Macaroni Salad Recipe

Welcome to the ultimate guide to making the perfect macaroni salad! Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue, picnic in the park, or just craving a classic side dish, this macaroni salad recipe is sure to hit the spot. With its creamy texture, tangy flavor, and crunchy vegetables, macaroni salad is a timeless favorite that’s always a hit at gatherings. Plus, it’s easy to customize with your favorite add-ins and seasonings, making it a versatile dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

Macaroni Salad Recipe

To make this mouthwatering macaroni salad, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry. From creamy mayonnaise and tangy vinegar to crunchy vegetables and tender macaroni, each component comes together to create a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. And with easy-to-follow instructions, even novice cooks can whip up a batch of this delicious salad in no time.

macaroni salad recipe

Whether you’re serving it alongside grilled burgers, hot dogs, or fried chicken, this macaroni salad is sure to steal the show. It’s the perfect side dish to complement any summer meal, and its crowd-pleasing appeal makes it a staple at potlucks, cookouts, and family gatherings. So grab your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to impress your friends and family with this classic macaroni salad recipe that’s sure to become a favorite in no time!

Macaroni Salad Recipe

What Will Love About This Recipe

One of the standout features of this macaroni salad recipe is its irresistible combination of flavors and textures. The creamy mayonnaise-based dressing is perfectly balanced with tangy vinegar, sweet sugar, zesty mustard, and a hint of salt and pepper, creating a flavor profile that’s both rich and tangy. Additionally, the addition of diced onion, celery, bell pepper, grated carrot, and pimento peppers adds a satisfying crunch and a burst of freshness to every bite.

Another reason why people love this recipe is its versatility. While the classic ingredients listed in the recipe create a delicious base, you can easily customize it to suit your personal preferences or whatever ingredients you have on hand. Feel free to add in extras like diced ham, shredded cheese, hard-boiled eggs, peas, or pickles for added flavor and texture. Plus, you can adjust the seasonings to taste, adding more or less vinegar, sugar, mustard, or spices according to your liking.

Lastly, people appreciate how simple and convenient this recipe is to prepare. With just a handful of pantry staples and a few minutes of hands-on prep, you can have a flavorful and satisfying macaroni salad ready to enjoy. Plus, it can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, allowing the flavors to meld together and making it the perfect make-ahead side dish for busy weeknights or entertaining. Whether you’re serving it at a summer barbecue, potluck, or family dinner, this macaroni salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Macaroni Salad Recipe

Pair this with all your favorites like hot dog burnt ends or our air fryer fried chicken

How to Make Macaroni Salad

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and black pepper until well blended.
  • To the bowl, add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. 
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Macaroni Salad Recipe

Tips & Tricks

  • Cook the macaroni al dente: Be sure to cook the macaroni just until it’s al dente, or slightly firm to the bite. Overcooking can result in mushy pasta, which can affect the texture of the salad.
  • Rinse the cooked macaroni: After draining the cooked macaroni, rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly. This helps prevent the pasta from becoming too soft and sticky, and it also removes excess starch.
  • Use a variety of vegetables: Feel free to get creative with the vegetables you add to your macaroni salad. In addition to the traditional onions, celery, and bell peppers, you can also add diced cucumber, shredded cabbage, cherry tomatoes, or sliced olives for extra flavor and color.
  • Let the flavors meld: After mixing all the ingredients together, let the macaroni salad chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and develop, resulting in a more flavorful and cohesive dish.
  • Adjust the seasonings to taste: Taste the macaroni salad before serving and adjust the seasonings as needed. You can add more salt, pepper, mustard, or vinegar to suit your personal preference and taste.
  • Add extra toppings before serving: Just before serving, you can add some extra toppings to your macaroni salad for added flavor and texture. Try sprinkling some chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, on top, or garnishing with a sprinkle of paprika for color.
Macaroni Salad Recipe


  • You will want to store your macaroni salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
macaroni salad recipe


Yes, you can use different types of pasta for macaroni salad, such as penne, rotini, or bowtie pasta. Just be sure to cook it according to the package instructions and rinse it under cold water before adding it to the salad.

Yes, macaroni salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. In fact, it’s often recommended to let the flavors meld together by chilling the salad for at least an hour before serving.

Yes, you can substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in macaroni salad to make it lighter and lower in fat. Just be aware that Greek yogurt may alter the flavor slightly, so you may need to adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Macaroni Salad Recipe
Macaroni Salad Recipe
Macaroni Salad Recipe

Macaroni Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

A good macaroni salad recipe is a summer staple! And lucky for you we have the perfect macaroni salad recipe that is so easy to make as it combines macaroni, celery, peppers, and onions that are then tossed in a delicious mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It is the perfect addition to every gathering this summer.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (16 ounce) package of elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, drained, and under cold water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons diced pimento peppers


    In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and black pepper until well blended.
    To the bowl, add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
    Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


You can easily cook your macaroni in your instant pot

Adapted from: Allrecipes

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 650mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 2g

Hey there, I’m Melissa

Meet Melissa, the creative mind behind Sparkles to Sprinkles, where imagination thrives and joy abounds. A proud Jersey girl who fell in love with a New York boy, Melissa is a dedicated mom to four boys and a few fur babies. Her journey into blogging began when she chose to stay home and nurture her children. Formerly a workaholic, Melissa found solace and passion in blogging, inspired by her mother-in-law’s culinary prowess. Through family recipes and cooking classes, Melissa honed her skills, often attending with her son Michael, who shares her love for cooking. Her blog showcases diverse recipes, from beloved family classics to global cuisines, featuring her expertise with kitchen appliances like the Instant Pot and air fryer. Join Melissa on her culinary journey, where tried-and-true favorites meet exciting new discoveries

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