Classic Macaroni Salad

San Francisco had classic, warm weather over the weekend. Blue skies. Birds chirping. People running around half naked (when the sun shines here people seem to lose their clothes).  Perfect weekend to get our grill on. We had some friends who decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather, by hosting the first grill-out of the season, complete with burgers, dogs, and lots of cold beer. No grill-out is complete without the honorary classic macaroni salad.

In all honesty, I have to say, I have not had macaroni salad since I was a kid. Okay, I have nibbled here and there, but usually, I turn my nose up at it. Most often, macaroni salad is gooey, way too creamy, over sweet, and has too many hard boiled eggs. I wanted my recipe to be light, and flavorful.  After doing some research, I came to the conclusion, that our salad would not be the typical classic macaroni salad; it was not going to have sugar, over processed yellow mustard, no carrot slivers, no sweet pickles, and no hard-boiled eggs.  I am not a hater of these things;  I just don’t believe they belong in macaroni salad.  For the record, I am a hater of over-processed yellow mustard;  Lenny is not.  We are both haters of generic sweet pickles – YUCK!

This Chez Us classic macaroni salad, is light, flavorful, and creamy.  The creamy part of this dressing is made of mayo, Dijon mustard, and sherry vinegar.  I use an organic, canola oil based mayo, that is naturally sweet, as well the sherry vinegar is slightly sweet;  no need to add more sugar to this recipe.  I seasoned the base with fresh green garlic, red onion, fresh dill, and zesty Paulie’s Pickling pickles.  I don’t normally dig pickles, but am LOVING these.  Zippy.  Zesty.  Crunchy.  Perfect addition to our macaroni salad.   For some extra crunch, I tossed in some diced celery.

Do you have a favorite way to make a “classic macaroni salad”?


If you like this recipe, check these out:

Macaroni Salad with Eggs, Olives & Sweet Pickles

Pesto Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes, Corn & Fresh Mozzarella

Macaroni Salad with Red Peppers, Sweet Relish & Hot Sauce


  1. A lovely salad! I love macaroni. They remind me of my childhood.



  2. You’re enticing me to dive right into this lovely bowl Denise. Everything good about this. Bookmarked to make soon. No pickles here, so am wondering what I should do…hmmm

  3. that looks so tempting !! i LOVE macaroni….and its perfect for a salad !! :D yumm yumm


  4. I’m always on the lookout for a new classic macaroni salad recipe. I love it. Really. Love it. Even the deli stuff’ll do in a pinch. But this one sounds and looks fabulous! I’m going to add it to my summer “to make” recipe list! What is ezpeletako bipera, though? What kind of flavor is it?

  5. This looks so good. Your new site looks fantastic and I love those little bowls that the macaroni is in!

  6. BrendaE says:

    This sounds wonderful but what is ezpeletako bipera and where would you find it?

  7. Ezpeletako Bipera, is a Basque Paprika (, it is slightly spicy, w/only a touch of smokiness. You never use to be able to find it in the states, it was a special treat bought when in Europe. I usually stock up when I am over there; but, when in a pinch amazon does sell it ( as well I have found it at Whole Foods. The amazon price is actually about $3.00 less than what I paid in France last summer.

  8. I’m so ready for those days where it’s consistently sunny, in the 70s, with a nice breeze. It is still a ways a way… and it probably won’t last very longs… but this pasta salad just brought a nice big smile to my face.

  9. Yesterday I was craving macaroni salad and was looking for a reipe. I’m so glad I found your recipe. It look so flavorful and soooo good. And your photos are just gorgous. :)

  10. Yummo! This looks right up my alley. I’m into any kind of macaroni really, but this has all my favourite ingredients blended into one dish!

  11. Is there such a thing as “green garlic” if so where can I purchase it?

  12. Hi GiA – There is! It is the garlic pulled young, and it is so delicious. We find it at the farmer’s market as well as some grocery stores. Regular garlic will also work.


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