Here’s a fun story. 7 years ago I entered an original recipe salad contest Fresh and Easy Markets were hosting. The ask was for people to submit their best Summer salad ideas and the winning salad would be packaged and sold in all Fresh and Easy Markets. I casually decided to enter my chipotle macaroni salad. Why not? I had just started blogging and was anxious to get involved in the big wide web, and seriously didn’t give it much more thought than that. A few weeks later I received an email saying out of 5 thousand entries my chipotle macaroni salad was crowned the WINNER! Say what? I thought I was going MAD and had misread the email. I couldn’t believe it, never in a hundred years did I think I would win.
It took about a year before I saw it on the shelves. I felt so humbled, and proud, and excited…it was definitely a surreal feeling seeing my creation displayed and sold in a supermarket. As part of the salad launch Fresh and Easy invited me in-store to take photos with my new packaged salad. A Facebook memory popped up today with these images that my friend Stephen (LatinoFoodie) took of me as I was being photographed by the photographer the market had hired.
It was an amazing experience for sure, and one that made a little space for me among the blogging world. I look at these photos and think… I’ve learned so much since then, I’m still grateful for this slice of recognition, I like that I was wearing the evil eye around my neck on a red string (keeping the haters at bay), and it looks like my hair was in an awkward stage of mid-length bangs that needed to be pinned down. With all the growth that has come with time one thing remains the same, my chipotle macaroni salad is still a winner, if I do say so myself, and should be celebrated all Summer long. I hope you’ll love it, as much as I do. Enjoy!
Ingredients for Chipotle Macaroni Salad:
- 1 – pound elbow macaroni (cooked according to box al-dente)
- 4 – tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 – teaspoon salt
- 1/2 – teaspoon black pepper
- 1 – teaspoon dried dill
- 1/3 – cup green onion (minced) (about 10 stalks)
- 1 – red onion (diced small)
- 1 – cup frozen peas (thawed)
- 8 – oz. corn (about one cup)
- 4 – hard boiled eggs (peeled and chopped small)
- 1/2 – cup chopped black olives
- 1 – jar zesty dill pickles (chopped small)
- 1 lb – sharp cheddar cheese (cubed small)
- 6 – heaping tablespoons pimento (diced)
- 1 1/2 – cups mayonnaise
- 1/2 – tablespoon ground chipotle chile pepper ( feel free to add more if you like it extra spicy or less if you just want a tad of heat)
- In a big bowl add drained/cooled macaroni and mustard. Mix well.
- Sprinkle in salt, black pepper, and dill. Mix well.
- Add both the red and green onion. Mix to combine.
- Next add the peas and corn. I mix with each addition to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Add chopped hard boiled egg, black olives, and pickles. Mix to combine.
- Add cheddar cheese cubes and pimento. Mix well.
- Now add mayonnaise into the salad and mix well. Lastly sprinkle in the chipotle chile pepper. Mix well and serve!
- I prefer the taste of the salad the next day after all the flavors have had a chance to mingle in the fridge.