Leftover macaroni salad provides a number of uses when combining it with other ingredients such as leafy green salads, seafood or meat. Create variation by serving a number of macaroni salads for a picnic or party by making one large batch. You can divide the batch into different serving bowls, mixing different ingredients such as tuna, barbecue chicken or Italian meats into each bowl.
Tuna Pasta Salad
Create a seafood dish packed with lean protein by combining one can of tuna with your mayonnaise-based macaroni salad. Pour and toss the tuna into the pasta salad to mix the ingredients. Add more mayonnaise, if the texture becomes dry. Chill the tuna pasta salad in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. It’s best to keep tuna pasta salad chilled and refrigerated because the tuna can go bad and the mayonnaise can spoil in heat. Top a leafy green salad with the tuna pasta salad for lunch or present it as a side dish for a potluck.
Antipasto Pasta Salad
Prepare a variation on a Italian antipasto salad using leftover Italian-dressing-based macaroni salad. Wash, drain and chop romaine lettuce and place the lettuce on a serving platter. Pour the leftover macaroni salad into a mixing bowl. Cut Italian hard meats such as salami and pepperoni into 1/2-inch cubes. Slice thin pieces of cappicola and prosciutto. Add the meats to the mixing bowl. Slice assorted sharp Italian cheeses including fontinella, Parmesan and asiago into chunks and add the cheese to the mixing bowl. Add mixed olives and roasted red peppers, if desired. Toss the contents of the mixing bowl and add Italian dressing, if needed. Pour the antipasto pasta salad over the romaine lettuce on the serving plate and serve it before an Italian meal.
Barbecue Pasta Salad
Add barbecued meat to leftover pasta salad. Cut barbecued chicken into small pieces or slice the meat off barbecue ribs. Place the chicken or rib pieces in the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes, if still warm. Toss the chicken or ribs into the leftover macaroni salad for added flavor and protein. Chill the mixture for 10 minutes and serve.
Curry Pasta Salad
Change the flavor and texture of your leftover mayonnaise-based macaroni salad. Mix 1 tsp. of curry powder into the macaroni salad. Add a dash of salt, if needed and 1 tbsp. of lemon juice for acidity. Add 1/4 cup of raisins and 1/4 cups of pine nuts or walnuts to give your macaroni salad a crunchy consistency and sweet flavor. Add chicken, if desired. Toss the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes until chilled.
References and ResourcesAll Recipes: Cold Tuna Macaroni Salad
Food Network: Emeril Lagasse's Antipasto Pasta Salad
Epicurious: Chicken Pasta Salad in Creamy Curry Dressing