Get ready for a blast from the past! This crazy creamy, sweet and tangy classic Southern Macaroni Salad is just like Grandma’s!

Southern Macaroni Salad on a plate

Get ready for a stroll down memory lane with my Southern Macaroni Salad. It’s a classic southern macaroni salad that’s as creamy as a creamy southern macaroni salad can get! I use sweetened condensed milk instead of regular old sugar, so sweet and super creamy have already bonded before you even start to make it!

Southern living macaroni salad is good and all, but it ain’t got nothin’ on this Southern Macaroni Salad! If you’re like me, you believe that some recipes don’t need any variations. However, if you’re feeling the need to experiment with a simple macaroni salad recipe, my Southern Macaroni Salad recipe is a great base to build on.

For instance, I’ve made southern macaroni salad with cheese, and anything with cheese is always fine by me!

Another twist on Southern Macaroni Salad is southern macaroni salad with ham. It’s a great use for leftovers after holiday celebrations.

Then, there’s macaroni salad with egg, which adds a little protein and…you got it – more creaminess!

While you’re at it, why not add all three!?

If you follow my site, you know I’m a fan of creamy cold salads. For an Italian take, try my Pesto Pasta Salad. It would be delicious if it was truly just pasta salad with pesto, but my recipe is…you’ll never guess…creamy! And there’s extra fresh basil and three Italian cheeses!

Growing up, I was always a fan  “tuna fish sandwiches”, ergo satisfaction from my Tuna Pasta Salad wasn’t a stretch for me!

Mmm…good ol’ Pasta Salad. Did tri-color pasta come to mind? Of course it did! My recipe is full of crispy veggies, meat, cheese and a tangy vinaigrette. So simple, but super filling!

We’re gonna move away from pasta for this next GWS fave – Creamy Cucumber Salad. Salty cucumbers and red onion, marinated in their juices, meets uber creaminess loaded with dill. Absolute perfection!

Southern Macaroni Salad on a plate

How to Make Southern Macaroni Salad

Ready to try your hand at the best classic Southern Macaroni Salad ever? Let’s Yankee Doodle!

Boil pasta, rinse under cold water, and drain really well.

For the dressing: Whisk together mayo, milk, vinegar, paprika, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth.

In another bowl, toss the pasta and veggies, and mix in the dressing.

Chill overnight, so the flavors really meld, and you’re dandy!

Who Doesn’t LOVE More Macaroni Salads?

There’s always room for another version of macaroni salad!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

You can probably guess what makes Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Hawaiian – ham and pineapple. This salad is one to take to a potluck when you want to stand out from the crowd.

Classic Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad just means a good old-fashioned sweet southern macaroni salad. No bells, no whistles, just down-home goodness.

Chicken Macaroni Salad

You know I love chicken! And, creamy! So, Chicken Macaroni Salad makes me very happy!

Best Macaroni Salad

I’m sure everyone has their own idea about what constitutes the Best Macaroni Salad. Keep following GWS, and we’ll see what we can do!

Easy Macaroni Salad

To me, Easy Macaroni Salad is Grandma’s recipe – the one to always go to. Creamy, not clumpy, and just a little sweet, not vinegary. Easy, peasy!

Macaroni Salad With Egg

I already spoke a bit about Macaroni Salad With Egg, but that just got me thinking about how to create an over-the-top Macaroni Salad With Egg. Peas? Bacon? Stay tuned!

Tuna Macaroni Salad

All I’m gonna say about Tuna Macaroni Salad is that tuna and pasta should be paired more often. Ooohh…what if it was ahi tuna macaroni salad?

Southern Macaroni Salad on a plate

Recipe Notes for Macaroni Salad

Here are a few tips to make this Macaroni Salad perform to its maximum potential.

The Dressing: If you don’t want the dressing to be as thick as I do, you can add a little milk, a smidgen at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.

Mayo: You don’t have to splurge on the mayo to make a good dressing for this salad. However, don’t buy the cheapest, either. A solid, mid-range mayo will work just fine.

Seasoning: Since this is a cold salad, don’t skimp on the seasoning due to there being no warming of the ingredients to enhance their flavor. Season extra well.

Chilling: I think this dish is best when chilled overnight, so the flavors have longer to do their thing.

Pasta – Four Things:

Salt: Add a good amount of salt to the pasta water, to enhance the flavor of the pasta. I add 2 tablespoons. (Not a typo.)

Al Dente: You don’t want mushy pasta ever, but especially not in a cold salad. Firm pasta adds the right texture.

Rinsing: Again, this is a cold salad. You don’t want the extra starch that forms when cooking, like you would for a warm pasta dish.

Draining: Drain the pasta really well, so the dressing isn’t thin.

Food Safety: Remember that this dish has mayo, so follow food safety guidelines if you’re taking it to a potluck.

Have You Tried My Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Now for the grand finale of my macaroni salad kick – my Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad! You have to try this unique and super creamy macaroni salad with ham, pineapple, and a little brown sugar. This salad is one of a kind!

Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe

I hope you’re all geared up to try this Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe, because I know you’ll fall in love with it. Please fill me in on your experience in the comments below!






Southern Macaroni Salad

Get ready for a blast from the past! This crazy creamy, sweet and tangy classic Southern Macaroni Salad is just like Grandma’s!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 1104 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 1 Pound uncooked elbow macaroni
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups mayonnaise
  • 1 -14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 large red onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 Cup celery chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add macaroni and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes.  Rinse under cold water to stop cooking then drain well.
  2. In a medium bowl make a dressing by whisking together mayo, condensed milk, vinegar, paprika, mustard, salt and black pepper until smooth
  3. In a large bowl add the cooked pasta, onion, green and red bell peppers, celery and whisked dressing.  Fold gently until well combined.  Refrigerate overnight and serve.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Southern Macaroni Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 /6 of the recipe)
Calories 1104 Calories from Fat 576
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 64g 98%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 504mg 21%
Potassium 371mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 110g 37%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 54g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 27.9%
Vitamin C 52.3%
Calcium 25.7%
Iron 9.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Favorite Pasta Dishes:

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes