Close up of Macaroni Salad with Creamy Dressing in a white bowl.
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4.95 from 39 votes

Macaroni Salad

Recipe VIDEO above. This is just a great classic, Macaroni Salad. Plenty of creamy dressing that you know and love, but slightly lightened up - all the flavour, less guilt! Serves 6-8 as a side. For an even healthier option, try this with a mayo-free Creamy Lemon Dressing or Ranch Dressing!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Western
Keyword: Coleslaw
Servings: 6 - 8 people
Calories: 319kcal
Author: Nagi


  • 250 g / 1/2 lb macaroni elbow pasta
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt (to cook pasta)
  • 1 cup finely sliced celery
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red capsicum / bell peppers
  • ¾ cup finely sliced shallots / scallions / green onions
  • 1 medium carrot , grated (using standard box grater)


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann's, Best Foods or other whole egg mayonnaise)
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt or sour cream, low fat
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  • Bring large pot of water to the boil - 4 to 5 litres / quarts. Add salt then add pasta. Cook per packet directions.
  • Drain pasta then cool.
  • Meanwhile, mix Dressing ingredients in a bowl.
  • Place pasta in a bowl. Add remaining Macaroni Salad ingredients. Pour over Dressing.
  • Toss. Adjust salt / sugar / sour (vinegar) / mayo to taste.
  • Set aside for at least 20 minutes. Then serve at room temperature (not cold). It's great the next day too!


1. Lots of add-in potential here. Bacon, ham, egg, grated cheese, chicken, olives, diced chillies - go wild! But if this is for a side dish with other strong flavoured mains, I'd urge you to consider sticking with the a fairly classic version. :) I love KAPOW flavours, but there is such thing as too much in a meal!
2. No-Mayo dressing option - use Lemon Yogurt Salad Dressing (it's really terrific!). Ideal for both Macaroni Salad and Coleslaw.
3. Storage - keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge. Can also be frozen - thaw naturally (do not microwave thaw) and toss well before serving.
3. Nutrition per serving, assuming 8 servings as a side (about 3/4 cup, good amount!)


Serving: 77g | Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 2401mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2515IU | Vitamin C: 27.2mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 0.9mg