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Danish Macaroni Salad

Image depicts white serving bowl filled with macaroni salad with dill and ham and a small bowl of cherries in the foreground on a gray counter top

Serve some creamy macro friendly Danish Macaroni Salad as a side dish at your next barbecue. This pasta, ham and dill side will instantly become a favorite.

Image depicts white bowl of Danish Macaroni Salad with a smaller dish of it in front. A bowl of cherries and a purple and red dish towel on a gray background.

Growing up, my favorite dish that my mom made was Danish Macaroni Salad. She always used shell pasta, diced ham, mayonnaise or sour cream, dijon mustard and sometime fresh dill. It’s simple and delicious and perfect as a side dish, although I would eat it as the main course.

I decided to recreate the pasta dish to make it macro friendly and to prioritize the protein. The easiest thing to do was switch out the pasta to a protein pasta. I use Barilla Protein Plus Rotini for this dish. They also have elbow macaroni, but my store doesn’t carry it. You could use other higher protein pasta, like chickpea pasta, but I feel like the texture of the Barilla is most like normal pasta.

Image depicts box of protein rotini, sprigs of fresh dill, a slice of ham steak, some sour cream and yogurt in white dishes and Dijon mustard in a white dish on a gray counter top.

For the dressing, I switched out the regular mayonnaise for light mayonnaise, and added in nonfat Greek yogurt and reduced fat sour cream. I like to add a lot of Dijon mustard to the dressing, but that may not be for everyone, so the recipe reflects the normal amount. Lastly, chop the fresh dill and stir it into the dressing and put the dressing in the fridge so that the flavors have time to mingle before serving.

I like to make an extra half cup or so of the dressing, to add to the leftovers. The pasta likes to soak up the dressing when in the fridge and I always seem to need to add more the next day.

Other ways to make this dish:

  • Switch up the herbs. Instead of dill, try Italian parsley, basil or other herb
  • Omit the mayo or add more. I use just enough mayo so that I get some flavor, but not add too much fat
  • Add a seasoning like freshly ground black pepper or garlic salt

You might also like Low Carb Cauliflower ‘Potato’ Salad!

High Protein Danish Macaroni Salad

High Protein Danish Macaroni Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 14.5 ounce box of protein pasta
  • 8 ounces boneless ham steak
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare pasta according to directions on the package, drain and set aside to cool.
  2. While pasta is cooking combine mayo, mustard, sour cream yogurt and dill. Stir in diced ham. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill.
  3. Once pasta is cool, stir in ham and dressing.
  4. Season with pepper and salt if needed.
  5. Keep cold until serving.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 361mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g

Nutritional information provided for recipes is a courtesy to my readers. I do my best to be as accurate as possible, but you should do your own nutrition information calculations. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

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