Deli Macaroni Salad Recipe

10 servings
18 min

Nothing screams potluck more than this deli macaroni salad recipe! This side or party food is easy to make and will get devoured at your next gathering.

Original recipe: July 2019 | Updated: June 2022


Why This Recipe Works


There is no other season that has better food options than summer. A dozen different types of food come to mind when I think of summer potlucks and gatherings. A super easy macaroni salad is one of my all-time favorite recipes to make in the summer, but I’m pretty picky about how I make it.

I prefer a version that isn’t loaded with mayo and that also has a bit of a crunch. This is the best macaroni salad and tastes just like the version you can grab at the deli counter that we all love so much (minus some of the calories that come along with it).

Save this and make it the next time you are invited to a barbecue and need to arrive with the perfect side dish in hand. People will rave and everyone will ask you for the recipe!


Recipe Ingredients


Pasta – Elbow macaroni cooked to al dente is the perfect variety to use. Use regular-sized elbow macaroni or the large version is fun for a bigger bite!

Eggs Hard-boil, cool and chop eggs up before adding them to this salad. Learn how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs!

Dill pickles This ingredient is a must if you are a pickle lover! Substitutions: capers or extra celery, if pickles aren’t your thing. Replace the chopped pickles and pickle juice with a pickle relish for a touch of added flavor!

Mayonnaise Replace all or a portion of the mayo with Greek yogurt for a healthier recipe! Or consider replacing 1/2 cup of the mayo with sour cream for extra flavor.

Mustard For a spicier salad, replace yellow mustard with dijon mustard and add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Apple cider vinegar This variety of vinegar adds a delicious flavor, but feel free to replace with a different variety such as white vinegar or red wine vinegar.

How To Make Deli Macaroni Salad


Step 1

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and allow to completely cool to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add to the macaroni mixture: hard-boiled eggs, celery, dill pickles, red onion, mayo, pickle juice, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper and garlic powder.

Step 2

Mix well, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve!


Recipe Notes


  • For added crunch, consider adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers. Green pepper, red pepper, orange or yellow all taste great!
  • Green onions add a nice flavor to this dish.
  • Chopped green olives or black olives add a salty, delicious touch to this yummy homemade macaroni salad.
  • To reduce the calorie content of the dish, consider replacing 1/2 cup of mayo with Greek yogurt.
  • Replace the mayo with miracle whip if desired.
  • Add a fresh flavor by squirting lime juice or lemon juice into the salad with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Consider adding cooked, shredded chicken to add some protein to this dish.
  • Do not let this dish sit out long. When not being eaten, cover it and return it to the fridge so it stays nice and fresh.
  • Consider adding a bit of heat by mixing in a pinch or two of cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
  • Any fresh herbs may be added to this dish, including fresh parsley or chives.
  • Up to 1 teaspoon of celery salt can be added for an added flavor boost.


How Long Does Mustard Last


How long does mustard last? Read this post to learn more!

FAQ About Pasta Salad


Can pasta salad be frozen?

When pasta salad contains mayo and sour cream, they are not ideal for freezing. Cream-based ingredients will not separate entirely after being removed from the freezer and may have an undesirable texture. Pasta salad made without these ingredients freeze really well when stored in an airtight container for up to 4 months.ingredients freeze really well when stored in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

How much pasta salad per person?

When served as a party food or side dish, assume that each person will eat between 1/2 and 3/4 cup total. Twelve people can easily eat one batch of a typical pasta salad recipe.

How to make creamy pasta salad?

Pasta salad is made creamy by adding ingredients such as mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese and/or yogurt. Do not exceed 2 cups total.

How long will macaroni salad last in the fridge?

Pasta salad will stay fresh when stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How many calories in macaroni salad?

One eighth of this recipe, which equals approximately 1/2 to 2/3 cup, contains 325 calories. To decrease the amount of calories in the recipe, replace the mayo with a lightened variety or replace all or a portion of it with Greek yogurt.


More Delicious Pasta Salad Recipes


  • Best Ever
  • Dill Pickle
  • Asian
  • Italian
  • Mediterranean
  • Caprese
  • Taco Ranch
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  • These require only a few ingredients with only a few minutes of prep. Crockpot Meatballs are SO EASY to make, totally packed with delicious flavor and great for game-day parties or holidays.
  • Don’t use any old chili recipe to pile on top of hot dogs. This delicious recipe details how to make hot dog chili sauce so the consistency is just right!
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  • Put a delicious spin on your next summer gathering by learning how to make Fruit Salad step by step with a super-secret and unexpected ingredient. Simply mix together your favorite fresh summer fruits to enjoy a naturally sweet salad. This salad is a hit at parties!


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Deli Macaroni Salad Recipe
Recipe details
  • 10  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 8 Minutes Total time: 18 min
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Ingredients

  • ▢ 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • ▢ 3 eggs hard-boiled and chopped
  • ▢ 3 stalks celery chopped
  • ▢ 1/2 cup dill pickles chopped
  • ▢ 1/2 red onion chopped
  • ▢ 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ▢ 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • ▢ 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • ▢ 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ▢ 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ▢ 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • ▢ 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • ▢ 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Instructions

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water. Add to a large mixing bowl along with eggs, celery, pickles, onion, mayo, pickle juice, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Mix well, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. This dish is best served chilled.
Tips
  • For added crunch, consider adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers. Green pepper, red pepper, orange or yellow all taste great!
  • Green onions add a nice flavor to this dish.
  • Chopped green olives or black olives add a salty, delicious touch to this yummy homemade macaroni salad.
  • To reduce the calorie content of the dish, consider replacing 1/2 cup of mayo with Greek yogurt.
  • Replace the mayo with miracle whip if desired.
  • Add a fresh flavor by squirting lime juice or lemon juice into the salad with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Consider adding cooked, shredded chicken to add some protein to this dish.
  • Do not let this dish sit out long. When not being eaten, cover it and return it to the fridge so it stays nice and fresh.
  • Consider adding a bit of heat by mixing in a pinch or two of cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
  • Any fresh herbs may be added to this dish, including fresh parsley or chives.
  • Up to 1 teaspoon of celery salt can be added for an added flavor boost.
Megan Porta
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