Skip to Content

Southern Style Macaroni Salad Recipe

Sharing is caring!

This crowd-pleasing Southern-style macaroni salad recipe is a true family favorite! Macaroni pasta is tossed in a creamy mayonnaise sauce with crunchy veggies, crispy bacon, and boiled eggs for one delicious side dish.

A spoon in a bowl of creamy macaroni salad.

This post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclaimer here.

Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.

When it comes to side dishes, you can’t go wrong with a macaroni salad, and this Southern-style recipe is one of my all-time favorites!

Perfectly creamy, it’s full of texture thanks to chopped veggies and bacon and will sit well next to all of your favorite main dishes. Even better, it’s so quick and easy to make, it definitely doesn’t require you to spend hours in the kitchen.

For Southern macaroni salad, you need a creamy delicious mayo-based sauced. You’ll also usually find hard-boiled eggs in this kind of salad, similar to this Southern potato salad, but you can omit the eggs if you want to. I added bacon for a salty flavor and a diced sweet apple to balance the dish. Apples in the macaroni salad? Trust me, it’s a wonderful addition.

This is a great recipe if you are hosting, and it’s a great dish to take along to a potluck or picnic.

Be sure to try my Hawaiian Macaroni Salad and Air Fried Macaroni and Cheese Balls too!

Close up of the macaroni salad.

How to make Southern style macaroni salad

  • Prepare elbow macaroni as indicated on the box, drain, and set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, add mayonnaise, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, honey, and dill relish. Stir until fully combined.
Stirring the salad dressing together in a bowl.
  • Add onion, red bell pepper, celery, cheddar cheese, apple, bacon, elbow macaroni, and egg (if using) to the large bowl. Stir until fully combined and all the macaroni noodles are coated with the mayonnaise dressing.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy.
Southern macaroni pasta salad served in a white bowl.

How long does it keep?

This is a great make-ahead dish, once you have tossed everything together in the dressing, cover it and place it in the fridge. It will keep well for 3 to 4 days. Because it contains mayo, it shouldn’t be kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Can you make it healthier?

To reduce fat and calories, you can use low-fat mayonnaise, though I much prefer the taste and texture of regular for this recipe. I am a fan of Duke’s mayo but use whatever mayo you like.

Can you use other types of pasta?

Elbow macaroni is perfect for this dish, but other shorter pasta can be used in a pinch. Penne, bow tie, or fusilli all make great substitutions or use your favorite GF pasta for a gluten-free recipe. Just make sure you stick with 8 oz pf pasta. Too much pasta will make your dish dry.

What do you serve it with?

This Southern-style macaroni salad is great to serve alongside, meat, seafood, and chicken dishes. Try it with:

Overhead shot of Southern style macaroni salad in a white bowl with a spoon.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Cook the pasta al dente. If you overcook it, it can become too soft and mushy.
  • Let the pasta cool before tossing it in the dressing. If the mayonnaise is added to hot pasta it can separate.
  • If you are on a hurry, you can run the cooked pasta under a cold tap to cool it quickly.
  • Store covered in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

More Salad Recipes

A spoon in a bowl of creamy macaroni salad.
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Southern Style Macaroni Salad Recipe

This crowd pleasing Southern style macaroni recipe is a true family favorite! Macaroni pasta is tossed in a creamy mayonnaise sauce with crunchy veggies, crispy bacon and boiled eggs for one delicious side dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy macaroni salad, macaroni pasta salad, macaroni salad with bacon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 439kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey
  • 2 Tablespoons dill relish
  • ¾ cup of chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup of chopped red bell pepper
  • cup of chopped celery
  • ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup of diced green golden delicious apple
  • 6 strips of bacon cooked and chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Prepare elbow macaroni as indicated on the box, drain, and set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, add mayonnaise, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, honey, and dill relish. Stir until fully combined.
  • Add onion, red bell pepper, celery, cheddar cheese, apple, bacon, elbow macaroni, and egg (if using) to the large bowl. Stir until fully combined and all the macaroni noodles are coated with the mayonnaise dressing.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy.

Notes

  • Cook the pasta al dente. If you overcook it, it can become too soft and mushy.
  • Let the pasta cool before tossing it in the dressing. If the mayonnaise is added to hot pasta it can separate.
  • If you are on a hurry, you can run the cooked pasta under a cold tap to cool it quickly.
  • Store covered in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 440mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 484IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
My Southern Air Fryer ECookbookFind all my Top Southern Air Fryer recipes in one place! My Southern Air Fryer ECookbook!
Subscribe to my YouTubeSubscribe to my YouTube Channel for full length recipe videos. Click the bell icon to be notified when I upload a new video.
Tried this recipe? Share on InstagramMention @Myforkinglife or tag #myforkinglife!
Although myforkinglife.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 the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

Sharing is caring!

Two bowls of Brunswick stew.
Previous
Brunswick Stew
Vinegar BBQ sauce on a spoon.
Next
Vinegar BBQ Sauce (North Carolina Style)
Recipe Rating




Patricia Jackson

Thursday 25th of November 2021

Haven't try any of the recipe yet but they're some that I want to try they all look good

Gracie

Saturday 20th of November 2021

Tanya, I am here to tell you that....the Southern Macaroni Salad was a tremendous hit in my house it was very delicious. I served it with grilled salmon and fresh string beans. The only change I made was I used half regular mayo and half of a lower fat mayo and instead of onion I substituted with scallions and chives. Thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe you made my family very happy!

Tanya

Sunday 21st of November 2021

Thanks Gracie! So glad they all liked it.

Michele

Thursday 18th of November 2021

Hi. What is sweet onion please?