This classic macaroni salad recipe is easy to make and perfect for summer BBQs, potlucks, cookouts, or picnics. It uses everyday ingredients and is creamy and delicious!
This old fashioned macaroni salad is sure to hit the spot. It's been a mainstay at summer events for a few generations now!
Macaroni salad ingredients:
I kept it classic with elbow macaroni, hardboiled eggs, chopped pickles, red onion, and celery. The dressing is a mix of mayo, celery salt, Dijon mustard, sugar, white vinegar, and pepper.
Other possible add-ins include: peas, ham, chopped bell peppers, cheddar, etc. You can't go wrong here!
How to make macaroni salad (summary):
Start by cooking the macaroni and boiling the eggs. While they cook and then cool, prep the other ingredients (pickles, onions, celery), and then mix together the dressing ingredients. Combine everything in a large salad bowl. You may enjoy this pasta salad immediately or let it chill so the flavors get a chance to meld some more. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- If you're not a fan of eggs, you can leave them out, or try my other Macaroni Salad that's a bit more veggie-forward but similar.
- You may sub Dijon mustard for yellow mustard, but you may need to increase the quantity a bit.
- Sub the chopped pickles for relish if you like.
- I use Hellmann's mayo, but Miracle Whip could work too!
- You can sub some of the mayo (I'd do half) with Greek yogurt if you want to lighten it up a bit.
- This makes quite a lot of pasta salad (it makes at least 6-8 servings), so you can definitely halve it if needed. I recommend halving all ingredients (use 1-2 eggs depending on what you prefer).
- For food safety reasons, ensure that this salad isn't left out for too long, especially outdoors in the heat. If it hasn't been refrigerated for a while (max 2 hours), discard the rest or eat it right away.
More delicious macaroni recipes to try:
Questions about this easy creamy homemade macaroni salad recipe? Did you grow up with a similar recipe? Let me know! As always, if you've made one of my recipes, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram and write me a review below.
- 16 ounces uncooked macaroni
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sweet or dill pickles chopped small
- 2 sticks celery chopped small
- 1/4 cup red onion chopped finely
- 1 cup mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Pepper to taste
- Boil a large, salted pot of water for the macaroni and cook it al dente according to package directions. Drain it then rinse it under cold water and set aside (let it drain well).
- At the same time as the pasta is boiling, cook the eggs in a separate pot until they're hard-boiled. I simply time 10 minutes from the point where they start to boil. I cool them by running cold water over them for a few minutes. Peel the eggs once they've cooled.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the dressing ingredients in a measuring cup or small bowl, and prep the remaining ingredients (pickles, celery, onion).
- Once the pasta is cooled and dry, add it to a large salad bowl, along with the eggs (chop them to desired size), pickles, celery, and onion. Pour the dressing over and toss until well coated.
- Serve right away or refrigerate for a couple hours first (cover the bowl tightly) to let the flavors meld.
- Serves about 8 as a side depending on how much people eat.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.