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Chicken Macaroni Salad Recipe

Chicken Macaroni Salad in a serving bowl on a Sharp Cooktop

Take this Chicken Macaroni Salad to your gatherings, and watch it disappear! This recipe takes a classic macaroni salad recipe and adds shredded chicken, crisp bacon, and a homemade creamy herb dressing to make it high in protein and absolutely irresistible!

A Classic Macaroni Salad with A Twist

Macaroni salads are a potluck must-have! This mindful chicken macaroni salad is loaded with goodies! Say goodbye to your standard go-to, because this one will be your new favorite.

In addition to shredded chicken, it has hard-boiled eggs and bacon, a trifecta of protein to make this pasta salad a mindful side dish, or the main course on its own.

You might love it so much that you come back to this recipe with your own variations! As we were enjoying this salad last week, I was imagining it recreated with bell peppers, black olives, or even pepperoncini!

To give this salad a mindful remake, I made the mayo-based dressing at home. If you’ve never made homemade mayo, it’s so easy! It’s just an egg and some seasonings emulsified with oil.

Store-bought mayonnaise is typically made with refined seed oils, like canola, sunflower, or soybean oil. These oils are inflammatory. Looking for mayonnaise made with only avocado oil is a good option, but it only takes an extra 2 minutes to make your own!

How to Cook Macaroni Noodles

Macaroni noodles should be cooked al dente to make a good pasta salad.

I rely on my Sharp Induction Cooktop to help me cook things like pasta perfectly every time!

The Sharp Induction Cooktop has a PowerBoost setting, so I can boil pasta water in a fraction of the time.

Once the pasta is cooking in boiling water, I set the built-in timer for 7 minutes. That way, if I am distracted by making the dressing or cooking the bacon, I know the heat will shut off my burner and slow the cooking of the pasta.

Hop on over to the Sharp USA website to see if this beautiful cooktop is the right fit for your dream kitchen!

Once your macaroni noodles are soft but still have a slightly firm (al dente!) texture, strain the pasta, and run cold water over the noodles.

Cold pasta is better to use when adding a mayo-based dressing to keep it from soaking in quickly! Either fully cool the noodles under cold water, or refrigerate the cooked pasta until ready to serve.

What You’ll Need

Ingredients for Chicken Macaroni Salad on a countertop

  • Macaroni
  • Shredded Chicken (I buy a roasted chicken and pull it off for ease. You can also pan-fry chicken breasts or thighs and shred them!)
  • Bacon (For a mindful salad, use one that is nitrite and nitrate free)
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Carrots (diced small), or sub red bell pepper
  • Celery (diced small)

For the Dressing,           

  • Egg (use a pastured egg for the safest option)
  • Avocado Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Herbs (Italian parsley and dill, or try basil, cilantro, or thyme)

How to Make Chicken Macaroni Salad

Step 1: Into a blender, add egg, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and sea salt. Pulse to combine the ingredients.

Pots and pans on a Sharp Induction Cooktop cooking pasta and bacon

Step 2: With the blender running on a medium speed, very slowly drizzle the avocado oil into the blender. It should take about a minute to slowly add the oil, allowing it to emulsify with the liquid ingredients. This results in a creamy homemade “mayo”.

Step 3: Into the blender with the homemade mayo, add garlic, chopped herbs, and red wine vinegar.

Step 4: Pulse to combine ingredients into a tangy herbed aioli.

Step 5: Into a large salad bowl, add macaroni, chicken, bacon, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs.

Step 6: Add the dressing into the bowl, and toss the ingredients to combine.

 Chicken Macaroni Salad in a serving bowl

How to Store Leftovers and Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store Leftover Chicken Macaroni Salad

This pasta salad is best served right after adding the dressing. If you know you will only eat half but want to save the rest for lunches, split the pasta salad into two bowls and add dressing to the portion you will eat right away.

The leftovers are well stored in air-tight containers for up to 3 days. If you have a salad that needs reviving, mix some mayo with a little lemon juice or vinegar, and toss the salad with it and it will still be delicious!

What Pasta is Best To Use For A Chicken Pasta Salad?

Use whatever macaroni noodles work for you and your family.

I use gluten-free pasta. Gluten-free pasta does not work as well for leftovers as regular pasta (it tends to harden or break apart). When I make a pasta salad with gluten-free pasta, I make it the day of and don’t plan on having leftovers.

How Do I Stop The Pasta From Absorbing The Mayo?

Cold pasta doesn’t absorb the mayo as much as when the pasta is warm. Refrigerate your noodles or run them under cold water until they are not warm prior to use.

