classic macaroni salad recipe

Macaroni Salad Recipe

This creamy and tangy macaroni salad is a perfect side dish for picnics, barbecues, and family gatherings. It’s easy to make and can be customized with your favorite add-ins.


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickles or relish (optional)
  • Fresh parsley or dill for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook the macaroni:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Set aside.
  1. Prepare the dressing:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Whisk until smooth and well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Mix the salad:
  • Add the cooled macaroni to the bowl with the dressing. Add the chopped celery, red onion, bell pepper, shredded carrots, chopped hard-boiled eggs (if using), and pickles or relish (if using). Stir until all ingredients are well coated with the dressing.
  1. Chill:
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  1. Serve:
  • Before serving, give the salad a good stir. Garnish with fresh parsley or dill if desired. Enjoy!

This macaroni salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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