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.
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, ribs, heck, you could serve it alongside my easy Grilled Sausage and Vegetable Foil Packets and it would go great.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe
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.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 12
- Total Time: 22 minutes
- Yield: Serves 8-10
- 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
- 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.
How simple is that? If you liked this Classic Macaroni Salad, stay tuned – I have a big collection of pasta salads coming your way. Welcome, Summer!