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Close up photo of macaroni salad with parsley on top.

Macaroni Salad

A classic comfort dish, this Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish for your upcoming BBQs, picnics, and potlucks!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 285kcal


  • Large bowl
  • Whisk


For the Salad:

  • 8 ounces dried macaroni pasta
  • 1 cup celery finely chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper finely chopped
  • ½ cup red onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup carrot diced
  • ½ cup pickles finely chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs chopped

For the Dressing:

  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup pickle juice
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp white or cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley or other herbs (chives, basil) chopped


For the salad:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions or until tender.
  • Drain and rinse under cold water. Place in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients.

For the dressing:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, pickle juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk until combined. Stir in the chopped herbs. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. Cover and let stand for 1 hour before serving or chill for up to 4 days. Best if made and refrigerated overnight before serving.



  • Do not serve this recipe immediately. When the macaroni salad chills in the fridge, it helps the flavors meld together and allows the flavor to soak into the pasta noodles. I promise it is worth the wait!
  • You must rinse the pasta before adding the ingredients to it. When you rinse the pasta, it stops the cooking process and keeps your pasta from overcooking. Rinsing also helps loosen the pasta from each other to avoid a clumpy pasta salad.
  • I love the kick that comes from Dijon mustard but you can use honey mustard or yellow mustard if you’re not a fan of spice.
  • Use all of the dressing that is made. It may seem like much, but the pasta will absorb the dressing over time. The amount of dressing used also prevents the pasta from drying out. 
  • Feel free to swap the chopped herbs to whatever you have on hand. Chives, basil, tarragon, and cilantro are great delicious alternatives.


Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 518mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2071IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg