Southern Macaroni Salad is a classic side dish that's perfect for your next picnic. This cold pasta salad is filled with macaroni, diced vegetables, and eggs, coated in a creamy and flavorful dressing.
You're going to love my recipe for southern macaroni salad because it's flavorful, filled with fresh ingredients, and easy to make for parties and picnics.
This macaroni salad is filled with red onion, celery, and red bell pepper. These vegetables add crunch and fresh flavor to an otherwise plain macaroni salad.
Arguably the best part is the creamy dressing made with freshly squeezed lemon juice. The lemon juice adds a bright, fresh flavor to this macaroni salad that you'll love.
Serve macaroni salad at your next picnic, barbecue, or really any family gathering where food is involved!
Ingredients and substitutions
Cooked macaroni can be substituted with any other medium sized pasta. Farfalle or shells would be a great choice.
Mayonnaise can be substituted with greek yogurt for a lower calorie salad.
Red bell pepper can be substituted with green, yellow, or orange bell pepper. If you'd like to add an extra southern touch, substitute the red bell pepper with pimientos instead.
Want to add a bit of heat? Add diced jalapenos to your macaroni salad.
Serving macaroni salad
Macaroni salad is served cold, and since it contains perishable ingredients, needs to be kept cold.
Your macaroni salad can sit out at room temperature for a maximum of two hours before it should be discarded.
Once you've served your food, I recommend covering any leftovers and storing in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
Leftover macaroni salad will keep for about 3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
What to serve with macaroni salad
Macaroni salad makes the perfect side dish for just about any meal! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Burgers on the grill
- Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Marmalade Glazed Ham
- Pulled pork
- Deli meat sandwiches
- Hot dogs
- Oven Roasted Brats
- Grilled chicken
Southern Macaroni Salad
- 8 ounces macaroni uncooked
- 3 hard boiled eggs peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- ½ red bell pepper diced
- ½ medium red onion diced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain, rinse with cold water, and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, add mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Whisk to combine.
- In a large bowl, add macaroni, onion, celery, bell pepper, and eggs. Add dressing and toss to evenly coat all ingredients.
- Pour macaroni salad into a serving dish and top with chopped parsley. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Your macaroni salad can be made the same day, or the day prior to serving. I'd recommend at least an hour of chilling in the refrigerator to allow all of your ingredients to cool and flavors to meld, but it can be served immediately.
- Red bell pepper can be substituted with green, yellow, or orange bell pepper, or pimientos instead.
- Optionally, sprinkle extra paprika on top as a decoration.