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Macaroni Pasta Salad recipe

Macaroni Pasta Salad recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Pasta salad

Another simple salad perfect with grilled meats or BBQ. (Based on my mother's recipe.) Measures are approximate - you can use more or less cheese, basil and mayonnaise to taste, and this is easily doubled or tripled. Can be made up to one day in advance.

Kent, England, UK

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 200g macaroni pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 tablespoons dried parmesan cheese
  • basil leaves to garnish
  • 4-5 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Begin by bringing a large saucepan of water to boil. Add pinch of salt and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Once cooked drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
  2. Pour pasta into a mixing bowl and add all other ingredients. Be sure to taste as you go along and add more cheese / mayonnaise to taste. Transfer into a serving bowl, cover and chill.


Take out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

This is really nice, added some sweetcorn to the recipe to make it less boring.-21 Jul 2013

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (12 ounce) package tri-color rotini pasta
  • ¾ pound Italian salami, finely diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
  • 1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 8 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
  • 3 (.7 ounce) packages dry Italian-style salad dressing mix, or to taste
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil cook rotini at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes drain and rinse with cold water until cool.

Combine pasta, salami, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, salad dressing, olives, and mozzarella cheese in a large bowl. Mix dry salad dressing into pasta sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

How to Make This Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

Be sure to scroll down to get the printable recipe card with the full simple ingredients that you can pick up right at your local grocery store.

Macaroni Salad Ingredients

  • dry elbow macaroni
  • celery
  • diced carrot
  • red peppers (or swap out for green pepper or yellow bell peppers)
  • green onions or red onion
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • sour cream
  • apple cider vinegar (can use white or red wine vinegar)
  • white sugar
  • yellow or dijon mustard
  • sweet pickle relish or finely chopped sweet pickles or dill pickles
  • garlic powder
  • Kosher Salt and black pepper, to taste

The best part about this easy pasta salad is that it really does not take a long time to make the perfect side dish! It really just takes the time that pasta cooks.

Cook pasta according to package directions until it reaches al dente in a large pot. Rinse your cooked pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process or let your hot pasta come to room temperature. Soft noodles will not hold the tangy flavors of the dressing well.

In a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients. This is a good recipe to taste and adjust to your personal preferences. You can add just a pinch of sugar or a couple of teaspoons sugar instead.

Spoon the dressing over the cooked macaroni in a large bowl, stir well to coat,. Mix in the chopped vegetables. The small pieces of fresh ingredients really give this creamy macaroni salad a nice crunch. You can sprinkle some fresh herbs over your delicious macaroni salad like fresh parsley.

Place the salad in the fridge for an hour to let the flavors marinate.

How do you make Amish macaroni salad? (step-by-step)

First , prepare macaroni noodles to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Then , dice vegetables. In a medium sized bowl whisk together dressing, mustard, sugar, vinegar and salt.

Next , stir eggs, onion, celery, red pepper, and relish into the sauce. Add macaroni noodles to a large bowl and fold in dressing mixture until fully combined.

Finally , chill before serving.

Red bell pepper, celery, elbow macaroni, onion.

Macaroni Salad Recipes


  • 8 ounces macaroni , uncooked
  • 7 ounces canned tuna , well drained
  • 1/2 cup celery , chopped
  • 1 onion , small, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pimento , chopped
  • 1 carrot , grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt to taste



Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

  • Add more fiber by using whole wheat macaroni. You may find you want to cook it just a bit longer than the package states if you are not used to whole wheat pasta.
  • Add a variety of vegetables to the basic macaroni salad to kick it up and add nutrients. Shredded carrots or very finely chopped broccoli work well. Try a few and see what your family likes.
  • Got kids? Try using a variety of pasta shapes instead of the traditional macaroni. Wagon wheels or other fun shapes may make the kids give it a try.
  • A variety of pasta shapes works for adults too. Don’t feel you have to stick to the same old macaroni shape.
  • Again for kids, try chopping the vegetables very very finely if your kids are not veggie eaters. They may not even notice the good things are in there.

Here is a fabulous basic macaroni salad recipe. Basic doesn’t mean it lack of taste. It’s yummy.

How Long Can You Keep Macaroni Salad?

The first rule of macaroni salad is never leave it out at room temperature for too long! Remember, you want to serve this cold. If you won&rsquot be eating it in the next hour, keep it in the fridge.

If you want your macaroni salad to last longer, keep it in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Do this and it will last for up to five days.

Unfortunately, macaroni salad can&rsquot be frozen because it has a lot of moisture. Don&rsquot worry though, this recipe is too delicious so it won&rsquot last long on your dining table!

Macaroni Pasta Salads

Macaroni is a small elbow shaped pasta that is perfect for salads. It works great with both creamy or oil based dressings and the bite-sized pasta is easy to serve and eat. Macaroni salad is a summertime favorite for picnics and backyard barbecues. Hint: to keep the pasta from absorbing too much dressing make sure it is completely cooled before mixing with the other ingredients.

A creamy, tangy barbecue classic. Hard boiled eggs and salad dressing turn ordinary macaroni into a silky treat while celery and onions add that perfect crunch.

