This macaroni salad recipe is loaded with goodness. And when I say goodness, I mean great! It's the best macaroni salad recipe you'll find. The perfectly creamy dressing over lots and lots of flavors and textures will make everyone's taste buds happy. It is truly a LOADED macaroni salad!
Macaroni salad is one of those dishes that's a staple at every barbecue. And why not? It's so satisfying, with all the little bits of deliciousness mixed throughout, and it goes perfectly with everything! It's always been one of my favorites and now I hope it will be yours too. Oh, I already can't wait for a juicy burger from the grill or a crispy chicken burger, with some homemade cole slaw and a large side of this macaroni salad (I might ask for seconds, too!).
And it's so easy to make this recipe ahead of time. Just make it the day before and keep covered in the fridge until it's time to serve.
While this macaroni salad recipe includes the classics, like mayo, bell pepper, and onion, I've added a few more delectable ingredients to keep it interesting...in the best possible way. For example, I love my macaroni salad with eggs, hard-boiled that is...the eggs just add a bit of richness mixed in with the dressing. Then there's the umami flavor of crispy bacon bits mingling with soft avocado. But wait, there's more! Next is the bite of crispy cucumber and bell pepper. Every single bite has new and interesting flavors.
- Elbow macaroni
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Dijon mustard
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cherry tomatoes
- Black and green olives
- Thick-cut bacon
- Feta cheese
- Red bell pepper
- Hard boiled eggs
- Salt and pepper
See the recipe card below for full list of ingredients and their measurements.
📖 Ingredient variations
- Pasta - I used large elbow macaroni for my recipe, but use whatever pasta shape makes your heart happy. Regular elbows are a classic, and spirals are fun!
- Mayo - I made homemade mayonnaise (recipe coming soon!), but store-bought works just as well.
- Olives - There are both black and green olives in this recipe, because I love them (especially the black ones!). If you're not a fan of olives, leave them out...
- Bacon - The bacon in this recipe is thick-cut. If you don't have thick-cut bacon, you can use regular, but increase the amount by nearly double.
- Cheese - Feta cheese is my cheese of choice for this recipe, but goat cheese would also work really well with this recipe's flavors.
- Yogurt - In place of Greek yogurt, you can use regular plain yogurt or even sour cream, but the dressing may not be as thick.
- Basil - Only use fresh basil. Dried basil just won't work as well.
This is my recipe for macaroni salad, but feel free to make it your own. I'd love to hear what changes you've made for yours (let me know below in the comments).
🥣 How to make macaroni salad
This macaroni salad recipe couldn't be easier! Start by boiling your pasta in salted water. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and allow it to cool while you're assembling all the other ingredients.
In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and Greek yogurt. Mix well with a spoon, then add mustard and vinegar and mix well again.
Place cooked and cooled pasta in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Add salt and pepper, and taste. Then, add remaining ingredients and toss well with a large wooden spoon. Allow to chill in the fridge for a hour or so before serving. Enjoy!
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Did you try my Macaroni Salad recipe? Let us know in the comments below!
Loaded Macaroni Salad Recipe
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters (1-½ c chopped)
- ⅔ cup black and green olives, chopped
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked crispy then crumbled
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1-½ cups cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 whole avocado, chopped
- ½ cup scallions, chopped
- 20 large leaves of basil, torn into small pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start by boiling your pasta in salted water. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and allow it to cool while you’re assembling all the other ingredients.
- In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and Greek yogurt. Mix well with a spoon, then add mustard and vinegar and mix well again.
- Place cooked and cooled pasta in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Add salt and pepper, and taste. Then, add remaining ingredients and toss well with a large wooden spoon. Allow to chill in the fridge for a hour or so before serving. Enjoy!
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