Salads & Side Dishes

Picnic Perfect Macaroni Salad

Picnic Perfect Macaroni Salad from Lemony Thyme

In an era of gourmet pasta salads…you know the ones, with over the top ingredients, exotic herbs & seasonings, and pasta varieties that make you go hmmm…is there room for a good ol’ Macaroni Salad?

Completely rhetorical. Hell yes there’s room!! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE every kind of pasta.  I appreciate and (on occasion) aspire to create a unique and intriguing ‘Pasta Salad.’  Yet they will never make me as happy as Macaroni Salad does.

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Elbow macaroni and mayonnaise is where we start.  For my Picnic Perfect Macaroni Salad I like to add hard boiled eggs, crispy bacon, diced tomato, celery, scallions, and black olives.  This gives a nice variety of color and crunch and the flavors all play nicely together.

There is room for creativity when making macaroni salad.  Just don’t stray too far from elbows and mayo.  That’s all :)  Tuna Mac with Peas I’ve got my eye on you.

Picnic Perfect Macaroni Salad

Picnic Perfect Macaroni Salad

Libby with Lemony Thyme
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or more to taste
  • 3 hard boiled eggs peeled & finely chopped
  • 4 slices of bacon cooked crispy & crumbled
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks finely diced
  • 1 small can 3.8-ounce ripe black olives, sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Prepare macaroni according to package instructions. Drain, run under cold water and cool completely.
  • Meanwhile prepare remaining ingredients. In a large bowl, combine cooled macaroni with enough mayonnaise to coat. Add in remaining ingredients and gently fold until well combined. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Picnic Perfect Macaroni Salad | | #picnic #bbq #pastasalad

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