Southern-Style Macaroni Salad

Southern Style Macaroni Salad Recipe, old timey macaroni salad recipe,

Southern-Style Macaroni Salad

This is the macaroni salad of my dreams. The most wonderful blend of crunchy and a tad tart, it’s the style I’d always thought of as “real” macaroni salad. I stumbled upon a version like this several years ago at a local restaurant…and I just knew from looking at it on their salad bar that not only was it homemade…but it was homemade the way I like it. I dissected it and quizzed the owner…and while the proportions are mine, it tastes just like theirs did.  

Like many things, I have a definite opinion about macaroni salad. To me, there should be nothing sweet about it, so that rules out sweet pickles and salad dressing.

And while I’m on the whole issue of salad dressing (Miracle Whip being what comes to mind), that stuff is just nasty sorry to any of you who love it. It’s so sweet and icky. And for some reason, it’s what manufacturers use in all the pre-made deli potato and macaroni salads.  I give the stink eye to that mess. If I’m makin’ potato salad or macaroni salad, you can bet your britches I’m using mayonnaise (Dukes) to make it.

Also, sweet pickle relish…blech. I don’t want sweet pickle relish in my salads. It’s dill salad cubes, dill pickle relish, or chopped up dill pickles…it doesn’t matter, but it’s dill…not sweet.

No fancy mustards either, just plain ol’ yellow prepared mustard is all that goes in this salad. It gives it that mustard potato salad flavor that is just a tad tart perfection.

I made a huge bowl of this macaroni salad…and I can’t wait to dig in! It will be on our table tonight and tomorrow too…and likely for lunches all week. And I’ll feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven.


5.0 from 3 reviews
Southern-Style Macaroni Salad
As old-timey as it gets...macaroni salad...the stuff you loved from church suppers growin' up. And if not, start. Now.
Recipe type: Salad
  • ½ pound macaroni (I can't find macaroni and cheese style straight macaroni any I used miniature penne), cooked al dente, drained and chilled *
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • ½ small onion (about ½ cup), minced
  • ½ cup dill pickle relish (or mince some dill pickles, or use dill salad cubes)
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 scant tablespoon yellow mustard
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • fresh cracked pepper...a couple of turns of the grinder
  1. Place all the ingredients (be sure to chill the macaroni) in a large bowl.
  2. Stir to mix well.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
It's important to chill the macaroni before dressing it. I drain it and stick it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.


About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight. I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I'm gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading...and commenting! P~
This entry was posted in Picnic Fare, Salads, Side Dishes, Southern. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Southern-Style Macaroni Salad

  1. Jeannie says:

    This is the recipe I have been looking for!! I am with you, I do not like the icky sweet salads….Thank you for the recipe:)

    • P~ says:

      You’re so welcome, Jeannie! Thank you so much for commenting…hope you like the macaroni salad. I’ve been craving it myself lately. Time to make some more. P~

  2. Mimi says:

    You completely understand Southern macaroni salad!! Bless you!
    I am featuring your site on my next blog post:
    Apparently we will have to educate the rest of the world – so they don’t
    miss out!!!!
    Happy new year!

    • I’m honored, Mimi! Thank you so much for the feature. I couldn’t agree more; it’s our duty to share the joys of true Southern foods…people don’t know what they’re missing out on. 🙂 Happy New Year to you! P~

  3. Jackie C. says:

    This is the exact way I make my Macaroni salad. Nice to see it on here. But, I use Shells Macaroni, & kraft May. So yummy!
    God Bless u for putting the southern dish on here, like it is suppose to be. Now after reading this. I got to go make some. U got me wanting this.
    Keep up the real good recipes for our southern dishes like they r suppose to be.

    I am so glad I found your site.
    Jackie C.

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