Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is one of those “old timey” recipes that has been around forever…well, at least since there were noodles and mayo in the same place at the same time.  I’d venture to say that it is one of the most unsophisticated assemblages of food items available. I must admit that I have never been fond of traditional macaroni salad, so I sorta kinda made up my own recipe one day many years ago when my mom was coming to dinner.  It was summer and we were having a barbecue which included whatever main attraction was coming off of the grill and several salads.

As it turned out, my mom loved this salad and even yesterday (Mother’s Day) she got excited when I told her that I had made her favorite salad.  I have to agree that there is something strangely addicting about this salad.  Maybe the beauty of the whole thing is its down-home simplicity.  It says American farm country, county fairs, and casual family gatherings.  Many is the time I have sat on the couch happily eating a bowl of this salad for lunch with my feet propped up on the coffee table watching some mindless afternoon TV show.

Like I said earlier, there is not one single drop of sophistication about this recipe; to me it says ‘home’ for the simple reason that my mother likes it.  It’s nice to see her smile.  So, in honor of my mom, I am posting her favorite version of Macaroni Salad.

Macaroni Salad
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
Printable Recipe

  • 3 cups dry macaroni
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/3’s crosswise
  • 1/2 cup green peas (if frozen, put in colander and rinse under warm water until thawed)
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, small dice
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup small diced sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 dill pickles, small dice
  • 2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground, black pepper


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions until al dente.  Pour into colander and rinse with cool water to stop cooking process.  Put into large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Prep the tomatoes, green peas, purple onion, celery, and sharp cheddar cheese.  Add to macaroni and gently toss until well combined.  Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, paprika, and black pepper.  Pour over the macaroni mixture.  Mix well.  Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Just prior to serving, toss again, then sprinkle lightly with paprika to add some color to the finished salad.

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