once upon a chef

A Better Macaroni Salad


– 1 pound macaroni, cavatappi, farfalle, or fusilli pasta – 1 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's – 1 cup sour cream – 3½ tablespoons sugar – 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard – ¼ cup apple cider vinegar – ¼ cup water – 1¼ teaspoons salt, plus more for cooking the pasta – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – ¾ teaspoon onion powder – ½ cup finely diced or grated carrots, from 1 to 2 carrots – ¾ cup finely diced celery, from 2 to 3 celery stalks – 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, finely diced – 6 scallions, light and dark green parts, finely sliced – ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil

Step #1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until tender according to package instructions (about 1 minute past al dente).

Step #2

While the pasta boils, prep all the add-ins.

Step #3

Drain the pasta in a colander and let cool to room temperature.

Step #4

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, mustard, vinegar, water, salt, pepper, and onion powder.

Step #5

Whisk until combined.

Step #6

Add the cooked pasta, carrots, celery, bell pepper, scallions, and basil to the bowl.

Step #7

Stir until evenly combined.

Serve immediately or let sit for up to an hour at room temperature before serving. Keep in mind that the dressing will thicken a bit as it sits.