This is actually my husband’s favorite Macaroni Salad recipe but it’s so good I had to share!
If you’ve ever wondered how to make macaroni salad, this Classic Macaroni Salad recipe is the answer! Great for BBQs, potlucks, cookouts and, of course, garbage plates!
There are two types of people in this world: those that prefer a dry macaroni salad and those who like a wet and juicy one.
Hubby, he is the dry kind. In fact, he likes to let his sit for a night so the pasta soaks up some of the mayonnaise mix. This is his recipe for classic macaroni salad and while it can be used for any BBQ, potluck or cookout, his is typically made for use in one dish: the garbage plate.
The Garbage Plate, deemed New York’s unhealthiest dish, uses macaroni salad as its base. The added Hot Sauce adds plenty of juice to the dish, which is the main reason I think he prefers a dry macaroni salad.
But regardless of whether you plan on eating this as part of a garbage plate or at a potluck, if you’ve ever wondered how to make macaroni salad, I can tell you he’s recipe does result in one yummy classic macaroni salad. (And I’m not just saying that because he’s my hubby!)
I’ve taken this classic Macaroni Salad to many potlucks, BBQs and cookouts. It is, after all a classic – is it really a summer cookout without macaroni salad?! While it seems every family has their own version of the perfect classic macaroni salad, I can say that my friends have requested I bring this….and there’s rarely any left to bring home!
As I mentioned, my hubby insists that macaroni salad needs to spend a night in the fridge. And I definitely agree that this classic macaroni salad needs time to cool and absorb the flavors but you can also make it in the morning for an evening cookout.
I do like making it the day before, though, especially if I’m hosting as it’s one less thing to worry about the morning of!
Instead of spending time mincing all of your veggies into super small, itty bitty pieces, try using a mini food processor. They are easy to clean and will get the job done in a fraction of the time. For best results, make sure to at least roughly chop ingredients before processing them.
Since you like this classic Macaroni Salad, you may like these other easy potluck recipes:
Tools for making Classic Macaroni Salad:
Mini Food Processor– I use this thing daily! It is by far my most used kitchen appliance, it is small and I throw all the parts into the dishwasher, well except the base and cord, of course!
Airtight Plastic Containers– Great for store any leftovers. Make sure you have a large enough set.
- 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni , uncooked
- 4 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup carrot , finely minced
- 1/2 cup celery , finely minced
- 1/4 cup white onion , finely minced
Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions. Drain well and set aside to cool. You can even place it to in the refrigerator.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, fine sea salt, ground black pepper and paprika.
Add carrot, celery and white onion, stirring well.
Finally add cooled pasta and toss to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for a 1-24 hours. Serve chilled.
If you've tried this recipe, make sure to come back and let us know how you liked it!
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