons: made too much Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Everyone Enjoyed It I made this for a family gathering and it turned out great. To save time I bought matchstick cut carrots and did not use onion. So it was a simple and fresh flavor. I substituted plain yogurt for half the sour cream and added about a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. I will be making this again and trying different fresh vegetables each time. Pros: Light Delicious Read More