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Best Classic Macaroni Salad

Updated on May 22, 2015
3.9 stars from 21 ratings of Classic Macaroni Salad

What makes this so special?

This macaroni salad is actually a little sweet and that is what makes it taste so good!! Once you taste it you can't stop eating it, and eating it, and eating it! I'm telling you, you won't be able to stop!! It has classic ingredients like celery, onions, mayo and vinegar but the mustard gives it a tang while the sugar balances it with sweetness. This classic is great for BBQs, pot lucks, or just as a side to your favorite steak or hamburger. This is a perfect salad for Memorial Day or the 4th of July. It is a quick prep and very simple to put together.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 7 min
Ready in: 17 min
Yields: 10 servings


  • 4 cups Barilla elbow pasta
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sal
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender approximately 7-8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain. Allow the pasta to dry out in the strainer as much as possible before adding it to the mixture below.
  2. Add all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the pasta and combine. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Some Tips....

1. If you need to use this pasta salad sooner rather than later you could use frozen onions. This will help cool down the other ingredients while the onions defrost quickly as you mix the ingredients. This will help a little bit by getting the mixture cooler for quicker use.

2. Allow the pasta to dry out before adding to the mayonnaise mixture. (I left my pasta in the strainer over a pot and simply would give it a stir every couple of minutes and let the air dry it out a little.) This step just helps the pasta not dilute the mayonnaise mixture and makes for better adherence.

3. Use an elbow macaroni with lines in it. I use Barilla because I feel like the mayonnaise mixture sticks to it better rather than sliding off.

4. If you like more mayonnaise you can simply add more. Sometimes I will add extra (my hubby likes lots of mayonnaise). You could also add bell peppers to this salad if you like them. I prefer it without.


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    • vickiholder profile image

      Vicki Holder 2 years ago from The beautiful Ouachita Mtns. in Arkansas

      Can't beat a classic! Sounds delicious.