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.
For this recipe, you’ll need cooked macaroni, hard boiled eggs, red bell pepper, celery, red onion, a lemon (or lemon juice), fresh parsley, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Making your macaroni salad
First, cook your macaroni according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside to finish cooling to room temperature. During this time, you’ll also want to hard boil, cool, and shell your eggs.
It’s important to start with room temperature or cold macaroni, because hot macaroni will melt your mayonnaise and leave you with an oily dressing.
In a bowl, whisk together your dressing ingredients: mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, and spices.
Next, add your macaroni, celery, eggs, bell pepper, and onions to a large bowl and top with your prepared dressing. Last, toss to evenly coat your ingredients in the dressing.
Before serving, sprinkle the top of your macaroni salad with fresh chopped parsley and a dash of paprika for added color.
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.
Don’t like eggs? Feel free to omit them completely.
Want to add a bit of heat? Add diced jalapenos to your macaroni salad.
Southern Macaroni Salad
- 8 ounces macaroni uncooked
- 3 hard boiled eggs peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 medium red onion diced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 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.