Home » Blog » All Recipes » Sides » Simple Macaroni Salad

Simple Macaroni Salad

5 from 3 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This recipe is for a lightly dressed salad. If you want it to have more sauce, double the sauce ingredients.

No barbecue is complete without a pasta salad to go along with it.  This Simple Macaroni Salad is a crowd pleaser and takes just a few minutes to make!

Simple Macaroni Salad is a quick side dish recipe for summer BBQ and grilling parties like Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Red onion, celery, and tomato are mixed with ditalini pasta in a creamy, tangy sauce. #pastasalad #macaronisalad #bbqsides

 

This post contains affiliate links.

This Simple Macaroni Salad has been a staple in my family when I was growing up.  Almost every barbecue or grilled meal had this as a side.  The flavors are light and fresh, with some added crunch from the vegetables.  I do not always use tomatoes, but I will always include the onion and celery.Simple Macaroni Salad is a quick side dish recipe for summer BBQ and grilling parties like Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Red onion, celery, and tomato are mixed with ditalini pasta in a creamy, tangy sauce. #pastasalad #macaronisalad #bbqsidesI am personally a fan of pasta and macaroni salads that are lightly dressed and not drowning in mayo.  If you like it goopy, simply increase the amount of sauce you make.  Any small shaped pasta will do here, but I love to use ditalini as that is how I ate this growing up.  Ditalini looks like a small, short tube and I find that the shape is perfect for holding the sauce and easier to eat than larger shapes.Simple Macaroni Salad is a quick side dish recipe for summer BBQ and grilling parties like Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Red onion, celery, and tomato are mixed with ditalini pasta in a creamy, tangy sauce. #pastasalad #macaronisalad #bbqsides

To make Simple Macaroni Salad, first cook the pasta until it is al dente (not too soft).  Drain and refrigerate until it is cold. Then make the sauce by combining all of the other ingredients together.  The vinegar gives this salad a tang, so if you are not a fan either reduce the amount or skip it at first and then add a little by little until you reach your desired preference.  Chill the sauce separately.  When ready to serve, mix the sauce into the pasta.  (If you store the sauce already mixed into the pasta, the pasta will continue to absorb the moisture and it will be less creamy).

This Simple Macaroni Salad just screams summer!  And it works well with anything you are planning on grilling.  What were your favorite barbecue sides growing up?

Simple Macaroni Salad is a quick side dish recipe for summer BBQ and grilling parties like Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Red onion, celery, and tomato are mixed with ditalini pasta in a creamy, tangy sauce. #pastasalad #macaronisalad #bbqsides

This Simple Macaroni Salad is simple to make a a crowd pleaser! A perfect side for your summer BBQ | Three Olives Branch

Simple Macaroni Salad

This recipe is for a lightly dressed salad. If you want it to have more sauce, double the sauce ingredients.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30 Min or Less, BBQ, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 437kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large pot of boiling water, cook the ditalini until al dente as per package directions. Drain the pasta and place in a large tupperware.
  • Toss the pasta with the olive oil. Chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
  • Finely dice the celery, onion, and tomato. Place the onion only in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit 5 minutes and then drain. (This will take some of the sharpness out of the raw onion).
  • In a small bowl, combine the mayo, dry mustard, sugar, vinegar, sour cream, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Take the pasta out of the refrigerator. Add the vegetables, sauce, and parsley. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or chill until needed.

Notes

This macaroni salad has a little tang to it from the vinegar. If you are not a fan of a vinegar taste, reduce or omit the vinegar at first and then add a little at a time to taste preference.

Nutrition

Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @threeolivesbranch or tag #threeolivesbranch!
By on June 2nd, 2016

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

More posts by this author.

28 thoughts on “Simple Macaroni Salad”

  1. I love macaroni salads for a BBQ. I made one last weekend. It is so much easier and less time consuming than potato salad. I love your addition of the tomatoes and the spices for your sauce.

    Reply
  2. Homemade pasta salad is so much better than the store bought version! This one looks just delicious – I love the little pastas, and I know my kids would love them too 🙂

    Reply
  3. I agree — too much mayo can ruin a pasta salad! Thanks for sharing one that is light on mayo and bigger on flavor! Love ditalini pasta, too 🙂

    Reply
  4. I haven’t even seen ditalini pasta before, but I can see how well it would work in this salad. On behalf of foodies everywhere, thank you for not drowning it in mayo!

    Reply
  5. So pretty! I am a macaroni salad fiend…I love the stuff! Can’t wait to try this recipe over the summer…perfect family BBQ food!! And I love that you didn’t not use the traditional elbow macaroni…you gave it a little elegant touch! Nice!

    ~ Alea | frugalnesting.com

    Reply
  6. This reminds me so much of the macaroni salad my grandma used to make! She even uses the same kind of pasta (which I didn’t know the name of until now). Awwwww now I’m feeling a wee sentimental. This looks delicious. I can’t wait to give this a go. And my favourite BBQ side dish would be THIS 🙂

    Reply
  7. This was so good! I love dressing when it includes sour cream and a little sugar. Simple and delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Three Olives Branch