Classic Macaroni Salad is the one that I always look for at potlucks. With a simple and tasty dressing, not too heavy on the mayo or mustard, and full of flavor. I like lots of add-ins, but you can add just what you like. This Easy macaroni salad recipe is delicious and very popular!
Classic Macaroni Salad
What is more classic than a potluck or a picnic with potato salad or macaroni salad? Classic Macaroni Salad has always been my favorite of the two. This recipe is simple to make, really tasty, versatile, and feeds a crowd.
Some Helpful Tips for the best macaroni salad
- Use salted water when you boil the macaroni pasta. This seasons the pasta so you don't have a bland salad. Use a small handful of salt in a pot of water.
- After draining, dump the pasta in a layer on a large baking sheet. I do this to help it cool faster. Just give it a stir once in a while.
- Wait for the pasta to cool completely before adding the dressing. Warm pasta will absorb more dressing, and may cause your macaroni salad to become dry.
- This is not a heavily dressed macaroni salad. If you like a lot of dressing, just double the amounts of the ingredients and use half before chilling the salad. Then add as much as you like before serving.
Here are some ideas for add-ins for your macaroni salad
Bacon, parsley, peas, corn, red bell pepper, sliced olives, hard boiled eggs, red onion, or anything that you like!
What does Classic Macaroni Salad go well with?
What can I use in place of mayonnaise?
Plain Greek Yogurt is the best mayo substitution, as the texture is similar. It is also healthier and high in protein. However, you may need to adjust the seasonings to your taste.
Is this a kid friendly recipe?
You know your kids tastes better than anyone, and what they will eat or what they will pick out of the salad. Therefore, start with the pasta and the dressing, then add in what you know they will eat.
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Classic Macaroni Salad is the one that I always look for at potlucks. With a simple and tasty dressing, too heavy on the mayo or mustard, and full of flavor.
- 1 lb Small Macaroni Pasta, cooked
- 1 ¼ cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp Yellow Mustard
- ¼ cup White Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt (or ¾ tsp table salt)
- ½ tsp Pepper
- 3 Tbsp Sweet Relish
- 1 lg Celery Rib, diced
- 3 Tbsp Diced Pimentos
- 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed
- 4 slices Thick Cut Bacon (cooked), chopped
- ½ Red Onion, diced
- 4 Hard Boiled Eggs, chopped
- ¼ cup Parsley, chopped
- ⅓ cup Sliced Olives
In salted water, cook macaroni pasta according to package directions (al dente is best). When done, drain completely and spread the pasta out on a baking sheet to cool completely.
In a 1 quart bowl mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and relish.
Add cooled macaroni pasta to a large bowl.
Add the dressing and mix together.
Add celery, pimento, cheese, and any of the add-ins you would like. Mix gently.
Chill before serving.
Calories will vary based on the add-ins you use.
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