This classic macaroni salad is super easy to make! It's the best old fashioned creamy potluck salad. It has a vegetarian base that's perfect for adding extra protein if needed.

Classic Macaroni Salad

This classic macaroni salad is a summer staple! This bright salad has a delicious tangy and sweet creamy dressing. This recipe is a great base for adding in your favorite extras!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Natasha Bull


  • 3 cups uncooked macaroni
  • 1/2 medium red onion chopped finely
  • 3 sticks celery chopped finely
  • 1/2 green bell pepper chopped finely
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped finely


  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Boil a large, salted pot of water for the pasta, and cook it al dente according to package directions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, chop all your veggies and add them to a large bowl.
  3. Add the salad dressing ingredients to a medium bowl and stir thoroughly until combined (and make sure the sugar dissolves). Give it a taste and adjust if needed (e.g. more vinegar). 
  4. Add the cooked macaroni to the large bowl, along with the dressing. Toss until everything is combined. Season as needed (I am generous with the salt & pepper - this is a lot of pasta). Salad can be made ahead, just be sure to seal it tightly so the dressing doesn't dry out. Salad can be refrigerated for a few days. 

Recipe Notes