Method: stovetop
Time: 2-5 hours

Made with red onion, elbow macaroni, mayonnaise, vinegar, prepared mustard, sugar, salt, black pepper, green or red bell pepper, carrot

Made with white vinegar, sugar, prepared yellow mustard, elbow macaroni pasta, hard-cooked eggs, onion, celery, red bell pepper, dill pickle relish, salad dressing

Method: stovetop
Time: 1-2 hours

This macaroni salad, stuffed with ham and cheese and flavored with sweet relish, is a creamy and addicting recipe.

Made with vinegar, cooked ham, elbow macaroni, cheddar cheese, frozen peas, celery, onions, ripe olives, Miracle Whip salad dressing, French salad dressing

Every day we send out a featured recipe and our editor's favorite picks. Don't miss out!

It's Pasta Salad meets Cabbage Salad meets Tuna Salad. Three popular summer salads come together in one delicious dish.

Method: stovetop
Time: under 30 minutes

Made with bacon, macaroni pasta, Cheddar cheese, frozen peas, red onion, mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, salt

Method: stovetop
Time: 2-5 hours

Made with black pepper, salt, mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk, macaroni pasta, green bell pepper, onion, carrots, white vinegar

A delicious macaroni salad that uses sour cream instead of the usual mayonnaise dressing. The optional green olives add a nice bite to it.

Method: stovetop
Time: 1-2 hours

Made with pickle juice, mayonnaise, onion, shells or macaroni pasta, Velveeta cheese, hard-cooked eggs, celery, green bell pepper, sweet pickles, pimento

Method: stovetop
Time: under 30 minutes

Made with pimentos, cucumbers, sugar, oil, vinegar, tomato soup, shell macaroni, onion, green bell peppers

Method: stovetop
Time: over 5 hours

Made with dried dill, salad dressing, macaroni pasta, frozen green peas, Cheddar cheese, green onion

Method: stovetop
Time: 1-2 hours

Made with vinegar, milk, macaroni, hard boiled eggs, celery, onions, radishes, cucumbers, celery salt, mayonnaise or salad dressing

Made with mayonnaise, elbow macaroni, celery, green bell pepper, boiled eggs

Method: stovetop
Time: 30-60 minutes

Made with evaporated milk, macaroni, kidney beans, frozen peas, French-style green beans, cooked carrots, celery, onion, green bell pepper

Made with hard boiled eggs, tuna, macaroni, ranch salad dressing, red onions, celery, black pepper

Method: stovetop
Time: 1-2 hours

Made with salt, cucumber, green bell pepper, salad dressing, Italian salad dressing, elbow macaroni pasta, imitation crab meat, shrimp, onion, tomato

Made with bacon, black pepper, salt, elbow macaroni pasta, green onions, tomato, celery, mayonnaise, vinegar

Method: stovetop
Time: 2-5 hours

Made with mayonnaise, salt and pepper, onion, macaroni, crab meat, frozen peas, celery, eggs, pickle relish

Method: stovetop
Time: under 30 minutes

Made with cooked chicken breast chunks, Cheddar cheese, hard boiled eggs, elbow macaroni, Miracle Whip, prepared mustard, celery seeds, sweet pickles, carrots

Method: stovetop
Time: 2-5 hours

Made with mayonnaise, potatoes, shell pasta, carrots, celery, pickles, peas, green onions, salt and pepper

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Time: under 30 minutes

Made with mayonnaise, curry powder, wine vinegar, radishes, bell pepper, cucumber, scallions, carrots, celery, chutney

Method: stovetop
Time: 1-2 hours

Made with pickle relish, shrimp, peas, macaroni or small pasta shells, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, dill weed, hard-cooked eggs

Method: stovetop
Time: over 2 hours

Made with salt, mayonnaise, pimento, Swiss cheese, elbow macaroni, Golden Delicious apples, lemon juice, celery, green pepper, green onion

Method: stovetop
Time: 2-5 hours

Made with French salad dressing, garlic, onion, elbow or salad macaroni, sour cream, salt, black pepper, cabbage, green bell pepper, carrot

Variations + Additions

Mix Ins: I like to keep my macaroni salad simple especially when I’m serving it for a large crowd. However, there are so many delicious mix in ideas that you can use for your family. You can even have the mix ins on the side for people to add themselves.

  • Diced celery
  • Diced pickles
  • Chopped red onion or scallions
  • Boiled egg
  • Cheese chunks-cheddar is yummy
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced bell peppers
  • Tuna
  • Sliced radishes

  • 1 Cup macaroni
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 Cup shredded carrot
  • 1-2 stalks celery, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 5 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 Teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Step 1: Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil, Cook 1 cup macaroni to al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, mix together cooked macaroni, 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, 2 sliced scallions, 1/4 cup shredded carrot, and 1/2 cup diced celery.

Step 3: Add 5 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons yellow mustard, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, salt, and pepper to bowl. Combine well.

Step 4: Cover macaroni salad and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

Best Ever Classic Macaroni Salad

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.