The origins of macaroni salad recipes are deeply rooted in American history, first appearing in 1914 cookbooks. Now, 1914 just happened to be the first year of World War I, so it makes sense that these creative pasta recipes started popping up.
The World War caused great economic turmoil, paving the way for the most delicious pasta salad recipes imaginable. Luckily for us, they’ve been passed down through the generations giving us the freedom to tweak, personalize and improve our most treasured recipes.
And I’ve organized them into a tasty macaroni salad list just in time for spring.
No springtime recipes are quite as potluck friendly or picnic-ready as these salads. They have an uncanny quality that appeals to the masses, perking up the taste buds without weighing you down.
Plus, they are just incredibly easy to throw together. More than 90 percent of the time, macaroni salad is a no-fail recipe. All you have to do is choose your favorite and I’ve made it easy with this irrefutable list!
Here are the 7 best macaroni salad recipes:
1. Southern Macaroni Salad
Southern macaroni salad is a robust blend of elbow pasta and vibrantly colored summer veggies doused in a slightly sweet and tangy dressing. It’s a classic southern recipe that brings people together just like grandmas macaroni salad.
This is a wholesome and nutritious recipe that comes together quickly and has a beautifully inviting presentation. This is the crave-worthy dish that makes people love macaroni!
2. Best Macaroni Salad
When you combine crisp summer veggies and cheesy little cubes with perfectly cooked pasta, fragrant herbs and a creamy dreamy dressing you get the best macaroni salad around. This is one of those macaroni recipes that are sweet, savory and tart – all in the same bite!
It’s a versatile recipe that’s ready in under 30 minutes and always a total crowd-pleaser. You get a little crunchy, a little sweet and a little creamy all tempered with aromatic herbs for that fresh pop we all look for in a macaroni salad.
3. Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Hawaiian macaroni salad is super creamy, sweet and just plain delicious. Mahalo! Authenticity seems to be elusive because it’s just so simple. A few trusty kitchen staples are all you need to achieve this desired flavor – no ham and no pineapple (I know, hard to believe).
The unique flavor profile is a subtle balance of savory, sweet and tangy that just knocks your socks off and whips those taste buds into complete submission!
4. Classic Macaroni Salad
If creamy macaroni salad recipes tempt your taste buds, then classic macaroni salad is for you. It’s a wholesome blend of crunchy veggies, tender elbow pasta and a whole lotta’ love that people just can’t get enough of. Making old fashioned macaroni salad only takes about half an hour so it’s doable on the busiest schedules.
Plus, you can feel great about serving it because it’s full of nutritious veggies. Call up your closest potluck pals and tell them you’ve got the macaroni salad this time!
5. Chicken Macaroni Salad
When its time for tailgates and backyard barbecues, then it’s time to break out the zesty chicken macaroni salad. Blow their minds without breaking the bank or sacrificing an entire afternoon in a hot kitchen.
This protein-packed recipe is a simple combination of unique ingredients blended in just the right amounts. Dried fruits, crunchy nuts, and aromatic herbs lend a burst of freshness to this awesome dish that’s solid enough to stand on its own, yet light enough to accompany any meal.
6. Macaroni Salad With Egg
Macaroni salad with egg is the all-American picnic-ready party dish. When you need some creamy dreamy awesomeness to balance out that barbecue bliss, this is the recipe to call on. Sweet, pickle, eggs and mayo – oh my! But that’s only the beginning. A few secret ingredients really drive this recipe home.
This flexible salad recipe is zesty and forgiving and it gets better with fridge time. Wow, the crowd with a simple and forgiving version of the tasty American classic.
7. Tuna Macaroni Salad
Sometimes, you just want tuna macaroni salad! You can add the chicken of the sea to almost any recipe for macaroni salad but when you get that insatiable craving for tuna macaroni only the best will do. Make it a meal or make it picnic-ready a day ahead.
This jovial dish has an inviting quality that pleases the palate with a thick creamy dressing and a myriad of textures. This delightful recipe is totally adaptable and completely loveable with a beautifully cohesive flavor profile and a presentation that’s hard to beat.
The beautiful thing about these macaroni salad recipes is that they are totally adaptable and easy to personalize. Adding textures and flavors is as easy as tossing them in. Get creative and show your salad some love with meats, veggies or even nuts!
Keep in mind the secret to divinely inspired macaroni recipe is perfectly cooked pasta. First, salt your pasta water. I use 2 tablespoons per gallon of water.
Can I Add Fruit Macaroni Salad?
Serving up fruit macaroni salad means you’ve used nutrition to add a healthy dose of sweet love to your cold pasta salad. It’s an easy way to make them even more addictingly delicious without using sugar. You have a metropolis of flavors and textures to choose from, ranging from fresh fruits to dried ones. It’s up to you.
Combining fruit with fresh herbs is a fantastic way to add a bright pop of freshness to any macaroni salad.
What Does Real Mayonnaise Mean?
Using real mayo isn’t necessarily making Hellmans macaroni salad but it could be. Real mayo is about 75 percent oil and it contains egg yolks. Many products advertised as mayo are actually thick salad dressing because there are no egg yolks.
They may act a little different when combined with other ingredients. So, for best results, you should use real mayo when the recipe calls for it.
These macaroni salads are solid recipes that can be enjoyed as lunch or a midday snack but they’re light enough to accompany any meal.
They’re picnic and potluck ready, with flavor profiles that tend to improve with overnight fridge time. Just keep in mind that its best to reserve the FDA recommended 2-hour rule when serving.
Macaroni salad is an easy dish that doesn’t compromise on taste and it comes in a variety of flavors. These recipes are versatile, totally yummy and easy to personalize. They’re great for all sorts of occasions from afternoon snacks to tailgating parties and more.
Beef up your salad repertoire with this awesome list of yummy favorites. Don’t waste any more time searching out macaroni recipes that may work. Grab this list of tried and true favorites and take a 30-minute journey to awesome deliciousness!