Mom’s Macaroni Salad

While I tend to throw things together to make recipes “happen,” my mom painstakingly measures every single ingredient when she makes something.  That’s probably a good thing, because when you get a recipe from her you know it will turn out perfectly! (Unless you, unwisely, don’t follow the directions.)

So I have a great “Mom” recipe to share today!

Mom’s Macaroni Salad


1 pound elbow macaroni (I like Barilla brand the best!)

1 pint (2 cups) dill pickles, chopped

1 large carrot, shredded

1 small onion, chopped

3 sticks celery, chopped (I didn’t have any today, so I used an extra carrot)


For the dressing:

1 cup Miracle Whip

1/4 cup mustard

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

3/8 cup water

1. Cook macaroni according to box instructions, then drain and cool by running cold water on the pasta for several minutes.

I love the texture/look of the Barilla brand elbow macaroni!

2. Mix all the sauce ingredients with a whisk.

Bogdan took this picture of me demonstrating how I “spin” the whisk between my hands and mix all the sauce ingredients in my 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup.

3. Prepare the vegetables.

I would not ordinarily have used dill pickle chips for this recipe, but that’s what I had in my fridge and you can’t tell once they’re chopped.

4. Combine all ingredients together and mix well.  Refrigerate and enjoy!

This recipe is surprisingly quick to make, and great for summer picnics or for packing in lunches.


About recipeshappen

I'm Bonnie. I'm a pharmacy technician and new wife to Bogdan. I love cooking, usually without recipes. I love good sales and coupons, but haven't quite figured out the best way to find them. I make the typical new-wife mistakes and have burned my share of cookies. I like a cold house and a hot shower all year long.
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20 Responses to Mom’s Macaroni Salad

  1. Chantel says:

    I am also a throw random things together and make it work kind of a cook. I don’t really know how *not* to cook that way, in spite of my best intentions. 😛 My food is usually pretty good, but it is harder to share recipes like that. My dad is like your mom: measures and is cautious with improvising but almost always makes yummy food with no mistakes. (He’s into baking, and makes amazing breads!!) I guess both ways have their benefits. 🙂

    • I totally agree that both ways have benefits! Sometimes things turn out better for me than they do for my mom when I don’t measure! (but…… not usually. ;)) She made me the “biscuit maker” when i lived there because mine always turned out perfectly without measuring. 🙂 But her pies always looked a lot nicer than mine, because she worked slowly and cautiously. 🙂

  2. Lin says:

    Cool! I was wanting a macaroni salad recipe. I measure EXACTLY! lol I like your directions and the pic really added to the post. Thanks Bogdan. I’m going to get ingredients to make it. Thank you Bonnie for sharing.

  3. Tammy L says:

    Oooh, that whisk trick is a good tip! Normally you couldn’t whisk very well in such a small (and full) container like that! 🙂

  4. Brook says:

    Yum! Especially the pickle and onion! Thanks for sharing recipe:)

  5. This is a great step-by-step recipe for macaroni salad. I love the pictures. Thanks for following my blog!

  6. Hi Bonnie! Thanks for dropping by my blog and liking my Peachy Piquant Jam and the recipe that goes with it. I love this recipe AND your blog. We have something in common! I was once a Pharm Tech. – I look forward to following your blog and checking out our recipe history too. KK

  7. I’m more like you than your mom! I like to throw things together – especially if I have made the dish before. With that said, it is hard to beat a “Mom” recipe!! 🙂

  8. petit4chocolatier says:

    Wonderful instructions and the salad looks delicious!

  9. friendlytm says:

    Good job! Love your macaroni salad. One time I found that macaroni and cheese being one of the most popular dishes in a high end restaurant !

  10. Roz Weitzman says:

    Bonnie, thanks for the good recipe that reminds me to make it soon. And enjoy your new life together.

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