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Classic Macaroni Salad is an easy and delicious macaroni salad that is perfect for a backyard BBQ or picnic! Made with red bell pepper, celery, cubed cheddar cheese, green onions, and a mayonnaise-based dressing.
This summer Lars and Soren both have soccer on Wednesday nights, which means there are some nights we will be at the soccer fields for 2 1/2 hours. Of course this is over dinnertime, so I’ll be packing our dinners to avoid hungry and cranky kids and a hungry and cranky mom! I’ve decided my basic formula for soccer night dinners will be some sort of sandwich/wrap, fruit, and a pasta salad. There’s a shaved ice food truck at the fields too, so I’m guessing I’ll be talked into those, too. First up for my pasta salad – Classic Macaroni Salad!
Classic Macaroni Salad is one of those that we’ve all had at some point at a summer BBQ, potluck, or picnic. My version is filled with bell pepper and celery for some crunch, green onions for a subtle green onion flavor, and a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing.
- Macaroni Pasta
- Red Bell Pepper
- Green Onion
- Mayonnaise – you can use whatever kind of mayonnaise you prefer. I like olive oil mayonnaise, but use whatever you have on hand or prefer!
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Sweet Pickle Juice – just the juice from a jar of sweet pickles
- Garlic Powder
How to Make Classic Macaroni Salad
This recipe is super simple to make. To start, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, you can chop the veggies, cube the cheese, and prep the dressing.
Once the pasta is cooked, run it under some cool water to cool it down and then combine it with the chopped bell pepper, chopped celery, cubed cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, and the dressing. That’s it! If you’re making this ahead of time, simply cover it and refrigerate until it’s time to eat. This pasta salad is great to make ahead of time because it doesn’t dry out and the flavors are even more delicious after a few hours or a day.
Classic Macaroni Salad Questions
- How long does it last? This macaroni salad will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
- Can different pasta shapes be used? Yep! I used elbow macaroni pasta because I wanted it to appear as the classic macaroni salad, but you can use whatever you want. I think short-noodles will work best.
- How can I make this healthier? You can swap half of the mayonnaise for greek yogurt, if you want! Add some chopped kale or spinach for a boost of nutrients.
Like this recipe? Check these out, too!
Southwestern Pasta Salad
Deviled Egg Pasta Salad
Waldorf Chicken Salad
What to Serve Classic Macaroni Salad With:
Blue Cheese Burgers
Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken Breasts
Grilled Caprese Chicken Sandwiches
- 8 ounces macaroni pasta
- 1 red bell pepper stem and seeds removed and diced
- 3 stalks celery finely chopped
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese cubed
- 3 green onions diced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp sweet pickle juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a large bowl, combine cooled pasta with bell pepper, celery, cheese, and green onions.
Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 561mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 821IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 215mg | Iron: 1mg