Meltdown Macaroni Salad

My family and I relocated to Phoenix, AZ several years ago.  The weather is beautiful 9 months out of the year!  But, the other three months…well….it’s hot.  Really hot.  I mean, really, really hot.  We’ve adjusted to the heat over the last two years, but no matter how adjusted we are, 118 degrees is stifling.

There is a payoff for heat endurance. In December, when it’s supposed to be cold, rainy  and  grey(at least that’s what it was like in my home town), I’m wearing flip-flops and short sleeved shirts as I enjoy 75 degree weather. But although I know the blistering heat is reaching it’s yearly end and  beautiful weather awaits, a late summer meltdown occurs.  It’s happened every year since we’ve been here.  I reach a point at which my brain can no longer bear the sizzling heat, and I enter into a heat-induced rage.  

Several of my friends that have moved here to Arizona also experience such a meltdown. But we decided to celebrate our meltdown, rather than lamenting it.  There’s nothing we can do about the heat, so why not embrace it?  So, to celebrate our love/hate relationship with the desert sun, we have a yearly Summer Meltdown Party.

This salad got its name because of the day it was made, and it’s a great way to chill out after a meltdown.  Enjoy!

Meltdown Macaroni Salad #Summer #BBQ

Meltdown Macaroni Salad

Meltdown Macaroni Salad


  • 1 Package of Small Salad Macaroni or Elbow Macaroni-I prefer salad macaroni
  • 2-3 Hardboiled Eggs, chopped, (depending on how much egg you like in your salad)
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
  • 1 Carrot, Shredded
  • 1 Medium Sized Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Frozen Peas, Thawed
  • 1 Small Can Sliced Olives, Drained
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill Pickle Relish
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 1 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • About 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • Additional Salt and Pepper, to Taste
  • Fresh or Dried Dill for Garnish


  1. Cook macaroni al dente, according to package directions.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, pickle relish, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and salt and pepper.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine macaroni, egg, celery, carrots, onion, peas and olives (if you're using them). Mix the dressing in a little at a time to combine. If you pour it in all at once, it will be hard to mix completely. Once the salad has been mixed together, sprinkle with paprika, about 1 teaspoon, and mix the pasta with the paprika.
  4. Chill the macaroni salad for at least three hours, or, if you can, chill overnight. Sprinkle with a little fresh or dried dill, for garnish.
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Ericka @Chef PickyKid and Me

I love to cook and entertain for family and friends, and I especially love being in the kitchen with my daughter who loves to cook as well. I enjoy making recipes that are easy to prepare and use ingredients most people have in their kitchen. Visit me at www.chefpickykid.com!

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