5 from 2 votes
Classic Southern Macaroni Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Classic Southern Macaroni Salad is the perfect make-ahead side dish for your summer barbecues, picnics or potlucks. It's filled with crunchy vegetables and a simple creamy sauce making it an awesome substitute for potato salad. Nothing says summertime like this easy to make Classic Southern Macaroni Salad.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Southern
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 373 kcal
Author: Chula King
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons gherkin juice (See Tip 1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (2 to 3 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion (1/2 onion) (See Tip 2)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (1/2 bell pepper)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot (1 medium carrot)
  • 4 small sweet gherkins, shredded (about 2 Tablespoons) (See Tip 3)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • Paprkia and chopped chives or parsley for garnish (optional)
  1. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain thoroughly, but do not rinse. Transfer to a large bowl; allow to come to room temperature. (See Tip 4)

  2. Whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, gherkin juice, dry mustard, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients to mayonnaise mixture; stir to combine. Pour over macaroni; toss to thoroughly coat macaroni.

  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.

  4. Yield: 6 servings.

Chula's Expert Tips
  1. If you don't have sweet gherkin juice, you can increase the amount of vinegar to 3 tablespoons and add a tablespoon of sugar. 
  2. Can also use sweet onion.
  3. You can use sweet pickle relish in place of the shredded gherkins.
  4. To prevent macaroni from boiling over, place a wooden spoon in pan with macaroni. 
Nutrition Facts
Classic Southern Macaroni Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 373 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 459mg19%
Potassium 222mg6%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 2410IU48%
Vitamin C 17.9mg22%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.