Southern Macaroni Salad
An easy Southern macaroni salad is the perfect make-ahead side dish for your next potluck, cookout, or family gathering.
Servings 8 cups
- 6 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni pasta (about 1 ½ cups uncooked, or 3 cups cooked)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- ½ teaspoon minced, pressed, or grated fresh garlic
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Cook macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
While the pasta cooks, chop the onion, celery, bell pepper, eggs, and parsley.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, pickle relish, and garlic until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine cool pasta, onion, celery, bell pepper, eggs, and parsley. Toss with dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Rinse the pasta under cold water to help it cool down, stop the cooking, remove the starches, and prevent the noodles from sticking together.
- Give the salad plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator before serving. It's a great prep-ahead dish, because it just gets better as it sits for a few hours and the flavors come together.
- If your macaroni salad looks dry, it's probably because the pasta has absorbed a lot of the dressing. Just stir in a couple of extra dollops of mayonnaise right before serving, if necessary.
- Use any short pasta, such as elbow macaroni, mini shells, ditalini, or rotini.
- Add cooked, diced chicken, ham, shrimp, or tuna to the salad.
- If you like a sweet burst of flavor, try adding peas to your macaroni salad.
- Omit the hardboiled eggs if you don't care for them.
- Instead of sweet pickle relish, use chopped sweet pickles, chopped dill pickles, or dill pickle relish.
- A hint of garlic in the background adds another layer of flavor. You can omit this ingredient altogether if you don't care for raw garlic in your salad, or substitute with a pinch of garlic powder.
- Add cheese, such as diced cheddar or mozzarella.
Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 157.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.6g | Protein: 3.5g | Fat: 11.3g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Cholesterol: 38.7mg | Sodium: 111.8mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 2.2g