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Classic Macaroni Salad


270 min

Classic Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad Photo 1




270 min


10 persons




4.00 rating-star (2)


Author: Victoria Bailey
This macaroni salad always gets lots of compliments. It's an easy recipe to make and has a pleasing taste that everyone seems to love!


  • uncooked elbow macaroni: 4 cups
  • mayonnaise: 1 cup
  • white sugar: 0.66667 cup
  • distilled white vinegar: 0.25 cup
  • prepared yellow mustard: 2.5 Tbsp
  • salt: 1.5 tsp
  • ground black pepper: 0.5 tsp
  • celery, chopped: 2 stalks
  • onion, chopped: 1 piece
  • green bell pepper, seeded and chopped: 1 piece
  • grated carrot (Optional): 0.25 cup
  • chopped pimento peppers (Optional): 2 Tbsp

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.
    Classic Macaroni Salad Photo 2
  2. Mix mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl; stir in celery, onion, green pepper, carrot, pimentos, and macaroni.
    Classic Macaroni Salad Photo 3
  3. Refrigerate salad for at least 4 hours before serving, but preferably overnight.
    Classic Macaroni Salad Photo 4

History of the Classic Macaroni Salad:

Macaroni salad has been a beloved dish in the United States for decades. Its roots can be traced back to the early 20th century when pasta salads were beginning to emerge as a popular potluck item. It soon became a staple at picnics, barbecues, and family gatherings across the country. The classic macaroni salad recipe typically includes a creamy dressing, elbow macaroni, and a medley of chopped vegetables. This recipe has stood the test of time and remains a favorite comfort food for many.

Tips and Tricks for Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe:

One of the keys to a great macaroni salad is to cook the pasta perfectly. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package, but also pay attention to the texture of the pasta. You want it to be tender but firm, so it doesn't turn mushy once it's mixed with the dressing. Another important tip is to refrigerate the salad for at least 4 hours before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and gives the salad a chance to chill, which makes it even more refreshing on a hot summer day.

When preparing the dressing for the salad, you can adjust the sweetness and tanginess to your liking. If you prefer a sweeter salad, you can add more sugar or use a sweeter brand of mayonnaise. If you like a tangier salad, you can increase the amount of vinegar or mustard in the dressing.

Tips for presenting the dish:

To really make this classic macaroni salad shine, you can create a beautiful presentation by adding some colorful toppings like chopped fresh parsley, sliced cherry tomatoes, or even some crumbled bacon. Serve the salad in a large glass bowl or on a platter with some decorative garnishes. This dish is perfect for potlucks, picnics, or any summertime gathering, and it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

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