This cool, creamy, classic Macaroni Salad recipe is a summer staple! Prepare it ahead of time and serve at a picnic or backyard barbecue.
Every delicious main dish needs a few complimentary side dishes that are just as good! This macaroni salad is a great option and can be easily customized to best fit the occasion.
Start by making the macaroni salad dressing. Put the mayonnaise, minced celery, mince onion, dill relish, ground mustard, garlic powder, and coarse ground black pepper in a small bowl.
Stir the dressing until well combined. Then cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator.
Cook the elbow macaroni as directed on the package. Rinse with cold water until the pasta is cool. Remove the dressing from the fridge and add it to the pasta in a large bowl.
Can I use other pasta shapes besides elbow noodles?
Yes, you can make macaroni salad with any pasta shape you have on hand. Other commonly used shapes are shells and rings. Whatever shape you pick, you’ll just need to make sure that you have four cups of cooked pasta in the end.
Stir the macaroni salad until it is well coated with the dressing. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Another option is to only stir in half of the dressing before refrigeration and add the remaining dressing before serving.
What else can I add to macaroni salad?
This classic macaroni salad can be customized to fit any occasion or menu. If you want it to be more hearty, you can add protein. Or if you want to have more color, you can add chopped-up veggies. Here are some popular additions:
- canned tuna
- shredded chicken
- chopped hard boiled eggs
- cubed or shredded cheese
- diced bell peppers
- shredded carrots
Rmove the bowl from the refrigerator and stir the macaroni salad. Sprinkle it with a little paprika before serving.
Macaroni Salad Frequently Asked Questions
To make macaroni salad from scratch you’ll need to make a simple dressing of mayonnaise, celery, onions, mustard, garlic, and black pepper. Use the dressing to coat cooked macaroni noodles.
There is no good way to keep macaroni from absorbing mayonnaise since that is how starches work. You can try coating the cooked pasta with olive oil before adding the dressing but that will also hinder the dressing from sticking to the pasta. The best option is to only add half of the dressing before refrigeration and the add the remaining dressing before serving.
Want more pasta salad recipes? Try these next:
Italian Pasta Salad is an easy, flavorful side dish with veggies, pepperoni, cheese, and Italian dressing. Make for parties, potlucks, and backyard barbecues.
This BLT Pasta Salad features creamy dressing, crunchy bacon, crisp lettuce, and fresh tomatoes! It’s a popular summer salad recipe for a backyard cookout.
This summer salad recipe for Spinach Pesto Salad is a delicious combination of baby spinach, penne pasta, and a creamy pesto dressing