Macaroni Salad


Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad is one of my mother’s favorite summertime dishes but I have to be honest here, until a few weeks ago, I had never tried it. ~waits for the collective gasp~ I know, I know, I’m a horrible person who has lived a wasted life. Thanks to my sister in law, Tina, I can now say that I am a card carrying  member of the macaroni salad fan club. We made this at her house in Georgia for the Fourth of July and I think I ate enough to get a few gold stars on that card, as well!

Macaroni Salad is a staple at summer gatherings and family reunions. I know y’all may be thinking that I say that about a lot of dishes but you might not realize just how much food we have at our gatherings and reunions! This is served much like potato salad – cold and a perfect accompaniment to picnics and barbecues.

Reckon why Southerners take such a shining to this dish? Just look at the main ingredient: cheap and filling pasta. This is a traditional meal stretcher if there ever was one.


Cook pasta according to directions.


Drain and run cold water over it to cool it down. This also stops the cooking process.

Shake it around a little so it all gets rinsed in the cold water.

Drain well.


In a large mixing bowl, place mayo, mustard, and…




Stir that up really well.

Remember you left out the pickle relish and put that in next.


Add in your pickle relish.


Add your macaroni



Salt and pepper to taste, stir again. Chill well.

(sneak and eat a bowl of it now. I won’t tell)

Macaroni Salad
  • 10 ounces Dry macaroni
  • ½ - ¾ C Mayo (If you like more dressing, add the full amount)
  • 1 T spicy brown mustard (can use regular if you have it on hand!)
  • 2-4 ounce jar of pimentos
  • ⅓ C sweet pickle relish
  • salt and pepper to taste (I start with ½ tsp of each)
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain in a collander and run cold water over it to cool. Mix all other ingredients together in medium mixing bowl. Add macaroni and mix well. Add more mayo if needed. Chill. Stir before serving.


A very happy birthday to my mother, Janice Davis!

I’d like to also wish a belated Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Michael Romine. Who is a dork. ~sticks out her tongue~

When life gives you lemons, put them in your sweet tea and thank God your a Southern Belle!

Submitted by Southern Plate Reader, Jamie. To submit your quote (I always need more!), click here.


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  1. JEAN says

    I MADE macaroni salad for a restaurant many yrs ago in the 60s.the lady taught me how of course as I was young and its so good ,have never made it any other way .in fact we like macaroni salad better than potato…I use potatoes boiled with skins on,cooled and peeled ,diced .then I shred some carrots ,fine diced celery ..
    a little chopped fine onion,sweet pickle relish.
    .. then in a separate bowl mix your mayo,mustard (I use reg yellow mustard ),only tint your mayo pale yellow ..then I add salt and pepper to taste and a spoon of sugar but I usually use the sugar sparingly,less if you like ..taste ..then add to your macaroni base.adjust to your liking I LIKE IT NOT SWEET BUT NOT THE MUSTARDY TASTE .

  2. Catherine says

    Love the mac salad, but I never heard of it until it was served on a chicken salad plate at a local tearoom when they ran out of the pea salad. I would love to try this because the kind I get at the grocery store often has too much dressing.
    Now the pea salad…it’s the little LeSeur peas. The restaurant owner told me she makes it the same as potato salad but with peas instead of potatoes. However…I’ve never been able to make a decent potato salad.
    Love that pea salad! I think Victoria’s Cafe in Huntsville AL still has it.

    • Betty819 says

      I would think that if canned LeSeur peas were used, they would be mushy. Now maybe the chef used frozen LeSeur peas. My friend makes a 7 layer salad that she has lone layer of frozen garden peas that do not get cooked, just sprinkled over the previous layer of salad fixings and it is delicious! She says her bowl is so deep that she ends up with more than 7 layers; keeps adding layers but leaves enough room at the top for the mayonaise layer on top. Refrigerates it overnight or for 4 hours I believe she told me. Somehow the mayonaise either sinks through the layers or flavors it somehow. Maybe somebody else make this same salad and can tell us exactly what happens to the mayo or if it is served with the mayo showing on top layer. She plays Bridge today so I can’t ask her about the mayo layer now.

  3. Deanna Lynette says

    Cindy, Celery Seed is the kicker! I have never used pimento, but use elbow macaroni, boiled eggs chopped, homemade sweet pickles chopped, with fine chopped celery, onions, and bell peppers, Mayo only (NO MUSTARD), Celery Seed, and a little sprinkle of Garlic powder. Stir it all up, put it in your serving dish and sprinkle the top with Paprika. Best if made the day before so all the flavors have a chance to mingle really well. Yuuuuum!!

  4. Bobbie Kaplan says

    Grew up on Mac salad..Grams was the only one to make potato salad.. I make it with boiled eggs( mash the yolks into the mayo) sweet relish, fine chopped onion,chopped celery, touch of garlic powder, and paprika,, Sometime to make it a summer time lunch will throw in a can of tuna(drained) and a hand full of frozen peas(thawed),

  5. Samantha says

    This is an oldie, but a goody. Believe it or not, I’ve never made my own macaroni salad. I usually let someone else make it, or I occasionally buy the store made ones. So, I finally wanted to try to make it myself today and of course, I came here first.This was so easy, I feel silly for not doing it sooner. It came out great! Thanks, Christy!


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