Summer Macaroni Salad Recipe
Summer Macaroni Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Summer Macaroni Salad Recipe

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4.5 10 11
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When we grill, my mother asks me to make the family macaroni salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Cook: 15 min.
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Cook: 15 min.
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water or 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small sweet yellow, orange or red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Nutritional Facts

3/4 cup: 160 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 320mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1 fat.


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water and drain again.
  2. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, water, vinegar, sugar and seasonings until blended. In a large bowl, combine macaroni, peppers, onion and celery. Add 1 cup dressing; toss gently to coat. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours or until cold. Cover and refrigerate remaining dressing to add just before serving.
  3. To serve, stir in reserved dressing. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 16 servings (3/4 cup each).
Originally published as Summer Macaroni Salad in Taste of Home June/July 2015

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ARollins User ID: 4935279 250262
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2016

"Important to let it set that 2 hours after making, I liked it better the next day.

I will make again"

abreendre User ID: 1799143 250260
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2016

"Good and simple taste. Perfect for the whole family from grandparents to the 3 year old."

kfnb User ID: 8771061 249982
Reviewed Jul. 1, 2016

"This salad tastes great and is easy to make. It makes tons though. Next time I will halve the recipe."

jbug827 User ID: 1013132 248956
Reviewed Jun. 2, 2016

"This was just okay for us. I found it to be a little dry for my preference, even after adding the remaining dressing just before serving. I ended up with leftovers and made another half batch of dressing to stir in the next day which helped. I also added some toasted onion powder and a few herbs to bump up the flavor a bit."

christmasBall User ID: 8076573 232903
Reviewed Sep. 15, 2015

"Good salad. I did add a little pickle relish for tang."

KarisAnn User ID: 6548036 229330
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2015

"Love this recipe. The only change I made was to use a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and a 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt."

Angel182009 User ID: 6228642 229218
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2015

"This was fantastic!! I loved how quick and easy it was to put together and feed a large crowd. I will be making this a lot this summer!"

Chumley5 User ID: 6210995 228597
Reviewed Jun. 27, 2015

"This macaroni salad is very refreshing and delicious. I like that it lacks chopped pickles and glob of mayo. The macaroni does absorb some of the dressing so it's nice that part of it is saved to add before serving. The dressing also has a nice flavor. I use Duke's Fat Free Mayonnaise."

toolbarsco User ID: 6725667 227355
Reviewed Jun. 2, 2015

"I love this version of mac salad. The red wine vinegar gives the dressing such a unique taste. I don't care for reduced-fat mayo--I have yet to find a brand that satisfies. So of course I used the real deal. Great, great salad."

annrms User ID: 2649709 227243
Reviewed Jun. 1, 2015

"This recipe is great! It's creamy and colorful. I made it for my mom to have with grilled sausages when she had company for lunch. It was easy to make, folks cleaned their plates and were happy to take "doggie" bags home!"

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