.css-ftsoqv{display:block;margin-bottom:0.625rem;}.css-ftsoqv img{vertical-align:top;}.css-13zeo5y{background-color:bg-block-content-four-across;}.css-13zeo5y h2 span:hover{color:#FF553E;}.css-l8eko0{font-family:GTHaptikBold,GTHaptikBold-roboto,GTHaptikBold-local,Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif;font-weight:bold;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:0;}@media(max-width: 48rem){.css-l8eko0{margin-bottom:0.25rem;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.3;}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.css-l8eko0{margin-bottom:0.5rem;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.3;}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-l8eko0{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.1;}}.css-jucejc{display:block;font-family:GTHaptikBold,GTHaptikBold-roboto,GTHaptikBold-local,Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif;font-weight:bold;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:0;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}@media (any-hover: hover){.css-jucejc:hover{color:link-hover;}}@media(max-width: 48rem){.css-jucejc{margin-bottom:0.625rem;font-size:1.1875rem;line-height:1.2;}}@media(min-width: 40.625rem){.css-jucejc{line-height:1.2;}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.css-jucejc{margin-bottom:0rem;font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.2;}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-jucejc{margin-bottom:-0.5rem;font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.1;}}Classic Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is a go-to, classic side everyone looks forward to at every summer get-together, and it’s easy to see why—it’s simple to throw together and, when done right, is a creamy, bright addition to any party, potluck, or picnic spread. Done wrong, though? Bland, soggy, or dry mac salad is SUCH a disappointment. To get perfect mac salad every time, ditch the store-bought and make this guaranteed showstopper recipe instead. Read on for some things to know to make it the best it can be, every time:

How to make the best macaroni salad:
Have a bright experience. The secret to having a glossy mac salad is to not go crazy with the mayo, and to have a good amount of acid (in the form of lemon juice here) to loosen up the dressing so you don’t end up with a goopy mess.
Choose the right mix-ins. Every element selected in this salad brings something to the table to make a great composition. The celery brings freshness, tomatoes offer sweet umami explosions, and Kalamata olives give you that brine and fruitiness that makes your mouth water. Don’t skip these!
Cook the pasta to perfection. Friendly reminder: Pasta should always be cooked to al dente! Follow your box instructions, adding 2 tbsp. (yes, really) salt to the water. Once the pasta is cooked, drain thoroughly and immediately rinse (this stops the cooking process and separates the noodles). Use a kitchen or paper towel to absorb excess moisture if needed.

The macaroni salad dressing:
To make our creamy dressing, we whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, and granulated sugar together before seasoning with salt and pepper. Like we said before, the key to the best macaroni salad is to not overdo it with the mayo, and to add lemon juice to loosen things up. Add too much mayo, and you risk a gloopy mess.

Macaroni salad variations:
Once you master this macaroni salad, you’ve got plenty of options to shake up this staple side. Make our Hawaiian macaroni salad for another classic side, or check out some of our favorite creamy pasta salads. Our favorites? Lobster roll pasta salad and tuna macaroni salad.

Can I make it ahead?
Absolutely! But keep in mind our sacred rule for making any salad ahead: Dress it as close to the serving time as possible. You can prepare this mac salad a day ahead, but keep the dressing and components separate until you’re ready to serve. When ready to eat, just pour the dressing and toss. 🥳

How long does leftover macaroni salad last?
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge where they’ll keep for around 4 days.

Have you tried this yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below!