Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote

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Classic Macaroni Salad just like you’d get from your grocer’s deli – only better! Loaded with celery, carrots, peppers, and eggs, and topped with a creamy dressing.

I’m full of pasta salad recipes. Check these out too: Classic Tuna Pasta Salad, Spinach Bacon Pasta Salad and Quick & Easy Pesto Pasta Salad.

Macaroni Salad
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Classic Macaroni Salad

Raise your hand if you love a super simple classic macaroni salad! You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make your own at home in just the time it takes for the macaroni to cook. This recipe is really as simple as boiling the macaroni, chopping a few vegetables and boiled eggs, and stirring together a super simple creamy dressing to go with it. You stir everything together and you are done! You really can’t get any easier than that.

I love to take this recipe to any kind of party/picnic/cookout/potluck during the summer because it just goes with everything. You can serve it alongside burgers, roasted hot dogs, grilled chicken, brats, or ribs.

Tips and Tricks for making a Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe at Home:

  • Chop the veggies just about as small as you can if you are after a true “deli-style” macaroni salad. The deli salad has consistently small pieces of vegetable in it. I don’t mind a little variation (though my grated carrot was too big in this batch), but note that it is a key element to mimicking your favorite store-bought version of this pasta salad.
  • Sugar is not necessary for this recipe though I think it makes the flavor more classic. I used mayo in this recipe (because what else is there?!), but I know a few folks who swear by Miracle Whip. Miracle Whip is a lot sweeter than mayo, so you’ll probably want to omit the sugar if using it. That being said, if you are new to making macaroni salad, I’d try it without the sugar, as you can always stir in a tablespoon after you have the chance to taste it.
  • There’s some debate on how classic the addition of boiled eggs is, and I’m on team “you have to add the eggs.” It totally changes the texture and flavor if you ask me. If you prefer, you can omit the boiled eggs. Do you have one of these egg slicer thingies? I kind of want one.

What is the best mustard to use for pasta salad?

The type of mustard you use will change the flavor. If you like mustard, use the yellow mustard; its flavor is more pronounced. If you want the tang with a less distinct mustard flavor, use the Dijon.

How long should I cook pasta?

Only cook the pasta until it is al dente (the shortest cooking time recommended on the package). Over cooked pasta gets mushy and tends to break when stirred.

Macaroni Salad
Macaroni Salad
5 from 1 vote

Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

A Classic Macaroni Salad recipe, just like you'd get from your grocer's deli, only better! Loaded with celery, carrots, peppers, and eggs and topped with a homemade creamy dressing. A great option for a neighborhood cookout!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 22 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 2 cups macaroni pasta, about 8 ounces
  • 1 cup chopped boiled eggs, about 4 eggs
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup finely grated carrot
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
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  • Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  • While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, and sugar and stir to combine.
  • Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the eggs, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and red onion to the pasta. Add the mayonnaise mixture.
  • Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.



Serving: 1 of 10 servings, Calories: 177kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 82mg, Potassium: 131mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1449IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg
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If you liked this Classic Macaroni Salad try these:

This simple, Macaroni Salad is one that you will make over and over! Enjoy, from my kitchen to yours.

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5 from 1 vote

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Recipe Rating


  1. Shannon says:

    Is the 2 cups of pasta measured dry or cooked?

    1. Melissa says:


  2. Tracy | Baking Mischief says:

    Macaroni salad is one of my favorite summer sides! This looks so good. We were team no eggs in my house growing up, but I’ve seen so many pasta salads that include them recently, I kind of want to try adding them!

  3. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says:

    Both of my hands are in the air right now and I look ridiculous but who cares? Because PASTA SALAD! I love a classic pasta salad–they’re impossible to beat at summer cookouts :). This looks delicious, Melissa!

  4. Shadi says:

    5 stars
    Isn’t this just the best? I love all the different variation of pasta salad but my favorites are the ones that have mayo and sour cream! Delicious!