Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe

| April 12, 2020 | 12 Comments

Macaroni Pasta Salad

Follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to learn how to make our easy Southern Macaroni Pasta Salad with mayonnaise. Printable recipe included.


Macaroni Salad, enjoy!
Quick and easy, this Macaroni Salad recipe is another old Southern classic. Make it a day or two ahead of time if needed. Great for home, picnics, potlucks, any old place.


Macaroni Salad, slider.

This is a quick and easy recipe for making our Southern Macaroni Pasta Salad. You’ll love it, and it can even be made a day or two in advance if you need to do it that way.

Macaroni Salad is another one of those dishes that shows up everywhere it seems. At church socials, potluck dinners, picnics, cookouts, or any old place. It travels well so you can share it with all of your family and friends at your next get together.

This is a pretty basic recipe that I saw over on the Duke’s® Mayonnaise website. They have lots of good recipes, and you have to know how much I do love me some Duke’s Mayonnaise. It’s my favorite for sure. Smile.

I suggest you make the basic version first, then you can add to it anyway you like. Bacon bits, small cubes of ham, diced tomatoes, sweet pickle relish and lots more can be added to make the recipe your very own. You’ll find lots of different ways to make it online if you search for them.

It’s a creamy, cool, refreshing dish to serve during the hot summer months. And, it goes great with about anything you might cook on the grill, especially some barbecue. Just saying.

Ready to give our recipe a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Macaroni Salad, ingredients you'll need.
Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.


Macaroni Salad, prepare pasta.
Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.

This is 2 cups of dry pasta that has been cooked, drained, rinsed, drained again. Set aside for now.


Macaroni Salad, prepare the vegetables.
Prepare your vegetables. Wash the celery and the bell pepper. Then…

Slice the 1/2 cup of celery.
Dice 1/2 cup of bell pepper.
Chop 1/4 cup of onion.


Macaroni Salad, add mayonnaise.
Place 1 cup of Duke’s Mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl.


Macaroni Salad, add vinegar.
Add 2 Tablespoons of vinegar. I used Apple Cider, white will work just as well.


Macaroni Salad, add the mustard.
Add 1 Tablespoon of Yellow Mustard.


Macaroni Salad, add the sugar.
Add 1 teaspoon of Sugar.


Macaroni Salad, add the salt.
Add 1 teaspoon of Salt.


Macaroni Salad, add black pepper.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Black Pepper.

Grab a spoon and mix everything together until fully combined.


Macaroni Salad, add celery.
Add the 1/2 cup of sliced celery.


Macaroni Salad, add bell pepper.
Add the 1/2 cup of diced Bell Pepper.


Macaroni Salad, add the onions.
Add the 1/4th cup of chopped onions.


Macaroni Salad, add the pasta.
Add the drained pasta to the bowl.


Macaroni Salad, mix well.
Use a large spoon and mix all the ingredients together. Be sure to scoop down to the bottom and work all the mayonnaise into the pasta.


Macaroni Salad, cover the bowl.
Cover the bowl with a lid, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil.


Macaroni Salad, refrigerate the salad.
Place the covered bowl in your refrigerator and let the flavors blend together for several hours.


Macaroni Salad, enjoy.


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Macaroni Salad, printbox.

Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


Macaroni Pasta Salad is an old Southern classic recipe. Great for home, picnics, potluck dinners, any old place. Can be prepared a day or two ahead of time if needed and travels well. Best if served chilled.



1 8oz. package Elbow Macaroni, cooked and drained.
1 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon prepared Mustard
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 cup Celery, sliced
1/2 cup Green or Red Sweet Pepper, chopped
1/4 cup Onion, chopped


Prepare macaroni pasta according to package directions.
Drain pasta, set aside.
Place Dukes mayonnaise In a large mixing bowl.
Add vinegar.
Add mustard.
Add sugar.
Add salt.
Add black pepper.
Mix together well.
Add the drained pasta.
Add celery.
Add peppers.
Add onion.
Toss everything to coat well.
Cover bowl. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours to chill.


Best if served cold. Can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated until needed. Freshen it up a bit with a little more mayonnaise if need be when you remove it from the refrigerator.

Keywords: Macaroni salad, pasta salad, Duke's Mayonnaise, bell pepper, celery, onion, quick, easy, side dish

Your Comments:

Have you tried our Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe?  How did you like it?

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Category: Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (12)

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  1. Mike Carrington says:

    Hi Steve,
    This has nothing to do with the above recipe but I’ve been thinking about it.

