Table of Contents
  1. The ingredients in this macaroni salad
  2. Watch how to make this macaroni salad recipe
  3. Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe

Macaroni salad is a staple on the summer grilling menu. The ingredients are simple: elbow pasta, hardboiled eggs, onion, and cheese. All of these are held together with a tangy and slightly sweet mayonnaise dressing.

It’s a simple enough list, but easy to mess up. The dressing needs the correct ratio of mayonnaise so that it’s not overpowering and is balanced with some sweet acidity. The eggs, onion, and cheese are important, but also have to work well with the pasta.

Together, the creamy dressing and cooked pasta are a perfect match to go with burgers, brats, and hot weather.

Close up view of macaroni salad with creamy dressing on top showing close up of pasta and cubes of cheese

The ingredients in this macaroni salad

  • Elbow macaroni is traditionally the pasta of choice for a true macaroni salad. The pasta is cooked in salted water to ensure the macaroni is seasoned well. Cook the macaroni fully so that it isn’t mushy and has some texture.
  • Hardboiled eggs are sliced up and added to the pasta. The eggs work to add a rich and creamy component.
  • Scallion is diced and added to provide a sweet onion flavor without being too strong. Dice up both the white and light green parts.
  • Cheddar cheese is cubed into small bite-sized pieces. To stay true to a traditional salad, choose yellow cheddar. Or if you want to mix it up, use whichever cheese you prefer.
  • Mayonnaise is the base for the dressing. I use homemade but use whatever you keep in your refrigerator and prefer to eat.
  • Greek yogurt balances out the mayonnaise-rich flavor with a lighter bright flavor, helping the dressing not be too heavy.
  • Honey lends a bit of sweetness, which is needed in macaroni salad. But if you’ve made a macaroni salad recipe before, you’ll notice that this dressing does not have the copious amount of sugar an older recipe would have.
  • Pickle relish gives the dressing that classic pickle flavor. I use a slightly sweet bread and butter-style relish but any relish will work.
  • Yellow mustard adds the acidity and creamy yellow color needed to truly make this a macaroni salad. Make sure to use the prepared yellow mustard here instead of Dijon.

There are endless recipes for macaroni salad. Ingredients can range from celery, peas, carrots, or any number of add-ins. I opt for a streamlined, simple ingredient list with only what is necessary.

Spoon holding serving of macaroni salad with noodles and pieces of cheese showing with white plate in background

Watch how to make this macaroni salad recipe

YouTube video

More summer recipes

Top down view of bowl filled with macaroni salad with cubes of cheese and herbs

Easy Macaroni Salad

4.94 from 16 votes
When there's a potluck on the schedule or it's just a summer picnic, this easy-to-make macaroni salad is needed! Made with the iconic elbow pasta and combined with a creamy sauce as well as some herbs and cheese, each bite is the taste of summer! Make the recipe and you'll know exactly what I mean!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Cool Time 30 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup pickle relish
  • 4 large hardboiled eggs shelled
  • 3 scallions (white and light green parts) diced
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese cubed
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the macaroni. Boil the macaroni until the pasta is fully cooked, 6-8 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside to cool.
    1 lb elbow macaroni
  • While the pasta is cooling, prepare the dressing. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, honey, mustard, salt, pepper, and pickle relish. Whisk to combine.
    1 cup mayonnaise, ⅓ cup Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp yellow mustard, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, ¼ cup pickle relish
  • Add the slightly cooled macaroni and stir to combine the dressing and pasta. Add in the chopped hardboiled eggs, scallion, dill, parsley, and cubed cheese. Stir and serve immediately.
    4 large hardboiled eggs, 3 scallions (white and light green parts), 8 oz cheddar cheese, 2 tbsp chopped dill, 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 12.4gFat: 22.7gSaturated Fat: 6.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5.7gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 89.4mgSodium: 435.4mgPotassium: 152.7mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 4.7gVitamin A: 104.4IUVitamin C: 1.4mgCalcium: 165.8mgIron: 1.8mg
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Cooking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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12 Comments

  1. Loved watching you make baked beans and macaroni salad. You make both almost exactly the same way I have for over sixty years (yes, I am old) but still love to cook and bake! You are an amazing young man and I enjoy your videos so much.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this macaroni salad today and I love it. I thought it needed a little crunch, so I added some celery. I especially love the cheese cubes. The dressing is a perfect balance of creamy, with a little tang. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  3. Watched all three videos, the burgers the beans and the macaroni salad! I like all of the interesting different things like the dried onions in the burgers, makes sense, I never do relish in my macaroni salad but I grate a whole dill pickle and the navy beans from scratch just looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try all three of these recipes with your different variations.

  4. 4 stars
    A very good macaroni salad. I used fresh dill and followed the recipe exactly. I liked it better without the cheese in it so I will omit that next time. I chopped up bread and butter pickles and I will do that next time also. The bread and butter pickle is perfect for this dish, sweet, tart and crunchy. Great recipe Kaleb! Thank you for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    Pasta Salad pound of pasta, cup of salad dressing plus Greek yogurt 4 boiled eggs

    And I am planning on 3 boxes which means I need 4 cups of dressing plus Greek yogurt! I plan sweet pickle relish, red onions, green onions. Black olives. Pimentos, celery, looks like I will need a dozen boiled eggs, little salt, salad seasoning? Pepper! Pinch of sugar per pound of pasta.

  6. While this recipe is delicious the first day, it is even better the second. I had to travel so instead of making the entire macaroni salad, I made the dressing including adding the onion, cheese and eggs the night before. When I got to my daughter’s house I cooked the macaroni and added the dressing after it cooled. Tasted great, the secret is letting the ingredients marry. I grew up in the Midwest but had never had this salad. Everyone I’ve served it to has loved it. So thank you for this easy, great recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    This is a great macaroni salad recipe. Everyone loved it. The recipe says to serve as soon as you put the dressing on and definitely do that. I made it earlier in the day so the pasta absorbed a lot of the dressing. Still great though.