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Close up image of old fashioned Southern Macaroni Salad in a ceramic serving bowl
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5 from 6 votes

Classic Southern Macaroni Salad

An easy Southern Macaroni Salad is the perfect make-ahead side dish for your next potluck, cookout, or family gathering.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword classic macaroni salad, macaroni salad, southern macaroni salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Calories 157.2kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 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
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley


  • Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.While the pasta cooks, chop the onions, celery, bell pepper, eggs, and parsley.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, 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 starches, and prevent sticking.
  • 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.


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