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Southern Macaroni Salad

March 30, 2020 (Last Updated: June 3, 2021)

Southern Macaroni Salad screams flavorful and delicious! Combining elbow macaroni, chopped pickles, red onion, red pimentos, green bell peppers, creamy Duke’s mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with a little paprika.

Southern Macaroni Salad is the perfect cold side to serve on the holiday, potlucks, church functions, and picnics. Every time I take it to a function, it flies off the table in almost no time flat! Even the kids seem to love it, which is a win-win situation in my book!

 

This Classic Southern Macaroni Salad screams flavorful and delicious! Combining elbow macaroni, chopped pickles, red onion, red pimentos, green bell peppers, creamy Duke's mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with a little paprika.Living in the South, I have seen different variations of Southern Macaroni Salad, and the method rests on the Southern region of the person preparing the salad. My grandmother, mom, aunt, and sister in law, and I all seem to have slightly different variations of making this macaroni salad, and we are all from the South.

What I love about Southern Cuisine is it can go from collards, fried green tomatoes, grits, cornbread, to Tamales, which are a big thing in the Missippii Delta area. Granted, most of our foods aren’t diet-friendly or keto-friendly, but it sure is taste-friendly to those that love down-home Southern Comfort foods.

 

What’s your favorite Southern Salad?

 

 

 

 

This Classic Southern Macaroni Salad screams flavorful and delicious! Combining elbow macaroni, chopped pickles, red onion, red pimentos, green bell peppers, creamy Duke's mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with a little paprika.

 

 

Let’s talk about the Ingredients:

Some of the ingredients are a matter of taste and personal preference

  • I use chopped bread and butter pickles in my salad typically. However, if you prefer sweet pickles or dill pickles, or even pickle relish are also acceptable in a Southern Macaroni Salad.
  • I use red salad onions; my mother and grandmother have always used yellow onions in their recipe. I like the color and layer of flavor the red onions add. You can use yellow onions if you prefer.
  • I like using chopped red pimentos like my grandmother and aunt used, but chopped red bell peppers are also an excellent choice for this salad.
  • I prefer Duke’s Mayonnaise, but any real mayonnaise will also be delicious in this recipe. I do not recommend using Miricle Whip in this salad, but I do know a few Southerners who do add it to theirs. If you do, so I would adjust the recipe and not add the sugar. The miracle whip is already sweet.
  • Our family has always used a splash of pickle juice in our Southern Macaroni Salad. However, I have had some recipes that either omit the pickle juice or add a splash apple cider vinegar.
  • I use brown mustard in my Macaroni salad, but my grandmother always used a plain Jane yellow mustard, her Macaroni salad. This is another personal choice, and either one can be used. If you are not a mustard fan, you can omit it, but one teaspoon doesn’t overwhelm the flavor; it enhances it. Try it you may find you like it.
  • Let’s address the elephant in the room, Sugar has always been added to the macaroni salad recipe, but some of you may be concerned with this. This is an optional ingredient and can be eliminated if you are watching your sugar intake or just prefer not to use it.

 

 

 

 

This Classic Southern Macaroni Salad screams flavorful and delicious! Combining elbow macaroni, chopped pickles, red onion, red pimentos, green bell peppers, creamy Duke's mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with a little paprika.

 

 

 

Southern Macaroni Salad

  • One-16-ounce package of macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • ½ cup chopped bread and butter pickles or preferred pickles
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped red pimentos or chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • Two cups Real Mayonnaise +more if needed
  • One tablespoon of pickle juice +more if needed
  • One teaspoon of yellow or brown mustard
  • Two Tablespoons sugar, optional
  • Six hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika to garnish

 

 

Method for Southern Macaroni Salad

  1. Following package instructions, cook 16-ounces of elbow macaroni noodles in salted water until al dente about 7-8  minutes, remove from heat, drain, and rinse in cold water.
  2. Combine the chopped pickles or relish, chopped onion, chopped green bell pepper, chopped pimentos or red bell pepper, mayonnaise, pickle juice, mustard, and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Pour the mixture over the cooled macaroni and combine well. Add the chopped hard-boiled eggs. Season the macaroni salad with kosher salt and black pepper to own taste.
  4. Chill in a tightly sealed container for about 1-2 hours before serving.
  5. Once chilled for 1-2 hours, stir once more before serving and then sprinkle the paprika on top to garnish Southern Macaroni Salad.

 

 

Equipment Needed for Southern Macaroni Salad

  • A large pot to cook pasta
  • Wooden spoons to stir
  • A Knife to chop veggies
  • Cutting board to chop veggies
  • Measuring cup and or spoons
  • A Large Serving dish

 

 

 

 

This Classic Southern Macaroni Salad screams flavorful and delicious! Combining elbow macaroni, chopped pickles, red onion, red pimentos, green bell peppers, creamy Duke's mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with a little paprika.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Classic Southern Macaroni Salad 

  1. I don’t have bread and butter pickles on hand what can I use instead? You can use any pickles you have on hand in the refrigerator, such as sweet pickles, dill pickles, or even pickle relish if need be.
  2. What type of onions do you recommend using? I prefer using red onions in my Macaroni Salad, but you can use yellow onions or even a mild onion such as a Vidalia onion.
  3. I hate mustard can I just leave this ingredient out? If you need to, by all means, leave it out. However, with a ratio of 1 teaspoon of mustard to 16-ounces of pasta plus the veggies, I usually notice most people who dislike mustard never even seem to notice it in the salad. It just adds a hint of flavor.
  4. Should I rinse the pasta after I drain it? If you are using pasta in a cold dish such as pasta salad or macaroni salad, the answer is yes, please drain the pasta and rinse for the best results. The only time you do not rinse pasta is if it is being served in a hot pasta dish.
  5. I cannot/ do not use sugar can I omit the sugar? It is an optional ingredient and is not required.

