This Really Good Macaroni Salad recipe is one of my favorite recipes thanks to a few special touches and ingredients. I think you’re going to love it too!

Really Good Macaroni Salad | Inspired by Charm

Macaroni Salad:

So, I stumbled upon a photo of macaroni salad this morning and had an immediate craving. Shame on you, Pinterest. Normally I can subdue these cravings, but with thoughts of summer swirling in my head, the desire to whip up a batch of macaroni salad was too powerful to resist.

Really Good Macaroni Salad | Inspired by Charm

Also, as some of you have noticed, I’ve been a really bad blogger lately. I’m really sorry about that.

Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out the root of my lack of motivation and creative rut. So I figured that since I need to eat, and working in the kitchen is always comforting, why not start there.

The secret to really good Macaroni Salad:

It’s all in the ingredients. I have lots of special things that I put in my macaroni salad recipe.

They include:

  • elbox macaroni
  • onion
  • celery
  • sweet pickles
  • eggs
  • olives
  • dill

For the macaroni salad dressing include:

  • mayonnaise
  • sour cream
  • dijon mustard
  • pickle juice
  • sugar
  • salt & pepper

Now that you know all of the ingredients, let’s whip some up!

How to make the Best Macaroni Salad recipe:

Believe it or not, I’ve never made macaroni salad before. That’s kind of weird, right? To be honest, I was actually intimidated to tackle this today. I seem to fear staple recipes such as this that people have come to know and love.

Everyone has their favorite way to make macaroni salad and anything but their favorite is blasphemy. My dad, for example, makes an amazing macaroni salad. It’s no frills and swimming (in a really good way) in Miracle Whip. I love the stuff as does the rest of my family. If you’re looking for a Miracle Whip based Macaroni Salad recipe, you can find that HERE.

Really Good Macaroni Salad | Inspired by Charm

I also have a fondness for more traditional / old-fashioned macaroni salad. The kind made with real mayonnaise. That’s what this recipe calls for.

However, there are a few special ingredients, that in my opinion, make this particular salad bold and special. Those ingredients include sweet pickle juice, sugar, and fresh dill. They really make all the difference. Trust me.


Initially, I thought about naming this recipe The Best Ever Macaroni Salad.

However, that’s a lot of pressure for a salad. Instead, I decided on Really Good Macaroni Salad. Give it a try. I’m sure you’ll agree. (Check out more of my favorite appetizer recipes HERE.)

For more Easy Pasta Salad Recipes, Check Out:

Really Good Macaroni Salad | Inspired by Charm

Macaroni Salad Recipe:

Really Good Macaroni Salad

Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: macaroni salad, pasta, pasta salad, summer
Servings: 8 people
Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
This Really Good Macaroni Salad is one of my favorite recipes thanks to a few special touches and ingredients. I think you're going to love it too!


  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 teaspoons sweet pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups elbow macaroni - 1 lb box, cooked
  • 1/2 large white onion - finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks - finely chopped
  • 5-6 sweet pickles - finely chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs - chopped
  • 1 cup green olives - pimento-stuffed, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill - chopped
  • Additional fresh dill for garnish


  • Begin by cooking the macaroni according to the package directions. Cook al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Set aside..
  • For the dressing, in a medium-size bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, pickle juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk until combined.
  • In a large bowl, add the macaroni, onion, celery, pickles, green olives, and dressing. Stir well to coat. Then add the hard-boiled eggs and dill. Stir again to coat. Add extra salt or pepper to taste. Chill in the refrigerator or transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh dill before serving.


Nutrition Facts

Calories: 633kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 18gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 845mgPotassium: 333mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 433IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 2mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you're cooking in the kitchen!
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  • Veni at

    Hi Michael…Glad you are ok…I have missed your posts and actually went back to make sure I hadn’t missed any. Take your time but know we look forward to your creativity as we are often in creative ruts ourselves! Enjoy your mac salad…looks deeelish..

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Awww. Thanks Veni! It feels good to be posting again. Glad you like the recipe.

      xo Michael

  • Jennifer at

    Michael! You’re entitled to a rut. We’ll wait patiently and be happy with whatever you decide to chat about. Looking forward to trying the salad!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I guess so, right? That’s what I’ve been telling myself.

      xo Michael

  • Melissa in North Carolina at

    You used my secret ingredient for a fabulous macaroni salad, fresh dill!!!
    So far everyone has been very gentle with their comments regarding your absence. I’m not going to be gentle…it’s been a couple weeks! Drop that funk and get busy inspiring us! No excuses…love you!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I greatly appreciate the kick in the pants! 😉 Thanks Melissa!!

      xo Michael

  • Holly H. at

    Would love your Dad’s miracle whip macaroni salad! Miracle Whip is the devil to some people but heaven to me 🙂

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’m not sure if there is an official “recipe”, but next time he makes it, I’ll watch and see what I can come up with. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Yalanda @ Laugh Anyway at

    I’ve been a reader for a while and I’ve seen you whip out some fantastic looking baked goods. I, on the other hand, suffer from severe intimidation for pie crusts, and most other complicated sounding/looking pastry recipes. So initially, I was going to tell you not to be afraid, but then I’d be a hypocrite. Of course, all in all, I’m glad you tried it. It looks intriguing!

