Best Macaroni Salad

Invited to a cookout or a potluck and don’t know what to make? This delicious yet simple macaroni salad is the answer!


  • 1 box elbow macaroni
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 16 oz Mayonnaise (preferably Dukes)
  • salt/pepper to taste

Step One: Prepping the pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and simmer for approximately 8 minutes (or al dente). Strain, rinse and set aside to cool.

Instant Pot option: Put 4 cups of water, contents of macaroni box, 2 tsp salt and 2 TBS of butter into Instant Pot and manually set for 2 minutes. Quick release when done. Strain, rinse and cool.

Step Two: Preparing the vegetables

This is the most important step! Using a food processor for the celery and onion allows the juices from them to be incorporated into the salad better.

Peel carrot, then using the medium holes on a box grater, grate the carrot. Set aside.

In a food processor, finely chop onion and celery.

Mix carrots, onion and celery in a bowl with three quarters of the mayonnaise. Let sit for at least 15-20 minutes. Note: it will be watery.

Step Three: Putting it all together

Fold in the mayo mixture with the cooled pasta. Add salt & pepper. Cover and put in refrigerator to let the flavors blend for at least 3 hours.

Step Four: Final steps

Mix in remaining mayonnaise. Add additional salt/pepper to taste.

Macaroni Salad

By the way…this macaroni salad goes great with musubis!

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