 

 

 

This Classic Southern Macaroni Salad screams flavorful and delicious! Combining elbow macaroni, chopped pickles, red onion, red pimentos, green bell peppers, creamy Duke's mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with a little paprika.

Southern Macaroni Salad

hmccallum
This Classic Southern Macaroni Salad screams flavorful and delicious! Combining elbow macaroni, chopped pickles, red onion, red pimentos, green bell peppers, creamy Duke’s mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with a little paprika.
4.79 from 23 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Chill 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 33 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 531 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni noodles cooked al dente, drained, rinsed
  • ½ cup bread and butter pickles chopped
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • ½ cup pimentos or red bell pepper chopped
  • ½ cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cups mayonnaise +more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice + more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard yellow or brown
  • 2 tablespoons sugar optional
  • 6 large hard-boiled eggs chopped
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • Paprika to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Following package instructions, cook 16-ounces of elbow macaroni noodles in salted water until al dente about 7-8  minutes, remove from heat, drain, and rinse in cold water.
  • Combine the chopped pickles or relish, chopped onion, chopped green bell pepper, chopped pimentos or red bell pepper, mayonnaise, pickle juice, mustard, and sugar in a bowl.
  • Pour the mixture over the cooled macaroni and combine well. Add the chopped hard-boiled eggs. Season the macaroni salad with kosher salt and black pepper to own taste.
  • Chill in a tightly sealed container for about 1-2 hours before serving.
  • Once chilled for 1-2 hours, stir once more before serving and then sprinkle the paprika on top to garnish Southern Macaroni Salad.

Notes

Although themccallumsshamrockpatch.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and how ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will themccallumsshamrockpatch.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on nutritional information.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 531kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 9gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 528mgPotassium: 90mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 308IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Macaroni Salad, Southern Macaroni Salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

 

 

 Suggested Salad Recipes you might enjoy.

  • Broccoli Apple Salad is one of those salads that’s so deliciously good. It’s hard to remember it’s the main ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli has long been a  love-hate relationship with many adults and children alike over the years. 
  • Chickpea Salad combines all of my favorite organic garden fresh vegetables in one fabulous easy recipe. The chickpeas are combined with zucchini, vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced green onions, sweet yellow bell peppers, drizzled with virgin olive oil and lemon dressing.
  • Cowboy Caviar {Black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips.
 

 

 

This Classic Southern Macaroni Salad screams flavorful and delicious! Combining elbow macaroni, chopped pickles, red onion, red pimentos, green bell peppers, creamy Duke's mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with a little paprika.

 

 

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Kay
    June 3, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Such a fantastic cold pasta salad served up as a BBQ side dish and everyone loved it!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      June 4, 2021 at 10:47 am

      Thank you, Kay, for reaching out to let me know!

  • Reply
    Alexa
    June 3, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    I love to try different pasta salad variations and came across this version. Made it, tried it, loved it! Such an awesome classic. Thanks for this recipe 🙂

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      June 4, 2021 at 10:48 am

      That’s so awesome to hear! Thank you for letting me know Alex!!

  • Reply
    Anjali
    June 3, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    This macaroni salad was creamy and delicious!! We took it to our family picnic this past weekend and it was a hit!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      June 4, 2021 at 10:48 am

      That’s wonderful to hear, Anjali!

  • Reply
    Frank
    June 3, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    macaroni salads have always been one of my favorite sides and this was no exception

  • Reply
    Jessica Formicola
    June 3, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    I love a good macaroni salad, and this one was great! I loved the idea of adding pickle juice!

  • Reply
    Aline
    April 6, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    I had never had a southern macaroni salad, however, I really enjoyed this one. Perfect for potlucks and make ahead meals – I’m sold!! We will make this again.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      October 25, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you, so much Aline!

  • Reply
    Jo
    April 6, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Macaroni in any form is my favorite. I loved this salad too. I would happily eat a salad every day, all day long if it’s macaroni salad :D. Totally delicious!

  • Reply
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    April 6, 2020 at 12:09 am

    I love Macaroni salad and am so happy to have stumbled across your recipe. I love the flavor combination here, It was so good. I will be passing along the recipe to some family and friends.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      October 25, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      Thank you so much, Sam! I appreciate the feedback on the recipe.

  • Reply
    Femi.O
    April 5, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    Now, this is a salad after my own heart! I loved all those flavors off that plate! I’m really glad I tried this recipe

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      October 25, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      Femi! Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe.

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