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Southern Macaroni Salad makes a delicious addition to picnics, potlucks, and any get-together! An easy make-ahead staple, this macaroni salad is a definite go-to recipe for your summer parties!

Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe - Southern Macaroni Salad makes a delicious addition for picnics, potlucks, and any get together! An easy make-ahead staple, this macaroni salad is a definite go-to recipe for your summer parties! // addapinch.com

I love this easy macaroni salad! It is so simple to toss together for a quick and easy side dish any time of the year and is absolutely perfect for making ahead to serve, cover and keep in the refrigerator for cookouts, picnics, reunions, or any other gathering throughout the summer months! Cool and delicious, it always seems to go quickly!

Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe - Southern Macaroni Salad makes a delicious addition for picnics, potlucks, and any get together! An easy make-ahead staple, this macaroni salad is a definite go-to recipe for your summer parties! // addapinch.com

Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe

My macaroni salad recipe includes a few ingredients that I particularly love in macaroni salad, but you can absolutely customize the ingredients based on your preference. For instance, I love jalapenos and pimentos – so of course, I’ve included them in my salad. I also love the flavor of celery seed. I use it in my favorite coleslaw recipe and just can’t get enough of it! So, I added a bit of it to my this salad as well.

Southern Macaroni Salad Ingredients

Like I mentioned, you can really personalize your salad and make it to suit your tastes. Here’s how I make it often.

  • Elbow noodles
  • Celery
  • Jalapeños
  • Pimentos
  • Green onions

Macaroni Salad Dressing

For this dressing, you want to think light, fresh and flavorful! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Celery seed – optional

To Lighten Up this Salad

Substitute greek yogurt for the mayonnaise in the dressing

Additional Mix-In Ideas

  • Dill pickles – diced pickles are a wonderful addition. I use these in place of jalapeños from time to time.
  • Black olives – drained and included whole or slices
  • Green olives – drained and included whole or slices
  • Grape tomatoes – halved
  • Bacon – cooked and diced
  • Ham – diced
  • Eggs – boiled and then diced

Resources:

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

How to Boil Eggs

How to Make Macaroni Salad

  1. Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. Rinse. Pour the cooked pasta into a colander and rinse well with cold water. Drain well and allow the pasta to continue to drain as you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Make the macaroni salad dressing. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and celery salt if you are using it.
  4. Combine the salad. Add the cooled pasta and your salad ingredients to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir well until combined.

Can You Make Macaroni Salad Ahead?

Yes! Macaroni salad is even better after it has had the opportunity to rest in the refrigerator, I think. The cold pasta absorbs more of the dressing and becomes even more flavorful in my opinion.

You may want to stir in a bit more mayonnaise right before serving if the pasta absorbed a great deal of the dressing.

If using bacon, you may want to stir in crisp bacon right before serving.

How Long Does Macaroni Salad Last in the Refrigerator?

This salad keeps well in the refrigerator for up to two days. Simply store in an airtight container or in a large serving bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap.

If using bacon, you may want to stir in crisp bacon right before serving.

More Pasta Salad Recipes

Granna’s Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad

Easy Tortellini Pasta Salad

Here’s my Macaroni Salad Recipe. Make it soon!

5 from 3 votes

Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe

Side Dish 10 mins

Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe - Southern Macaroni Salad makes a delicious addition for picnics, potlucks, and any get together! An easy make-ahead staple, this macaroni salad is a definite go-to recipe for your summer parties! // addapinch.com
Prep Time 10 mins
Servings 10
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe – Southern Macaroni Salad makes a delicious addition to picnics, potlucks, and any get-together! An easy make-ahead staple, this macaroni salad is a definite go-to recipe for your summer parties!

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups cooked elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 medium jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos
  • 2 medium green onions diced

Macaroni Salad Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed optional

Instructions 

  • Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  • Rinse. Pour the cooked pasta into a colander and rinse well with cold water. Drain well and allow the pasta to continue to drain as you prepare the other ingredients. 
  • Make the macaroni salad dressing. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and celery salt if you are using it. 
  • Combine the salad. Add the cooled pasta and your macaroni salad ingredients to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir well until combined. 
  • Serve or store. Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve, up to two days.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 401mg | Potassium: 12mg | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.7mg

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Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe - Southern Macaroni Salad makes a delicious addition for picnics, potlucks, and any get together! An easy make-ahead staple, this macaroni salad is a definite go-to recipe for your summer parties! // addapinch.com

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published in 2014.

Pasta Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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Recipe Review




Comments

    1. Hi Linda,
      The recipe uses 2 cups cooked elbow macaroni noodles. Thanks!

  1. You said you left out eggs so those that can’t eat eggs can still enjoy it. You defeat your purpose by adding mayonnaise. It’s egg whites and oil. Error or oversight?

    1. Hi Joleena,
      My Mama is sensitive to eggs, but can eat mayonnaise unless it is homemade. So, she’s able to have mayonnaise in this macaroni salad. I hope that answered your question. Of course, you could always use Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise if someone is unable to have eggs at all. Thanks so much!

  2. I have looked for many years for “the macaroni salad recipe”. Thanks to you, Robyn, I finally found it! I made this salad this morning, and tonight it’s all gone. Lol. Thank. You.

    1. Thanks. Just now saw your response when came back to refer to and make for a 3rd time. It’s definitely a hit!