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How to Make the Ultimate Macaroni Salad

This macaroni salad features bell pepper, olives, red onion, cherry tomatoes, tuna fish, and more.

This macaroni salad features bell pepper, olives, red onion, cherry tomatoes, tuna fish, and more.

Macaroni Salad Is the Go-To Salad

To me, macaroni salad is a great comfort food, and it brings back fond summertime memories from my childhood. It was always a treat when mom made this dish, as she said it was time-consuming to make. And she only made it in the summer because she said it was a summertime salad.

To me, any time of the year is a good time to make this. With all the ingredients in this, it is a meal in itself and so filling. You will leave the table feeling full and satisfied. You might even go back for a late-night snack.


  • 1 (1-pound) box of elbow macaroni
  • 1 green bell pepper, or red if you like; I switch up depending on my mood.
  • 1 red onion, diced, or radishes are good, too
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, to be smashed up
  • 2 cans of tuna fish, drained, or tiny baby shrimp (they come in a can, the same as tuna fish)
  • 1 can black olives; you can leave them whole or slice them in half
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, cut in half or sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced or cubed
  • 1 celery stalk, diced, or you could use celery seed
  • Sharp cheese, or whatever kind you like, cubed, about 1 cup or so (optional)
  • Mayonnaise (please don't use a lite or low-fat mayonnaise; it ruins the flavor)


  1. Start by boiling the eggs, cooling them, peeling them, and then mashing them up.
  2. In the meantime, in a good-sized pot, boil the water till boiling, then add the elbow macaroni, stirring often. We don't want it to stick and burn in the bottom of the pot. Cook until just a little past al dente. Drain in a strainer, and run cold water over the macaroni until it seems cool. Let it sit in the strainer to dry. This stops the cooking of the macaroni. I really hate mushy macaroni.
  3. Now get all the veggies chopped and ready to go into the salad.
  4. Next, I like to add the eggs and tuna fish to the macaroni and then mix it with the mayonnaise. This way, it is mixed well.
  5. Then add the veggies, olives, and cheese.
  6. Next, add as much mayonnaise as needed to make it as creamy as possible.
  7. Stir really well. Make sure to use plenty of mayo, as you don't want a dry salad. Also, remember that after it has sat in the fridge, the salad will absorb the mayo. That is why you need to use plenty of mayo to keep it moist. Salads always taste better the next day, as all the ingredients have a chance to meld together.
I'm getting ready to put it all together.

I'm getting ready to put it all together.

After mixing in the eggs and tuna

After mixing in the eggs and tuna

My finished macaroni salad.

My finished macaroni salad.

Storing and Serving

This dish is good for up to four days in the fridge. It's good for any occasion! Keep in mind after adding all the ingredients, the salad will be doubled, so expect leftovers. If you take the dish to a picnic or whatnot, be sure to keep it cool as possible, as the mayo will spoil. And we don't want anyone getting sick.


Also, on another note, you can switch up the flavor; instead of using mayo, try ranch dressing. There are so many different ranch flavors to choose from. I like peppercorn or bacon-flavored.

Keep in mind that macaroni salad can be anything you really want it to be. That's the beauty of it. So the next time you need something to bring to a potluck supper or a picnic, bring something like this dish. Everybody will love it, and you will go home with an empty bowl.