This homemade macaroni salad recipe is filled with delicious flavors that the entire family will love. Perfectly cooked pasta, eggs, veggies, and a little mayo and mustard come together to create a classic summer side dish that’s always welcome at any event. And let’s not forget how easy it is! It’s the perfect recipe for family dinner or a huge crowd, and it all comes together in a matter of minutes.
When you think of summer side dishes, what comes to mind? More than likely, several things spring to mind, and more than likely, at least one of them is macaroni salad. This creamy, pasta dish has been a staple at family get-togethers, picnics, and backyard parties since time out of mind. It’s a classic dish that we all love! I know my family does.
During the summer months, I make a ton of this homemade macaroni salad. It’s just so perfect with everything, that I find myself using it in heavy rotation. I mean, think about it? It’s easier to ask what it doesn’t go with than to ask what it does go with. Barbecue? Check. Dogs and burgers? Of course. Weeknight dinners of all sorts? Absolutely. Potlucks? Make a double batch! I honestly can’t think of anything that macaroni salad doesn’t pair well with. It’s perfect for any occasion, especially warm-weather ones like cookouts and potlucks.
Homemade Macaroni Salad
There are lots of versions of macaroni salad out there, from very involved to super simple and everything in between. Although I like getting fancy with some recipes, I find that macaroni salad tastes the best to me when it’s kept simple. And of course, keeping it simple saves me a ton of work because I make it so often. It only takes a handful of ingredients to create this super creamy macaroni salad. Combine that with its delicious flavor and you’ve got a real winner on your hands!
The best part is that the most work you’ll ever have to do with this recipe is dicing the celery, onions, carrots, and hard-boiled egg. Then, it’s all just mixed together, and you’re all doing. It’s only slightly more work than boiling water, and it tastes like a million summer days were all combined together to create the most perfect, never-ending summer time of your life, and then you ate it.
Hmm. That kind of fell apart at the end, but you get where I’m going with this, yeah?
This homemade macaroni salad is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. It’s literally nothing more than dicing and mixing. It’s almost impossible to mess it up. You would actually have to try to destroy this recipe to even come close to doing something wrong with it. Even with a recipe this simple, I do have a few tips that will help you make the best macaroni salad possible.
How To Boil Eggs
While overcooking the eggs a bit won’t change the taste, it will change the look and texture of the macaroni salad. Be sure you cook them until they’re just done. I like to place my eggs gently into boiling water with a spoon and then boil them for 14 minutes. They always come out perfectly!
Or you can place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Place the pot on the stove and over medium high heat, cook for 30 minutes total. That is bringing the water to a boil and boiling the eggs. Just set the timer for 30 minutes when you place the eggs on the stove and turn on the flame. Your eggs should turn out perfectly every time. Remove pot from the stove, drain water and run eggs under cold water then fill pot with cold water and let eggs cool before eating or using in recipes like this one.
There are many ways to boil eggs. These are just two different ways the I like to make hard boiled eggs. I also love to use my Instant Pot for making hard boiled eggs. They come out perfect EVERY time!!!
Don’t Overcook the Pasta
Many of us have a tendency to overcook our pasta, and while that’s not terrible if we’re having it with sauce, it’s not the greatest when it comes to this homemade macaroni salad. Be sure that you cook your pasta until just al dente, to maintain its texture. If your pasta is too soft, it will be destroyed when you mix it with mayo and other ingredients.
When you mix in the noodles, do it in a folding manner. Gently incorporate the pasta, don’t whip it in with a spoon. This will help keep the pasta fully intact and looking lovely.
This recipe is super simple, so there aren’t a lot of ingredients that you could or should substitute. There are three major ways you can incorporate substitutions into this recipe if you prefer certain ingredients or don’t have them on hand.
Change the Pasta
I used ditalini pasta, but you can use any kind of short pasta, like elbow macaroni, as long as its bite-size, it will work.
Diced Dill Pickles
If you don’t have relish on hand, you can finely dice dill pickles for this recipe. Just be sure you dice them fine to maintain the desired texture.
Low Fat Mayo
If you’re trying to limit calories, you can use low-fat mayonnaise. It comes out virtually the same, so you won’t have to worry about the taste suffering.
Serving Homemade Macaroni Salad
Just spoon it up! This macaroni salad pairs well with beef, pork, and chicken. It’s an excellent side for barbecues, classic grilled fare like dogs and burgers, and more. It’s a great addition to almost any plate, really.
Storing Macaroni Salad
This homemade salad will keep well in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for three to five days. For longer storage, you can freeze it for up to four months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
Try This Homemade Macaroni Salad for Yourself
From potlucks to backyard barbecues and everything in between, this homemade macaroni salad is always a welcome addition to any table. It’s so simple and so delicious, there’s no reason not to give it a try. Whip up a batch of this super easy side for your next get-together and watch everyone beg for more. It’s that good!
Macaroni Salad Ingredients
- Ditalini macaroni noodles
- Hard boiled eggs
- Dill pickle relish
- Red onion
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Green onions, optional
How To Make Macaroni Salad
Step 1 – Prep
Boil pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse, and set aside.
Step 2 – Preparing the Salad
In a large bowl, add mayonnaise, mustard, celery, dill relish, onions, and carrots. Stir to combine. Add boiled eggs to mixture. Add pasta, stir, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3 – Serving the Macaroni Salad
Place in refrigerator to chill for a couple hours before serving. Garnish with sliced green onions if desired.
Try This Delicious Side Dish Recipe Today
Here are a few more delicious sides you might enjoy that can be found on our blog:
And these Bacon Green Beans are always a hit, from Great Grub, Delicious Treats.
- Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse, set aside.
- In a large bowl, add mayonnaise, mustard, celery, dill relish, onion and carrots. Stir to combine.
- Add eggs to mixture, stir.
- Next, add pasta, stir and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill then enjoy.
Here are two photos that are the perfect size to pin to your Pinterest boards.