Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad just like grandma’s. This classic summertime side dish is simple to make with an extraordinary taste! Creamy mayo, tangy pickles, and eggs make this the best Hellmans macaroni salad you’ll ever taste.
Why We Love This Recipe
This recipe is the perfect balance of tangy, creamy and sweet flavor. Fresh bell peppers provides an amazing crunch, while eggs add a boost of protein for a more satisfying macaroni salad
With plenty of variations to suit any palate, everyone will want seconds. This easy to make side dish is perfect for any occasion. We love this recipe with holiday spiral ham and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. It pairs perfectly with Air Fryer Cheeseburgers or Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches.
Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad
No barbecue or picnic is complete without a helping of Hellmans macaroni salad! This easy macaroni salad recipe has all the classic flavors of grandma’s recipe with some delicious additions. Just like my Rotini Pasta Salad, you can whip this recipe up in a matter of minutes.
Adding chopped bell peppers brings a delightfully sweet crunch to the creamy pasta salad. A touch of mustard, a little apple cider vinegar and hard boiled eggs make this a side dish worth writing home about!
How To Make Macaroni Salad
What’s Needed To Make This Recipe:
Ingredients at a glance, full printable recipe found below.
- Uncooked pasta– I used elbow macaroni noodles but any short pasta noodle would work. Use gluten-free pasta if you are avoiding gluten.
- Red bell pepper– any color would work.
- Green bell pepper – any color would work.
- Red onion – can substitute with green onion.
- Dill pickle – you can substitute with sweet pickles if you prefer a touch of sweetness.
- Hard boiled eggs – omit to make this recipe vegan.
- Mayonnaise – use vegan mayo to make this recipe vegan. We like Hellman’s.
- Apple cider vinegar – white vinegar would also work.
- Yellow mustard – you can also use Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard. Be sure to read the labels if you have dietary restrictions.
- Sea salt – use half the amount if you are using table salt.
- Ground black pepper
- Pasta pot
- Cutting board
- Kitchen knife
- Measuring cups and spoons and/or kitchen scale
- Mixing bowls
- Mixing spoon
Steps To Take:
At a glance, full printable recipe below.
- Cook pasta, drain and rinse with cool water.
- Mix together pasta, veggies, pickles and chopped egg.
- Mix together macaroni salad dressing ingredients.
- Pour dressing over macaroni mixture, stir to combine and chill.
Amish Macaroni Salad
This recipe is almost identical to the Amish version of classic Macaroni Salad with eggs. Both are made with real mayonnaise, eggs and sweet-tangy flavors. The only difference is that Amish Macaroni Salad also contains paprika.
If you’d like to make this Amish style, feel free to add a sprinkle of paprika to the Macaroni Salad dressing! The smoky, slightly spicy touch adds a delicious twist.
Questions & Answers
How do you store this Hellmans macaroni salad?
Store the salad in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes! The flavors blend well together as it sits so it’s perfectly fine (and maybe even better!) to make it a day or two in advance. Just stir the salad well before serving!
Can this salad sit out in the heat long?
The salad is best when kept and eaten cold. If you are planning to take it to a potluck or picnic, I recommend transporting in a cooler with ice or ice packs to keep cold. Once ready to serve, remove from cooler at that time.
If it’s out in hot weather I recommend not letting it sit out longer than necessary. Find more food safety info here.
Can you freeze macaroni salad?
Yes, you can freeze macaroni salad before adding the dressing. Put the undressed salad in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator and toss with dressing before serving.
What can I serve with macaroni salad?
This pasta salad pairs well with countless main courses. Try it with BBQ dishes like burgers or hot dogs for summer picnics. We also love it with Huli Huli Chicken for a Hawaiian inspired meal. You can’t go wrong when old fashioned macaroni salad is on the table.
More Recipes You’ll Love
If you can put down the old-fashioned macaroni salad long enough, give these other delightfully simple recipes a try.
- Old Fashioned Potato Salad
- KFC Coleslaw
- Slow Cooker Baked Beans
- Ambrosia Fruit Salad
- Homemade Macaroni & Cheese
- Crockpot Creamed Corn
- Jiffy Cornbread
- Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Homemade Shake and Bake Chicken
- Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad
- 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced about 1/2 a small onion
- 1/4 cup finely diced Dill pickles about 1 small pickle
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp finely ground sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Cook the pasta according to al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cooked macaroni, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, dill pickles, and chopped egg. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, sea salt, and black pepper until well-combined.
- Pour the dressing mixture over the macaroni mixture and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
I’m going to make this receip, but I want to double it for Our Families picnic.do I just double the ingredences?
Christi Johnstone says
Megan Ruangchamneil says
This was amazing! 😋
I have an Aunt who is the queen of macaroni salad, it’s expected at every cookout. This is superior, Absolutely delicious!! I made it with crock pot meatballs!!
This is a great recipe. I’ve made it twice now. I like to add a couple teaspoons of sugar to balance out the salt and tang of the vinegar.
Delicious! I just made it with what I had on hand, certainly not trying to change the recipe. It was great!
I didn’t have red onion and subbed yellow and this was the perfect salad that hit the craving! Served it for 4th of July and was quickly eaten up!!! Thank you!
I add minced carrots to mine but follow this recipe exactly. So darn good with grilled chicken!
Chris Thomas says
Macaroni salad is one of my all-time favorites and this recipe is almost exactly how my mom used to make it and eventually taught me how to make it, back in the mid-late 50’s. The only difference is the use of “apple cider vinegar.” I always made it with 2-3 tbsp. of white distilled vinegar. I’ll have to try the apple cider vinegar. I’ve ‘upped the game’ over the years by swapping out the red and green bell peppers with diced fire roasted red peppers. And, depending upon my mood and some people’s sensitivity to sharp flavors (like my wife), I’ll swap out the purple onion for minced scallions, and maybe even some finely diced shallots. It’s all good.
I’m in the process of making this macaroni salad as I write this.
We’re going to our son and daughter-in-law’s home for Easter dinner after church. I’m taking this macaroni salad. I’m doubling the recipe.
Christi Johnstone says
Enjoy it! I need to make a batch up myself this weekend!
Ive been craving macaroni salad and this hit the spot.