When I was a kid I remember these huge family cookouts for the Fourth of July. We either celebrated at a park or one of my aunts would host a barbecue in their backyard. We never went to see a professional firework display — my cousins and I had our own firework display and shot off bottle rockets, popped black cats, sparked sparklers, and lit up stinky little black snakes all night long without any adult supervision. We would be entertained for hours and thankfully no one was ever hurt. Wow, how times have changed.
Our family gatherings were always potluck style and everyone brought their best side dish. You can guarantee my mom would either make her famous potato salad or this delicious macaroni salad.
It had been years since I tasted her macaroni salad and I begged her to make it when we hosted the summer fiesta. It was even more delicious then I remember. The special mystery ingredient is SPAM, yes, SPAM. It’s cubed and mixed together with cubes of cheese, crisp celery, pickles, and scallions, making this macaroni salad unique and memorable.
It’s perfect for a summer potluck side dish or festive weekend barbecue.
Vangie’s Famous Macaroni Salad
- 16 ounces dry elbow macaroni
- 1 ½ cups light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup mustard
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, sliced (white and dark green parts)
- 1/2 cup black olives, chopped
- ½ cup chopped dill or sour pickles
- 6 ounces Spam, or ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 ounces Muenster cheese, cubed
- 8 ounces Colby cheese, cubed
- Cook the macaroni in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain but do not rinse. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until cool.
- Add mayonnaise and mustard and lightly combine.
- Stir in celery, scallions, black olives, pickles, spam, and cheese.
- Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.