Classic Macaroni Salad

Classic macaroni salad with creamy dressing in a bowl

 The Spruce Eats

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Chill Time: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 28 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
341 Calories
24g Fat
24g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 341
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 487mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 124mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Whether you are going to a backyard barbecue or just looking to make a tasty dinner side dish, macaroni salad is a classic choice. This recipe is made with hard-boiled eggs, chopped vegetables, and a deliciously seasoned mayonnaise dressing. It is fairly easy to pull together and is perfect for a summertime cookout. Just remember that it includes egg and mayonnaise which can go bad if left in warm temperatures for too long. Refrigerate this macaroni salad before serving to prevent the ingredients from spoiling.

Macaroni salad is a perfect accompaniment to barbecue chicken, pulled pork, and smoked meats, and can also be a base for a light lunch when tuna fish or cooked chicken is added.


  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped celery

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups cooked macaroni pasta, drained, rinsed, and cooled

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for classic macaroni salad recipe gathered

     The Spruce Eats

  2. Combine all of the ingredients except for the pasta. Start with 1/3 cup of mayonnaise and then add more if needed. Thoroughly mix into a dressing.

    Eggs, celery, mayonnaise, and condiments combined in a bowl

     The Spruce Eats

  3. Add in the cooled pasta. Stir gently so you do not break apart the macaroni. Coat all pieces of pasta evenly with the dressing.

    Pasta tossed with macaroni salad ingredients

     The Spruce Eats

  4. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. 

  5. Cover and chill the macaroni salad for several hours before serving.

    Macaroni salad in a bowl

     The Spruce Eats

  6. Enjoy.


  • To keep the macaroni salad from becoming dry as it sits, be sure to cook the pasta just right (so it is not undercooked) and add enough mayonnaise to create a creamy texture.
  • To prevent the pasta from absorbing too much of the mayo mixture, chill the macaroni before mixing with the dressing.

Hard-Boiled Egg Tips

Here are a few tips you may want to try when hard-boiling the eggs for the salad:

  • Fill the pot with cold water to start.
  • Add salt to the water before boiling.
  • After the water and eggs reach a boil, turn off the heat and cover them. Let the mixture sit for 13 minutes.
  • Drain the eggs immediately. You can place them directly in the refrigerator to cool them or set them in an ice bath.
  • To peel the egg after it is hard-boiled, tap it on a countertop until you see a crack in the shell. Then roll it gently on the countertop, breaking up the entire shell as it rotates. Begin to peel it from the large end. Hold it under cold water if you need help getting the shell off. 
  • You can store the hard-boiled eggs in the fridge, unpeeled, for up to one week.