Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Southern macaroni salad, I have learned, is different.  Like other Southern salads, hard-boiled eggs and sweet pickle relish are ingredients.  Too much sweet pickle relish can ruin a dish, this coming from my Yankee perspective.  But the amount of relish in this macaroni salad is perfect, and that's because you don't really know it's there, except that it rounds out the flavors.  And, speaking of flavors, this salad has plenty.  Perfect for game day during colder months, or for summertime picnics, or just about any time, this one is a real crowd pleaser.

I guess you can say this is my recipe.  It's a compilation of several internet recipes, plus my own additions.

Southern-Style Macaroni Salad
Rating:  10 out of 10

8 oz. dry elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions*, cooled 5 minutes
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. rice vinegar (or other white vinegar)
1/8 tsp. Diamond kosher salt (or table salt, if preferred)
1/8 tsp. white pepper (or black pepper if preferred)
2 large eggs, hard boiled, cooled, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped ham
1 stalk celery with leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green or red sweet bell pepper
1 small shallot, minced (about 1-1/2 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
*Be sure to salt the water when cooking macaroni.  Do not rinse the cooked macaroni.  Instead, cook for 1 minute less than package states and drain in a colander, then return to pot.  The macaroni will continue to cook as it cools in the pot.

1/3 cup Duke's light mayonnaise (or other mayonnaise, if preferred)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1-1/2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish (or minced sweet pickle)
2 Tbsp. sweet pickle juice
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or other white vinegar)
1/4 tsp. Diamond kosher salt (or table salt, if preferred)
1/8 tsp. white pepper (or black pepper, if preferred)

Garnish:  Paprika

Make the salad:  Toss the partially cooled elbows with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Set aside to completely cool.  When cool, add the remaining salad ingredients (not the dressing) and toss to combine.  Refrigerate.

Make the dressing:  Whisk ingredients together in small bowl.  Pour over salad; toss to combine.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to blend flavors.  Sprinkle salad with paprika before serving.  Yield:  4-6 servings


  1. I'm with you. Too much sweet relish can ruin it. I think I must be a Southerner with Yankee taste :)

  2. Looks like a very tasty macaroni salad! I look forward to trying your recipe :)

  3. I made the recipe exactly as stated as a side dish to chicken wings. Everybody loved it and not a drop was left over. It was easy to make and delicious. I will certainly add this to my favorites.

  4. Micki, Thanks for your feedback, so glad this recipe worked for you.


When you leave me a comment, I feel all warm and fuzzy, like someone out there is really listening.