Chicken Macaroni Salad

Elevate Your Salad Game with Chicken Macaroni Salad

Chicken macaroni salad is a classic comfort food that brings together the flavors of tender chicken, al dente elbow macaroni, and a creamy dressing. View the recipe below!

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Chicken Macaroni Salad

Chicken Macaroni Salad

Chicken macaroni salad is a classic comfort food that brings together the flavors of tender chicken, al dente elbow macaroni, and a creamy dressing. Whether you're planning a picnic, a potluck, or simply want a hearty meal, this recipe is a go-to choice. In this version, I'll share the ultimate chicken macaroni salad recipe that stays true to tradition and offers a satisfying blend of flavors and textures.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded or diced
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, finely grated or diced
  • ½ cup  pineapple tidbits (optional)
  • 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked macaroni, diced chicken, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green bell pepper, grated carrots, and pineapple tidbits (if using).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yellow mustard, salt, and pepper until well blended.
  • Pour the mayo-mustard dressing over the macaroni mixture and gently toss until everything is evenly coated.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Before serving, give the salad a final toss and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Serve your delicious chicken macaroni salad chilled and enjoy!


Cooking Tips for the Best Results:

  1. Cook the macaroni until it’s just al dente to prevent it from becoming mushy in the salad.
  2. Use boneless, skinless chicken breast for a lean and tender protein addition.
  3. Customize your salad by adding your favorite veggies like peas or celery for extra crunch and flavor.
  4. For a sweeter twist, include pineapple tidbits or raisins to enhance the salad’s sweetness.
  5. Make the salad in advance to allow it to chill and meld the flavors for a tastier outcome.

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FAQs about Chicken Macaroni Salad

Can I use leftover chicken for this recipe?

Absolutely! Leftover roasted or grilled chicken works perfectly in this salad and saves you even more time.

What can I substitute for mayonnaise?

You can use Greek yogurt or a combination of Greek yogurt and sour cream for a lighter dressing.

Is there a vegetarian version of this salad?

Yes, you can omit the chicken and add more vegetables or tofu for a vegetarian twist.

How long can I store chicken macaroni salad in the refrigerator?

It’s best consumed within 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Can I make this salad ahead for a potluck?

Absolutely! Making it a day in advance allows the flavors to meld and intensify for a tastier dish.

Read more here for additional info about chicken salad. Also, I recommend other interesting articles and recipes related to this topic, including creamy chicken salad, cold mushroom and chicken salad appetizer, leftover chicken and corn salad, vegetable chicken salad appetizer, leftover BBQ chicken salad, classic chicken salad with grapes, chicken Caesar salad, Chinese chicken salad, Mediterranean grilled chicken salad, Buffalo chicken salad, curry chicken salad with grapes, Asian chicken salad with peanut dressing, authentic Thai chicken salad, southwest chicken salad, avocado chicken salad, and more.

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