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    Southern Macaroni Salad in 15 Minutes

    Southern Macaroni Salad is always a refreshing side for your entire meal list for casual dinners, family picnics, or a cooking day out. It’s rich and creamy in texture and so full of flavor that no one can resist. Many dishes have always been crowd pleasers. You will find this for sure, as one of them.

    Southern Macaroni salad with mayo is made easily and has a smooth dressing that gives you a melt-in-your-mouth feeling. The credit for the outstanding flavor of this recipe goes to the sauce. You can also call it the cool and creamy old-fashioned Macaroni salad. 

    Smooth, buttery Southern Macaroni Salad is the perfect side for dinners, cookouts, and picnics. Ready in 15 minutes, Southern Macaroni Salad is always the answer for the best nutritious and tasty meal around.

    This post shares with you the traditional macaroni salad with olives recipe.

    Sweet Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe

    Southern Macaroni Salad is ideal for all gatherings, including casual entertainment, birthday celebrations, and super bowl parties.

    sweet southern macaroni salad

    Ingredients for the Southern-Style Macaroni Salad

    • Any small macaroni such as Elbow, Rotini, Shell, or Ditalini
    • Hard-boiled eggs -it is optional to add protein to the dish
    • Celery for fresh dark green crunchiness in the salad
    • Black olives for a punchy, strong Umami flavor
    • A little raw red onion for unique flavor and sweetness
    • Sweet gherkins to enrich the texture
    • Yellow mustard for a more flavorful dressing
    • Miracle whip mayonnaise for best creamy results
    • Plain table salt to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper for its distinctive flowery, extraordinary fragrance.
    • Sweet Pickle juice to add sweetness and sour taste. It eliminates any need to add sugar and vinegar to the dressing.

    *To know the quantities, please see the recipe card. 

    Directions to Cook the Best Macaroni Salad Southern Dish

    1. Cook the pasta as per boiling instructions in the pack. Drain and rinse completely in cold water.
    2. Put the cooled, well-drained pasta in a large mixing bowl.
    3. Add chopped celery, sliced olives, onion, hard-boiled eggs, and sweet gherkins to the bowl.
    4. Whisk the yellow mustard, mayonnaise, sweet pickle juice, salt, and black pepper well in a small bowl.
    5. It’s dressing time! Pour the creamiest dressing over the salad macaroni and mix them well.
    6. Cover the loaded macaroni salad. Refrigerated until ready to serve is the best option in the case of southern pasta salad recipes.
    7. Garnish this easy creamy southern macaroni salad with sweet paprika and finely chopped parsley.

    Southern Pasta Salad —Substitutions to the Recipe!

    You know we can create a recipe in many ways to save time and money. It is also a good practice for self-development when we keep trying various ideas and see them win daily. Even in cooking, like this southern macaroni salad with egg —you can reduce the number of ingredients to make a more cost-effective salad.

    Make a newer Southern classic salad in a budget-friendly way by doing the following things:

    • Omit red onions, olives, and eggs
    • Buy the least costly Macaroni, don’t be picky about the shape

    Make Beforehand & Store Your Traditional Southern Macaroni Salad

    You can make southern salad recipes ahead of time. Make it a few hours before or at least an hour to bring in all the freshest tastes at their best. Use sealed containers to refrigerate any leftovers, reuse, and enjoy. You will be surprised that this salad stays delicious for up to 4 days.

    Freezing will not be a good storing idea for this salad though, as veggies and pasta will tend to get mushy when defrosted. Also, the creaminess in the dressing will also break.

    How to Serve Southern Macaroni Salad?

    We have discussed earlier that this salad is served cold. The ingredients are perishable, so keeping them out will help retain freshness. It can stand the room temperature for up to a maximum of 2 hours only. After that, you should discard it.

    Cooking Tips

    See the cooking time for pasta first. Do not overcook the Macaroni. Keep checking right from the start of the minimum stated cooking time. You do not want to lose the texture of the entire dish. When the shell pasta salad base is tender to bite and stable in formation, this assures that your salad will be a toothsome side to the meal.

