The Best Macaroni Salad recipe starts with macaroni noodles, peppers, onions and radishes and is mixed with a secret-ingredient creamy dressing!
MOM'S RECIPE FOR THE WIN
Over the years, as more and more people have made this recipe for macaroni salad, it has become one of the most loved and popular recipe on my site! It's so simple but so delicious!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
I keep it basic but delicious: elbow macaroni, mayonnaise, chicken stock, salt and pepper, green peppers, onions and radishes.
I love that pepper-y crunch of radishes and you don't often see them in pasta salad so it's a nice crunchy surprise. You could also add red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes or even green peas.
Sometimes when you go to serve your macaroni salad, you'll notice that the noodles have absorbed a lot of the dressing. This happens and is totally normal. Some folks prefer it this way. But if you like your salad to be super creamy, all you need to do is mix up a small bowl of a bit of mayo and a little more chicken stock or milk. Whisk it together then stir into your macaroni salad. Give it a taste to make sure it has a good balance of salt and pepper, then serve.
For pasta salads I do. I want to rinse off any extra starch that might get in the way of my noodles soaking up that delicious dressing.
I always estimate about one cup per person. So if you are doubling this recipe or even tripling this recipe, you would want to use that estimation in helping you figure out how much to make and then add an additional 8 servings to be on the safe side. There's always someone who will take more than one serving in a buffet setting.
I don't recommend it. The mayonnaise in the sauce does not hold up well to freezing. When you go to thaw out the salad, the mayonnaise will separate and become pretty gross and you'll also lose the creaminess.
Absolutely! It needs to be kept covered and refrigerated, of course. Also, use my above tips to add additional creaminess if you find your macaroni has soaked up a lot of the dressing.
If you have a pasta salad recipe that calls for just mayo, consider adding a touch of chicken stock to your dressing. It helps smooth out the mayo and keeps the salad from getting too "goopy" while adding a bit of extra flavor. You can also use milk instead of chicken stock but the chicken stock is going to give that aded flavor.
MACARONI SALAD INGREDIENTS: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
- elbow macaroni
- chicken stock
- green pepper
- red onion
- salt and pepper
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MACARONI SALAD:
Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Drain macaroni well, and rinse with cold water until pasta has cooled.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine mayonnaise with chicken stock.
Whisk together well and season with a bit of salt and pepper. I do enjoy about a tablespoon or so of freshly ground black pepper in this.
Add in drained pasta along with green pepper, radishes and onion.
Stir well until combined. Cover with plastic wrap.
Now, this next step is really important. You need to put it in the refrigerator and let it cool for at least 3 hours.
This really helps the flavor come together and give the pasta a bit of time to soak up the mayonnaise mixture.
CRAVING MORE PASTA SALADS? HAVE A LOOK AT THESE!
The Best Macaroni Salad (+Video)
- 16 ounce box macaroni noodles
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 green pepper, diced
- ½ cup radishes, diced
- ½ cup onion, finely diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Drain macaroni well and rinse with cold water until pasta has cooled.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine mayonnaise with chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste (about a teaspoon of each to start).
- Add in drained pasta along with green pepper, radishes and onion.
- Stir well until combined. Give it a taste to see if you would like more seasoning.
- Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Stir again before serving.
Originally published: June 2013
Updated & republished February 2022