This. stuff. is. divine. You should go make it, like right now.
Here's what my version looks like:
Here's the link to check out the Pioneer Woman's recipe on her blog - http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/the-best-macaroni-salad-ever/. She calls it the Best Macaroni Salad Ever and does so with good reason. It's far better than any other I've tasted over the years.
I do a few things differently than she did. I'd recommend making it her way first and then playing around with it a bit and making it my way if you're so inclined.
Here are the changes I made to the dressing:
1. I use Duke's mayonnaise, and I increase it from 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup
2. Sprinkle in a bit of heavy cream or milk if you're feeling decadent, but reduce it by about half o what she recommends.
3. Add a light sprinkling of parsley, basil, oregano, and a heavy sprinkling of red pepper flakes. I like my macaroni salad with a few Italian undertones apparently.
4. Add twice the black pepper you think it needs; at first, I just wasn't putting enough spices in and it was bland.
5. Use more pickle juice than you think you need. (I use Wickles brand that you buy at Kroger - they are phenomenal!)
Here are the changes I made to the salad part:
1. I added both pimientos and diced roasted red pepper; I like having both of the textures and flavors. (I used roasted red pepper that had been canned with garlic, just fyi.)
2. Add a handful of shredded carrots that you dice up a bit more - I like my carrots super fine.
3. Add 2-3 stalks of diced celery for extra crunch.
4. I used less green onions than she called for because I don't like my macaroni salad very oniony.
5. Dice up more pickles than you think you need. In this latest batch, I think I diced up about a dozen of the slices.
Yep, you should def make a batch now that the weather is warming up. It's a perfect light lunch for a summer day or a great side item for brats or burgers on the grill!