Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is easy to throw together. It's the perfect side to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ. | aheadofthyme.com
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Macaroni Salad – Salad  

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Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is so easy to throw together. It’s packed with fresh crunchy vegetables and is all tossed in a creamy sauce that holds it all together. It’s the perfect side salad to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ, and it makes a great make-ahead lunch, too. In fact, prepare this macaroni salad a day or two ahead of time and let the flavors infuse together int he refrigerator (it actually tastes better the next day!).

Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is easy to throw together. It's the perfect side to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ. | aheadofthyme.com

Why You’ll Love Macaroni Salad

  • It’s perfect to meal prep. This might be the best make-ahead meal you’ll have this week! It’s an easy-to-follow recipe that is nearly impossible to mess up. Plus, you can completely customize it with other ingredients that you have on hand. No matter what, you’ll End up with a delicious macaroni salad.
  • Beat the heat with a cold dish. Warm and sunny days are ahead, and cold dishes are the best to eat when it’s hot out. This chilled macaroni salad will help you Like the warmth and fill up with healthy energy. It’s what your summer cookouts have been missing.
  • Keeps you full. While some diets might shun carbs, glucose (aka carbs) is your brain’s preferred source of energy. Combined with the healthy veggies in this macaroni salad, this pasta is wholesome, filling, and also packed with nutrients. Meaning, you don’t Ask for to go searching for something else to keep you full.

Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is easy to throw together. It's the perfect side to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ. | aheadofthyme.com

Ingredients and Substitutions

To make this delicious and easy classic macaroni salad, you will Ask for the following ingredients:

  • elbow macaroniyou can substitute this with any short pasta.
  • red onion
  • red bell pepper
  • carrot
  • celery
  • pickle – try making your own homemade pickles in just 1-2 days, with NO canning!
  • mayonnaise
  • sour cream – or substitute with Greek yogurt.
  • white vinegar – or you can substitute this with apple cider vinegar.
  • sugar
  • Dijon mustard
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

The best part is that this salad is completely customizable. If you prefer one ingredient over another, add more of it in. Some popular add-ins include: boiled eggs, ham, bacon, cherry tomtoes, and green peas.

Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is easy to throw together. It's the perfect side to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ. | aheadofthyme.com

How to Make the Best Macaroni Salad

  1. Boil the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and to cool the pasta down.
  2. Assemble the salad. In a large mixing bowl or serving, combine cooked pasta, red onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and pickle.
  3. Add dressing. In a small mixing bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add dressing to salad and toss to combine.
  4. Serve or chill. Serve immediately, or cover the bowl tightly with plastic cling wrap and refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight for the best results). This will allow the flavors to really infuse into each other. 

Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is easy to throw together. It's the perfect side to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ. | aheadofthyme.com

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • How to serve: Serve classic macaroni salad as a side along your favorite summer grilled meats and corn on the cob. You can also serve it as a macaroni salad sandwich in between two slices of bread.
  • Make ahead instructions: Macaroni salad is great for meal prep. To prepare an easy meal on the go, pre-portion the macaroni salad into smaller meal prep containers that you can grab on your way out of the house.
  • How to store: Store macaroni salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • How to freeze: Store macaroni salad in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is easy to throw together. It's the perfect side to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ. | aheadofthyme.com

More Salad Recipes

  • Italian Pasta Salad
  • Creamy Cucumber Salad
  • Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad
  • Creamy Broccoli Slaw Salad
  • Chickpea Greek Salad
  • Shrimp Taco Salad
  • Lemon Kale Salad

Print

Description

Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is easy to throw together. It’s the perfect side to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ.


Ingredients


Scale
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced
  • ½ red bell pepperseeded and diced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 rib celerydiced
  • 1 picklediced
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and to cool the pasta down.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or serving, combine cooked pasta, red onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and pickle.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add dressing to salad and toss to combine.
  4. Serve immediately, or cover the bowl tightly with plastic cling wrap and refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight for the best results). This will allow the flavors to really infuse into each other. 

Notes

Make ahead instructions: Macaroni salad is great for meal prep. To prepare an easy meal on the go, pre-portion the macaroni salad into smaller meal prep containers that you can grab on your way out of the house.

How to store: Store macaroni salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to freeze: Store macaroni salad in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

In this space, I am always sharing flavorful, fresh, (mostly) healthy recipes that I love to make and eat in my real, actual, every day life. If I wouldn’t eat it in real life, I won’t put in on the blog. You’re cooking for yourself, your family, your roommates, or your friends. I want you to be so excited about these recipes that you eagerly await 5pm when you can go home from work and start cooking.

Classic macaroni salad is a creamy and delicious pasta salad that is easy to throw together. It's the perfect side to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ. | aheadofthyme.com
Macaroni Salad

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Macaroni Salad – Salad  

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