Cher's 'Boyfriend Approved' Pasta Salad is Easy, Creamy and Crowd-Pleasing

Cher's "Boyfriend-Approved" Mac Salad

Can you think of a more legendary, timeless and ageless diva than Cher? Neither can we. As the Goddess of Pop, Cher is famous not only for her music and her iconic fashion choices, but also for dating younger men. With such a romantic track record (and really, because she's Cher and everything she does is iconic), I was giddy when I uncovered Cher's "boyfriend-approved" macaroni salad recipe.

The recipe appears in the 1988 book Rock 'N' Roll Cuisine by Peggy Sue Honeyman-Scott and Robin Le Mesurier—which also includes Don Henley's chili recipe, Rick Nielsen's Nuclear Chicken Wings and Fleetwood Mac's Fiesta Dip. In her own sweeping all-caps handwriting, Cher herself notes in the book that her salad "serves enough for a horde—not a rampaging horde—just a horde!"

Curious, I knew I had to put Cher's "boyfriend-approved" macaroni salad to the test. So I turned up the tunes, channeled my inner '90s girl and got to work. And before you ask, you best believe I belted "Believe."

Get the recipe: Cher's "Boyfriend-Approved" Macaroni Salad

Ingredients for Cher's "Boyfriend-Approved" Macaroni Salad

Ingredients for Cher's Mac Salad<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Ingredients for Cher's Mac Salad

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

For this recipe, you need black olivestomatoesred onion, canned white albacore tuna in water (Cher likes Chicken of the Sea), mayonnaise, Spice Islands Beau Mond seasoning (which I couldn't find, so I used a similar blend—Spice House Lake Shore Drive seasoning, a shallot and herb-based option), freshly cracked pepper and a short cut pasta. Cher calls for "gnocchi" pasta, but she doesn't mean potato gnocchi but rather something like Gnocchi Sardi, which is a small, hand-rolled shell-shaped pasta. As you'll see, I went with orecchiette because I couldn't find the gnocchi-style pasta Cher called for.

Related: Cher's Mom's Cheesecake Is Impressively Easy

How to Make Cher's "Boyfriend-Approved" Macaroni Salad

Ingredients for Cher's Mac Salad in a serving bowl<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Ingredients for Cher's Mac Salad in a serving bowl

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Start by boiling your pasta in a pot of salted water. Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes and onion and add to a bowl. Drain the pasta, add a little mayo (so it doesn't stick, as Cher says) and add the tuna and olives, before seasoning to taste with cracked black pepper and the seasoning blend.

Finally, Cher directly notes to "Add a little more mayo than you think necessary, so it's kind of goopy." Refrigerate and serve cold.

Related: Dolly Parton’s Secret Ingredient for the Best-Ever Coleslaw

What I Thought of Cher's "Boyfriend-Approved" Macaroni Salad

Served Mac Salad<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Served Mac Salad

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Frankly speaking, I thought this salad might be an issue up front as I'm not a huge fan of canned tuna. My mom used to eat tuna fish sandwiches all the time when I was a kid, so the smell of tuna takes me right back (I'll spare you the "If I Could Turn Back Time" joke here). And mayo is one of maybe three foods that make my stomach turn.

But even considering that, Cher's macaroni salad ended up being much greater than the sum of its parts. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, the tomatoes were ripe and juicy, the raw red onion added a sharp bite and the black olives were creamy and earthy. As for the canned tuna? I'm happy to report it was not nearly as offensive as I remember it being.

Related: I Made The Famous 'Larry David Sandwich' and It's My New Favorite Bagel Breakfast

After Cher said to make this salad on the goopy side, I added a generous dollop of avocado oil-based mayo and relied on my seasonings a bit more for flavor. It was perfection!

Another thing I loved was how quickly this one-bowl recipe came together. This is truly an easy-peasy side dish that's absolutely perfect for your next picnic or barbecue. I could definitely be convinced to make this macaroni salad again for an upcoming summer soirée.

Related: 29 Tortellini Pasta Salads To Get You Through All The Summer BBQs and Potlucks

Tips for Making Cher's "Boyfriend-Approved" Macaroni Salad

Find the right pasta. Cher notes if you cannot find the very specific De Cecco gnocchi-shaped pasta, which is not the same as potato gnocchi, it may be called cavatelli. I couldn't find the De Cecco gnocchi shape, so I went with orecchiette since it was a similar shape and size as my diced ingredients.

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