Classic Macaroni Salad

Do you ever wake up in the morning and wonder, “Where did I put X?” You look everywhere you think you might have left it and yet, you can’t find it?

As I get older, I hate to admit that seems to happen more frequently. In fact, this morning I sat down at my desk, opened my computer and tried to look up one of my recipes on my blog. I searched every which way I could think of and it was not coming up. 

I can’t believe after writing this blog for three years that I’ve never published my basic macaroni salad recipe – the go-to salad for summer celebrations, picnics, backyard BBQs, you name it. The paper-tattered handwritten original was handed down from my mother-in-law. She was not a fancy cook by any means, more of an upstate New York housewife from the 1950s who put food on the table. However, this recipe survived the test of time (with a few updates) and has been a favorite in our household my entire married life, and that’s a few years I have to tell you. 

One of the secret/not-so-secret ingredients in this recipe is Miracle Whip. Oh, I know I will get push-back and controversy on this ingredient as there are Miracle Whip lovers and haters. I myself didn’t know about Miracle Whip until I married my husband. I’ve had to convert for the sake of our marriage and that’s okay. 

When I make this salad for friends who are not Miracle Whip lovers, I have to add a bunch of other ingredients and spices to regular mayonnaise to achieve the flavor that just a dollop or two of Miracle Whip will do.

So if you don’t like Miracle Whip, or don’t want to use it, you’ll have to add sugar, vinegar, perhaps pickle juice or relish, and maybe even bell pepper. You shouldn’t need a large amount of any of these ingredients. I hesitate to give you exact measurements as I think it is an individual taste thing. You’ll just have to experiment with proportions to get the tanginess and flavor you desire.  


Serves 8

Classic Macaroni Salad

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  • 3 cups (about 1 lb) elbow macaroni (or other small pasta or shells)
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled, diced (save 1 egg to slice & decorate top of salad)
  • 1 cup celery, diced (about 1 stalk)
  • 1 cup onion, diced (red or white)
  • 1 cup Miracle Whip*
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sprinkle of garlic blend
  • Sprinkle of Paprika
  • Chopped parsley if desired


  1. Cook the macaroni in salted water according to the package directions, drain, rinse and cool.
  2. Transfer macaroni to a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients (except paprika, 1 egg & parsley).
  3. Mix and toss until evenly coated.
  4. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Slice remaining egg and lay over top of the salad.
  6. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley to add a little color if desired.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.


* May need more Miracle Whip after salad has rested for an hour to moisten it up. Check and add more to your desired taste.


Calories: 280 cal
Carbohydrates: 48 g
Fat: 5 g
Sodium: 212 g
Cholesterol: 93 g
Protein: 11 g
Fiber: 3 g
If you want to know more about the history of Miracle Whip (when it was created by Kraft, etc.), Click here.

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