This easy macaroni salad is perfect for a summer BBQ! It’s a classic cold dish that everyone loves–and you can use your Instant Pot to make it!
If you love macaroni salad, you have to try this simple recipe! I like to use the Instant Pot to cook the pasta, because that makes it even easier!
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Macaroni salad is the quintessential summer side dish, isn’t it?
It’s cool and refreshing, and it’s a crowd-pleaser, so it’s the perfect side dish to bring to a BBQ, potluck, or any other gathering.
My favorite type of macaroni salad is sometimes known as Amish macaroni salad, with a sweet and tangy dressing. So good!
Every time I make this dish, it receives rave reviews and people request the recipe–so that’s why I’m sharing my favorite easy macaroni salad recipe with you!
The beauty of macaroni salad is its endless possibilities for customization, based on what you prefer. Not only that, but you can make macaroni salad in the Instant Pot!
In fact, cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is a great way to whip up a dish without heating your stove!
More Delicious Summertime Dishes:
- Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad (Using the Instant Pot!)
- Honey Lime Fruit Salad
- Easy Italian Pasta Salad
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
- Easy and Refreshing Cucumber Salad
- Instant Pot Country Style BBQ Ribs
Simple Macaroni Salad Recipe
Having a simple macaroni salad recipe is handy for days when you don’t have a lot of time, and it’s an easy recipe to make without fancy ingredients!
You’ll notice that I add sugar and vinegar to the dressing for my macaroni salad. That may seem kind of strange, but it really does add such a zingy flavor–the perfect balance of sweet and tangy!
Really, all you need is a few pantry staples, a red onion and a couple ribs from a stalk of celery, and you can make the most deliciously simple macaroni salad!
How to Make the Best Macaroni Salad
It’s really easy to make this cool and refreshing Amish macaroni salad for your next gathering, or even just for your next weekday dinner!
What Goes in Macaroni Salad?
- Elbow macaroni
- Yellow and Coarse Mustard
- Red Onion
- Salt and Pepper
How to Cook Macaroni Salad:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Cook the macaroni. First, you’ll need to cook the macaroni.
I like to use the Instant Pot to cook the pasta, because it’s hands-free and I don’t have to heat my stove on a hot day.
Of course, you can also boil the macaroni on the stove top, too!
Mix up the dressing. While the pasta is cooking, mix up the dressing by whisking together the mayo, sugar, vinegar, mustard, black pepper, and salt. Stir in the onion and celery.
Combine everything. Last, you’ll rinse the macaroni and add it to the dressing and stir to combine. Refrigerate the macaroni salad for at least a couple of hours before serving.
Notes and Adaptations:
- I like to use two different kinds of mustard in my macaroni salad, but if you only have one, just go with that!
- I prefer a sweet red onion in this dish for its pop of color, but you could also use a sweet yellow onion.
- If you want to add hard-boiled eggs, feel free to do so. You can cook the eggs at the same time as the macaroni in the Instant Pot.
- The pasta will absorb some of the liquid as it cools.
- 1 3/4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- In the insert pot of the Instant Pot, combine macaroni, water, and teaspoon of salt. Close lid and set vent to the sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. (Alternatively, cook pasta on the stove according to the directions on the box).
- When cook time is complete, allow a natural release of pressure for 5 minutes, followed by a quick release of remaining pressure.
- After pressure has released and the valve has dropped, carefully remove the lid.
- Drain pasta and rinse under cold water.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, sugar, white vinegar, yellow mustard, coarse mustard, 1/4 tsp of salt and black pepper. Stir in onion and celery.
- Add the cooked pasta to the dressing and stir gently to combine.
- Refrigerate until cool, at least a couple of hours, before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 704mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
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