Our Macaroni Salad recipe is quick and simple to prepare. A versatile and fool-proof pasta salad with an incredible creamy dressing!
A great summer recipe, our Macaroni Salad recipe is perfect to take to gatherings or parties, Bbq’s, lunches or dinners, or simply to serve as a side dish. You’ll love the mayo/sour cream dressing! It really kicks up the the flavours!
Made with cooked macaroni pasta, red bell peppers (or capsicum), shredded carrot, red onions, dill pickles, crisp celery and chives tossed in the ULTIMATE dressing made with mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity.
Like a Perfect Egg Salad, this is a summertime must-make salad that can be stored in your refrigerator for a quick base for proteins like Tuna or salmon, or as a side for main meals.
It might be easier and convenient to go for store-bought, BUT making your own salad with fresh, crisp ingredients just tastes so much better!
DRESSING FOR PASTA SALAD
When making a pasta salad, it’s best to toss it in A LOT of dressing to prevent it from drying out and getting pasty. Instead of using all mayo, we add in a bit of sour cream to cut through the fat, making it less oily. You can also use yoghurt or Mexican crema.
WHAT TYPE OF MAYONNAISE? I suggest using whole egg mayo as it tends to be less sweeter and creamier than regular mayo.
VINEGAR: adds a kick of tang! You can use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar. Substitute with lemon juice for a citrus kick.
DIJON MUSTARD adds MORE flavour, making it nice and thick.
MINCED GARLIC completes the flavour profile. You can use garlic powder, onion powder or minced shallots if you prefer.
You all know how much we love drowning our food in sauce! That INCLUDES all of our salads and dressings. NO pasta salad recipe of ours will ever be lacking in dressing!
MACARONI SALAD ADD-IN OPTIONS
Our Macaroni Salad is loaded with flavour and simple veggies. Having said that, there are endless additions to make it EVEN BETTER!
- curry powder
- crispy bacon
- hard-boiled eggs
- rotisserie chicken
- grape or cherry tomatoes
- sliced olives
- kielbasa or any smoked sausage
Or enjoy it as a delicious side for Roast Chicken, Juicy Beef Brisket, Sticky Oven Barbecue Ribs or Steaks!
HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP MACARONI SALAD?
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Take it out of the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving to get the chill out. It’s best when closer to room temperature or just slightly chilled.
CAN YOU FREEZE MACARONI SALAD?
Absolutely! The day you need to serve it, thaw naturally for a few hours, then toss well.
MORE PASTA SALAD RECIPES
Lemon Herb Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Caprese Pasta Salad
Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Salad
MORE SIDE DISHES
Potato Salad with Bacon & Dill Pickles
Greek Chickpea Salad
Easy Tomato Salad
Avocado Corn Salad
Cucumber Feta Salad
- 8 oz (250g) dry macaroni pasta
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
- 2 dill pickles, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup mayonnaise, (S&W, Best Foods, Hellmann's, Japanese or any whole egg mayo)
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar, (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Bring large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add the pasta and boil until al dente (just fork-tender), or follow packet directions.
- While pasta is boiling, prepare/chop SALAD ingredients and add them to a large serving bowl.
- Mix DRESSING ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Once pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cool running water. Drain well and add to the rest of the SALAD ingredients in the large serving bowl.
- Pour over DRESSING and toss well to evenly combine. Adjust salt, pepper and vinegar to taste.
- Set aside for at least 15 minutes to let the ingredients warm close to room temperature and settle into each other before serving.
BillieJo Beaton says
My go to macaroni salad from now on!!
Great macaroni salad recipe! Delish!
Omgosh your pasta salad is amazing and I can’t stop making it
Tracy Thompson says
So good!!! This definitely will be my go to Mac salad recipe! I usually use sweet pickles in my salad but I think I like the dill better!
Lisa Hutchison says
This was a very good mac salad, it got rave reviews from everyone that ate it. I added 3 hard boiled eggs chopped up, great flavor, will def. make it again!
Susan Bartlett says
Your macaroni salad was the best I have ever tasted! Thank you!