Best Macaroni Salad

Title: Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe: A Flavorful Delight for Any Occasion

Introduction: Macaroni salad is a beloved dish that combines the comfort of pasta with the freshness of vegetables and the creaminess of a well-seasoned dressing. Whether it’s a summer barbecue, a picnic in the park, or a simple family dinner, macaroni salad is always a hit. This classic recipe will guide you through creating a delicious macaroni salad that’s perfect for any occasion.


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Optional: 1/2 cup diced pickles or relish for added tanginess
  • Optional: 1/2 cup diced cooked ham or bacon for extra flavor


  1. Cook the macaroni:
    • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente.
    • Once cooked, drain the macaroni and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process.
    • Transfer the drained macaroni to a large mixing bowl and let it cool completely.
  2. Prepare the dressing:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt, and black pepper until smooth and well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt or pepper if desired.
  3. Combine the ingredients:
    • Once the macaroni has cooled, add the diced celery, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, and chopped parsley to the bowl with the macaroni.
    • If using, add the diced pickles or relish and diced cooked ham or bacon to the bowl as well.
  4. Dress the salad:
    • Pour the prepared dressing over the macaroni and vegetables in the bowl.
    • Gently toss everything together until the macaroni and vegetables are evenly coated with the dressing.
  5. Chill and serve:Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the macaroni salad for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.Before serving, give the macaroni salad a final toss to redistribute the dressing and garnish with additional chopped parsley if desired.Serve the macaroni salad chilled as a side dish alongside your favorite grilled meats, sandwiches, or as a stand alone meal.

Tips for Success:

  1. Don’t overcook the macaroni: Be sure to cook the macaroni just until al dente, as overcooked pasta can become mushy when combined with the dressing.
  2. Customize to your taste: Feel free to customize this macaroni salad recipe by adding your favorite ingredients such as diced hard-boiled eggs, shredded cheese, or different types of vegetables.
  3. Make ahead: Macaroni salad can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just give it a good stir before serving to freshen it up.
  4. Adjust seasoning: Taste the dressing before adding it to the salad and adjust the seasoning according to your preference. You can also add a splash more vinegar for extra tanginess or a touch more sugar for sweetness.
  5. Keep it chilled: Macaroni salad is best served cold, so be sure to keep it refrigerated until ready to serve, especially if you’re serving it outdoors on a warm day.

Conclusion: This classic macaroni salad recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household. With its creamy dressing, crunchy vegetables, and perfectly cooked pasta, it’s a dish that’s both satisfying and delicious. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue, packing a picnic, or simply looking for a tasty side dish to accompany your meals, this macaroni salad is the perfect choice. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *