Everyone has a favorite classic macaroni salad recipe and this one is ours! This best old-fashioned macaroni salad includes cheese cubes, dices of boiled eggs and crisp veggies with a creamy dressing that encompasses our favorite summertime flavors.
It's summertime and we are loving the weather here in Mississippi! Usually we're feeling pretty heated in an oven by now, but for some reason God is favoring us with some wonderful days of mild temps and low humidity. It's so great!!
With sunny skies and cool breezes, we itch for a barbecue get together or potluck. No outdoor summer barbecue is complete without a classic macaroni salad!
What ingredients are in classic macaroni salad?
For this favorite classic macaroni salad, you will need the following ingredients:
- dry elbow macaroni
- sour cream
- Dijon mustard
- apple cider vinegar
- celery salt
- flat-leaf parsley
- hard boiled eggs
- celery stalks
- red onion
- red bell pepper
- Monterey jack cheese
- dill pickles
This is my favorite macaroni salad because it has all of my favorite fixins. My macaroni salad has to include diced up boiled eggs. I feel the same about my potato salad! We also include diced celery for a refreshing crisp bite and red onion to pep it up.
I like tomatoes, but I don't like them in my macaroni salad so you won't find that here. Instead, I use diced red peppers to add that pop of red. This also lends to an additional crunch that balances out the chewy pasta and cheese. (Yes, I include cubes of cheese, too!)
The surprising ingredient here is... wait for it -- PICKLES! Y'all, don't make this without the pickles. The pickles add that delicate sweet yet sour, juicy and crunchy effect while giving a salt and garlic flavor without being overpowering. I tried this without the pickles one time, and it just was not the same.
How to make classic macaroni salad.
Once you have the veggies diced and the eggs hard-boiled (check my easy tutorial here) everything else comes together in just three easy steps:
- Cook and rinse the pasta.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients into a large bowl.
- Mix in the cooled pasta and rest of the ingredients.
You'll want to chill the bowl of macaroni salad for at least 2 hours before serving it. It is definitely best served cold! For ultimate flavor, I recommend making this macaroni salad at least a day before you plan to serve it. It will last a week in the fridge.
How long can macaroni salad keep in the refrigerator?
If you end up with leftovers of this macaroni salad (which you might, because it makes a bunch) you can feast on it through the rest of the week. We kept it up until 1 week, but no longer. I actually like it even better the day after it's made.
Because the dressing is made with mayonnaise and sour cream, do not store macaroni salad at room temperature. It's best cold, anyway.
What to serve with classic macaroni salad.
This macaroni salad is great with any potluck meal or barbecue dish. Try the following recipes to eat with your macaroni salad:
I hope you love this macaroni salad as much as we do!
Favorite Classic Macaroni Salad
- 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- handful flat-leaf parsley washed, dried and chopped
- 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1/2 red onion peeled and diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 4 oz. block monterey jack cheese, cut in small cubes
- 3 dill pickle spears, finely diced
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon, vinegar, celery salt and parsley. Stir in the macaroni, eggs, celery, onion, bell pepper, cheese, and pickles. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.