The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe

The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe – Classic southern macaroni salad with surprise ingredients to give it that perky, super-addictive flavor we all know and love.

Macaroni Salad #ASpicyPerspective #MacaroniSalad #PastaSalad #MacSalad #MacaroniSaladRecipe #HowtoMakeMacaroniSalad #PastaSaladRecipe #SideDish #Salad #Healthy
Pin it on Pinterest!

How to describe this macaroni salad…. Well, it’s like crack.

Once you start, you just can’t stop.

The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe Ever | ASpicyPerspective.com

The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe

In all honesty, I’m usually not a fan of macaroni salad. Most of the recipes I’ve tried over the years have been too sweet, too mayonnaise-y, too bland, or too dry and clumpy.

However, recently I was at a barbecue restaurant and decided to give the pasta salad a taste.

I was pleasantly surprised by the zesty flavor and silky texture. It still wasn’t life-changing for me, but it did inspire me to come home and make a version I could appreciate.

Macaroni Salad #ASpicyPerspective #MacaroniSalad #PastaSalad #MacSalad #MacaroniSaladRecipe #HowtoMakeMacaroniSalad #PastaSaladRecipe #SideDish #Salad #Healthy

The Only Macaroni Salad

Today’s “The Best Macaroni Salad” might be better titled “The Only Macaroni Salad” because it is truly the only version I’ve ever tasted or made that I get excited about.

In fact, it’s hard not to eat it right out of the serving bowl.

Making The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com

Best Macaroni Salad Ingredients

So what’s the secret?

It’s the right blend of ingredients to create a salty, slightly-sweet bite, that is balanced in spice and tang.

Along with the traditional mayo-based dressing, I like to add:

  • Roasted red peppers
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Scallions
  • Cooked bacon
  • Garlic
  • Hot sauce
  • And KALE

Let me explain…

Macaroni Salad Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #MacaroniSalad #PastaSalad #MacSalad #MacaroniSaladRecipe #HowtoMakeMacaroniSalad #PastaSaladRecipe #SideDish #Salad #Healthy

Kale In Macaroni Salad?!

A little hot sauce, scallions, garlic, and rich fatty bacon balance out the tendency for macaroni salad to be too sweet.

However, the roasted red peppers, pickle relish, and kale offer intense flavor and color that has stay-power, making this recipe a marvelous make-ahead and leftover.

Look at the kale. It’s a pop of color that doesn’t wilt down like most fresh herbs.

Macaroni Salad Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #MacaroniSalad #PastaSalad #MacSalad #MacaroniSaladRecipe #HowtoMakeMacaroniSalad #PastaSaladRecipe #SideDish #Salad #Healthy

How To Make Macaroni Salad

  1. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Then drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Mix the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Combine the pasta and dressing. Then add the chopped roasted red peppers, kale, bacon, pickle relish, and scallions.
  4. Toss well to coat. Then refrigerate until ready to serve.

How to Make Macaroni Salad #ASpicyPerspective #MacaroniSalad #PastaSalad #MacSalad #MacaroniSaladRecipe #HowtoMakeMacaroniSalad #PastaSaladRecipe #SideDish #Salad #Healthy

Can I Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time?

Yes!!! This recipe can be made up to 4 days ahead.

Make sure to cover it well and refrigerate.

Can I Leave Out The Pickles?

If you can’t stand pickles, you can leave them out.

Then if you feel the salad needs a little acidity, add rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time until it tastes right to you.

How to Make Macaroni Salad #ASpicyPerspective #MacaroniSalad #PastaSalad #MacSalad #MacaroniSaladRecipe #HowtoMakeMacaroniSalad #PastaSaladRecipe #SideDish #Salad #Healthy

Try Our Macaroni Salad Recipe

The texture of this salad is creamy-smooth, with little pops of crunch mingled throughout.

My family is nuts over this recipe. It’s a side dish they ask for again and again.

I bet yours will too!

How to Make Macaroni Salad #ASpicyPerspective #MacaroniSalad #PastaSalad #MacSalad #MacaroniSaladRecipe #HowtoMakeMacaroniSalad #PastaSaladRecipe #SideDish #Salad #Healthy

See The Video & Recipe Card Below For How To Make The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe. 

