Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

Classic Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad is a Flavorful Summer Dish

My classic macaroni salad is probably the tastiest macaroni salad recipe you have ever prepared!

➡️ There are only a few days left until the official arrival of summer and the weather is already warm, so I’m thinking of the classic macaroni salad, one of my favorite recipes for the hot season. Of course, this type of food is a perfect choice all year round, not only on hot days, because it is a side dish that goes well with countless main dishes.

➡️ As I wrote above, this comfort food is among my preferred pasta salad recipes because a classic macaroni salad is an excellent side dish for almost any meal. It’s great served warm or cold, and goes well with almost any kind of meat or fish. However, it can be used as an appetizer or party food too.

➡️ If you want to make macaroni salad in advance, it is best to prepare it a few hours before serving to better combine the flavors. However, you can even prepare it the day before, then keep it covered and refrigerated. The best part about doing this is that it will continue to develop its flavor as it is marinated. Just mix the ingredients well before serving to redistribute the dressing.

➡️ There are many delicious macaroni salad recipes and I use many of them. However, I share one that I prepare pretty often. It’s a classic macaroni recipe that I learned years ago and still make as many times as I think on macaroni salad! Even if it features simple ingredients, the taste is simply awesome and is a favorite in my family.

➡️ Classic Macaroni Salad is a summer staple at picnics, barbecues, and potlucks across America. This creamy, tangy pasta salad is made with cooked macaroni, a variety of crunchy vegetables, and a sweet and tangy dressing that brings it all together. The combination of flavors and textures makes this dish a hit that will disappear fast.

➡️ While there are many variations of macaroni salad, the classic version is the most popular. It’s a simple and easy-to-make recipe that doesn’t require any special skills or equipment. The key to a great macaroni salad is to use the right ingredients and to keep the flavors balanced. You want a salad that is creamy, but not too heavy, with just the right amount of sweetness and tanginess.

➡️ In this recipe, I will show you how to make the classic version of macaroni salad step-by-step, from cooking the macaroni to preparing the dressing and mixing it all together. By following my instructions and tips, you’ll be able to make a delicious and crowd-pleasing macaroni salad that everyone will love.

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How to Make Macaroni Salad from Scratch at Home

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Classic Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad is a perfect side dish for any occasion. Whether it's a family gathering, a potluck, or a barbecue, this dish is always a crowd-pleaser. The creamy and tangy dressing, paired with al dente macaroni and crunchy vegetables, make for a delicious and refreshing combination. This dish is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences by adding or omitting ingredients.
This recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, making it perfect for both novice and experienced cooks. It can be prepared in advance and refrigerated, allowing the flavors to meld together and making it a perfect make-ahead dish for busy schedules. The macaroni salad can be served as a side dish or as a light lunch or dinner option.
The key to a perfect macaroni salad is to balance the flavors and textures of the ingredients. The dressing should be creamy and tangy, but not overpowering. The macaroni should be cooked al dente, not too soft or too hard. The vegetables should be fresh and crunchy, adding a pop of color and texture to the dish.
In this recipe, I will show you how to make a Classic Macaroni Salad step-by-step, from the selection of the ingredients to the final presentation. By following my instructions, you will be able to create a delicious and satisfying macaroni salad that will become a family favorite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the red onion, celery, red and green bell pepper, shredded carrots, and parsley.
  • Add the cooked macaroni to the bowl and mix well with the vegetables.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, white vinegar, Dijon mustard, sweet pickle relish, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the macaroni mixture and stir until everything is coated evenly.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.


Cooking Tips:
  • Be sure not to overcook the macaroni, as it will become mushy and lose its shape. It’s important to cook it just until it’s al dente.
  • Rinse the cooked macaroni under cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent it from sticking together.
  • Use a sharp knife to dice the vegetables into small, uniform pieces.
  • Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Add more or less of any vegetable or spice to suit your personal taste.
Keyword classic macaroni salad, macaroni salad

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Making Classic Macaroni Salad is a Breeze!

➡️ This classic macaroni salad has all the great flavor of macaroni, but with a salad base that’s healthier and better for your diet. The best part is that it’s easy to make ahead of time, which makes it a great meal when you want to eat something fast. Needless to say, the classic macaroni salad is just perfect for a grill party, as it matches any kind of grilled meat, chicken, and fish! Besides being delicious, it is very versatile, as you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Plus, you can customize the dressing as well as you like.

➡️ I’ve listed below some of the best macaroni salad recipes. Enjoy making classic macaroni salad from scratch! If you need additional info, read more on macaroni salad! Additionally, I recommend you to try more pasta salad recipes available on this website such as spring healthy pasta salad and browse lots of tasty pasta recipes in my cookbook

How do you make a classic macaroni salad?

Cook the macaroni according the directions on the package to create a classic macaroni salad. Rinse with cold water after draining. Mix the cooked macaroni, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a sizable bowl. Celery, onion, and bell pepper should be added. Mix thoroughly, then chill for at least two hours before serving.

How long does macaroni salad last in the fridge?

If properly stored in an airtight container, macaroni salad can stay fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Is macaroni salad good for you?

Although macaroni salad is a delectable side dish, it is not the healthiest choice due to the large amount of saturated fat it contains. Fortunately, there are some simple strategies to increase nutrients while reducing fat. Start by selecting pasta that is prepared with whole grains rather than semolina flour because it is more nutrient-dense.

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