Save Time Making This Chicken Macaroni Salad

Buy a rotisserie chicken: I buy a roasted chicken and just pull the chicken off to make this salad.

Use jarred mayonnaise: If you have a jarred mayo you like using, just mix it up with the garlic, red wine vinegar, and finely chopped herbs to make the dressing, rather than making your own homemade mayo first.

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Chicken Macaroni Salad

Side Dish American
By Michelle Miller Serves: 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

A mindful chicken macaroni salad, perfect for potlucks. With the addition of bacon and eggs, this classic side dish is hearty enough to serve as a meal on its own. This is made more mindful by using homemade mayo made with avocado oil.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces macaroni *gluten-free, if necessary
  • 2 cups chicken, shredded (from a roasted chicken)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 6 slices of bacon fried crisp, drained, and chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • Creamy Herbed Dressing
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dill, chopped

Instructions

1

Add the macaroni, chicken, bacon, eggs, carrots, and celery to a large salad bowl.

2

Toss the salad with the creamy herbed dressing. Start with about 2/3 of the dressing and add more to taste. Save additional dressing to revive leftovers

Creamy Herb Dressing

3

Into a blender, add the raw egg, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse a few times to mix up.

4

With the blender running on medium speed, drizzle in the avocado oil very slowly. It should take a full minute to drizzle the oil into the egg mixture. When it's done, it will be a thick and creamy mayonnaise.

5

Add the garlic, herbs, and red wine vinegar, and process to mix into a creamy dressing.

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SDH3042DB
30 in. width Induction Cooktop, European Black Mirror Finish Made with Premium SCHOTT Glass (SDH3042DB)

The Sharp(R) SDH3042DB Induction Cooktop is a powerful, beautiful addition to your dream kitchen. The black mirror finish of the premium Schott(R) glass surface is a perfect match and can be combined with our Easy Wave Open Microwave DrawerTM and our European Convection Built-In Single Wall Oven.

The four cooking zones give you more flexibility to orchestrate even your most elaborate entertaining. The SDH3042DB features a variable-sized zone and a convenient cooling zone. More precise than gas, more efficient than electric, the Sharp Induction Cooktop is faster than either. There is a kitchen timer, and even a Power Boost for those times when you just need that pasta water to boil. The Simmer Enhancer option provides low, consistent cooking performance for your most delicate soups and sauces. Heat is generated directly into the cookware itself, so there is less wasted energy to heat up your kitchen. And without an open flame or radiant coil, spills and splatters are less likely to burn, and a breeze to clean up.

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SDH3652DB
36 in. width Induction Cooktop, European Black Mirror Finish Made with Premium SCHOTT Glass (SDH3652DB)

The Sharp(R) SDH3652DB Induction Cooktop is a powerful, beautiful addition to your dream kitchen. The black mirror finish of the premium Schott(R) glass surface is a perfect match and can be combined with our Easy Wave Open Microwave DrawerTM and our European Convection Built-In Single Wall Oven

The five cooking zones give you more flexibility to orchestrate even your most elaborate entertaining. The SDH3652DB features an extra powerful 3700 Watt variable-sized zone, and Power Boost in all cooking zones. More precise than gas, more efficient than electric, the Sharp Induction Cooktop is faster than either. There is a Kitchen Timer and even a Power Boost for those times when you just need that pasta water to boil. The Simmer Enhancer option provides low, consistent cooking performance for your most delicate soups and sauces. Heat is generated directly into the cookware itself, so there is less wasted energy to heat up your kitchen. And without an open flame or radiant coil, spills and splatters are less likely to burn, and a breeze to clean up.

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About Sharp Home Electronics Company of America (SHCA)

SHCA is the U.S. Consumer Products Group of Sharp Electronics Corporation, the U.S. sales subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer and manufacturer of one-of-a-kind premium technology products. SHCA includes the manufacturing of certain Home Appliances in Memphis, TN, together with the sales & marketing and servicing of Home Electronics in the United States.  Leading products include Sharp Carousel(R), Microwave DrawerTM, SuperSteam+TM ovens, and Plasmacluster(R) Ion air purifiers. Sharp Corporation was named one of the 20 Most Loved Companies globally, received a 2018 Thomson Reuters TOP 100 Global Technology Leader Award, and appears on the Forbes America’s Best Employers 2017 list.1

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1 Sources: Buyology Inc., 2012; APCO Worldwide, 2013; Forbes, 2017; thomsonreuters.com

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