Basic Macaroni Salad is made with elbow macaroni, green pepper, onion, celery, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, and white vinegar. This dish has lots of flavor that is sure to be a hit and staple at every summer BBQ!
Welcome to summer!
If there’s just one salad you need to take to all of your summer cookouts, this salad made with elbow macaroni is it!
It’s easy and no BBQ is complete without it, trust me.
SAVE THIS MACARONI SALAD TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
Today I have a Basic Macaroni Salad for you.
I’ve been making this recipe for years.
This is also a recipe I grew up eating because it was mom’s go-to as well.
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Ingredients for this Best Macaroni Salad recipe
- elbow macaroni
- green pepper
- white vinegar
- yellow mustard
- kosher salt
- You can even add some chopped hard boiled eggs if you like!
Steps to Make this Easy Macaroni Salad
- Boil macaroni according to manufacturer’s directions then drain and cool.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well to combine.
- Cover with tin foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
I found this recipe in my New Doubleday Cookbook, p. 635; authors, Jean Anderson and Elaine Hanna; publisher, Doubleday, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., an imprint of Random House, Inc.; ISBN 0-385-19577-X.
Pasta Salad Recipes
Looking for more side salad and pasta recipe ideas? I’ve got them!
- 4-Bean Tuna Pasta Salad
- Ranch BLT Pasta Salad
- Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad
- Couscous Chicken Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Easy Three Bean Salad
- Tex-Mex Pasta Salad
- Sausage Veggie Pasta Salad
Basic Macaroni Salad
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 1 green pepper cored, seeded and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 ½ cups chopped celery
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 1 ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon bottled yellow mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Prepare the elbow macaroni according to manufacturer's directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Put all ingredients into a large mixing bow. Stir well until thoroughly combined.
- Cover the bowl tightly with tin foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Share it with me on Instagram and make sure to follow me on Pinterest for more recipes.
I used to rate everything I make on a scale of 1 -4 with 4 being the best and this Basic Macaroni Salad earned 4 rolling pins!
It’s always a winner whenever I make it and never takes too long to disappear.
I also love taking it to pot lucks as well. Every gathering needs a macaroni salad, right?
This post was originally published 7/2/15. It has been updated with pictures and in format on 7/2/21.
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Comments & Reviews
I add boiled eggs to mine so good
Great idea, Kathie! I’ll have to try that next time.
Lynn smith says
I have started doing something n my pasta & potatoe salad & we love it. After you boil & peel your eggs,dice the whites then mash the yolks up n your dressing! I always add a bit of sugar,to the dressing! The whites go n the salad if you want some yolks n your salad just boil a few extra! It is delicious! Your salad looks great I’ll add it to my summer -b q list! Thxs
Ooh, I love that idea, Lynn. It sounds SO good! Hope you like the salad!
I do also.
Eileen Ross says
Great recipe, except for the green pepper. It has its place, but not in salads, as I find it overpowering. I love them fried with onions, or with veal and peppers, but not in delicate salads. Just my opinion.
Not everyone like them, Eileen, you’re right! It can definitely be omitted.
Instead of salt, I added a little sprinkle of celery salt and also a little dill to the salad and left it overnight in the fridge to absorb all the flavors. Tastes so awesome!!! ?
?? I also added 2 chopped hard boiled eggs 🙂
That sounds great, Debra! So glad you enjoyed and I appreciate you letting me know.
My salad has green onions, multi colored peppers, pickles, pepperoncinis, celery, black olives, water chestnuts, shredded carrots, boiled eggs, frozen peas and jicama. Dressing Miracle whip, mustard, buttermilk, cider vinegar n sugar to taste.
KITCHEN SINK MAC SALAD
That sounds incredible, Deedee. Thanks for sharing! I love the jicama in it, too!
Are the onions in the macaroni salad regular onions or the little green onions? Thanks!
Lucy, they are just regular white onions.
What is it garnished with? It looks like paprika and parsley maybe?
Linnetti, you guessed perfectly – paprika and parsley! 🙂
What kind of paprika for garnishing? Sweet or smoked?
Elle, you can use either. I prefer the sweet paprika since I don’t like smoked foods, so it’s a matter of personal preference. Feel free to use whichever you like.
I add tuna, boiled eggs and green olives in mine , it’s really good.
Sounds delicious, Sheila! Thanks for the tips!
Mine is the noddles boiled eggs sweet pickle relish mayo a vinger amd sugar dressing mix it to taste u like sorta like a slaw dressing sometime little vlocks cheese and sometimes cucumber amd also have to have a sweet onion and tomatoes sometimes
That sounds delicious too, Bethany! I love the addition of the cheese, too.
When I make my macaroni salad it is very similar to the way that your recipe is written. I also add cooked crumbled bacon . My son always tells me mom don’t forget the bacon in the salad. He also
likes crumbled bacon ? in mashed potatoes ? when I make them. If you never had bacon in either of these recipes try adding it I do not think you will be disappointed that you did.