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Dirty Martini Macaroni Salad

Can you guess why we called it that?

Whether you love a good martini or you just love olives, we’ve got a dish for you today that will check all the boxes for you and kickstart your pasta salad game. We say it all the time, but we’re always trying out different versions of a classic pasta salad; the classic version is great, but why not switch things up and try something a bit different?? For instance, we’re buiding off of the traditional, mayo-based pasta salad, but we used ditalini pasta instead of macaroni and added a whole lot of olives (plus olive juice for extra flavor) to make this a dirty martini pasta salad.

Okay, we’ll be honest, for a long time we weren’t really big olive fans – or martini fans, for that matter – but we saw the light a couple years ago and have now incorporated olives into all kinds of things (like our olive dip that is truly addictive). Along with the pasta and olives, this salad has red onion and celery for bite, plus one other ingredient that’s slightly less common for your typical mac salad…vodka.

If you’re making this for both kids and adults, feel free to leave it out, but if it’s just you and a group of friends, we’d recommend leaving the vodka in. By only adding half an ounce, it’s enough to bring out the martini flavor, but not enough to overpowering – the olives are still the star of the show.

It might sound a little odd at first, but believe us when we say this is a good combo. Maybe not for everyone, but for those who like olives, this is as good as it gets! It comes together easily and is a fun way to spruce up a dish that can sometimes be a bit boring. Try this version and see if it just doesn’t stick around!

Serves 6-8

25 minutes

Rated 4.7 out of 5
Rated by 23 reviewers
  • 8 oz. dry ditalini pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 10 pimento-stuffed olives, roughly chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive juice
  • 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, olive juice and vodka, then season with salt, pepper, celery seeds and cayenne pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together cooked pasta, chopped onion, celery and olives.
  3. Pour dressing over pasta mixture and toss to combine, making sure everything is fully coated.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Just a Pinch

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