Classic Macaroni Salad is a traditional elbow pasta salad tossed with bell peppers, onion, celery and eggs in a mayo-based dressing.
I have always had my favorite macaroni salad (Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad), but this classic macaroni salad is honestly just as good. It’s the kind of salad that you will come across at a backyard barbecue. And it’s a popular pasta salad that everyone loves!
- elbow macaroni
- apple cider vinegar
- spicy brown mustard
- white sugar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- celery salt
- red bell pepper
- hard boiled eggs
How do you make Classic Macaroni Salad?
The full, printable recipe is at the end of this post.
If there are any ingredients in this classic macaroni salad that you don’t care for, it’s okay to leave something out. I grew up eating hard boiled egg in my mom’s macaroni salad, so I absolutely love it. But I know that some people don’t care for egg in theirs. Make sure you at least try it though!
How to make Hard Boiled Eggs:
I have a very easy method for making hard-boiled eggs that I learned from watching Martha Stewart a long time ago. Place your eggs in a single layer in a large pot. Cover the eggs with water and bring to a boil. Cover, and then turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit for 15 minutes. Then rinse with cold water, and peel the eggs.
Also, now that I have an Instant Pot, I use that quite often for making deviled eggs. It’s super easy to make them in the Instant Pot, and the shells slip off incredibly easy using this method too. RecipeBoy has a good tutorial (with a video) that shows you how to make Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs.
Here’s what we love about this classic macaroni salad. It has a bit of crunch to it with the celery, bell pepper and onion added in. The dressing is lightly sweetened and has a tangy flavor from added spicy brown mustard. And I feel like the hard boiled egg in this salad really brings it all together. Try this salad for your summer get-togethers and watch it fly off the table. Enjoy!
The Best Macaroni Salad Recipes:
- Summer Macaroni Salad
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Not Your Mama’s Macaroni Salad
- Deviled Egg Pasta Salad
Classic Macaroni Salad
- 4 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2½ tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large stalks celery, finely chopped
- 4 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.
- In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper and celery salt. Stir in the cooked macaroni, bell pepper, onion and celery. Then gently stir in the hard boiled egg.
- Cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours. Don't even think of tasting it until it has been chilled for 4 hours-- preferably longer.
I thought this salad was delicious! I was looking for a tuna macaroni salad when I came across your recipe. I did use tuna instead of egg. I bet it’s good with a bit of both. I halved the recipe with no problem. It’s a very nice blend of flavors. I’ll be making this one again, soon.
Great flavor! I just wanted to check on the amounts because I followed the recipe exactly, cooking 4 cups of elbow macaroni, but my salad seemed drier than I expected. Did you mean to note to use 4 cups of COOKED macaroni?
No, it’s dry macaroni! It should have been well-dressed. Will dry out the longer it sits in the refrigerator as the pasta soaks up the dressing though.