Go Back
+ servings
The best macaroni salad in a brown bowl.

The Best Macaroni Salad

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
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 313kcal


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup granulated 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 celery ribs sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli chopped
  • 1 red bell 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: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 369mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 1mg