Charred Scallion & Bacon Macaroni SaladJump to Recipe
Betsy and I live near one of the larger parks in Denver and last summer we had dreams and plans to have “park days” a few times a month where we would just post up in a shady spot, fill a cooler with drinks, invite friends and play all day.
I think we ended up doing it twice because we had a 6-month old kiddo and it was much easier to not plan things.
But this year! Oh, this year we are somewhat better at this parenting thing and our dude loves burning off steam at the park. So park days will happen. And when they do you better believe I’ll be bringing big containers of salads like this charred scallion & bacon macaroni salad.
My nightmare when it comes to pasta salads is the kind you find at deli sections that are swimming pools of mayo and dressing. The purpose a good dressing is just to hold everything together. This recipe has the right amount. No more and no less. It also has charred scallions, which maybe you didn’t know were a thing, but they are SO a thing.
Your new favorite macaroni salad, just in time for picnics and outside parties. Scallions, bacon and dressing!
1) Bake bacon at 350 degrees F. on a baking sheet lined with foil until it’s very crispy, about 18-20 minutes. Pour off bacon grease, but reserve 1 tablespoon. Cook pasta according to package. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
2) When bacon is done cooking, prep your scallions by cutting the root ends off and washing them well. Dry scallions and toss them with reserved bacon grease and a big pinch of kosher salt. Spread out scallions a baking sheet. Heat oven to broil.
3) Broil scallions for about 2 minutes until they are charred in spots. Rotate pan if needed. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t completely burn. You might need slightly longer or shorter depending on your broiler.
4) Let scallions cool. Meanwhile, whisk together mayo, vinegar, mustard, and hot sauce. Stir in cooked macaroni to coat with dressing.
5) Roughly chop up bacon and scallions and stir into macaroni salad. Season with salt and pepper. Chill salad until served. The salad is actually better if it can sit for a day in the fridge.
Charred Scallion & Bacon Macaroni Salad
You can cook the bacon for this recipe however you want. I like to bake mine with some foil underneath for easy cleanup and because it makes it easier to pour off the bacon grease, which we will use because it’s delicious.
Bake your bacon until it’s really crispy, probably about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Be sure to rotate your pan if your oven cooks a bit uneven like mine does.
Technically, you could use a bunch of different pastas for this, but for me, macaroni salad means elbow macaroni. You won’t find much else in my pasta salads.
The Charred Scallions
These guys bring the flavor. It’s crazy how addictive they are. Clean your scallions well and trim off the roots. Dry them and toss them with some reserved bacon grease and kosher salt.
Blast these under your broiler for 2-3 minutes. They cook really quickly so keep a close eye on them. Depending on the strength of your broiler they might need a minute on either side so watch them closely while they cook.
They are done when they are smoking and charred in places. They will still be a bit crispy in some spots, which is nice.
I can’t stand over-dressed pasta salads. This is just enough to hold everything together. You could always double it if you want more dressing, but it’s the right amount in my mind.
Just stir the mayo, vinegar (you could sub apple cider vinegar for the rice vinegar), mustard, and hot sauce together.
Then toss in your cooked and rinsed macaroni. Each piece should be lightly coated.
Then stir in your chopped bacon and scallions.
Taste the salad and season it with salt and pepper. It shouldn’t need much extra seasoning, but maybe a small pinch of both.
Enjoy a few park days this spring, everybody!