classic macaroni salad

Classic Macaroni Salad

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This easy classic Macaroni salad recipe has all of your favorite add-ins like, bell pepper, celery, red onion, tossed in a creamy homemade dressing. It’s the perfect side dish for any BBQ or potluck with friend and family.

classic macaroni salad in a serving bowl

Classic Macaroni Salad

Classic macaroni salad has always been my favorite side dish to take to a family BBQ or potluck. A couple of my favorite pasta salad recipes to try are our Hawaiian Macaroni Salad and our Mexican Pasta Salad. This classic macaroni salad recipe is simple and easy to make, really tasty, and can feed a crowd. Macaroni salad pairs well with our BBQ Bacon Hamburger, Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken, and our BBQ Pulled Chicken. This is a recipe you will not want to lose!

Ingredients for Macaroni Salad

  • Pasta Noodles: I prefer elbow macaroni noodles in classic pasta salad. Any small pasta noodles will work well.
  • Onion: This recipe calls for a red onion, but feel free to use a sweet yellow onion or omit all together if your not a fan.
  • Bell Pepper: Red or orange bell peppers will taste the best.
  • Celery: Celery is a staple in pasta salad and gives it a nice crunch.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add more or less to taste.
  • Vinegar: I use white vinegar but you can also use apple cider vinegar.
  • Sugar: Adds a little sweetness to the homemade dressing.
  • Mustard: Yellow mustard is my favorite but Dijon will also work well.
  • Relish: Sweet pickle relish adds a delicious flavor to the dressing.
  • Paprika: (optional) Sprinkle paprika over pasta before serving.

How to make pasta salad

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
  • Once pasta is al dente, drain water and rinse pasta in cold water. Allow noodles to drain thoroughly and then toss pasta in a little olive oil. This will keep pasta from clumping and becoming dry.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine mayo, sugar, white vinegar, sweet relish, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk until combined.
  • Add macaroni, chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and dressing to a large mixing bowl and toss ingredients to coat well. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
  • Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy
ingredients for macaroni salad

Tips for making pasta salad

  • Drain and rinse your pasta in cold water after it is done cooking. Rinsing pasta in cold water will stop the cooking process and remove some of the starches created from cooking.
  • To keep pasta from sticking together and soaking up the dressing too much, toss cooked pasta in a little olive oil after you have drained, rinsed, and allowed pasta to dry completely.
  • This pasta salad is best after it has had time to sit in the fridge for an hour before serving.

How to store macaroni salad

Macaroni salad will stay good refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or store in an airtight container to maximize freshness.

classic macaroni salad in a serving bowl sprinkled with paprika

Other favorite recipes

classic macaroni salad

Classic Macaroni Salad

April King
This easy classic Macaroni salad recipe has all of your favorite add-ins like, bell pepper, celery, red onion, tossed in a creamy homemade dressing. It's the perfect side dish for any BBQ or potluck with friend and family.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
  • 1 cup mayonnaise I prefer lite mayo
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
  • Once pasta is al dente, drain water and rinse pasta in cold water. Allow noodles to drain thoroughly and then toss pasta in a little olive oil. This will keep pasta from clumping and becoming dry.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine mayo, sugar, white vinegar, sweet relish, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk until combined.
  • Add macaroni, chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and dressing to a large mixing bowl and toss ingredients to coat well. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
  • Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy

Notes

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on Modernmealmakeover.com should only be used as a general guideline.
Keyword Macaroni Salad, Pasta Salad
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