This Southern style Homestyle Macaroni Salad is how I grew-up eating pasta salad. It's made with jumbo macaroni shells cooked to al dente that are combined with tangy red onion, Roma tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper and shredded cheese all smothered with a homemade buttermilk dressing. It's a picnic perfect side dish that always satisfies.
Homestyle Macaroni Salad Recipe
How to Make the Best Homestyle Macaroni Salad Recipe
My Mom always included a good amount of vegetables in her macaroni salad, no doubt, taking the opportunity to get us kids to enjoy it more. I totally understand that, now as a mother myself. The ingredients in this salad are what she would include in her homestyle macaroni salad with one exception. I include green bell pepper, which would definitely invoke a protest from my Dad who has an intense aversion to the flavor. None-the-less I really love them and I always add peppers. Macaroni salad is one of those side dishes that will round-out most any main dish entrée and will always be a backyard barbecue family favorite.
- What's in Southern macaroni salad? This recipe includes jumbo macaroni, Roma tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, bell peppers nd shredded cheese.
- How do you make a homemade dressing for macaroni salad? In this recipe the dressing is made with mayonnaise, buttermilk, sugar, apple cider vinegar, onion and garlic powder, celery salt and black pepper. Whisk it all together and pour it over the macaroni and vegetables.
- Can I use regular elbow macaroni or another similar size pasta? You absolutely can in the same amount.
- Can you freeze macaroni salad? I don't recommend freezing macaroni salad. When thawing the fresh vegetables would break down and cause the dressing to separate.
- How long does macaroni salad last? Store prepared macaroni salad in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Macaroni Recipes to Make
- You'll love my recipe for Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese for busy day meals.
- This southern style Tuna Macaroni Casserole doubles as a side dish or a main dish meal.
- Top my Chili Macaroni with sour cream and shredded cheese for game day.
- Fried Mac and Cheese Balls are a restaurant recipe you can make even better at home.
- You'll find other tasty ways to use macaroni in this collection of 16 Sensational Ways to Make Macaroni and Cheese.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Homestyle Macaroni Salad
- 16 oz elbow macaroni jumbo or regular
- 2 cup real mayonnaise
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 Roma tomatoes diced and seeded
- 1 medium cucumber peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 small green bell pepper seeded, diced
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Cook the pasta in salted water per the package directions until al dente. Drain well.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sugar, vinegar, onion and garlic powder, celery salt and black pepper.
- Add the remaining ingredients, reserving the shredded cheese. Mix well. Taste and adjust the salt if needed.
- Chill thoroughly add the shredded cheese after the salad has cooled.
- Chill for at least 4 hours and stir well, before serving.
This is hands down the best macaroni salad I've ever had. I've made it for picnics and family get togethers and still get requests for it all the time.
Thank you so much!
Made this my family loved it! We enjoy so many of your recipes! Keep them coming
Wonderful, thanks for visiting!
Melissa, this dressing recipe was excellent. Rave reviews all around! Best macaroni salad ever!
Hi Marie, thanks so much for your sweet note and for visiting from Australia! On my blog, you'll find my personal take on many beloved Southern dishes. Southerners, like most others, eat and love a variety of foods such as Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Spanish-style, Caribbean but many of the dishes I share are homestyle favorites. I'm delighted you've found something here to enjoy. Thanks again for visiting!
Hello Melissa-Greetings from South Australia,
I made this twice now, the second time I added canned corn which we spent chasing and leftover chicken which just didn't taste right-should have known to leave well enough alone:)
I also made the 5 bean salad-fantastic! No, really, fantastic.
I have to ask-do all Southern women cook/eat like this? It's just I don't know much about America-apart from some TV shows, so this is normal, yes?
These are such beautiful dishes which taste even better and simple instructions.
I thankyou as does my husband.
Hi Linda, lol yes, you know we love our buttermilk. ☺
Since you've turned me on to using buttermilk in so many recipes and I'm in love with the tangy flavor, you know I'll be giving this recipe a try. Sounds (and looks) super delish.
Melissa, I love your blog and your recipes! This recipe sounds so much like a macaroni salad my mom used to make, and she loved to use buttermilk (me too!)
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful recipes. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it and look forward to your posts!
Hi Joansy, thanks so much for your sweet note. I am delighted you are enjoying my blog, and finding recipes to enjoy. Happy Easter to you as well. ☺