Skip to Content

Macaroni Salad

Tender noodles tossed with cheddar cheese, peas, crunchy veggies, and a creamy mayonnaise dressing. It’s the only macaroni salad recipe you’ll ever need!

A great macaroni salad is the quintessential side dish of picnics and barbecues everywhere. It pairs well with so many recipes like Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts, Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken, and a Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich. Creamy, crunchy, zingy, and full of flavor this macaroni salad will be the most requested side dish of the summer.

Macaroni salad in a serving bowl.

How to Make Macaroni Salad

  1. First, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta noodles to al dente (approximately 1 minute less than listed on package). About 1 minute before the noodles finish cooking, add the frozen peas. Drain the noodles and peas, and rinse with cold water. Then, transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. While the pasta cooks, make the dressing. Use a whisk to combine the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Taste the dressing, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Add the diced eggs, red bell peppers, sliced celery, cubed cheddar cheese, and onions to the mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the macaroni salad ingredients, and give everything a good stir.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow time for all the ingredients to marry.
  5. Enjoy chilled!
Collage showing how to make macaroni pasta salad.

Macaroni Salad Tips and Variations:

  • To cut down on the time, simply hard boil the eggs while boiling the pasta. The cook times are similar, so as long as you have two pans, it shouldn’t be an issue.
  • This dish must remain refrigerated! Our recipe uses mayonnaise in the dressing, letting it sit on the counter is not a good idea.
  • If you’re missing the dill pickles that are common in some macaroni salad recipes, check out our Dill Pickle Pasta Salad. It’s not exactly the same as this recipe, but it’s worth a try!
  • Save a little of the dressing to add to the macaroni salad in the event there are leftovers. On days 2 and 3 the pasta salad may begin to have a dryer texture, and the extra dressing will help liven it up.

Storage

Storage: Store this macaroni salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Like This Recipe?

We’d love it if you would leave a 5 Star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

Yield: 6 Cups

Macaroni Salad

Close up view of creamy pasta salad in a bowl.

Tender noodles tossed with cheddar cheese, peas, crunchy veggies, and a creamy mayonnaise dressing. It's the only macaroni salad recipe you'll ever need!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

Mayonnaise Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Macaroni Salad

  • 8 ounces elbow noodles
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ⅓ cup diced purple onion
  • ¾ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¾ cup diced green bell pepper
  • ¾ cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 large eggs, boiled, peeled and diced

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Taste, and add salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta noodles to al dente. Just before the noodles finish cooking, add the frozen peas and cook for about 1 minute. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Transfer the noodles and peas to a large mixing bowl.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add the onions, red and green bell pepper, cheddar cheese, celery, and eggs. Pour on the dressing, and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  4. Serve chilled. See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1/2 cup of macaroni salad. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 310mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

Don't forget to follow us on Pinterest!

Share this recipe by clicking the Pinterest button below!

Skip to Recipe