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.
How to Make Macaroni Salad
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow time for all the ingredients to marry.
- Enjoy chilled!
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: Store this macaroni salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 8 ounces elbow noodles
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ⅓ cup purple onion, diced
- ¾ cup red bell pepper, diced
- ¾ cup green bell pepper, diced
- ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
- ½ cup celery, thinly sliced
- 2 large eggs, boiled, peeled and diced
- 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.1 cup mayonnaise2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar1 tablespoon Dijon mustard¼ teaspoon kosher salt¼ teaspoon pepper
- 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.8 ounces elbow noodles1 cup frozen peas
- 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.⅓ cup purple onion¾ cup red bell pepper¾ cup green bell pepper¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese½ cup celery2 large eggs
- Serve chilled. See post for storage options.