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Classic Macaroni Salad is made with red onions, peppers, scallions, and dill with hints of soy sauce and hot sauce in the creamy mayonnaise dressing.
In the summer I make a lot of cold salads to go with our dinners. I don’t really like making tons of hot food when it’s hot outside and it’s nice to make a cold salad because it will feed us all week long.
Usually I’ll make macaroni salad, pasta salad, or potato salad. On occasion I’ll make a green salad, fruit salad, or cucumber onion salad.
Since I make them so often I have a lot of these salads already on the blog. However, while I have several macaroni salads I like, I haven’t found one that I love.
That has changed with this Classic Macaroni Salad recipe. I think it’s funny that it’s called a classic salad because while it has the beginnings of the classic dressing with mayonnaise, mustard, and dill, it then throws in soy sauce and hot sauce which aren’t so traditional.
- spicy brown mustard
- red wine vinegar
- soy sauce
- hot sauce
- black pepper
- garlic powder
- red onion
- bell pepper
- elbow macaroni
To Make the Dressing: In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well and set aside.
To Make the Macaroni Salad: Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. In a large bowl combine the macaroni noodles, red onion, bell pepper, scallions, and dill. Add the dressing and mix well until coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I started by making the dressing. I was kind of excited to try it because it sounded really yummy. The soy sauce gives it a bit of a different flavor and the hot sauce spices it up nicely.
Then I chopped up the vegetables while the noodles were cooking. Once the noodles were done I drained them, rinsed them, and then I tossed everything in a big bowl.
Can I add different vegetables?
Sure! Add your favorite vegetables to this macaroni salad. Shredded carrots, regular onions, different colors of bell peppers, chopped celery, or chopped broccoli would all make great additions to this dish.
Do I have to use the hot sauce?
No! If you don’t like things spicy just omit the hot sauce. I really like the bit of heat it gives on the end of the bite but if you aren’t one for spice just skip it!
Can I use a different type of noodle?
Yes! I wouldn’t use spaghetti or another long noodle but any short noodle would be good because it holds the dressing well. That would be penne, fusilli, mini shells, or rotini. Any of these would be fine. I tend to use whatever I have in my pantry.
How do you store this?
The easiest way to store your macaroni salad is to put it in a container with a lid and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also put it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
With macaroni or any pasta salad you should really wait 3-4 hours until it has chilled and the flavors have soaked into the pasta. I usually give it a taste while it’s still warm which will give you a good idea of the flavor but you should chill it then assess whether or not you need to add additional dressing.
After chilling we enjoyed the macaroni salad with sandwiches. Both my husband and I loved the flavor in this macaroni. It has some of the classic flavors but then there is a bit of umami from the soy sauce and then a bit of heat from the hot sauce.
I think this is probably my new favorite macaroni salad. I know that I’ll be making this pasta salad all summer long!
More Summer Salad Recipes:
- Deviled Egg Pasta Salad
- Greek Couscous Salad
- Chicken Fajita Salad Bowls
- Mexican Corn Salad
- Everything Bagel Pasta Salad
If you’ve tried my Classic Macaroni Salad or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:
- 3/4 c. mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 12 oz. elbow macaroni
- 1 sprig dill, finely chopped
- To make the dressing combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking place the red onion in ice water to take away the bite.
- Once the pasta is cooked drain then run cold water over the noodles.
- Drain the red onion.
- In a large bowl combine the macaroni noodles, red onion, bell pepper, scallions, and dill. Add the dressing and mix well until coated.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe from Food Network Magazine (May/June 2022)