Magnificent Macaroni Salad

Sometimes, the beauty of a dish lies in its simplicity, and that’s exactly the case with our classic macaroni salad recipe. While it might seem too straightforward for some (where’s the unique twist? What sets it apart? Shouldn’t it be more complex?), its simplicity is what has made it a time-honored favorite. This macaroni salad is a versatile summer recipe, perfect for gatherings, BBQs, lunches, dinners, or as a side dish.

In our family of four, we have a cherished birthday tradition. My mother and brother are passionate about spaghetti, so we make it a point to serve spaghetti on their birthdays. Conversely, my father and I have a penchant for macaroni, so we celebrate our birthdays with a special serving of macaroni salad. This tradition extends to our Christmas and New Year celebrations as well, where we deliberately choose not to serve these two dishes together, keeping each occasion unique and special.


3 cups elbow macaroni
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
(⅓) large onion, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
2 tsp rice vinegar
(1) tsp white sugar, or more to taste
¾ tsp celery seed
½ tsp salt
(3) hard-cooked eggs, chopped


1. Take a big, lightly salted pot of water to a boil. Cook the elbow macaroni for 8 minutes in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through, but firm to the bite.

2. Rinse the macaroni in the cold water until cool, then drain.

3. In a bowl, stir mayonnaise, onion, parsley, mustard, rice vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and salt; then, add and stir macaroni and eggs to coat.

4. Let it chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.


1. Don’t overcook or it gets mushy bits that don’t stand up with the other ingredients. Cook, it al denté as your favorite Italian pasta will, and when it chills, the macaroni will become rigid. The ideal bite can be ensured by observing your cooking time and cooking to the directions of the box. And, to be sure, when your cooking time comes to an end, taste checks every minute or so.

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