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Best Ever Classic Macaroni Salad

Best Ever Classic Macaroni Salad - The best + easiest old-fashioned macaroni salad to bring to all the BBQs/potlucks! Everyone will be dying for the recipe!

The best + easiest old-fashioned macaroni salad to bring to all the BBQs/potlucks! Everyone will be dying for the recipe!

Best Ever Classic Macaroni Salad - The best + easiest old-fashioned macaroni salad to bring to all the BBQs/potlucks! Everyone will be dying for the recipe!

We all need a good classic macaroni salad in our back pocket. One that we can always bring to backyard BBQs and potlucks. And one you can also make up to 2 days in advance.

But most importantly, we need it to be creamy. We need it to have tons of veggies. And we need plenty of extra-sharp cheddar cheese. Keyword being plenty.

So that’s what we have here. We have the four very important elements right in this classic macaroni salad (make-ahead, creamy, veggie-loaded, and abundance of cheese).

It’s quick, simple and make-ahead for up to two whole days! Just be sure to give it a good stir prior to serving.

And serve with all of my favorite kabobs – the bbq pineapple chicken kabobs, the shrimp boil kabobs, and/or the Korean chicken kabobs!

Best Ever Classic Macaroni Salad - The best + easiest old-fashioned macaroni salad to bring to all the BBQs/potlucks! Everyone will be dying for the recipe!

Best Ever Classic Macaroni Salad

The best + easiest old-fashioned macaroni salad to bring to all the BBQs/potlucks! Everyone will be dying for the recipe!

2 hours 20 minutes15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3/4 cup diced extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Stir in peas during the last 1 minute of cooking time; drain well and rinse with cold water.
  2. Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Cover eggs with a tight-fitting lid and remove from heat; set aside for 8-10 minutes. Drain well and let cool before peeling and dicing.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, parsley, vinegar and Dijon. Stir in pasta, peas, eggs, bell pepper, onion, celery and cheese; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Cover; place into the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  5. Serve cold.

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66 comments

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is the best damn macaroni salad ever! I find I need more mayo! It’s my comfort good! Thank you do much.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’ve made this at least 6 times, in fact I just finished making another one. It’s delicious and addicting.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    This recipe does not disappoint! I have made this a few times and it’s been damn delicious!!:)

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Best Mac. Salad … Ever … Won’t Be Making Any Other !!! Thanks Sooo Much For Sharing … Followed Directions … Perfect … Combinations Of Veggies … Is Outstanding ….

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Omitted the onion and cheese and added diced dill pickle and diced black olives.  Delicious! 

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    I make my standard Mac salad which my husband and I love but was looking for something different and came across this recipe. It really is the best ever Mac salad. It is bursting with flavor. We loved it, can’t wait to make for a get together this summer. 

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is a really good pasta salad. I omitted the red onion and pepper, replacing them with shredded carrots and chives, which my family likes better. I added a bit of chili powder, to taste. Everything else, I followed to a tee and it was delicious. I diced all of the veggies super tiny and shredded the cheese, which makes the texture excellent!

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is absolutely delicious. Only modification I made was adding a pinch of hot chili powder. So, so good.

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Made this today! It’s so delicious! Brought it to a pot luck – it was devoured. My husband is eating the rest of it now as I’m typing this great recipe! Will be definitely making this again.

  10. I’ll try it. Have to take mac salad to a church event. I hate mac salad…but I didn’t want to complain. Peas aren’t even a food…they are just yuk.

  11. This looks delicious!

  12. This looks delicious

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    Thanks so much for posting these delightful recipes. They remind me so much of my childhood at home, where family is first , good home cooked meals and lots of Love♥️

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is my Mom’s way of making Mac Salad! (except for vinegar & mustard). I’d forgotten how good this is!
    One of the differences is this: Velveeta instead of expensive “cheese”—-just as delicious!!!!

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Great recipe! I did add relish and cayenne pepper, just personal preference, but fantastic!

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    Yummy! I made this for a bbq and everyone loved it! I made it as is and I’ll be making it again!

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    Easy to make, and everybody like it!

  18. looking for the food value carbs, protein ect

    • Hi Alan! Nutritional information is provided only for select recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, we recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”). Hope that helps!

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious..

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Very good, well worth making, will use again!

  21. Rated 5 out of 5

    This recipe is so good! I added chopped dill pickles &  more  mayo & Dijon mustard. I might add a little sweet relish (Southern Texas thing) but still thinking on. I followed it to the T other than that! My husband & I love different variations of Macaroni Salad & this one is definitely a keeper!! Thank you so much Damn Delicious for this yummy recipe! 

  22. Rated 5 out of 5

    Perfect recipe w/o the sweetness(don’t care for sweet).
    Made it exactly as is and love it…..the way macaroni salad should be! Next time I will add tuna!

  23. Rated 5 out of 5

    Absolutely perfect. Loved that this didn’t have tons of sugar. It was light and refreshing and my husband ate the whole batch.

  24. Rated 5 out of 5

    Totally a winner! I’ve brought this macaroni salad to several BBQs and it is totally addictive! As a bonus, it is also easy to make.

