Abbie’s Favorite Chicken Macaroni Salad Recipe

April 1, 2011 at 9:17 am | Posted in Chicken, Pasta, Pasta Salad | 26 Comments
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Last Saturday was our monthly Front Range Food Blogger Meetup over at Barb’s house. Barb writes Vino Luci Style, lives in a central Denver location and generously opens her doors to host our group of local food bloggers. I so  look forward to our gatherings. Not only is it the ultimate potluck event, but we also get down to business and spend time with discussions to better our blogs. Last month we had photography demonstrations and last week we focused on SEO optimization. So far there’s been about a dozen of us attend, and I’m personally loving every minute of  it.

Barb suggested that we blog about and post recipes for the dishes we bring so she can link to them on our Meetup page. I’m all for that since I spend half the social hour begging for recipes. Here’s my latest contribution to our meeting.

My Favorite Chicken Macaroni Salad. Although I’ve had this recipe for about 30 years, it’s not one I make often because I simply can’t be trusted around it. I’ll stand over the kitchen island and eat half the bowl in minutes. So while the “servings” portion of the recipe indicates eight, if I’m around it’s actually six for me and two for you…two if you’re lucky. 

Abbie, Macaroni Salad Afficianado

Well it seems I have a macaroni salad soul mate named Abbie. Here’s how the whole thing came down (so to speak). The meeting was winding down. We had all but packed up our leftovers. We had divvied up and Saran wrapped portions of cookies, pastries and assorted goodies to take home and were in the living room finishing conversations when we heard a big crash.

Kirsten over at My Kitchen in the Rockies promptly went to investigate and found Abbie, Barb’s adorable Cocker Spaniel (who although she doesn’t write a food blog is most certainly an important member of our group) with her head buried in my bowl of macaroni salad which she had wrestled to the floor, stripped off the foil covering and was taking those big gasping doggie bites…you know the ones…where they can hardly breath because they’re trying to inhale as much as possible before being caught.

To protect the innocent Kirsten quickly picked up the evidence but once the story leaked, we all had a good laugh.  Of course, Barb was unnecessarily horrified, and commented on my blog:  “Abbie and I are both sorry she showed little manners. I guess I need a sign, “As cute as she may look, she is a dog who takes advantage of any situation where food is involved”

Abbie, you’re a girl after my own heart!

How do I feel about the whole thing? High five paw Abbie.  A compliment that you loved my macaroni salad, but sorry Sistah…I can’t be trusted around the stuff either…but I bet I could have had that bowl emptied before Kirsten got there.  🙂  I mean c’mon there was still half of it left. 

My Abbie’s Favorite Chicken Macaroni Salad:

4 cups large shell macaroni — cooked
10 oz chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces. (I’ve used rotisserie, canned and breasts cooked and cubed – it all works)
8 oz frozen peas
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbs sugar

Servings: 8

As with my potato salad, I like to have all the ingredients in a large bowl and then add my hot drained starch on top, letting everything sit for a couple of minutes to steam the vegetables and seasonings before I mix together. After stirring, adjust flavors to suit your palate.  I usually start with 1 Tsp dried dill and also tweak salt, sugar and vinegar to get it just right for me. As always this is better if it sits overnight in the fridge.

Abbie’s Favorite Chicken Macaroni Salad Recipe…It’s What’s for Dinner.

One Year Ago:  Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches



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  1. It’s those cute little dogs you really have to watch out for!

  2. Looks wonderful, LA! One question – did you keep the remaining salad to eat later? LOL! Oh – love the bowl!

    • That’s why I love them Russ. 🙂

      • It pained us to stuff that mac salad down the garbage disposal..It’s so good I was tempted.

  3. What a wonderful compliment! Your recipe looks so easy too… I’m looking forward to trying it!

  4. Cute dog and good story. In addition to the dogs, we have a cat and sometime back we learned that after seasoning our steaks and while letting them warm up some they need to be inside a cupboard lest part of one goes missing. Your pasta salad sounds very good and I do the same as you and stand around snacking on it. Everytime I host a meeting of the Greenback bloggers group, no one shows up but me.

  5. My first experience with pet animal theft was with a cat. Practically ate a whole Apple Pie resting on our porch on the farm. I remember my mom and I screaming in horror and then laughing so hard we almost fell down. Thanks Larry, I think this pasta salad is really good..if you like the sweet sour thing going on. Thanks for the comment.

  6. I am touched and I mean that really. I can’t help it; I do love that dog and am so thankful that you don’t hate either of us after the ‘mishap.’

    A lovely story, yes, an adorable dog but most importantly…that REALLY is some good chicken salad.

    • Barb, I prefer to refer to it as an “incident” rather than a mishap. 🙂 Hugs to my macaroni salad lovin buddy.

  7. What a sweet story. I kind of glanced over the title and then it suddenly hit me what Abbie you were talking about. How cute! She is a love and she does have great taste because this salad is delicious. So glad to now have your recipe.

    • Thanks Karen. Now, if I can just make that pastry of yours. 🙂

  8. Well, actually, I liked the salad so much that I just told you all it was Abbie eating it, instead it was me. No, just kidding. Abbie just has great taste, sweet littly doggie that she is. What else would we expect from a food blogger’s dog? It was a great tasting salad, so thanks for sharing it with us, Lea Ann.

    • Ok now that’s funny Kirsten!

  9. Cute story! This is a classic salad and one to make over and over.

    • Thanks Joumana! 🙂

  10. This post had me in peals of laughter! Mainly because I could see my dog doing the exact same thing. She’s been known to be caught having eaten whole loaves of bread (and she is TINY!). This salad does sound delicious!

    • Joanne????? I’ve never heard you talk about you having a dog. Must live with your parents? Ornery little critters aren’t they? 🙂

  11. This is a really cute post and the salad does sound delicious. I make my potato salad the same way – with hot potatoes over everything. I think it comes out much creamier that way.

  12. If this is anywhere close to your crazy good potato salad recipe, I just know my guys are going to flip over it. I loved the story, the description of your meetings (jealous) and that CUTE green bowl (hide that one for sure). Great post and an adorable dog with impeccable taste. 🙂

  13. Okay, that whole Abbie story is just too damn funny! Smart dog.

  14. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit again – I just don’t seem to get around as much as I would like to, so it’s a nice reminder to pop over here!

    So funny… I was craving pasta salad the other day and had chicken to use so I just made this recipe the other day – well, not exactly this recipe, but pretty close! 🙂 It’s an oldie but goodie isn’t it?

    Abbie is adorable & gotta love those sweet pups! If I was having a gathering of folks, I’d definitely have to isolate mine or he’d think he was supposed to be eating with the rest of us and with backs turned would do the very same thing. Nice that Barbara hosts a gathering like this.

  15. I adore these old salad recipes, Lea Ann. They are the BEST. Obviously, as dogs and people alike love this one. 🙂
    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I’m glad you could scrape off the top and enjoy the rest!

  16. This post makes me smile. I’m sorry I missed the Abbie comedy…and the pasta salad. I kept meaning to grab a spoonful and never did. I hope you make it again.

    • There are so many things at that meetup that I mean to grab a bite of and don’t get around to it. I’ll make it again as a back by popular demand dish. 🙂

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