My mama has made this CLASSIC MACARONI SALAD my whole life and it’s always a favorite with friends and family. Just a few simple ingredients add big flavor to this summer staple!
Summer is here and that can only mean one thing!
My mama’s macaroni salad recipe, to be precise. I love this stuff.
There are a million ways to make macaroni salad and I’ve shared a few versions here, including our Amish macaroni salad. But this right here is the one I grew up with!
Loaded with cold macaroni noodles, mayo, minced onion, boiled eggs, and plenty of green olives, this salad just comes together quickly, easily, and it’s always delicious!
Now, I know that green olives aren’t everyone’s favorite thing. But man, they’re really good in here.
Combined with the pasta and mayo they get toned down enough that a lot of people who normally don’t like them will devour them in this salad!
Classic Macaroni Salad Ingredients:
Macaroni – You could really use any small shape of pasta, but it is called macaroni salad, so…
Hard Boiled Eggs – Boil them yourself or buy the pre-boiled and peeled kind to keep this extra easy!
Onion – We mince this up really finely.
Mayonnaise – We’ve never used Miracle Whip in place of mayo for this recipe and I wouldn’t recommend it.
Vinegar – We’ve always used white distilled vinegar here, but apple cider vinegar will also work.
Green Olives – They add the perfect salty, briny flavor to this salad. They’re a must!
Salt & Pepper
What Readers are Saying!
“Did make this for July 4th celebration. OMG-SOOOO good!!! So used to biting into pickles in regular mac salad, it was a real treat to be biting into mellow green olives instead. Was a hit with everybody-definitely a keeper!!” – Elizabeth
How to Make Classic Macaroni Salad:
Macaroni: You’re going to love how quick and easy it is to prepare this! Boil your macaroni according to package directions, drain, and place in a large mixing bowl.
Mix-Ins: Chop the eggs and mince the onion. Add those to the macaroni, along with the sliced green olives.
Dressing: This homemade macaroni salad dressing is easy to make! Just add the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar to a small bowl and mix well to combine. Pour it over the macaroni and stir well to combine.
Chill: This one is worth waiting for! Cover the dish and pop it in the fridge for an hour or two to chill.
This lets the mayo really soak into the macaroni and other ingredients, which makes it taste even better! Just give it a stir before you serve and add an extra spoonful of mayo if it’s gotten too dry and salt and pepper to taste.
If you try this easy macaroni salad, let me know what you think! I bet it’ll be a hit!
My mom has plenty of summer side dishes that she makes for cook outs, but this one is definitely a favorite of mine! It goes great with my turkey burgers, grilled teriyaki chicken, or some grilled chicken with white BBQ sauce.
Try my Italian pasta salad too!
Classic Macaroni Salad
- 1 pound macaroni cooked and cooled
- 10 ounces sliced green olives
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the cooked and drained macaroni in large bowl along with the green olives.
- Chop eggs into small pieces and mince the onion. Add to the macaroni.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar. Stir well and pour over the macaroni. Stir well to coat.
- Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Stir before serving. Add an extra spoonful of mayonnaise before serving if macaroni seems too dry.
Tips & Notes:
This post was originally published in May 2016. It was updated with new photos and a video in June 2021.