Simple Macaroni Salad

Simple Macaroni Salad I know it’s technically FALL now {umm…did we have a summer? And if so, what did I do these last few months?} but I’ve been wanting to post this recipe for a while now. I guess pasta salad in general is eaten mostly in the summah summah summah time, but I make this stuff year round. Why? Because I’m a freak.

Also, because it’s delicious and can be made in 15 minutes flat. It’s the perfect accompaniment to so many things. Sometimes I make it just to eat it as my lunch. Is that embarrassing? Oh well.

Anyways, the thing I love about this recipe is that it’s highly adaptable. Throw whatever you have lying around your fridge and dump it into your bowl. The only necessary ingredient would be dill pickles. That is a must, people! And don’t even think about using sweet pickles. I may or may not stalk you in the night if you desecrate this recipe with sweet pickles.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Here’s how you make it:

{don’t be alarmed…it’s supposed to be this easy}

pasta 1 Start out by cooking some elbow macaroni. I used Barilla which ironically is the company sponsoring one of the giveaways I have going on right now…enter here.

Ingredients While that pasta is cooking, chop up some veggies. I added the orange pepper because I happened to have it. Feel free to add in whatever you have on hand. Everything but the kitchen sink is good in this.

Ingredients 2 I also chopped some dill pickles and black olives. Key word: DILL. The pickles must be of  the dill variety or I surely will die 1000 painful deaths. Also, sweet pickles should be illegal. Amen.

pasta 2 Once your pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and rinse under cold water to cool everything way down. Throw the macaroni into a bowl with the veggies, some mayo, a little vinegar if you’re feeling saucy

pasta 5 and some seasonings.

pasta 3 Stir it all up and that’s it!

pasta 4 Hello lover. My my you’re looking lovely today.

Simple Macaroni Salad 1 Serve it up with whatever you like. We had ours with some chicken drumsticks and steamed broccoli. Totally tasty.

And, because I haven’t done a video in a while and because these step by step photos were few and far between, here ya go. Enjoy!

Simple Macaroni Salad

Yield: 6 servings


1/2 lb. elbow macaroni {such as barilla}
3/4 cup diced carrot
3/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red onion {or yellow}
1/2 cup diced yellow pepper {optional}
1/3 cup diced dill pickle
1/4 cup diced black olives
1/2 cup real mayonnaise {heaping 1/2 cup}
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & pepper, to taste


Bring large pot of water to boil. Salt water generously and pour in pasta. Stir and cook 7-10 minutes or until al dente. While pasta is cooking chop all your veggies. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water until cold. Pour into large bowl and top with chopped veggies. Stir in mayonnaise, vinegar and seasonings until everything is well coated. If it doesn't seem like there's enough mayonnaise to go around, add in a splash of water or a little more mayonnaise. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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28 Responses to “Simple Macaroni Salad”

  1. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — September 5, 2012 at 3:20 am

    This sounds fabulous! And what a fun video! I’m loving the series :)


  2. #
    Cookbook Queen — September 5, 2012 at 5:52 am

    This looks so stinking good. I love that you added black olives!!

    My husband is a sweet pickle person. He’s also an alien.


  3. #
    Julie H — September 5, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I agree with you that sweet pickles should be illegal. DILL all the way baby!


  4. #
    addie @ culicurious — September 5, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Looks very tasty, Lauren. Love the step by step. I know that takes so much time but it looks fantastic!! :)


  5. #
    Anna @ hiddenponies — September 5, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I love macaroni salad for lunch…and I love sweet pickles too so I guess I really am crazy 😉 Looks great!


  6. #
    Stephanie — September 5, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Macaroni salad is for all seasons! Although yes, I do agree. Summer went by too quickly!


  7. #
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — September 5, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Eek, I’m loving the additional of bell pepper, olives and pickles because uh, hello, that constitutes the best macaroni salad EVER. Ever, people, I mean it. Love this recipe & your videos!


  8. #
    Mary @ Bake Break! — September 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Love the videos! Also, no judgement on your year-round-freakish-pasta-salad-eating ways. I’m right there with you :)


  9. #
    Mary — September 5, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I COMPLETELY agree about the dill pickles being awesome and sweet ones being ehh…
    anyways, that pasta salad looks yummmmy! will be making it soon


  10. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — September 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    We have pasta salad all year round here. Simple, good, quick, and makes for great leftovers! Love all the veggies you put in here!


  11. #
    Kathryn — September 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Love the video & love this recipe!


  12. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — September 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I love how colorful this is! Love love LOVE pasta salads :)


  13. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — September 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    It’s been super hot in LA too! I love the simplicity of this and I’m so glad you posted it! :)


  14. #
    Jolene ( — September 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I love that there is olives in this macaroni salad … mmmmm!


  15. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — September 5, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    LOVE mac salad! Thanks for the easy version :)


  16. #
    fillio gounidou — September 6, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I just tried this recipe!!!!!it’s AWSOME!!!!thanx Lauren!!!!


  17. #
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — September 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Not much better on a hot day than a lovely pasta salad! Yum.


  18. #
    Nikki @Pennies on a Platter — September 6, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Cute video, Lauren! Love that it’s not “perfect”. :)


  19. #
    Dust Bunnies — September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Yummy!!! This looks great! I love macaroni salad. :)


  20. #
    Amber — September 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    LOVE THIS! I made this for my family for dinner last night. They loved it too. And luckily there were leftovers for me today :)


  21. #
    Carol — April 14, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Make mine just like this but double the amount of dill pickles and add green olives also. Wonderful dish and it’s better the next day, if it lasts that long.


  22. #
    Chris — May 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    yummy salad! I made it tonight. I’ve got a cold, so needed some comfort food… this more than fit the bill. I’d like a bit less mayo, so next time will reserve some of it to add back. Good job!


  23. #
    MaryW — August 2, 2014 at 11:06 am

    This looks tasty. I also add a few tsp of soy sauce to my pasta salads. It gives it a deeper flavor.


    • Lauren — August 3rd, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

      Great tip!


      • Joana adams — March 15th, 2015 @ 8:59 pm

        I make it with cucumbers, onion, red pepper, elbows and lowery’s seasoning salt and Kraft mayo. In addition, I juice a whole lemon and stir it in. I have been using this recipe for years and now I am going to try yours! My husband shakes red wine vinegar on his bowl before eating.

  24. #
    Debbie A-H — June 29, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Instead of vinegar, my mom always added some pickle juice. Now I need to make this.



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