Macaroni Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing is a pasta salad made with bell pepper, celery, onion, hard-boiled eggs, and peas, tossed in a zesty, Greek yogurt dressing. It has the familiar flavors and texture of classic macaroni salad, but it’s secretly healthy and made with no added sugar.
Macaroni Salad With Greek Yogurt Dressing
You guys know I’m always trying to healthy-up my ingredients on classic recipes in a way that doesn’t disturb the yum factor. I put this one to the test!
A while back, I went camping with friends out on the coast (epic Bodega Bay). We all brought food to share, potluck-style.
Leading up to this event, I was fiercely craving a macaroni salad, and wanted to come up with a more nutritious recipe than the traditional, mayo-based salad because…well, that’s my thang!
Macaroni salad recipe gets a healthy facelift
First, as I created the creamy, dressing, I substituted nonfat Greek yogurt in place of most of the mayonnaise.
This adds protein to the equation…and I’m all for that!
But, I like to keep some mayonnaise in the recipe…b/c I’m too obsessed with mayo to give it all the way up. It’s a delicate balance though.
Too much yogurt, and the dressing tastes chalky.
Too much mayo…defeats the purpose of using nonfat Greek yogurt.
Lastly, macaroni salad recipes seem to share a common ingredient that is…sugar.
I don’t use it in this recipe, and it never occurred to me that it was missing. Think I’m sticking with it.
How to make macaroni salad
1. Boil macaroni noodles; rinse, drain, and set aside
2. Combine all veggies with macaroni noodles
3. Make the dressing by whisking together wet ingredients and seasonings
4. Toss all ingredients together a few hours before serving
Is Greek yogurt healthier than mayonnaise?
I’m no expert, but a side-by-side comparison of equal amounts of full fat mayonnaise and nonfat Greek yogurt yields notable differences in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
If you want to see the numbers check out this post on Gotta Eat, Can’t Cook. Great comparison!
So, I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to keep all of those numbers low, while enjoying a macaroni salad with rockin’ flavor!
Another tip to bump the nutrition on this macaroni salad is to use whole grain pasta in place of white, for added fiber!
Ok, how’d my healthier salad measure up during the camping trip?
It was an empty-bowl hit!
Everyone thought they were eating a classic picnic salad, with no idea it had secretly healthy ingredients.
Macaroni Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing Ingredients
- ditalini noodles (or macaroni noodles)
- red bell pepper
- red onion
- hard-boiled eggs
- frozen peas
- nonfat greek yogurt
- mayonnaise (optional)
- apple cider vinegar
- dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- dill pickle relish (optional, but recommended)
Kitchen tools I use to make this recipe:
- 3.5 qt saucepan
- stainless colander
- chef knife
- cutting board
- salad dressing jar
- mixing bowl
- silicone spatula