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4.95 from 20 votes

BEST Macaroni Salad

This recipe ensures that you'll avoid all the common pitfalls of a mediocre macaroni salad.  Deliciously creamy, moist, packed with flavor, the right balance of ingredients, the perfect texture, and visually beautiful, this macaroni salad is simply the BEST!
Prep Time15 mins
Chill Time2 hrs
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad, Side
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 serves
Calories: 188kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew


  • 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (white or whole wheat) cooked al dente in lightly salted water and cooled ,about 16 ounces uncooked
  • (Gluten-free: Use GF macaroni)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped Lindsay Red Roasted Bell Peppers
  • 1/2 cup Lindsay California Ripe Sliced Black Olives ,rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons Lindsay Capers ,rinsed and drained
  • 3 green onions ,sliced
  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 cups good quality mayonnaise
  • (vegans: use vegan mayonnaise)
  • 1/4 cup sweet or dill pickle relish
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the thoroughly cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl along with all remaining ingredients, except for the sauce. Stir to combine.
  • To make the sauce, place all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
  • Pour the sauce over the pasta salad and stir to thoroughly coat the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. (If it doesn't taste excellent it needs more salt.) Transfer to a non-reactive bowl. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving (don't skip this step, it's crucial for the optimal flavor of the salad).


Pasta absorbs a lot of liquid over time and will dry out, so if serving leftovers the next day, add a little more mayo sauce.
Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 1150mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg