Casserole Crissy

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Macaroni Salad

This easy macaroni salad recipe is loaded with classic ingredients including crispy red pepper, celery, onion, and chunks of cheddar cheese. It’s sauced in a sweet and creamy mayonnaise-based dressing that’s sure to impress friends and family at any picnic, cookout, or potluck!

pasta salad in a bowl
Sweet Macaroni Salad with Cheddar

Before I rave too much, I also want to point you to my incredible broccoli salad our tasty Amish potato salad, and my favorite coleslaw recipe.

Both of these recipes are SO. GOOD.

Best Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe

So, you’ve been asked to bring a covered dish to a gathering this weekend. What are you going to take?

For me, it’s an easy choice! I’ve become known for my AMAZING sweet macaroni salad recipe. My friends and family tell me it’s the best EVER—and I totally agree.

How to Make Macaroni Salad

I sourced this recipe originally from the back of a can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. While I did make a few small changes, I’m happy to give credit where credit is due!

Ingredients include:

  • Elbow pasta
  • Onion
  • Red pepper
  • Celery
  • Cubed cheddar cheese
  • Sweet and tangy mayo-based dressing!

I kept on making this particular recipe, because of the delicious sweet and tangy sauce paired with the delicious cheese and crispy red peppers in every bite.

To start the recipe, cook pasta to al dente according to directions on the box, then drain and rinse with cool water.

Next, in a large bowl, stir together the drained pasta, diced vegetables and the cubed cheddar cheese.

In another bowl stir together all ingredients in the dressing until smooth.

Pour the macaroni salad dressing over the pasta, vegetables and cheese; stir until evenly coated.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

macaroni salad in a bowl
Best Ever Macaroni Salad Recipe

Our Best Tips

  • Do you need enough to feed a large crowd? Just double the recipe to serve up to 20 people!
  • How long should macaroni salad be chilled before serving? While I recommend chilling any pasta salad for at least one hour prior to serving, overnight is best. Making this recipe ahead of time is also a great time-saving hack for the day of your event!
  • Can I use different vegetables? Of course! If you don’t like onion, drop it. Prefer carrots to red pepper? That works great as well! You can also use a different cheese, or drop the cheese all-together.
elbow macaroni salad with cheese
Easy Macaroni Salad

During the summer, I also tend to keep a cold pasta salad in the refrigerator as often as possible.

This recipe will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and it makes a easy side dish for summer cookouts, or nights when all I can muster is a microwaved hotdog for the kids.

Honestly, a hotdog and a scoop of this delicious macaroni salad is a pretty great dinner if you ask me!

easy macaroni salad
Best Macaroni Salad

Are you as pumped for summer as I am? I hope so! I also hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my friends and family do. 🙂

More Cookout Side Dishes

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Our perfect macaroni salad is easy to make and tastes delicious!


  • 1 (16 ounce) box elbow pasta
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup red pepper, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, diced


  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Cook pasta to al dente according to directions on the box. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the drained pasta, diced vegetables and the cheese.
  3. In another bowl stir together all ingredients in the dressing until smooth.
  4. Pour dressing over the pasta and vegetables and cheese, stir until evenly coated.
  5. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.


Recipe from Eagle Brand.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 422mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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Nutrition data is an estimate. See our nutrition disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links. Learn more about this on our privacy + disclosures page. Thanks!

    3 Comments on “Macaroni Salad”

  1. This looks So Easy to Make. I have to make it for my Family up north on my next visit. Which is in June. I can not even wait that long. So it’s on the menu for here. Thank You for Sharing and I will let you know how it goes. Enjoy Your Summer. Susie From Florida

  2. Delicious! Made as instructed…But added a “tablespoon of sour cream to “off set the sweetness a tiny bit…Perfect!

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