All American Macaroni Salad is one of the most popular summer picnic and potluck sides. Macaroni salad is sitting right next to apple pie on American picnic tables everywhere. This iconic pasta salad is made with a classic macaroni noodle, green onions, peppers and olives; finished with a scrumptious mayo based dressing.
If pasta salads are a favorite in your home be sure to check out some of our other recipes like the delicious Pasta Bacon Salad, Mediterranean Macaroni Salad, Tortellini Salad with Pepperoni, and the hearty Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad.
Making a Classic American Macaroni Salad is a simple feat that has a big return. The pasta ingredients can vary depending on your preferences, and the dressing can be made with healthier ingredients than the traditional store bought mayo and sugar.
Bragg’s apple cider vinegar gives the dressing a bit of tang and the addition of sweet relish on this salad brings out the flavor with added depth.
We used our homegrown roasted red peppers and they added a wonderful splash of color and flavor. You can use any roasted red peppers in your local grocery stores.
American Macaroni Salad Recipe:
All-American Macaroni Salad Ingredients are just what you like. We enjoy the roasted peppers, black olives and green onions. They add lively flavor and color, but if you are looking for some more variety we are sharing some ways below.
Substitutions to Macaroni Salad
- Substitute the granulated sugar with honey or pure maple syrup. It will change the flavor a bit so be aware of that.
- Substitute finely chopped celery, dill pickles, or red onion for the green onions.
- Instead of roasted peppers use red bell pepper.
- Add 3 hard boiled eggs for added protein and flavor.
- Omit the sweet relish in the dressing and add chopped sweet pickles to the salad.
- Sprinkle with a dash of paprika to bring up the color.
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1/4 Cup sour cream and a dash of garlic powder can be added to the dressing to bring up the flavor even more.
All about the Dressing
- Whisk the vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise together until it’s smooth, add the milk and mix until it is the desired consistency.
- If you are looking for a healthier mayo, try our Homemade Heart Healthy Mayo.
- Mix the veggies and sweet relish into the noodles.
- Add the dressing to the noodle mixture and gently stir until every noodle is covered with dressing.
- Chill in the fridge for several hours.
- Remove from fridge, refresh the salad dressing, if necessary (you may even need to make more if it all soaked into the noodles) and mix more into the salad.
- This is a good salad to make the night before and chill so the flavors merge well. The dressing will soak into the pasta some so keep that in mind.
Assembling the Salad
- Boil the elbow macaroni in a large pot of salted water to al dente. This will take about 10 minutes, be careful not to overcook the noodles.
- Drain, rinse and transfer the cooked noodles to a large bowl.
- Chop the drained black olives, roasted peppers and green onions.
- Prepare the dressing and pour over the salad, mixing until everything is well coated.
- Place in the fridge to allow the flavors to combine and marinate.
Your Printable Recipe Card:
All American Macaroni salad is famous summer picnic and potluck food. Count on it! Macaroni salad is sitting right next to apple pie on American picnic tables everywhere. A summer potluck staple. This yummy salad is on every mother's list of family favorite summer foods. Enjoy!
- 4 Cups Elbow Macaroni, cooked and cooled
- 1 15 oz. can black olives, chopped
- 1 Cup green onions (about 4 including green tops), Finely Chopped
- 1 Cup Roasted peppers, Finely chopped
For the Dressing:
- 4 Tablespoons Braggs vinegar, with the Mother
- 1/4 Cup organic sugar, to taste
- 1 Cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1/4 Cup sweet relish
- Boil the elbow Macaroni Al Dente. Do NOT overcook! Drain and set aside
- Chop the drained black olives, roasted peppers and green onions fine
- Whisk the vinegar, sugar mayonnaise together until it's smooth. Add milk and whisk until it's pourable.
- Mix the veggies and sweet relish into the noodles.
- Add the dressing to the noodle mixture and gently stir until every noodle is covered with dressing. Your salad should be saucy.
- Chill in the fridge for several hours to overnight.
- Remove from fridge, refresh the salad dressing if required(you may even need to make more if it all soaked into the noodles) and mix more into the salad.
- Serve chilled
This is a great salad to make the day before serving to allow the flavors to merge.
Amount Per Serving Calories 212Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 6mgSodium 571mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 3g
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