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Macaroni Salad with Basil Dressing Recipe

Macaroni Salad with Basil Dressing Recipe

When my husband and I planned our first garden, we overdid the tomato and zucchini plants. By the end of harvest, I was at my wit's end wondering what else I could do with all those vegetables (sound familiar?). That's when my sister and I came up with this great-tasting salad. Today, even though we have our garden under control, we still make this popular dish.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + chilling YIELD:10 servings


  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 to 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 7 to 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • 1. In a blender container or food processor, combine the basil, garlic, pepper, and salt if desired. Process until finely chopped. Add oil and vinegar; process until well blended. Set aside. In a 4-qt. salad bowl, combine tomatoes, zucchini, macaroni and cheese; toss lightly. Pour dressing over all; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1-1/4 cups: 273 calories, 18g fat (0 saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 126mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 10g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 fat, 1 starch, 1 meat, 1 vegetable.

Reviews for Macaroni Salad with Basil Dressing

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cwbuff User ID: 441425 34309
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2012

"I hate to turn thumbs down on other people's recipes, but I made this for a baby shower at work and was very disappointed. I usually like subtle flavors but this was too bland and too oily. Also, the recipe did not say to mince or cut the garlic, so I added it whole to the dressing. I used a blender, and the garlic just fell to the bottom and did not get chopped. I think using garlic powder would be better. Also, I think mozzarella is one of the most tasteless cheeses in existence, so I would use another variety. All in all, I don't think this recipe is worth tweaking and I will not be making it again."

bubbles71 User ID: 3292625 38116
Reviewed Aug. 6, 2009

"I've made this salad for many occasions. The salad dressing is very tasty and adds lots of flavour to pasta which can sometimes be bland. I use tri-colour pasta instead of the shells, and cherry tomatoes instead of regular - less cutting and they don't sour as quickly. I also add green peppers for more crunch and I cube the mozerella so it absorbs the dressing. I love garlic but I only use 2 cloves instead of the 3. I also find that I need to add a little more olive oil just before serving. Thanks for a more original recipe."

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