Macaroni Salad is a classic summer side dish that is not only easy to make but its always a crowd pleaser. You just can’t have a backyard barbecue or a pool party without it!
Cold and creamy, tangy with a little bit of sweetness, and little bits of crunch from a few hidden veggies makes this macaroni salad perfect for just about any occasinon.
How to Make Macaroni Salad
I am SUPER PICKY about my macaroni salad and it’s level of sweetness. That’s why I recommend whisking your dressing ingredients together first then adding the sugar in a teaspoon at a time, making sure to taste in between addition to achieve the perfect sweetness level. I can’t stand an overly sweet pasta salad.
To Rinse or Not to Rinse
Once upon a time, I rinsed my pasta like everyone else. Then my brother dated a chef for a little while and she convinced me to stop doing that. So…NO RINSING.
When you rinse your pasta the layer of water that stays on the noodles actually prevent the dressing from sticking (because oil and water to mix, y’all). Instead, spread your freshly drained noodles out on a baking sheet and pop them in the freezer for a few minutes to cool them off (just don’t forget they are in there…like I have done).
How Long is it Good For?
Macaroni salad or any pasta salad with mayonnaise is good for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. If you pasta seems to be drying out or absorbing the dressing, add a splash of milk or a spoon of mayo and mix thoroughly.
Macaroni Salad is easy to make and delicious to eat and I hope you give it a try!
- 8 oz large macaroni elbow pasta
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 leaves stalks of celery plus the celery , finely chopped
- 1/2 small red onion finely chopped
- 1 large carrots finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain the pasta and then spread out onto a sheet pan in a single layer. This will allow the pasta to cool faster and the noodles not to clump up. DO NOT RINSE. If you do, the dressing won’t stick to the pasta as well.
- In a large bowl, whisk together mayo, lemon juice, half of the salt, pepper, dill and milk. Whisk in one teaspoon of the sugar then taste the dressing. Add more sugar or lemon juice if needed. I usually add in 3 teaspoons of sugar but your taste may be different.
- Stir in chopped veggies and parsley and mix well.
- Stir in cooked macaroni and toss until well coated.
- Season with remaining salt and pepper and more lemon juice if needed. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until chilled. Serve and enjoy!
- *Note* If the macaroni salad seems to dry out in the fridge, add in a splash or two of milk before serving.
[email protected] says
Will it be cliched if I say that I TOTALLY love pasta salad? But I do! n this one looks amazing!
Ohhh I have not had or made pasta salad in ages! And this one sounds good – really, really good!
And you are right, the days here in Florida have been awesome too… the only bad side, most o them are spent INSIDE at WORK – boo hoo!
I feel a hooky day coming on!
[email protected] The Picket Fence says
Jodie you are making me crave summer so bad! This looks delicious! I think macaroni salad is one of those things that gets better with age…if it lasts that long around here.
Hey I thought of you, This month’s Southern Living has the most perfect dish for your Tuna Tuesday. It was tuna patties like hamburgers but tuna on buns. It looked so good. You should see if you can find it. If not I’ll type up the recipe for you and email it to you. Anyway, made me think of you. ;o)
Heather @At The Picket Fence
I’ll have to get that one. I’m always looking for new tuna recipes. Unless of course you would like to do a guest post for me while I am moving. 🙂
Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says
Beautiful shots! And I love all sorts of pasta salads. Delicious!
Thanks so much!
I like more acidic pasta salads, too. This one sounds great!
Jennifer @ Jane Deere says
OH, this takes me back…
I LOVE cold macaroni salad and fried chicken! Southern to the core!
Ayesha Jameel says
Your dishes look yum … loved the presentation of the food ! good workyou can view some of my dishes on http://kitchensojourn.blogspot.com ! i would be really happy if you follow it 🙂
Thank you!! I hate sweet macaroni salads! This sounds great.
Marie Czarnecki says
Be nice if you make this printable without printing all the crap!!!