Nothing screams summer potluck more than a classic macaroni salad! This side dish or party food is super easy to make and will get devoured at your next gathering. Macaroni Salad is creamy, crunchy, filling and totally delicious!
There is no other season that has better food options than summer. A dozen different types of food come to mind when I think of summer potlucks and gatherings. Macaroni Salad is one of my all-time favorite recipes to make in the summer, but I’m pretty picky about how I make it. I prefer a version that isn’t loaded with mayo and that also has a bit of a crunch.
This recipe for classic macaroni salad is my FAVORITE. Save this and make it the next time you are invited to a barbecue. People will rave and everyone will ask you for the recipe!
WATCH THIS QUICK VIDEO TO SEE HOW EASY IT IS TO MAKE MACARONI SALAD!
HOW TO MAKE EASY MACARONI SALAD
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and allow to completely cool to room temperature. Add to a large bowl along with 3 chopped hard-boiled eggs, sliced celery, chopped dill pickles, 1/2 of a red onion, mayo, pickle juice, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Mix well, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve!
RECIPE TIPS: MAKE THIS THE BEST MACARONI PASTA SALAD AT THE PARTY!
Use regular-sized elbow macaroni or the large version is fun for a bigger bite!
Replace the chopped pickles and pickle juice with a pickle relish for a touch of added flavor!
For a spicier salad, replace yellow mustard with dijon mustard and add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Replace 1/2 cup of the mayo with sour cream for extra flavor.
For added crunch, consider adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chopped yellow, orange or red bell pepper.
Consider adding cooked, shredded chicken to add some protein to this dish.
CAN YOU FREEZE PASTA SALAD?
Since this pasta salad contains mayonnaise, it is not ideal for freezing. Cream-based ingredients like mayo will not separate entirely after being removed from the freezer and may have an undesirable texture. If you plan to freeze an entire batch, add the mayo after the remaining ingredients have thawed and just before serving.
If you DO freeze this pasta salad with the mayo mixed in, be sure to thaw it in the fridge since mayo-based dishes can produce bacteria quickly when sitting at room temperature for more than a few hours.
HOW LONG IS MACARONI SALAD GOOD FOR?
When store in an air-tight container in the fridge, macaroni salad will stay fresh for up to 5 days. Or you can store it in resealable freezer bags in the freezer for up to 4 months. Allow to thaw completely in the fridge.
HOW MANY CALORIES IN MACARONI SALAD
One eighth of this recipe, which equals approximately 1/2 to 2/3 cup, contains 325 calories. To decrease the amount of calories in the recipe, replace the mayo with a lightened variety or replace all or a portion of it with Greek yogurt.
OTHER GREAT PASTA SALAD RECIPES
Pasta salad are the best kinds of recipes to bring to any type of gathering because they get DEVOURED. Here are a handful of other pasta salad faves!
WHAT TO SERVE AT A PARTY
I LOVE party food, so you have come to the right place if you are looking for recipes to make for your next gathering. Here are some additional options for you that will be easy, delicious and crowd-pleasing!
Fruit Pizza – The classic, crowd-pleasing Fruit Pizza has a cookie dough crust, dreamy cream cheese frosting and a colorful top layer of fruit and a tasty glaze. Great appetizer/dessert for parties of any kind, any time of the year!
Sausage Cheese Dip – Sausage Cheese Dip is easy to make (let your crockpot do the work for you!), cheesy, flavorful and totally irresistible! Serve as an appetizer at your next party and it won’t last long. Only 6 ingredients required for this delicious party food!
7-Layer Taco Dip – This is the best 7-Layer Taco Dip you’ll ever meet! It’s the perfect appetizer and party food and it is always the first thing to get devoured.
Crockpot Meatballs – These require only a few ingredients with only a few minutes of prep. They are SO EASY to make, totally packed with delicious flavor and great for game-day parties or holidays. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you!
Spinach Artichoke Dip – This hot Spinach Artichoke Dip is a party staple! People always get excited about this dip and its so easy to make! It’s a filling, cheesy snack or appetizer that you can put on pita squares, crackers or chips. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you!
Classic Macaroni Salad
- 5-6 Yukon gold or red potatoes peeled and cubed
- 4 eggs
- 4 stalks celery chopped
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Extra parsley and paprika for topping
- Pour 1 1/2 cups water into the Instant Pot and lower trivet or steamer basket into pot. Place potato pieces on top and place the eggs on top.
- Place the cover on the pot and set timer to 5 minutes on high pressure (pressure cook setting). It will take the IP around 11 minutes to build up pressure before it begins cooking.
- When cooking time is done, do a Quick Release. Let the float valve drop and remove the cover. Using a large slotted spoon, run the eggs under cold water so they stop cooking; peel and chop.
- Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Add chopped eggs, celery, mayo, mustard, pickle juice, vinegar, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with extra parsley and paprika just before serving.