Moo Shu Shrimp Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
Embrace the joy of quick cooking with our Macaroni Egg Salad—a comforting, classic favorite you can whip up in just 20 minutes, ideal for every occasion.

Updated: Jun. 17, 2024

Create this macaroni egg salad when life gets busy and you’re seeking flavor without the fuss. In just 20 minutes, you can whip up a side dish that combines tender pasta with the richness of eggs, all tossed in a creamy dressing. This macaroni egg salad gives you the best of both worlds, quick preparation and a homemade flavor. It’s an easy, dependable choice that will always have a place at the potluck.

Ingredients for Macaroni Salad Recipe with Egg

  • Elbow macaroni: Elbows are a classic pasta choice for macaroni salad, with its shape ideally suited to soaking up the dressing in each bite. If you don’t have elbow macaroni, other types of pasta, such as rotini, penne, or farfalle, can be used. 
  • Mayonnaise: It provides a creamy backdrop for the salad, binding everything together. Alternatives like Greek yogurt or vegan mayo will add a lighter or dairy-free version without losing the creamy texture.
  • Sugar: It subtly enhances the overall flavor profile of the salad, balancing out the sharpness of the vinegar. 
  • Cider vinegar: It injects a bright sharpness into the salad, cutting through the creamy mayonnaise. Lemon juice or white wine vinegar can serve as viable substitutes, each lending its unique acidic note.
  • Prepared mustard: Adds a tangy depth that perfectly contrasts with the sweetness and creaminess. Dijon mustard adds texture, but yellow mustard gives the salad a satisfying tang. 
  • Celery ribs: They add a refreshing crunch and a clean taste. For an alternative crunch, jicama or water chestnuts can replace celery, providing a taste and texture similar to the dish. 
  • Chopped onion: It infuses the salad with sharp, savory flavors. Shallots or pre-soaked onions can mellow the bite for those sensitive to the spice of raw onions.
  • Hard-boiled large eggs: Eggs add richness and texture that’s both familiar and essential to the dish’s character. Tofu can replicate a similar texture for a plant-based option, and avocado can offer a comparable creaminess.

Directions

Step 1: Cook the macaroni

First, prepare the macaroni according to the instructions on its package. Once cooked, drain the pasta well and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly. This ensures the macaroni is at the right temperature when you add the other ingredients.

Editor’s Tip: Use a large pot of boiling, salted water to cook the macaroni and prevent the pasta from sticking together.

Step 2: Prepare the dressing

Combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix these ingredients until smooth. This dressing will coat the macaroni and other ingredients, giving the salad its creamy texture and tangy taste.

Step 3: Combine and mix

Add the chopped celery ribs and onion to the dressing and stir well to ensure they are evenly coated. Next, fold in the chilled macaroni and chopped hard-boiled eggs and gently mix.

Step 4: Refrigerate

Once all ingredients are thoroughly mixed, cover the salad and refrigerate it. Chilling blends the flavors and ensures the salad is refreshingly cold when served. Refrigerate before serving to allow the flavors to meld beautifully.

Recipe Variations

  • Add fresh herbs: Stir in fresh chopped parsley, dill or chives for an aromatic touch.
  • Enjoy more vegetables: Switch up the flavors by adding black olives, dill pickles, red onions, and green onions for extra crunch and color.
  • Give it a protein boost: Add diced ham, cooked chicken or tuna for additional protein, making the salad more filling.
  • Make it a deviled egg macaroni salad: Swap in Dijon mustard, sweet pickle relish and a bit of hot sauce into the dressing. Sprinkle some smoked paprika on top for a salad inspired by deviled eggs. 

How to Store Macaroni Egg Salad

To extend the freshness of macaroni egg salad, promptly store your leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. This technique safeguards its quality and taste for up to five days.

How long does macaroni egg salad last?

Macaroni egg salad typically lasts for three to five days in the refrigerator. Ensure it is stored properly in a tightly sealed container. Avoid leaving the salad at room temperature for over two hours, leading to bacterial growth and spoilage.

Macaroni and Egg Salad Recipe Tips

Why does macaroni salad taste better the next day?

Macaroni salad often tastes more flavorful the next day as the ingredients have time to meld, allowing the pasta to fully absorb the dressing and harmonize the flavors.

Should you let the pasta cool before making pasta salad?

For a refreshing pasta salad, especially one with a creamy dressing or delicate ingredients, let the pasta cool after cooking to prevent it from affecting the dishes texture and consistency. 

Should you overcook pasta for pasta salad?

Aim to cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Overcooked pasta tends to lose its shape and might not mix well with the rest of your ingredients. Meanwhile, al dente pasta will maintain a better texture and soak up the dressing more effectively.

What goes with macaroni salad?

Macaroni salad with eggs pairs nicely with anything at the cookout, especially barbecue staples like grilled chicken, pulled pork, hamburgers and hot dogs.

Macaroni Egg Salad

Prep Time 20 min
Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped

Directions

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and pepper. Stir in celery and onion. Fold in macaroni and egg. Refrigerate until serving.

Nutrition Facts

2/3 cup: 246 calories, 16g fat (3g saturated fat), 69mg cholesterol, 529mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

"This tasty dish proves you don't have to feed a crowd to enjoy that delicious picnic salad flavor," says Ruth Wimmer of Bland, Virginia. "Hard-cooked egg makes it nice and hearty."
Recipe Creator