Mom’s Macaroni Pasta Salad

Macaroni Pasta Salad

There are so many versions of Macaroni Pasta Salad, isn’t there? If you went to a potluck and 10 different people brought Macaroni Salad, I bet you’d end up with 10 different versions. I personally love all the differences. It’s fun listening to what is one person’s ideal Macaroni Pasta Salad versus another person. The same can be said of Potato Salad.

This recipe is nothing fancy. It’s very simple, but it’s my version of the Macaroni Pasta Salad I grew up with. It consists of only pasta, cucumbers, sweet pickles, hard-boiled eggs, paprika, and mayonnaise. You’ll notice in the photo below that I didn’t actually use “macaroni”…we use the term “macaroni” loosely around here. Basically, I use whatever small salad type pasta I’m in the mood for. This time I used tiny shells.

Ingredients for Macaroni Pasta Salad

Want to know a secret? I don’t eat the cucumbers in this salad. Well, I actually try to not spoon any onto my plate in the first place. Some always seem to get on my plate though. I used to never eat cucumbers, but over the last couple of years, I have started eating them on sandwiches. But, I still pick them out of this salad just like I did when I was younger. The rest of my family? They eat it all.

Mom’s Macaroni Salad
  • 1 lb small pasta (salad macaroni, shells, etc)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, sliced and cut into quarters
  • 8 oz whole sweet baby pickles, drained (I usually use Sweet Gherkins)
  • 6 eggs, hard-boiled, cooled and peeled
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to directions -- do not overcook, you will want it to be al dente (slightly firm). After draining hot water from pasta, keep pasta in strainer and immediately cool the pasta by running cold water over it until all the pasta is cool to the touch. Drain pasta again and place in large bowl.
  2. Peel cucumber and cut off ends; discard ends and peel. Slice cucumber in half lengthwise and then cut each half in half again, so you have 4 long piece of cucumber. Cut the long pieces into smaller bite-size chunks. Slice sweet pickles. Chop peeled hard-boiled eggs.
  3. Combine cucumber, pickles, eggs, and mayonnaise with the pasta. Sprinkle with paprika and stir gently to combine with the salad. Season with salad and pepper.

And, yes, if you were to ask me to bring Macaroni Salad to a potluck, this is the one I would most likely bring.

Now it’s your turn:

What do you put in your macaroni pasta salad?

Macaroni Pasta Salad with Cucumbers & Pickles

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  1. Beth says

    Love the variety of pasta salads out there, but my most common ingredients when I make it, are very (very) thinly sliced capsicum/bell pepper (yellow, red, green), very thinly sliced red onion, shaved carrot, thin ‘sticks’ of pickles, and mayo. I add the pasta to the vegetables and mayo while it’s still hot, and the salad is good both hot and cold.

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