waldorf macaroni picnic salad

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Spring is in the air and I’ve been having fun planning warm weather menus and outings. We love picnics and go on several during the spring and summer months.

One easy way to enjoy a picnic is by packing your salads and desserts into canning jars. They keep your food fresh, and if you surround them with ice they stay nice and cold too. (I provided a list of inspiration, with links included, at the bottom of this post. Have fun browsing!)

Here’s yet another delicious salad that you can pack into jars for a “movable feast” or simply enjoy for dinner on the deck or porch. Add a couple pounds of cooked, cooled, cubed chicken if you want to make this a heartier, main course salad. It’s so delicious, with all of the fresh, crunchy flavors of the classic Waldorf salad!

serves 10 to 12

16 oz. elbow macaroni

3 apples, unpeeled, cored and cubed (I used Jonagold)

2 lb. cooked, cooled, cubed chicken (optional)

1 small onion, chopped

5 celery stalks, chopped

2 cups walnuts, coarse chopped

2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup honey

2 to 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard (I used French’s Chardonnay Dijon)

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar OR fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

fried, cooled, crumbled bacon (optional)

1 or 2 cups of sweet red or green grapes, halved (added just before serving)

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Note: Always make sure all of your salad ingredients are completely cooled before mixing them together. This will insure a beautiful, creamy salad.

Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente pasta. Once done, drain and rinse under cold water. Drain very well. Place in a big mixing bowl or food container. Add the apples, chicken (if using), onion, celery, walnuts, mayonnaise, honey, Dijon mustard, vinegar and garlic powder. Mix very well. Season with pepper, to taste. Top with crumbled bacon (if using.) Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Add grapes. Mix again just prior to serving. Offer salt and pepper so people can adjust the seasonings themselves. Jeff loves this salad with Sriracha hot sauce and soy sauce.

Here’s that list of jar treats and picnic ideas I promised to share….

THE BEST MACARONI PICNIC SALAD

CHICKEN BACON RANCH MACARONI MASON JAR PICNIC SALAD

LAYERED MASON JAR TACO SALAD

A MASON JAR PICNIC

CLASSIC LAYERED SALAD {IN A MASON JAR}

BANANA CREAM PIE JARS

HAWAIIAN COLD GINGER CHICKEN PLATE LUNCH {IN A JAR}

MINI VICTORIA SPONGE CAKES {IN A JAR}

72 PICNIC FOODS {A MOVABLE FEAST COLLECTION}

MANGO TANGO CHICKEN & PASTA SALAD {IN A JAR}

THAI PEANUT CHICKEN NOODLE JAR

PROTEIN POWER LUNCH {SALAD IN A JAR}

BERRY SHORTCAKE JARS

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE JARS

CAPRESE SALAD JARS

STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD “PARFAIT” JARS

FOUR REFRESHING PICNIC BEVERAGES “TO GO”

ICEBOX PICALILLI ~ CHOW CHOW RELISH

ORGANIC WHOLE LEMONADE

HOMEMADE SUMMER SHANDY

REFRIGERATOR PICKLES

Enjoy!

~Melissa

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