The BEST Macaroni Salad

This macaroni salad is a family recipe that’s been made for many generations and it is ABSOLUTELY delicious! It’s the most requested side whenever we attend a party or host! Made with bright fresh ingredients and elbow noodles. It’s a true crowd pleaser!

macaroni salad
macaroni salad
macaroni salad

Macaroni Salad

Melissa Jo


  • 1 lb. of elbow noodles
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 3 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 1 tomato diced try to remove as many seeds as possible
  • Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp. of sugar
  • cups of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
  • salt, pepper, paprika to taste


  • Boil elbows to package directions
  • dice up all of the vegetables nice and small
  • add all of the listed ingredients to a large bowl
  • mix everything thoroughly then add the boiled elbows
  • mix everything and TASTE (if you need a little more of this or that add it)
  • chill at lest 3 hours (I chill overnight)
  • To serve: Mix it up again and add paprika and parsley for garnish


YouTube video


  • Taste Test: as with most recipes you MUST make it your own. Taste as you go! These ratios are what make the perfect macaroni salad to me, but a great rule of thumb is to add a little less of the condiments and seasoning. Then taste! You can always add more if needed.
  • Chill: You have to let this macaroni salad chill figuratively and literally. LOL After you mix everything together chill AT LEAST 3 hours. I always make the night before I am going to serve and chill for about 18-24 hours. This allows all of the flavors to blend together AND the dressing to thicken.
  • Dressing: The dressing you make will seem a little loose. But rest assured that once you chill (at least 3 hours) it will thicken perfectly into a creamy dressing.
  • Serving: When you take it out of the refrigerator to serve; mix thoroughly then add little more mayo if needed.
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