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The best macaroni salad in a brown bowl.

The Best Macaroni Salad Recipe

This isn’t the boring macaroni salad from salad bars; this is the Best Macaroni Salad you’ll ever have! Chewy macaroni is tossed with a kitchen sink’s worth of ingredients and a classic tangy dressing. My Grandma made this old-fashioned recipe for decades; you probably will, too.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword eggs, ham, macaroni
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 343kcal
Author Meggan Hill


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 8 ounces ham diced
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs sliced
  • 6 slices bacon fried and crumbled
  • 5 stalks celery sliced
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 red pepper seeded and diced
  • 4 scallions sliced


  • In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  • Pour pasta into a large bowl. Add cheese, ham, bacon, eggs, celery, broccoli, pepper, and scallions. Stir to combine.
  • Add most of the salad dressing and toss until evenly coated, reserving a small amount to refresh the salad if it needed.



All components (including the dressing) can be assembled ahead of time such as the night before. Just toss everything together in a large bowl right before serving.


Calories: 343kcal