WW Recipe of the Day: Classic Macaroni Salad Made Lighter
(161 calories | *4 WW SmartPoints)
Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a great beginning.
Today’s recipe dates back to my childhood – classic macaroni salad made lighter for Weight Watchers.
I’m feeling nostalgic and craving the foods of my childhood lately. Foods like this classic macaroni salad. You know the one from the back of the Hellmann’s mayonnaise jar?
Do you ever crave the food(s) you ate as a kid? It seems to be happening to me more and more lately. I think it has something to do with getting older.
With every passing year I’m more drawn to the foods from my past. I feel like I’m coming full circle.
There was a time when I would have snubbed my nose at this classic macaroni salad. I became obsessed with all things “new,” “cool,” and “sophisticated” in the world of food.
I spent my free time reading fancy food magazines, glossy cookbooks and experimenting with complicated recipes. And spent an embarrassing amount of money eating out in critically-acclaimed restaurants.
Food was an obsession and my favorite form of entertainment! Thankfully it was a stage that I’ve mostly outgrown.
While I still take great pleasure in food and want to eat well, it’s not all encompassing as it once was.
I now enjoy a more balanced, comfortable, moderate relationship with food. And am having a great deal of fun rediscovering the basics.
It really doesn’t get more basic or simple or delicious than this classic macaroni salad. Growing up, it was part of most picnics and backyard barbecues.
Skinny on Classic Macaroni Salad Made Lighter
To keep things Weight Watchers friendly, I substituted plain non-fat Greek yogurt for half the mayonnaise. I love using it as a substitute for all or part of the mayonnaise or sour cream in all kinds of recipes.
It’s an easy switch that saves a ton of fat and calories. And mostly goes unnoticed if I don’t mention it.
I’m calling this Classic Macaroni Salad Made Lighter. Otherwise, I stuck to the original recipe, which I found in Back of the Box Gourmet , by Michael McLaughlin.
It’s a fun nostalgic collection of classic quick and easy back-of-the-box recipes that may have been part of your childhood, if you’re as old as I am!
Remember Lipton Onion Dip? Knorr Spinach Dip? Rice Krispies Treats?
McLaughlin suggests using the recipe’s classic proportions for ultimate success. Which is exactly what I did.
It tasted even better than the classic macaroni salad I remembered. Everyone I shared it with loved it.
There’s a reason classics never go out of style!
And by all means, feel free to customize this classic with whatever suits your fancy – jalapeños, pesto, Greek olives, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet pickles, tuna or smoked salmon perhaps?
Each serving has about 160 calories, *4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus, *4 Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints.
To make this work with Weight Watchers Simply Filling, you would need to use whole wheat macaroni and fat-free plain Greek yogurt and mayonnaise.
Curious about Weight Watchers Freestyle/Flex plan?
Watch this short video to learn more:
Flavorful, crunchy, cool and creamy, it’s a perfect summer side dish. Enjoy!
If you enjoy this lightened up recipe for classic macaroni salad, be sure to check out some of my other easy, healthy Weight Watchers friendly recipes including Dill Potato Salad, Cucumber Salad, Carrot Salad with Raisins & Walnuts, Slow Cooker German Potato Salad and Summer Corn & Tomato Salad
If you’ve made this Lightened Up Macaroni Pasta Salad, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Classic Macaroni Salad Made Lighter
- 1/2 cup Hellman's or Best Foods Light Mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions and drained (gluten-free, if desired)
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup chopped green or sweet red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- In a large bowl stir together the mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper until smooth.
- Add the macaroni, celery, green pepper and onion. Stir until everything is well coated with the mayonnaise mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours to blend flavors.
Source: adapted from Back of the Box Gourmet by Michael McLaughlin
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
What’s the last food from childhood you had a hankering for? How did you satisfy it?
Watch how to make healthy pasta salad with tuna and peas:
If you liked this classic macaroni salad made lighter, you might also like:
- Lightened Up Creamy Red, White and Blue Potato Salad (Simple-Nourished-Living)
- Lighter & Healthier Peas and Ham Pasta Salad (Simple-Nourished-Living)
- Easy Weight Watchers Orzo Salad with Vegetables (Simple-Nourished-Living)
- Easy Egg Salad, Simple & Delicious (Simple-Nourished-Living)
- Classic Macaroni Salad (Weight Watchers)
This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or Craftsy links, I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thanks for your purchase!
Subscribe to Get: Top 10 Reader Favorite Recipes
The Top 10 Most Popular Recipes (PDF) on Simple Nourished Living + Weekly Support Emails with Tips & Easy Healthy Recipes Not Found Anywhere Else!