Macaroni salad
Top: Macaroni salad from Dayton, Virginia
Bottom: Filipino chicken macaroni salad
CourseSide dish or appetizer
Serving temperatureCold
Main ingredientsMacaroni, usually mayonnaise, onions, pickles, celery

Macaroni salad is a type of pasta salad, served cold, made with cooked elbow macaroni and usually prepared with mayonnaise.[1] Much like potato salad or coleslaw in its use, it is often served as a side dish to barbecue, fried chicken, or other picnic style dishes.[2] Like any dish, national and regional variations abound[1] but generally it is prepared with raw diced onions, dill or sweet pickles and celery and seasoned with salt and pepper.[3]

By country

Australia and New Zealand

In Australia and New Zealand, it is commonly known as pasta salad, which is usually made with cooked shell pasta pieces and bought from supermarket delis.


In the Philippines, macaroni salad is a dessert or appetizer with a mildly sweet flavor. It does not use onions, pepper, or celery. It typically uses native sweetened jellies, cheese, as well as various fruits in contrast to western macaroni salads. It is commonly consumed during holidays such as Christmas and New Year's Day, as well as parties and gatherings.[4] A common variant adds shredded chicken and is known as chicken salad or chicken macaroni salad.[5][6]

United States

In the United States, macaroni salad has been described as a "deli staple".[3] In Hawaii, macaroni salad is a popular staple in plate lunches and is traditionally made with grated onion and macaroni cooked until very soft.[1][7] In Rochester, New York, macaroni salad is served as an element of the Garbage Plate. In Puerto Rico, macaroni salad may contain mayonnaise, mustard, canned tuna or bits of Spam, onions, Cubanelle peppers and pimentos.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Paiva, Derek (December 4, 2009). "How to make Hawaiʻi plate-lunch-style macaroni salad". Hawaii Magazine. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  2. ^ The Christian Science Monitor (September 24, 2014). "Buttermilk bacon cheddar macaroni salad". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Burgoyne, J.; Tremblay, C.; Van Ackere, D. (2004). The New Best Recipe. Best Recipe. America's Test Kitchen. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-936184-74-6. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  4. ^ Food, Cuisine, and Cultural Competency for Culinary, Hospitality, and Nutrition Professionals. Jones & Bartlett Learning. 2010. p. 516. ISBN 978-1-4496-5968-4. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Garcia, M.; Tettoni, L.I. (2012). Filipino Cookbook: 85 Homestyle Recipes to Delight Your Family and Friends. Tuttle Publishing. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-4629-0528-7. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  6. ^ Merano, Vanjo. "Filipino Chicken Macaroni Salad Recipe". Panlasang Pinoy. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  7. ^ Cheung, Alexis (February 25, 2019). "Hawaiian Mac Salad Isn't Mainland Mac Salad". Taste. Retrieved April 26, 2022.

Further reading