    In another time and place I could go in a diner and buy fried peach pies and a glass of milk. Oh, that was heaven on a hot summer afternoon in Louisiana. If you have a recipe for those peach pies I’d sure love to see it.

  2. Marilyn says:

    Good afternoon.

    I usually use my desktop computer early in the day and see your newsletter on Mondays. But on the 26th of March, I lost my user profile and have not been able to get it back. Then the stay at home edict went out and I have not been able to have either one of my sons come to help. So I didn’t mention it to them. Have found a workaround to get email but it’s too much trouble to do it every day. So my phone it is. I love your new recipe addition under the photos. GREAT idea!!! Some recipes that I have been looking for to use substitutions for things I don’t have don’t even give the amounts period. So frustrating. I have mentioned before that I love your newsletters and recipes. The extra work you do to provide wonderful recipes and illustrations is greatly appreciated. And your upbeat messages are so very comforting. Many thanks.

  3. Dorothy Berry says:

    My letter arrives here late afternoon – and guess what, I had just last shopping trip bought a packet of elbow macaroni which I spotted on the near-empty pasta shelves. Most of our macaroni is the very big straight tubes and I prefer the elbows, it is what I knew as macaroni as a child in England. When I saw this recipe I knew it was “meant to be”, but I had just used my last bell pepper – so I substituted with some bottled peppadews (sweet piquante peppers) and made the recipe straightaway. As supper had already been prepared I refrigerated it overnight and had half of it for breakfast this morning. You’re probably thinking “strange breakfast” but, then, when you live alone you can do pretty well what you like in the food line, can’t you? And it was excellent! I’ve got a fennel bulb in the crisper drawer so I’m thinking of grating some of that in to the leftover and having it tomorrow lunchtime. Might even try gherkins (dill pickles) another time. Thanks for another cheap and easy dish.

  4. Mitzi says:

    I add pickle relish & a little jar of diced pimento-cause that’s the way Grandma & Mama made it!

  5. Joyce Petrichek says:

    You always make my day with your cheerful attitude, your love for the Lord, and your great recipes. I am a caregiver for my 85 year old husband and was having a very trying morning when I checked my e-mails and found one from you.

    Thanks for being God’s instrument to brighten my day, not just today but each time I read your you e-mails

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Joyce, Thank you for being a subscriber to our Newsletter, and Thank You for your very kind comments today. I know you have a tough job as caregiver for your husband, but stay strong, keep the faith, and keep up the great work you’re doing. Be sure to take a little time for yourself as best you can. I’m thankful to have your support of our recipes and our Newsletter. I appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  6. Karen Miller says:

    Macaroni salad has been a family favorite since I was a child. We always added chopped boiled eggs and either full of sweet pickles depending on what was on hand.
    When we had leftover macaroni salad, we added diced cheddar cheese and diced ham for a tasty lunch.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Karen, Thank you for sharing your memories of this recipe with us. I like the additions that you mentioned. As I stated in the writeup, this is just a basic recipe for making the Macaroni Salad. I enjoyed it, but I kept thinking it needed some sweet pickle relish every time I had some. Smile. I appreciate your visit today and all of your support. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Joyceb says:

    Hello Steve! Hope your Easter Sunday was filled with joy and happiness. I am always looking for a good and easy Macaroni Salad. Thank you fro this recipe (and all others) that you share with us.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Joyceb, I did have a good Easter Sunday, and I hope you did as well. Thank you. It may have been different than those of past years, but it was still good. It’s my pleasure to share the recipes and I’m thankful that you enjoy them. I appreciate your visits and all of your support. I do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. David Williams says:

    Yes, some recipe sites do include the ingredient amounts with the illustrated steps. One big caveat though, make sure the amounts are the same. That is the main issue.

    On the stay at home situation caused by the coronavirus, if they do not let up by May 1 we may be in deep economic problems for a decade or more. We are going to see some stagflation in any case.

    I have been a stay at home for years due to reduced mobility so that us not a big deal for me, but I wish I could have at least a small food garden. We have had roses already here in central Louisiana.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      HI David, Thank you for being a subscriber to our Newsletter and for sharing your comments with me today. This is the first recipe that I’ve included the measurement amounts of the ingredients directly under the photo. I hope I can keep it accurate and straight as we try to continue to do this moving forward. I know times are tough right now, but like you, I don’t get out and it’s not been a big change for me thus far. I hope you were not affected by the tornadoes that went thru Louisiana over the weekend. Stay safe. Thank you for your support and for your visits. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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