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macaroni salad in bowl close up

Macaroni Salad Recipe

Macaroni salad is a classic side dish. This recipe features a rich and creamy dressing topping pasta and crunchy veggies! Neither overly saucy or overly dry!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings: 4 people (approx.)


For the salad:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
  • ½ medium red onion, finely diced
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced

For the salad dressing:

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced or ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper or more to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water up to a boil. Add your pasta and cook according to the package instructions. I like to add an extra minute to the cook time because I like my pasta salad a bit softer. Rinse with some cold water to keep the pasta from sticking, and drain well.
  • In a large bowl, combine your cooked pasta, and your chopped red onion, red bell pepper, celery stalk, and carrot. Mix to combine, and set aside to prep the dressing.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until incorporated. Top your pasta and veggies with the dressing, and mix to coat everything with the sauce. You can serve it right away, but this salad tastes even better when it's refrigerated for 1 hour beforehand. Serve at room temperature or cold.


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