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Classic Southern Macaroni Salad
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5 from 2 votes

Classic Southern Macaroni Salad

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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Southern
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 373kcal
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)


  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.
  • Yield: 6 servings.


  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. 


Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 459mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2410IU | Vitamin C: 17.9mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.8mg