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Southern macaroni salad with tomatoes and fresh parsley in a bowl.
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5 from 1 vote

Southern Macaroni Salad

This picnic-perfect cold pasta salad is a backyard barbecue side dish favorite. Southern Macaroni Salad combines eggs, crunchy vegetables, and a creamy dijon spiced dressing for a delicious summer salad.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Aimee Mars


  • Large Saucepan
  • Colander
  • Chefs Knife
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • Whisk


  • 8 ounces Elbow Macaroni
  • 3 large Hard-Boiled Eggs peeled and diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks diced
  • 2 Plum Tomatoes diced
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice optional
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Parsley chopped


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta, cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool the pasta noodles.
  • Place the chilled macaroni into a large mixing bowl and mix with the hard-boiled eggs, celery, and tomatoes.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, paprika, and fresh parsley together until smooth.
  • Add the mayonnaise mixture to the macaroni and toss to combine. Serve chilled.


  • After you drain in run cold water over the pasta to chill it quickly. Let it dry though by pouring it out onto a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  • Don't overcook the pasta. You want it to still have some firmness to it when you drain the water. This will allow the pasta to hold its shape better when tossed with the other ingredients.
  • If you don't have Old Bay Seasoning you can swap out a mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, black pepper, and a little nutmeg for a similar flavor.
  • For a bold flavor add some chopped dill pickles and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pickle juice.
  • For the best taste let the salad chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour before you plan on serving it.
  • If serving this recipe at an outdoor potluck or barbecue keep it out of the sun since it has mayonnaise in it.

Storage Information:

  • Make-ahead info: This recipe can be made 2 to 3 days in advance of when you plan to serve it. Keep it stored in an air-tight container in the fridge and toss the ingredients before setting it out.
  • Storage: Keep leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge or covered in plastic wrap. It will last 3 to 5 days.
  • Freezing info: To freeze this salad place it in a resealable plastic bag or freezer-safe container. It will last for up to 4 months in the freezer. To serve, let it thaw in the fridge overnight.


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 193IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg