This Southern macaroni salad is full of fresh ingredients and is quick, and easy to prepare
If you are looking for a flavorful and perfect side dish for your next family reunions, this easy macaroni salad with hard-boiled eggs, crunchy celery, colorful bell peppers, and zesty shallots is a perfect choice.
The creamy and tangy dressing is made with mayonnaise, sour cream, dijon mustard, lime juice, and a mix of spices that will awaken your taste buds. To add a touch of freshness, sprinkle some cilantro on top of your salad. Serve it as a classic side dish for your summer barbecues or your next picnic. This creamy southern macaroni salad is a crowd-pleaser that will satisfy everyone's appetite!
Simple ingredients you will need to make this recipe
- elbow macaroni, cooked
- hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- red bell pepper, diced (or color of choice)
- shallot diced or red onion
- mayonnaise ( you can also use miracle whip)
- sour cream
- Dijon mustard ( yellow mustard)
- chili powder
- lime juice or lemon juice
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- sweet pickle relish
- pickle juice
- Green onions
- Diced sweet pickles
- green peas
- Cubes of sharp cheddar cheese
See recipe card for quantities
How to prepare the Southern Macaroni Salad?
In a small bowl mix together the ingredients of the dressing and mix until the evenly distributed.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled macaroni with the chopped hard-boiled eggs, celery, bell pepper, and shallot.
Pour the dressing over the top.
Stir everything together until the macaroni and vegetables are coated in the dressing.
Variations of southern macaroni salad are plenty, and the best part is they allow you to put your own spin on this classic recipe. Here are some ideas to add some extra oomph to your delicious macaroni salad recipe:
Add some heat: If you are a fan of spicy food, you can add some heat by incorporating some jalapeños or hot sauce. These ingredients will give your salad a kick and make it more interesting.
Go Greek: Greek-inspired macaroni salad is a refreshing and delicious variation. Just swap out the mayo for some Greek yogurt, and add some cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and fresh herbs like parsley, dill, and oregano. The result is a lighter and healthier version of the classic Southern macaroni salad recipe.
Firstly, it is essential to cook macaroni to perfection. Overcooked or undercooked pasta can ruin the entire dish. Therefore, ensure that the pasta is cooked al dente and that it’s rinsed with cold water after cooking.
The mayonnaise plays a crucial role in the salad's taste and texture, so it's essential to choose a high-quality mayonnaise. Some mayonnaise tends to be thin and runny, which could result in a soupy salad; hence it's recommended to use thicker mayonnaise.
After you have made the Southern creamy macaroni salad, you may have some leftovers that you'd like to store for later. The good news is that this salad stores well in the refrigerator for several days. However, there are a few tips that you should follow to ensure the quality of the salad is maintained.
Firstly, make sure that you transfer the salad to an airtight container before placing it in the fridge, it's best to eat your leftover Southern macaroni salad within 3-4 days of making it. As it stores well don't hesitate to make this delicious pasta salad in advance, it's the perfect make-ahead side dish and great to bring to potluck dinners.
Yes, rinse the pasta under cold water just after you drained it, this way your macaroni pasta won't stick together.
Grilled Meats: This salad pairs well with grilled meats such as burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and steak.
Sandwiches: You can also serve the salad with sandwiches such as turkey, ham, or roast beef.
Corn on the Cob: Another great side dish to serve is corn on the cob. The sweet and juicy corn kernels are a perfect balance to the zesty flavors of the salad.
Southern Macaroni Salad
- 8 cups elbow macaroni cooked
- 3 hard boiled eggs peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced (or color of choice)
- 1 shallot diced or red onion
- ½ cup mayonnaise you can also use miracle whip
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons lime juice or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- To begin, cook macaroni according to the package directions. Once the macaroni is cooked, drain it and let it cool to room temperature. In the meantime, you can prepare the other ingredients.
- Start by boiling 3 eggs until they are hard boiled. Once they're ready, peel them and chop them into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Dice up 2 celery stalks, 1 bell pepper (choose your preferred color), and 1 shallot.
- Prepare dressing, in a small bowl mix together ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup sour cream, and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard until well combined. Add in 1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon cumin, and mix until the spices are evenly distributed. Finally, add in 2 tablespoons lime juice and whisk the dressing until everything is combined.
- Now it's time to put everything together! In a large bowl, combine the cooled macaroni with the chopped hard-boiled eggs, celery, bell pepper, and shallot. Pour the dressing over the top and stir everything together until the macaroni and vegetables are coated in the dressing.
- To finish off the dish, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro on top of the finished salad. The cilantro adds a pop of freshness that pairs perfectly with the zesty, creamy dressing.