  25. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this with gluten-free ingredients and opted out of the cheese. It was great! Thank you! Made this for my Memorial Day cookout!

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    It was delicious!   Everyone loved it, even my Daughter who only loves her plain macaroni salad which she thinks is the best, but after tasting this recipe, she just loved it.   Only thing I did different was leave out the cheese, apple cider vinegar and didn’t put in the eggs or  my daughter wouldn’t have eaten it, and really, didn’t need it , it was awesome!   Will make it again ))

  27. Rated 5 out of 5

    This really is the best!!! I think I will use a bit less onion next time, but that’s just a personal preference. The seasoning of this is spot on. I have been waiting for the perfect recipe and this is it. Thanks

  28. Rated 4 out of 5

    As with all your recipes, dead simple and really tasty…

    except.

    We all found it (8 of us) a touch bland.  I felt it needed some hot sauce, maybe some diced jalapeños… does anyone else have some things they’ve added to this great base to really give it some more flavor?

    • After I removed it from the fridge Ww thought the same so I whipped up more sauce mayo, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, healthy sweetener (we have our own blend of pyure and xylitol blended to a Powder I’m not big on sugar) and rice vinegar making sure it is tacky and not to runny. Delicious, Sorry I really don’t measure when I make sauce taste a feel

    • Ive added some cayenne pepper, and it gave it just the kick we needed. Also added some sour cream to cut the mayo

  29. Rated 5 out of 5

    I always love a good macaroni salad, and I find this to be one of the tastiest ever! So many flavors mix together. I made it as the recipe stated. This recipe was chosen as I’ve made other recipes from this great website, Damn Delicious.

  30. Rated 5 out of 5

    This recipe is now in competition with my all-time favorite macaroni salad – Betty Crocker’s Cookbook 1969 edition, page 382 – Tuna Macaroni Salad. I subbed in dried parsley flakes and regular mustard. I have fibromyalgia and fresh parsley tastes like soap to me (as do cilantro and a few other fresh herbs) and Dijon mustard is much too intense for me but plain mustard in small quantities is fine (in this recipe I used only 1 teaspoon – just right!). Great recipe. Thank you for posting it.

  31. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this for a family BBQ and it is so good. I think it may even be better the next day. I doubled the recipe so I would have leftovers. My family ate every single bit of this salad and I will definitely be making this again. It will be a summer staple!

  32. Rated 5 out of 5

    Simply delicious. Add old-bay seasoning for that added touch. Try also adding small diced chunks of ham.

  33. Rated 4 out of 5

    I usually make my macaroni salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and cheese. Wanted to try something different and tried your recipe. I was impressed, it was really good. The only thing I added was some sugar. Guess that’s a southern thing. Ha

  34. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delish! Thank you!

  35. Rated 5 out of 5

    Very tasty macaroni salad I made a double amount and I enjoy the tangy apple cider vinegar. This recipe is very easy and can be adapted well to any changes.

  36. What a fresh clean and pretty salad, a step up from your standard Midwestern style. I made it with pumpkin shaped pasta left over from Halloween. It’s gorgeous going to take it to work and share at a potluck.

  37. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’m a picky eater and I still loved this recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  38. Rated 3 out of 5

    The site is one of the best, but you lose points with this recipe. All the ingredient are great! Except for the Peas? And not to be overly critical, but Yellow Mustard will do just fine and also plain white vinegar followed of course by omitting the egg . This will then be the classic Macaroni Salad. Keep in mind Macaroni Salad is/was traditionally made in order to use up left overs. It was not a side dish but for many families a main course (the only course) which if a family was lucky enough to scrape some pork/ham trimmings or turkey, chicken scraps and yes even fish cought by a family member, then this meal would have been one of the years best.
    #damndelicious

    • Alf, there’s no need to be “overly critical” here. You can substitute any of the ingredients to your liking based on what you prefer and/or what you have on hand. Isn’t that what home cooking is all about?

    • Wow no need to get all deep on the whole where mac salad came from. I think this is a great recipe and you can absolutely take the things out you dont care for but there is no need to criticize what this recipe is.

    • Really…. make your own salad and move on, no need to be so b….y! 

  39. This is UH-MAZING. I’ve made it a handful of times now and it’s always a hit. Just wanted to add a comment that I’ve been craving it as an actual meal so, I added seasoned ground beef to it. 

    TO DIE FOR combination. I always put a little cayenne in the actual salad so I seasoned the beef with salt, pepper, a little garlic salt, and cayenne- SO good. 

  40. I absolutely love this but took time to make ie: chop ingredients xx

  41. What an exceptional pasta salad! My husband and I agree that it’s the best we’ve tasted. I made it exactly according to the recipe, save for substituting some dried parsley for the fresh (I was out of fresh). I like that this doesn’t have that sharp/bitter note that most macaroni salads seem to possess, but rather is nicely balanced and simply delicious.

  42. You go to fresh easy! What state do you live in our ‘s closed. Sorry to say. Really loved shopping there I’m going to try the avacado/bacon salad with lemon dressing this weekend! Love your blog & recipes!!

  43. I love your site. Everything I’ve tried so has been great and I recommend your site to everyone. Thanks for the great recipes!