This Simple Macaroni Salad Recipe is filled with all the classic ingredients, tossed in a creamy sauce and perfect for summer potlucks and parties!

This Simple Macaroni Salad Recipe is filled with all the classic ingredients, tossed in a creamy sauce and perfect for summer potlucks and parties!

pinterestIf there’s one thing I love about going to potlucks and parties, it’s all the different types of salads available. I could pretty much eat only side dishes and be totally happy. This classic Macaroni Salad is always the first thing to go, and people are always asking for the simple recipe, so here it is!

How To Make Macaroni Salad:

  • Start by boiling your elbow macaroni noodles until they are tender to the bite. Quickly drain the noodles then run cool water over them to stop them from cooking any further.
  • Gather all your macaroni salad add-ins and toss them in a large bowl with the cooled and drained noodles.
  • Whisk together the creamy sauce and stir everything together. Keep the salad chilled until ready to serve.

This is how to make Macaroni Salad with all the add-ins that you love!

The Best Macaroni Salad Add-Ins:

The best part about macaroni salad is that you can add in whatever you like to make it completely unique to your taste. Here are some of my favorite add-ins…

  • Diced Celery
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Diced Red Bell Pepper
  • Frozen Peas (they defrost when added)
  • Cubed Sharp Cheddar Cheese (you can also use shredded cheese)
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Diced Ham
  • Cooked Bacon
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Pickles

As you can see, there are several options available, plus many more.

How to make the BEST Macaroni Salad Dressing Recipe

Creamy Macaroni Salad Dressing Recipe

Now that you have your noodles and all your add-ins in the bowl, it’s time to whisk up that super easy, finger-licking good dressing!

  • Whisk together mayo, white vinegar (you can also use apple cider vinegar for a little added sweetness), sugar, dijon mustard (I like one with a little more kick to it), salt, pepper and just a little bit of sweet pickle relish.
  • Pour the dressing into the salad bowl and stir to coat the ingredients evenly.
  • Chill the mixture until ready to serve, make sure to stir again before serving.

Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe with the BEST creamy dressing!

What Can I Use As A Mayo Substitute?

Instead of using all mayo, you can use half plain greek yogurt and half mayo. Or you can try using half sour cream and half mayo. I wouldn’t recommend omitting all of the mayo because that is what helps keep this macaroni salad nice and creamy.

Can Macaroni Salad Be Made Ahead?

YES! In fact, I think this salad tastes even better the second day, once the flavors have had a chance to blend together. Store the salad in an air-tight container in the fridge and make sure to stir again before serving.

More Simple Pasta Salad Recipes to Make:

YUM! This Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe is super easy and the perfect side dish for all those summer potlucks!

I’m confident you’re going to get RAVE reviews with this simple and easy Macaroni Salad Recipe at all your potlucks!

HELPFUL PRODUCTS TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:

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Simple Macaroni Salad Recipe

YUM! This Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe is super easy and the perfect side dish for all those summer potlucks!

This Simple Macaroni Salad Recipe is filled with all the classic ingredients, tossed in a creamy sauce and perfect for summer potlucks and parties!

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni noodles, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup distilled vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions, then drain and rinse with cool water. I like to add a few ice cubes to the noodles while running cool water over them to help cool the noodles faster. Drain and add pasta to a large bowl.
  2. Add in the diced celery, red onion, red bell pepper, peas and cheese.

For the Dressing:

  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour the dressing into the large bowl and stir to coat evenly. Keep the salad covered and refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Macaroni Salad Recipe can be made up to a day ahead of time. Keep refrigerated and stir just before serving.

Keywords: Macaroni Salad, Easy, Quick, Peas, Pickles, Creamy

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This Simple Macaroni Salad Recipe is filled with all the classic ingredients, tossed in a creamy sauce and perfect for summer potlucks and parties!

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
9 Responses
  1. Emily

    This is the best classic macaroni salad I’ve ever had, let alone made. Already in my recipe database. Can’t wait to try more of your stuff!

  2. Marc

    Hi Shawn! Made this recipe to go with some chicken avocado burgers and we really loved it! I had it the next day with lunch and it still held it’s creaminess. It was so smooth and delicious! It’ll be in the summer rotation for sure 🙂

    Sharing with my friends today!

  3. Can you use Salad Dressing(Miracle Whip) instead of Mayo or Yogurt and make it sort of sweet and no mustard but eggs,peas,ham,sweet relish or chopped sweet pickles

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Shawn Syphus Hi, I'm Shawn and I'm a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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