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Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

Old fashioned macaroni salad is summertime comfort food and is easy to make. You can even make it a few days ahead - it's best if it sits over night. Keep this cold - if you are at a picnic or potluck either keep it chilled or eat it quickly and put leftovers in an ice chest.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American - Vintage
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 generous servings
Calories 517kcal
Author Marye Audet-White


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni uncooked small elbows or shells
  • 2 cups Hellmann's mayonnaise or homemade
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard plain yellow prepared
  • 2 tablespoons sugar more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper more to taste
  • 2 cups celery celery - thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot grated
  • 1 cup salad olives with pimentos drained


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Pour in macaroni and cook until very tender.
  • Drain completely but don't rinse.
  • Stir a little mayonnaise into the macaroni to keep it from sticking. 
  • Cool completely.
  • Combine mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning and sweetness.
  • Put macaroni, celery, carrot, onion, peppers, and olives in a large bowl.
  • Pour mayonnaise mixture over and combine gently.
  • Chill overnight if time permits.
  • Add a little more dressing if necessary before serving
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days - keep chilled if you are bringing it to a cookout or picnic.


I usually double the sugar and the olives because that's how I like it. Make this to your own tastes.


Calories: 517kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 783mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1175IU | Vitamin C: 20.5mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 0.9mg