    Be careful before serving. If you feel that the pasta has absorbed much of the dressing over time, remove its apparent dryness. You must stir in a few tablespoons of mayonnaise or thick cream to get the creamy texture.

    Always use the best quality ingredients to make this salad outstanding. You can make this unique healthy side in all seasons, especially summer and spring. Adding fresh vegetables gives the dish a whole new freshness and taste. Count this as an awesome make-ahead side dish to make it convenient. Refrigerating it will be necessary to preserve its freshness for any event or time of the year.

    This classic macaroni salad is a great option because the quick pasta only takes a few minutes to boil. The recipe leaves you with the Southern-style flavors-loaded, savory and salty stir-ins.

    What Can You Serve with Southern Macaroni Salad?

    what can you serve with southern macaroni salad

    There are endless options for serving main course dishes with Southern Macaroni Salad. Here’s to name a just few:

    • Cloud bread pizza
    • Meat Sandwiches
    • BBQ Chicken
    • Fried Chicken
    • Italian Pinwheels
    • Corn on the Cob
    • Baked Beans
    • Corn Bread
    • Cheese & Crackers
    • Grilled Chicken
    • Firecracker Meatballs
    • Baked Chicken Drumsticks
    • Burgers on the Grill

    Key Takeaway

    Above is how to make southern macaroni salad. Out of millions of versions of Macaroni salad, this traditional Southern Macaroni Salad will remain my favorite pick for a lifetime. You have to try it to know why that is so! 😊

    Southern Macaroni Salad became my instant favorite the very first time. It offers huge health benefits and feasibility while saving you time. This Southern classic is really worth trying. We have had this recipe on our big game days, covered-dish dinners, and graduation parties. Such elegance and variety in our foods add precious moments to our memories with the perfect balance of flavors.

    southern macaroni salad

    Southern Macaroni Salad in 15 Minutes

    Smooth, buttery Southern Macaroni Salad is the perfect side for dinners, cookouts, and picnics. Ready in 15 minutes, Southern Macaroni Salad is always the answer for the best nutritious and tasty meal around.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 15 minutes
    Course Salad, Side Dish
    Cuisine American
    Servings 8 persons
    Calories 187 kcal


    Salad Ingredients

    • ½ Pound Small Elbow Small Shell, Rotini, or Ditalini Macaroni: ½ Pound
    • ½ Cup Celery ¼" diced, about 2 stalks
    • ½ Cup Sweet gherkins ¼" diced
    • ½ Cup Black olives sliced
    • 3 Hard-boiled eggs chopped
    • ½ Red onion ¼" diced

    Ingredients for Dressing

    • 1 Cup Mayonnaise or Miracle whip salad dressing
    • 1 tsp Yellow mustard
    • 2 tsp Sweet pickle juice
    • ½ tsp Salt
    • ½ tsp Freshly ground black pepper

    For Optional Garnishing

    • Fresh Parsley: Finely chopped
    • Paprika


    • Cook the pasta (Macaroni) al dente. Follow the package instructions.
    • Drain, then rinse completely in cold water.
    • Cool the well-drained Macaroni.
    • Place macaroni in a large bowl. Put hard-boiled eggs, chopped celery, sweet gherkins, sliced olives, and sweet onions in the mixing bowl and the pasta.
    • Take a small-sized bowl. Put mayonnaise, black pepper, salt, sweet pickle juice, and yellow mustard and whisk well.
    • Pour this dressing over the macaroni salad ingredients.
    • Mix all ingredients well with the rich, creamy dressing.
    • Sprinkle sweet paprika and chopped parsley for garnishing.
    • Cover the dish and refrigerate well for serving.


    Do not overcook the Macaroni. Keep checking it at the cooking time mentioned in the packaging. Once you find the macarons are soft enough to eat, stop cooking them. 
    If it needs to be, make the Macaroni creamy again. Pasta is prone to soak the dressing fast. Add a few tablespoons of mayonnaise or heavy cream to get the same desired juiciness.
    Keyword best macaroni salad southern, creamy southern macaroni salad, southern macaroni salad recipe with mayo, southern pasta salad recipes, southern style macaroni salad, traditional southern macaroni salad

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