Summer Macaroni Salad

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Need an easy side dish for all those great barbecued dinner recipes? This Summer Macaroni Salad is the perfect complement to all those grilling dishes.

Summer Macaroni Salad in a green bowl sitting on a blue cloth napkin with a stainless steel bowl in the background

We love to grill our dinner as often as possible- all year long! It’s still warm enough that we don’t want to turn on the oven if it can be avoided. So the grill is in heavy use now and will still be for at least another couple months. That means I am always looking to create great side dishes that are minimal prep and keep the kitchen cool too. It’s even better if they require very little clean up. This simple Summer Macaroni Salad is definitely all those things, and it’s so delicious that we rarely have any leftovers.

Summer Macaroni Salad in a green bowl sitting on a blue cloth napkin with a stainless steel bowl in the background

For this macaroni salad recipe I add olives, corn, tomatoes and cheese to my pasta and seasonings. I love the versatility of it though as grilled chicken, black beans or even chopped peppers would be great mix-ins too.

Can Summer Macaroni Salad be made ahead?

Yes! I love that this salad can be made ahead of time, and it actually enhances the flavor to do so. I can toss it all together in the morning and let it chill until we are ready to make dinner. However, if my husband knows it’s in the fridge, he’ll sneak a little for lunch. So I’m thinking I now need to make it between lunch and dinner prep to keep the snacking from happening. But I’m happy that he likes it, and my 3 very hungry teens always go for this first when filling their plates.

close up shot of summer macaroni salad in a green bowl

This Summer Macaroni Salad is a fabulous addition to any backyard barbecue party. We’ve brought it to many potlucks and it’s one of the first bowls to empty out. In fact, I have started making a double batch whenever we are either sharing with guests or taking it to a gathering. It’s so simple and so tasty that it will become your new “go-to” side dish too. Enjoy!

pinterest collage image for summer macaroni salad

Here are a few more summer salad recipes you might like to try:

Summer Macaroni Salad in a green bowl sitting on a blue cloth napkin with a stainless steel bowl in the background
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Summer Macaroni Salad

Perfect summer party salad!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Servings 10 servings
Calories 315kcal
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword macaroni, salad, summer


  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups corn (canned, frozen or cut off the cob)
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup halved black olives
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese



  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, onion, chives, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Refrigerate.


  • Fill a large stockpot 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook to package directions for al dente (usually 8 to 12 minutes). Once cooked, drain and rinse under very cold water. Drain again. Add the macaroni to the mixing bowl when it is no longer hot.  Toss to combine with the dressing mixture.
  • In a small saucepan cook your corn with some water, bringing it to a boil. Once cooked, strain and rinse under cool water before adding to your bowl of other ingredients.
  • Add the tomatoes, black olives and cheese to the bowl.  Toss gently until all the ingredients are combined and well distributed throughout. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour prior to serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 543mg | Potassium: 288mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 585IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 1mg
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Gina Kleinworth

Meet The Author: Gina Kleinworth

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  • Shawn @ I Wash You Dry wrote:

    I agree, I love that this has a lot of summer veggies in it, especially tomatoes. Yum!

  • Joshua Hampton wrote:

    This summer macaroni salad rocks. I love that it’s loaded with veggies.

  • Kate @ Framed Cooks wrote:

    We are totally a grill-in-the-summer family too – that is the plan for tonight as a matter of fact!  Love this salad recipe, and love that adorable green dish it’s in just as much!