Need a great side dish to bring to your next summer potluck or backyard barbecue with friends? This Easy Macaroni Salad recipe is a classic crowd pleaser!
When you think of a summer potluck or barbecue, how many of you immediately think of Easy Macaroni Salad? With chopped carrots, celery and onions in a creamy sauce, it’s a classic pasta side dish sure to please everyone.
In the United States, summers are filled with backyard barbecues, family potlucks and picnics with friends. Wherever you find a large group of Americans gathered for a summer-time meal, you’ll often find someone has brought an Easy Macaroni Salad. It’s an old fashioned side dish made from affordable ingredients. It doesn’t take long to prepare and can be made well in advance of your party. Easy Macaroni Salad can stay in a cooler or refrigerator while you play bocce ball, bean bag toss, gab with friends — or in my case — chase kids until it’s time for food to be served.
What you need:
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kitchen tools needed:
These are the ingredients you’ll need. All the exact amounts are in the printable card at the bottom of this post.
- Elbow macaroni or mini penne
- Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Hard boiled eggs
Serving Suggestions for Easy Macaroni Salad
We served Easy Macaroni Salad alongside Meatloaf Burgers we grilled over an open fire. It would also be great as a side dish when you’re having steaks, hot dogs, bratwurst, smoked sausage or barbecued chicken. Next week, we’re bringing Easy Macaroni Salad as our “dish to pass” for The Great American Barbecue, a virtual potluck hosted by 13 fabulous bloggers. The Great American Barbecue has everything you need from drinks to dessert for the perfect BBQ!
Easy Macaroni Salad: Classic Summer Potluck Recipe
- 3 cups of elbow macaroni or mini penne
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup Diced Onion
- 1 cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoons Sugar
- 6 hard boiled eggs
- Paprika to garnish optional
- Fill a large pan with water and bring to a boil. Add 3 cups of macaroni or mini penne. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Drain the macaroni or mini penne in a colander and rinse with very cold water.
- Dice carrots, celery and onion. Onion should be finely chopped. You want the flavor, but not large chunks.
- Add the carrot, celery and onion into the large mixing bowl and stir.
- Peel the hard boiled eggs. Carefully slice two of them and set aside. Chop the remaining four eggs and add to the mixing bowl.
- Pour macaroni or mini penne into the mixing bowl and stir until the macaroni is well coated.
- Transfer the macaroni salad into a serving dish.
- Place sliced eggs on top and sprinkle with paprika if desired.
- Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!
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What’s your favorite potluck side dish at a summer barbecue or family picnic? Please comment below to share. We’re always looking for new ideas!
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While you’re here be sure to check out other delicious side dish recipes on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
- Cucumber Greek Salad: An Easy Summer Side Dish
- Taco Salad Recipe: A Classic Side Dish Idea
Originally published August 2014. Updated August 2018.