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Course: Sides & Salads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pasta

Macaroni Salad

ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours
Yield: 6 -8 servings
We've taken the liberty of updating (slightly) this mid-century picnic standard.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 8 ounces dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons +1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for serving
  • 1/3 cup finely diced sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 4 ounces smoked ham, 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours
Yield: 6 -8 servings


  • Place the pasta and 1 tablespoon of the salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover the pasta by 1/2-inch (about 3 cups) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium to maintain a steady simmer and cook the pasta until al dente, 8-9 minutes, then drain in a colander. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in 1 teaspoon of neutral oil to prevent the pasta from sticking. Set aside to cool.
  • Add the mayonnaise to a mixing bowl and whisk the mustard, rice wine vinegar, sugar, onion and garlic powders, black pepper, and the remaining salt into it. Then, stir in the onion, green pepper, celery, ham, and frozen peas.
  • Fold the cooled pasta into the dressing mixture along with the parsley and dill.
  • Refrigerate for at least two hours or better yet overnight before serving. We prefer to grind on the black pepper right before devouring.
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