Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad


Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

This classic macaroni salad is perfect for any potluck or party.

Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad
Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

This Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad is just like Mom used to make, and it's the perfect summertime potluck dish. This easy macaroni salad is great served hot or chilled, is portable and simple to make for a crowd. Just mix together macaroni noodles, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, and freshly chopped onions and peppers, and you'll have a homemade macaroni salad that's as tasty as can be. Enjoy this wonderful side this summer or anytime you're searching for a quick-fix, bring along side dish.


Preparation Time15 min

Chilling Time1 hr

Cooking Time20 min



  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced bell pepper, red or green or both
  • 1/2 cup finely diced sweet pickles or pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion

Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad Recipe


  1. Put eggs into a small pot of water to cover.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  

  2. Drop the eggs into a bowl of ice water to cool, then peel and chop.

  3. In a large pot bring 4 quarts of water and 1 Tbsp salt to the boil. Cook macaroni until just tender, 6 – 8 minutes per package directions. Drain and cool.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard plus salt and pepper until smooth.  Stir in the vegetables.

  5. When pasta has cooled to room temperature, toss with the dressing and vegetables. Add eggs last and stir gently. Taste, adding salt and pepper as desired. 

  6. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day before serving, checking flavors and adding more salt and pepper if needed just before serving.

What to Eat with Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is a traditional potluck recipe, but you can certainly serve it to your family on any weeknight! It's a great way to make a regular dinner feel a little more festive. Here are some of our favorite dishes to serve with macaroni salad - 

Grillled chicken
Hot dogs
Roasted vegetable sandwiches
Tomato Soup

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This is almost exactly as my mom always made it, and as I still do. It's simple delicious. Mom I always cook an extra egg to slice on top on the macaroni salad, and sprinkle the top lightly with paprika. This is a very simple, yet delicious macaroni salad - trust me! There's no need to get 'shmancy', since this salad is always a winner at every function. We always use "Hellman's Real Mayonaise", but you can use whatever mayo you prefer. I heard that "Duke's" (from down south) is also great. If you prefer "Miracle Whip", go right ahead and use it. I've had it several ways, and it was always delicious. BTW, my mother-in-law always added in a can of drained tuna, and it was seriously good!

I make macaroni salad a lot, but I've never added hard-boiled eggs to my salad. This is a great idea. I will leave out the celery but maybe add peas instead.

I love pasta salad. Any kind. It doesn't matter. I really love this kind. You see it at potlucks all the time, but I have never found the recipe so this is great. Most times I have had it, ham is added to it and I love it that way. Yummy!

I couldn't find elbow macaroni so I had to use little tubes. If I had use the recipe as is, 8oz of this pasta would have been swimming in the sauce. I used the whole bag, 16oz, and with another egg or two and 1/4 more of mayo, it was plenty wet enough.

I do believe this is the best macaroni salad I've had to date. The crunchiness of the peppers and celery compliment the tenderness of the macaroni, and the flavor can't be beat. Color me impressed!

I liked the macaroni. I don't like hard-boiled eggs, but everything else was tasty!

Loved the peppers in this dish! A refreshing deli salad for spring or summer.

I couldn't take more than two bites of this. The mayo and egg combination left a terrible aftertaste, so if I ever made it again, I'd try to fix that. Also, I'd omit the onion because that made the flavor even worse.

There's ways to change that flavor. I don't like to mix mayo and mustard together and let alone that cider vinegar. Try different dressings or just use a good mayo or try miracle whip.

Perfect recipe and yes, always use Hellman's.


I prefer Miracle Whip to Mayo can this be substituted? I just don't like the taste of Hellman's... greasy and bland to me.

Please stop the invisible pop up music. It scares the bejeebers out of me and is just plain irritating. I love your site and recipes but not this pop up. You can't even turn it off.

Delicious and lends itself well to whatever else you wish to add. One important footnote-use only Hellman's or Best Food mayo-no low fat, lite, or yogurt! Use only the very best mayo for the best results!

Add diced SPAM and you have a complete summer time lunch. This is how my mom made it 25-30 years ago. I've always loved it!

Ad a can Of drain Red Beans and I love this recipe.

That recipe looks good I guess I'm gonna have to try that one.

sounds good, but what should you do with red peppers?

Use some commen sense. You add the red peppers to the macaroni salad. It is one of the ingredients.

This is just like my Mom's recipe except add chopped cucumbers and black olives. Really delicious!!!!


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