    Yalanda |

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Haha. Thanks so much Yalanda!

      xo Michael

  • Jamie @ Anderson & Grant at

    This recipe sounds delicious…it is always nice to find a new take on an old favorite. The secret to my family’s “Best” macaroni salad is mustard….it adds a nice tangy taste to the salad. I’m going to have to try your dill idea, though!

    And by the way…..If you find the reason behind your lack of motivation, please share! I am also still in a rut and seem to change the vision I have for my own blog on a daily basis. I get super excited about heading In one direction, and by the next week I have a totally different plan!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you, Jamie! Yep, this recipe has a little dijon mustard in it. That helps too!

      And I will certainly share if I ever figure it out. It seems to come and go, so I’ve been just waiting patiently for it to pass.

      xo Michael

  • Sue at

    This looks so good, and I’m in need of a good (really good) macaroni salad recipe-thank you!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks Sue! I hope this one works for you. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Kay at

    Michael, I’m absolutely sure I’ll love this macaroni recipe. I can tell by simply reading the ingredients: mayonnaise and sour cream (mayonnaise alone always tastes kind’a “heavy” to me) and you can’t go wrong by adding sweet pickles or pickle juice and dill. YUM!!
    Now about your feelings of being in a rut. Don’t be hard on yourself. You, like most of us, occasionally must give in to our feelings and do whatever brings peace of mind. If you chose to take some time off to refuel your creativity, just know that your friends will wait to hear from you when you’re ready.

  • Shari at

    He’s baaaaack, y’all! Seriously, I missed you!! Glad to hear you’re all right & just having a lil creativity rut. xoxo

  • Claire @ A Little Claireification at

    Have missed you and your posts! This looks so very delicious. If I weren’t about to fall into bed I would be making some elbow pasta right now. Dill is such a perfect ingredient in this. Pinned and hope that all is well in your world! xo

  • Maralyn Woods at

    As Cher said, “Snap out of it!”. We missed you and I too went back looking to make sure I hadn’t missed something. I woke up thinking about macaroni salad this morning and I made it first thing. I don’t really follow a recipe, just get inspired by what I have on hand. Today it was dill, basil and fresh parsley from my garden as well as red sweet peppers, a jalapeno, onions, mustard, smoked paprika, pepper, garlic powder and Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime and a touch of Mrs. D’s Chipotle seasoning. Wish I could have used those olives and some mayo but (sigh) but I have sodium issues so used Trader Joe’s Kalamata olive oil as dressing with Italian herbs shaken it. Mine is delicious but I sure would like a big bowl of yours. Now get over yourself. We all love you and will read anything you post. If angst is all you’ve got POST IT! Nuff said. You’re the best.

  • shar at

    Glad you’re back; the macaroni salad looks delicious!

  • JoeyfromSC at

    You were missed! Glad to see this recipe because my brother has been begging me to make my Mom’s macaroni salad recipe! lol..Hers is very similar..I’d have to leave out the olives(I LOVE them, but my brothers both do not sadly!) so I’d put those in my portions lol

    Thanks for the recipe!


  • Terri at

    I am going to give this one a try. It sounds great and I like having a variety of Mac salads. Hope to see more from you soon.

  • Gwen, The Makerista at

    We all need a break once in a while. Pasta salad is one of my guilty pleasures! Anything with carbs and mayonnaise has to taste good, right?

  • Leslie W at

    Hey Baby! Nice to see you are back! Unpack those bags from your guilt trip – the universe does not revolve around you & we will take you (& support you) as you are. We all have our ups & downs so guess what – you are allowed! Hang in!

  • Mackenzie F. at

    I was inspired by YOU and made your macaroni salad last night. It was SCRUMPTIOUS, and I gave some to my very grateful neighbors since I had so much. Thanks for sharing your recipe! This was my first time making macaroni salad and it tasted ‘Really Good’. 🙂

  • Marybeth B. at

    Looking forward to trying this recipe! I feel the same way about potato salad as you do macaroni salad. Total intimidation! I did find one I liked by Emeril Lagasse that is now my go to recipe… and it has bacon in it! Anyway… I’m going to try this recipe for macaroni salad for something different! Thanks for sharing this recipe. 🙂

  • Nadine at

    Thanks, I was looking for a macaroni salad that was using the pickle juice as one of my friends made one like that and I love it. So I did yours and It was a big winner….Yeah Iv’e got a good macaroni salad!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Fabulous Nadine! So happy to hear that!

      xo Michael

  • Helen R. at

    My momma used to add small pieces of diced cheese to her macaroni salad and if she was feeling a little adventurous would add chunk tuna as well. My brother was asking me about this same salad recently. Maybe I should make some up and take it over to him as a surprise.

