How to Make the Ultimate Macaroni Salad

Updated on February 4, 2017

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, anytime 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 pound box elbow macaroni
  • 1 green bell pepper, 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 is 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, cool them, peeling them, and then mashing them up.
  2. In the meantime, in a good sized pot, boil the water till boiling, 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 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. Salad always taste better the next day, as all the ingredients have a chance to meld together.

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 what not, 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 the 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 pot luck supper or a picnic, bring something like this dish. Everybody will love it, and you will go home with an empty bowl.

I'm getting ready to put it all together.
I'm getting ready to put it all together.
After mixing in the eggs & tuna
After mixing in the eggs & tuna
My finished Macaroni Salad
My finished Macaroni Salad


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    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 5 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      Thanks. To me this salad is a meal itself.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I love pasta salads... so I'll certainly give this one a try! Thanks for sharing. It looks scrumptious!

    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 6 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      Thanks. You can add canned shrimp instead of tuna if you like shrimp. I do every once in awhile, if I find it on sale in the store.

    • AnnieAvenue17 profile image

      AnnieAvenue17 6 years ago from Vermont

      vote up! this is a great idea for a side dish for a family gathering. The only thing i wont add is the tuna because most people i know dont like tuna! haha cant wait to try this!