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Southern Macaroni Salad

This Old Fashioned Southern Macaroni Salad is a classic recipe that will pair wonderfully with your BBQ or cookout spread. This is the best soul food side dish served cold with a flavorful dressing.

southern macaroni salad in a wooden spoon over a bowl

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Macaroni Salad is one of the recipes my mama always cooked growing up, especially for BBQs and cookouts. It’s essentially potato salad, but with macaroni pasta, and we even throw in a little shredded cheese!

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Onions
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
shredded cheese, onions, chopped boiled eggs, and seasoning in glass bowls

How to Boil Eggs

I love to use my Air Fryer Boiled Eggs or Instant Pot Boiled Eggs because these methods are foolproof and pretty easy.

To boil them on the stove, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with cold water, about an inch over the eggs. Boil for 8-10 minutes and then place them in an ice bath for 10 minutes. Peel.

mustard, mayo, uncooked macaroni pasta, and chopped celery in glass bowls

How to Make Southern Macaroni Salad

Full instructions with serving sizes can be found in the recipe card below.

  1. Cook the pasta in accordance with the instructions on the package.
  2. Rinse the pasta in cold water and dry completely.
  3. Add the pasta to your serving bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
  4. Chill for a minimum of 1 hour. A few hours is optimal.
cooked macaroni pasta in a glass bowl

Dry Salad

This can happen if the moisture sinks into the pasta. You can add a little additional mayo to get it creamy.

Can You Make it Without Eggs

Yes, simply omit the eggs.

mayo, shredded cheese, celery, onions, and boiled eggs in a glass bowl

Can You Substitute Mayo?

You can substitute mayo for plain Greek yogurt or sour cream if you wish.

Can You Omit the Cheese?

Yes.

Additional Toppings and Ideas

Southern macaroni salad in a white bowl

How Long Can it Sit Out

It can sit out 1-2 hours. It takes about 2 hours for bacteria to start to grow to dangerous levels. In warm temperatures, that time shrinks. You can read the Food Safety Guidance from the FDA here.

Can You Make it Ahead of Time/How Long Does it Last in the Fridge

Yes, store the salad in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Southern macaroni salad in a white bowl

Freezer Tips

You can freeze it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. In general, mayo does not freeze well and usually develops ice crystals.

Pair This Dish with These Main Dishes

Air Fryer Ribs
Air Fryer Cheeseburgers
Air Fryer Catfish
Air Fryer Fish Sticks
Instant Pot Ribs
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Chicken and Avocado Salsa

More Southern Recipes

Southern Coleslaw Recipe
Air Fryer Hush Puppies
Southern Soul Food Baked Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot Southern Green Beans
Instant Pot Collard Greens

Southern Mustard Greens
Southern Homemade Cornbread

Southern macaroni salad in a white bowl

More Salad Recipes

Southern Potato Salad
Instant Pot Potato Salad
Keto Low Carb Coleslaw
Keto Low Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad
Keto Low Carb Broccoli Salad
Keto Low Carb Egg Salad

Easy Spaghetti Salad
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Avocado Deviled Eggs

southern macaroni salad in a wooden spoon over a bowl
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

Old Fashioned Southern Macaroni Salad

This Old Fashioned Southern Macaroni Salad is a classic recipe that will pair wonderfully with your BBQ or cookout spread. This is the best soul food side dish served cold with a flavorful dressing.
Save this recipe here.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine southern
Keyword classic macaroni salad, old fashioned macaroni salad, Southern macaroni salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
chill 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 275kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni pasta uncooked
  • 3 eggs Boiled and sliced into chunks.
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions I used red onions.
  • 2 celery stalks Chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in accordance with the instructions on the package.
  • Rinse the pasta in cold water and dry completely.
  • Add the pasta to your serving bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
  • Chill for a minimum of 1 hour. A few hours is optimal.

Video

Notes

  • Use a food processor to chop up the eggs and veggies if you want them really finely diced.
  • You can omit the eggs if you wish.
  • You can substitute sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for mayo.
  • You can half the recipe by using half of the ingredients.
  • You can double the recipe by doubling the ingredients.
  • This is a dish that you will want to add your ingredients (especially the seasonings) a little bit at a time, and then taste repeatedly to determine if it needs a little bit of anything else.
  • Dry macaroni salad can happen if the moisture sinks into the pasta. You can add a little additional mayo to get it creamy.
  • To give the salad a pop of color you can sprinkle paprika throughout.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g
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Recipe Rating




Veronica

Monday 5th of April 2021

Such a nice and easy macaroni salad!! Flavors were amazing. Paired beautifully with our Easter Ham and other sides. Instructions were clear and thorough and I loved the notes on the end where it gave different variations on additional toppings and substitutes.

staysnatched

Monday 5th of April 2021

I'm glad it worked out for you!

Kayla

Sunday 4th of April 2021

Made this for Easter! Everyone loved it! Thanks Brandi!

staysnatched

Monday 5th of April 2021

I'm so glad to hear that!

Amanda G.

Thursday 18th of March 2021

I loved the addition of mustard! It gave it a nice little tang that went well with the other flavors. It reminded me of summer, and I will definitely be making it again, especially for BBQs.

staysnatched

Friday 19th of March 2021

Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

Sabrina Boucher

Monday 15th of March 2021

This was really good. I wanted to do a BBQ theme this weekend and had never tried making macaroni salad before so this recipe was super helpful. The salad turned out great and was easy to do.

staysnatched

Monday 15th of March 2021

I'm glad this worked out for you!