  • Debbie Whitford at

    ‘Almost’ exactly how I make mine. Try adding some diced sweet peppers. The kind that come in a bag next to the bell peppers. I love the variety of red, yellow and orange all in one bag. And also…the trick to my mac salad…deviled eggs…and potato salad…is to add white vinegar. I start at a tablespoon full. Add more to taste.

  • Cindy at

    That is a wonderful recipe, I made it tonight and it is better than any I have made before. Thanks so much for posting it!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      So happy to hear you enjoyed it Cindy!

      xo Michael

  • Marla at

    I love the real mayo and dill! Simply aahmazing! My mom’s was always made with miracle whip and very traditional. My husband and I like a little bit of spice so I add cayenne as well.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Oooh! I love the additional of cayenne! Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

      xo Michael

  • Linda Case at

    Are the sweet pickles the same as gherkins or cucumber chips?

  • Jeannee at

    Wow ! You got me at the olives ! For a minute I thought this was just like one my family has been making for many years but we do not use the sweet pickle juice or the olives ! I am definitely going to make this one ! Thanks for a new take on an old faithful !!!

  • Michelle at

    Made this tonight for an early Father’s Day dinner tomorrow. I have always added sweet pickles, and olives to my macaroni salad, with straight Miracle Whip. I think this will be my new mac salad recipe. It is wonderful! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • dena at

    There are SO many different types of Dijon mustard out there and I have been struggling to find one that isn’t too overpowering. What kind do you use?

  • Jean at

    This mac salad looks so yummy, I can’t wait ti try it. I grew up on the miracle whip style and love it so much that I could eat the whole bowl all by my self… just kidding lol. My grandson took a culinary class, where they used mayo in place of miracle whip which I would have never done… I loved it.. so when I saw your recipe I just had to print it and give it a try. Nice twist w/ the ingredients! Thanks Michael, I can’t wait to see what you are going to share next.

  • Janet Mayer at

    Michael, I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago for my granddaughter’s high school graduation party (awww…) and it was a huge hit!! I got so many compliments on it and several people remarked how much they loved the fresh dill. Will be making it again very soon. Thank you!!!

  • Patricia at

    I wanna make this for my sons wedding, how many servings does it make ?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Im not exactly sure. I want to say it would serve about 20 folks. Just consider how much a pound of pasta feeds.

      Hope that helps!
      xo Michael

  • Kathy Griffith at

    Wow that’s so funny as I did the same thing, made macaroni salad and hamburgers in the middle of a cold spell on the East Coast. Brought out the George Forman grill and grilled those burgers, was very good change to the soups and such of the winter.

  • Cheryl at

    Made your macaroni salad yesterday! DELICIOUS! Have never used dill, pickles, pickle juice, Dijon mustard or green olives in my macaroni salad before and am now wondering how I ever was satisfied WITHOUT THEM! I DID add matchstick carrots to your recipe because we LOVE carrots in all salads. Put in about a cup of them. The pickles and olives meld so nicely with the sour cream, mayo and Dijon mustard! Mmmmmm! Thank you for my NEW FAVORITE MACARONI SALAD recipe!!!

  • Dana at

    I just made this. Seemed like it was missing something and needed more mayo so I reread the ingredients. I forgot to add the Dijon and he sour cream. Jeezzz!

  • Kat at

    Tried the dressing and i loved it! and I’m not a fan of dressing so i was surprised I really loved this one,and my family, thanks!

  • stephanie at

    This is my Great-Grandma’s mac salad recipe! I’ve never found anyone else who makes it this way. Have never added dill, but just might give it a try. And in our house, the dressing is simply Miracle Whip, salt and pepper = totally basic.

  • Cherene at

    I made this pasta salad yesterday & it was “Really” good. The only things I did differently was add green peas, used dried dill, instead of fresh (it’s what I had on hand) and omited the olives (personal preference).

    • Cherene at

      FI made this pasta salad yesterday & it was “Really” good. The only things I did differently was add green peas, used dried dill, instead of fresh (it’s what I had on hand) and omited the olives (personal preference).

      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        That’s awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and made it your own!

        xo Michael

  • Barbara at

    I think the most appealing thing on your very appealing page is your open, happy, cute and smiling little face at the top.

  • Debbie Kandalec at

    I love the combination of dressing ingredients. This was, hands down, the best macaroni salad I have tasted. Glad I found the recipe!!

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