Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe – Deliciously Creamy And Refreshing

I know macaroni salad is a staple of summer barbecues and potlucks, but it’s always been one of my favorite dishes year-round. This macaroni salad recipe is my all-time favorite, because it’s creamy, flavor-packed, and super easy to make! It’s become a go-to dish whenever I’m looking for a crowd-pleasing meal. With just a few simple ingredients, it’s sure to be a hit every time.

Macaroni Salad Recipe

Prep Time

25-30 mins

Total Time

30-35 mins


5 servings

Macaroni Salad


  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup diced sweet pickles
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)


  • Gather all your ingredients and make sure you have everything you need to make your Macaroni Salad.
  • Start by cooking your macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse the macaroni with cold water.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, yellow mustard, white vinegar, sugar, salt and black pepper.
  • Add the macaroni to the bowl and mix until all the macaroni is evenly coated.
  • Now add in the celery, red onion, sweet pickles, red bell pepper and chopped parsley. Mix together until everything is evenly combined.
  • Place the Macaroni Salad in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  • Your Macaroni Salad is now ready to enjoy! Serve it as a side dish or as a meal. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 450
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Carbohydrates: 75g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 10g
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What are the best ingredients to use in macaroni salad?

If you’re looking for the perfect macaroni salad, you’ll want to use the freshest and tastiest ingredients you can find! The most important elements of a great macaroni salad are the base ingredients, which consist of macaroni, mayo, and vinegar. You can then add complementary ingredients to really take your macaroni salad to the next level. Here are some of the best ingredients you can use to make a delicious macaroni salad:

  • Celery: Celery adds a nice crunch and a subtle flavor to macaroni salad, offering a great contrast to the creaminess of the mayo.
  • Carrots: Carrots are a great addition to macaroni salad, giving it a nice sweetness and a little bit of color.
  • Onion: Onion adds a bit of bite and flavor to macaroni salad and is great for adding depth.
  • Dill: A bit of dill provides a lovely, fragrant herby flavor that pairs perfectly with the mayo and vinegar.
  • Pickles: Pickles add a great tartness and sweetness to macaroni salad that’s hard to beat.
  • Cheese: Cheese is always a great addition to macaroni salad, adding a delicious, creamy texture and flavor.

What are the benefits of eating macaroni salad?

Macaroni salad is an incredibly versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a side dish, a summer barbecue staple, or a delicious lunch option!

  • It’s a great source of carbohydrates, providing energy to get you through the day.
  • Macaroni salad contains a variety of fresh vegetables that are full of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy and nutritious meal.
  • It can be easily customized and adjusted to fit any dietary restriction, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free.
  • Plus, macaroni salad is an affordable and convenient meal that can be quick and easy to prepare.
  • Eating macaroni salad is a great way to mix up your meals and add variety to your diet.
  • It’s also a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of summer all year round.
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How to prepare the perfect macaroni salad?

The perfect macaroni salad starts with the right macaroni–elbow macaroni is the classic choice. Boil the macaroni until it’s al dente and then let it cool.

  • Choose the right dressing. A mayonnaise-based dressing is the classic option but you can also experiment with vinaigrettes and other dressings.
  • Add some crunch with some chopped vegetables like celery, onions, carrots, and bell peppers.
  • Add some flavor with some herbs like parsley, oregano, and chives.
  • Add some tanginess with some pickles or pickled onions.
  • Add some creaminess with some hard boiled eggs and cheese.
  • Mix it up! Use a big spoon or a rubber spatula to combine all the ingredients.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Refrigerate the macaroni salad for at least an hour before serving so the flavors can marry.

What are some interesting variations to macaroni salad?

If you’re bored with the same-old macaroni salad recipe, why not switch things up a bit? There are so many creative and delicious variations to try! Here are some of our favorite interesting variations to macaroni salad:

  • Mexican Macaroni Salad: Spicy, savory, and oh so flavorful, this Mexican-inspired macaroni salad combines cooked macaroni noodles with diced tomatoes, jalapenos, black beans, red onions, carrots, cilantro, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and lime juice. It’s the perfect side dish for a summer BBQ.
  • Mediterranean Macaroni Salad: This unique take on macaroni salad is a delicious combination of cooked macaroni, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, red onions, parsley, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette. It’s the perfect side for a light lunch or dinner.
  • Curry Macaroni Salad: Take your macaroni salad up a notch with this delicious curry-flavored version. It’s made with cooked macaroni, diced tomatoes, peas, carrots, garlic, curry powder, cilantro, and a creamy yogurt dressing. This one is sure to be a hit!
  • Caprese Macaroni Salad: Perfect for a summer picnic, this macaroni salad combines cooked macaroni, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It’s light, refreshing, and perfect for a hot summer day.
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These interesting variations to macaroni salad are sure to liven up any meal.

How can macaroni salad be served as a meal or a side dish?

Serving macaroni salad as a meal or side dish is easy and delicious! Macaroni salad is a classic dish that is perfect for potlucks, barbecues, and family dinners. It can be served as a delicious main meal, or as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish. As a main dish, it can be served with a variety of vegetables, toasted bread, and a light salad. Alternatively, it can be served as a side dish alongside burgers, hot dogs, or other grilled dishes. To add an extra layer of flavor, consider grilling vegetables to top the salad.

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