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Classic Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad


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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (30 Votes)


  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of pickle juice or vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Creole or other spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Salad:
  • 2 cups of dry elbow macaroni
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup of chopped celery
  • 1 (2 ounce) jar of pimentos, drained
  • 1/8 cup of chopped pickles, sweet or dill
  • 1/4 cup of pickle juice, optional
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


Servings 1
Adapted from


Step 1

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients; set aside. Cook pasta in well salted water until al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse and drizzle with olive oil; add to serving bowl. Top with the onion, celery, pimentos, pickles and pickle juice and toss. Taste, add salt and pepper, taste and adjust as needed. Refrigerate before serving for at least 2 hours, or overnight, if possible; toss again before serving, stirring in additional mayonnaise or pickle juice if more moisture is needed.

Cook's Notes: I use Zatarain's Creole mustard and bread and butter fridge pickles and juice.

Other add-ins: Sliced or chopped black or green olives, chopped or grated carrot, green, red or yellow bell pepper, red onion, frozen, thawed green peas, sliced green onion, chopped, boiled eggs, seeded and chopped tomatoes, seeded and chopped cucumber, cooked, crumbled bacon, shredded or cubed cheese, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and fresh herbs are all good choices.

Tip: For a pretty presentation, garnish with a little paprika and lay slices of hard boiled eggs across the top. Top with cooked, crumbled bacon and chopped fresh parsley. Can also serve on individual chilled salad plates dressed with lettuce leaves or shredded lettuce, with a garnish of crumbled egg and cooked bacon.

Variation: Add 2 cups of cooked chicken (canned okay), 1-1/2 cups of cubed ham, 2 cups of small, cooked shrimp, drained, canned salmon alone, or in combination with, 2 cans of tuna, well drained, or just use the tuna alone.


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