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Make Ahead Macaroni Salad

Check mac salad off your list! Make this easy breezy spring and summertime dish for your next gathering.

I made this macaroni salad a few weeks ago for a Sunday family BBQ and shared it on my Instagram stories, and SO many people reached out to me for the recipe! That always makes me smile. I'm also really happy that I actually wrote it down, because this was totally thrown together using my intuition and what we had in the fridge from my market haul that week. It's a fairly classic macaroni salad with a few more colors, flavors, and textures thrown into the mix, and it'll be perf for your MDW gatherings! Make this easy breezy, comforting salad all summer long. Sooo yum!

Follow along on Instagram for more simply delicious recipes and kitchen tips like this. If you make this bright and flavorful summertime side, be sure to tag @threebirdsonestove so I can how you're enjoying!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Yield: Serves 8-10


1 pound pasta (use your fave mac for macaroni salad)

1 3/4 cups mayonnaise

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

4 carrots, peeled and chopped (rainbow carrots are even more fun for this!)

6 celery stalks, chopped

1 cup sharp yellow cheddar, cut into small cubes

Pinch of sugar (turbinado or cane)

Salt + black pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped scallions (for topping)


  1. Drain the pasta and pour into a large bowl. Toss in 1 teaspoon of olive oil to coat. Cool for 10 minutes.

  2. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Place in the the fridge for at least a few hours, the day before is even better, so the flavors come together. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before serving.

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