Macaroni Salad is a classic summer pasta salad loaded with noodles, egg, dill pickle relish, and a flavorful dressing! My recipe for macaroni salad is sure to be a hit at your next picnic, potluck, or bbq!
Macaroni salad is easily my all time favorite summer side dish. In fact, we often serve it as a meal when it’s super hot outside, and it often makes an appearance on all of our camping trips! Let’s talk about how to make it!
What Goes in Macaroni Salad?
Classic macaroni salad calls for a somewhat sweet dressing of mayonnaise and sugar. This dressing is often combined with things like bell pepper, celery, eggs, onion, and of course macaroni.
My version is what I like to think of as an “updated” version of a classic. My macaroni salad is very flavorful and much more savory than sweet because that is what we prefer!
I like to use mayonnaise along with dijon mustard, DILL PICKLE relish instead of sweet relish, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. These flavors have been tried and tested and are the absolute best, everyone loves them!
I also add a good amount of hard boiled egg, bell pepper for extra color and crunch, and green onion instead of the traditional white onion. The green onions lend a much more mild onion flavor so they don’t overpower the whole salad.
Depending on your preferences this is also great with additions and swaps like red onion, cherry tomatoes, tuna, celery, and peas. The one thing that I absolutely never change is the relish. I am just not a sweet pickle fan and I find that dill relish is so much more appealing!
How to Make Macaroni Salad:
Macaroni salad is truly easy to make with a few simple steps!
Start with boiling your dry macaroni noodles according to package directions. After your noodles are cooked you will drain them as usual. The most important step is to run the macaroni noodles under cold water after draining. I usually kind of toss the macaroni around with a spoon in my strainer until they are all nice and cold. This keeps the noodles from continuing to cook and becoming mushy.
While my macaroni is cooking I add a second small pot to the stove and allow the eggs to come to a boil. When they are done, I simply add them to a bowl of ice water until they have cooled, at least ten minutes, then peel.
As you can see, making macaroni salad is sort of an “assembly line” but it is super easy and quick, really! While the eggs and noodles cook, I can chop up by green onion and bell pepper. Then, once the macaroni is cooled and in my large mixing bowl and I have peeled and chopped my eggs, I am ready to mix everything up!
You don’t even need to mix the dressing together in a separate bowl. I always add my macaroni to the bowl (with a tight fitting lid) that I will serve it in, and just mix everything else right in! The paprika, of course, looks best when sprinkled directly on the top, but, you can add it and mix it in as well if you prefer.
Be sure to check out our video below to see exactly how I make my macaroni salad! You can follow along with us on Facebook too where we always share the best recipes!
- 3 Cups Uncooked Macaroni
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
- 4 Green Onions, Chopped
- 5 Boiled Eggs, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Dill Pickle Relish
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse the macaroni under cold water in a colander.
- Add the drained and cooled macaroni to a large serving bowl with a tight fitting lid.
- Add the chopped red bell pepper, green onion, boiled eggs, and dill relish to the macaroni.
- Next, add the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir well to combine.
- Sprinkle the paprika over the top of the macaroni salad. Chill for at least one hour before serving.