Summer Macaroni Salad

A creamy macaroni salad recipe dressed with homemade mayonnaise & tangy vinegar, tossed with bell peppers, dill pickles, and red onions

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Savannah


for the homemade mayo (may be replaced with 1 1/4 cup store-bought mayo)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup olive oil

for the rest of the macaroni salad

  • 1/2 red onion (finely diced)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups dry macaroni
  • salt
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 3/4 cup dill pickle (diced)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • fresh herbs for topping


  1. Begin by making the homemade mayo. If you'd prefer to use store-bought mayo, move on to the next step. Add the egg to the bottom of a small jar or plastic container (you'll need it to have a wide enough mouth to fit an immersion blender). Add the lemon juice, dijon, salt, and finally olive oil. Insert the immersion blender. Keeping it low in the container and avoiding movement, turn it on and blend for about 15 seconds, until white mayonnaise begins to come together at the bottom of the container, THEN begin to move the immersion blender around until everything is incorporated.

  2. Add the finely diced red onion to a small bowl, and cover with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Allow it to macerate for about 45 minutes, which basically means you're going to let it sit there and let the acid soften the bite of the onion a little.

  3. Cook 2 cups of dry macaroni according to package instructions. Liberally salt the pasta water for more flavorful macaroni. When cooked, drain and rinse well in cool water. Let the macaroni chill before continuing. I find that rinsing it in cold water for 30 seconds cools it off well enough.

  4. Combine mayo with red onions and the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar you soaked them in. Mix in white pepper and coriander, then combine with macaroni, bell pepper, and pickles.

  5. Chill until ready to serve, and top with fresh herbs if desired. I used cilantro because I had some on hand, but I think dill or chives would also be delicious.