This Easy Classic Macaroni Salad is the perfect summer pasta salad made with macaroni, roasted red peppers and a creamy, tangy dressing!
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I don’t know about you but in our family Macaroni Salad is a classic summer side dish! We love enjoying this Easy Classic Macaroni Salad alongside our favourite grilled meats (like these Honey Garlic Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs or this Easy Cajun Grilled Chicken) and it’s a recipe I make all spring and summer long every year!
Homemade Macaroni Salad is SO much better than anything from a restaurant or fast food joint and when you make it at home the dressing is SO much creamier and flavourful! Trust me, you’re going to LOVE this Easy Classic Macaroni Salad and all it’s flavour at your next backyard barbecue!
Looking for more pasta salad recipes? You’ll love this Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad, or this Rainbow Vegetable Pasta Salad!
How to Make Classic Macaroni Salad
- Cook your pasta – when making pasta salad, cook your pasta just until it reaches the al dente stage. There’s nothing worse than mushy pasta salad – don’t over-cook!
- Dice your veggies – Dice or mince your red onion, celery, roasted red pepper and pickles so they’re smaller than the pieces of macaroni. This will ensure every bite is delicious!
- Make your own dressing – Making the dressing yourself is a great way to customize the flavour! Mine calls for mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper, and some dried herbs and spices.
- Toss everything together and refrigerate – Macaroni salad tastes the best when it’s had a bit of time for the flavours to blend together. Leave it in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving!
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I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite go-to easy side dish for summer? I’d love to know!
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Watch the video below to see exactly how I make this easy summer side dish recipe. You can find more delicious recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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- 1 pound macaroni noodles approx 500 grams
- 1/4 cup roasted red pepper very finely diced, or substitute jarred pimentos
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 small red onion finely diced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pickles
For the dressing:
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise use full fat or low fat
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard use regular mustard, if desired
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice OR use white wine vinegar instead
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic very finely minced, or substitute 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions just until the al dente stage. Drain the pasta and rinse in cold water to cool.
- To a large bowl add the cooked pasta, the diced pepper, the celery, the red onion and pickles.
- In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, salt and pepper, dill, paprika and garlic until very well blended.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and mix well to combine until everything is well coated in the dressing.
- Cover the macaroni salad with some plastic wrap or a lid and place in the fridge for about 2 hours or overnight.
- Serve alongside your favourite grilled meats, burgers, or enjoy it on its own.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.