Other Pasta Salad Recipes You Might Like:

The Best Darn Macaroni Salad Recipe Ever | ASpicyPerspective.com
Print
5 from 8 votes

The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Classic southern macaroni salad with surprise ingredients to give it that perky, super-addictive flavor we all know and love.
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts
The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 362 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 34%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 689mg 29%
Potassium 163mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 34g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 24.2%
Calcium 3.1%
Iron 5.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions, usually 7-10 minutes. Then drain and rinse with cold water.

  2. In a medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper.

  3. Pour the macaroni in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top. Then add the chopped roasted red peppers, kale, bacon, pickle relish, and scallions.

  4. Toss well to coat. Then refrigerate until ready to serve. *Can be made up to 4 days ahead.

Recipe Video

Share This Recipe With Friends!

Other Great Recipes

You May Also Like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

24 comments on “The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe

  1. Suzyposted March 23, 2019 at 9:04 pm Reply

    Going to be making this all spring and summer long!

  2. Samposted March 22, 2019 at 4:05 pm Reply

    Exactly what I needed with all the picnic and summer gatherings coming up. Thanks for sharing Sommer.

  3. Lizposted March 22, 2019 at 12:19 pm Reply

    This was a winner! My husband didn’t even notice the kale….win-win!!

  4. Becky Hardinposted March 22, 2019 at 11:34 am Reply

    This has to be the best pasta salad ever!!! YUM

  5. Euniceposted August 4, 2017 at 11:55 am Reply

    Hi! Could I substitute the mayo with olive oil? Or would that be disastrous?

  6. Boyan Minchevposted June 30, 2017 at 5:17 am Reply

    This macaroni salad looks so delicious, I will cook this for my girl tonight. Thank you for sharing this nice recipe.

  7. Pingback: 17 Easy BBQ Side Dishes - Forks 'n' Flip Flops

  8. Tammyposted March 5, 2017 at 12:35 pm Reply

    This salad was delish!! I would have used kale if my hubby didn’t see the recipe, haha but added celery for an added crunch! Used a little more Franks too because we love that on a lot of things! Def a keeper!

  9. melissaposted September 9, 2016 at 10:54 pm Reply

    looks so yummy, and I just love kale.. cant wait to try this recipe out..

  10. Mariaposted July 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm Reply

    Really dislike pickle anything. Can I leave it out or would I need to substitute it?

    • Sommerposted July 10, 2016 at 5:48 pm Reply

      Hi Maria! You can leave it out. Then if you feel the macaroni salad needs a little acidity, add rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it taste right to you. :)

  11. Pingback: A fun and funky macaroni salad

  12. Coleen Allersposted June 30, 2016 at 10:56 am Reply

    Sounds delicious, however, can I substitute Spinach instead of Kale?
    My husband hates Kale.

    • Sommerposted July 5, 2016 at 1:02 pm Reply

      Sure! You can substitute spinach or parsley. Although, one of my kids hates kale as well, and never detects it in this recipe. ;) ;)

  13. Pingback: Bahamian Blaster Party Punch - A Spicy Perspective

  14. Betty Lynneposted June 26, 2016 at 9:31 pm Reply

    omg…made this tonight and it was unbelievable! Never thought I would say that about pasta salad. Very different and silky and full of flavor with the kale and bacon and peppers. So so good! Made it with grilled chicken and a side of your zesty onion rings and this was a dinner to remember! Thanks!

    • Sommerposted July 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm Reply

      Thanks Betty Lynne. So glad you liked it!! :)

  15. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted June 23, 2016 at 10:07 am Reply

    A perfect pasta salad for summer meals!

  16. Gaby Dalkinposted June 22, 2016 at 5:21 pm Reply

    Sounds like the perfectly balanced macaroni salad!

  17. Jenny Flakeposted June 22, 2016 at 3:33 pm Reply

    LOVE macaroni salad in the summer!  So good!

  18. Mavsposted June 22, 2016 at 10:42 am Reply

    Best Macaroni Salad. Ingredient: Franks Redhot sauce – what can I use in the UK??

    • Sommerposted June 22, 2016 at 5:52 pm Reply

      Hi Mavs! Can you find cayenne pepper sauce in the UK?

  19. Julie @ Table for Twoposted June 22, 2016 at 9:44 am Reply

    this looks incredible!!!

  20. Andiposted June 22, 2016 at 8:05 am Reply

    I like to use Japanese mayo with regular dill pickles because I dislike sweet pickle relish. Other than that, I do it very similar, just no bacon.