Classic Macaroni Salad – An Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad Recipe

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Classic Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish for a summer cookout, family reunion or even a tailgate. Along with the traditional ingredients, the dressing for this version of macaroni salad includes sweetened condensed milk. This old fashioned macaroni salad is definitely a recipe your friends and family will be asking for after they taste it.

Classic Macaroni Salad

Nothing screams summer like this Classic Macaroni Salad recipe. It is a must-have for any family reunion, cookout or even just as the perfect side with your favorite grilled protein, like steak, burgers, pork chops and hot dogs.

Our family does not normally tailgate before the games featuring our favorite college and pro football teams; however, we do enjoy gathering to watch the game. And when you get together to watch football, it’s required that you have a spread of good “tailgating” food!

Sweet Macaroni Salad Recipe

This sweet Macaroni Salad with sweetened condensed milk is one that is easy to put together the night before and only gets better and better after a few hours in the refrigerator.

During football season, our dad and Barbara’s husband are busy with corn and soybean harvest so recipes like this Classic Macaroni Salad are also great to be able to either leave in the fridge for a quick lunch (if they take a break) or load up in our awesome Colts tote and serve as a side with a hearty sandwich for supper.

The ingredients for this macaroni salad include the traditional mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, but this recipe adds in a can of sweetened condensed milk. It is so good that you have to resist the urge to eat it with a spoon.

Ingredient List for Creamy Macaroni Salad

Elbow Macaroni

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Mayonnaise

White Vinegar

Sugar

Salt

Black Pepper

Bell Pepper, diced

Onion, minced or diced

Carrots, grated

How To Make Macaroni Salad with Sweetened Condensed Milk:

Instructions:

  1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions; drain well.
  2. Make the dressing by combining mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and salt and pepper. Pour over macaroni and stir.
  3. Add in carrots, pepper and onion; mix gently. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the for ingredient amounts and recipe steps for for Sweet Macaroni Salad with Sweetened Condensed Milk, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. 

Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is one of those old fashioned recipes that takes you back to your childhood.

As I’m eating it, I’m reminded of picnics in the back of the truck when my Dad was out in the field during the fall.  Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad served along side fried chicken or a simple lunch meat sandwich.  You really can’t go wrong.

There’s also something about this sweet macaroni salad dressing using sweetened condensed milk that just seems nostalgic.  I love dishes like that.

Notes About Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad

  • Use sweetened condensed milk for this recipe, not to be confused with evaporated milk.
  • Red, yellow or orange peppers could be substituted for green peppers, if desired.
  • Be sure to refrigerate this old fashioned macaroni salad for a minimum of 4 hour to let the flavors marinate together before serving.
  • If the pasta salad seems dry, add a bit more mayonnaise to loosen it up.
  • Want a pasta salad that can serve as a main dish? Try our Tuna Pasta Salad.

Our Favorite Cookout Recipes

Need other ideas for your next summer cookout or tailgate?

Old-Fashioned Pea Salad

Using just one can of peas, this Old-Fashioned Pea Salad recipe is perfect for a side dish for a normal meal without too many leftovers. However, it can easily be doubled (or tripled) for cookouts and pitch-ins. This pea salad can be eaten right away or chilled for later.

Pink Lady Salad

Pink Lady Salad is 5 ingredient vintage Jello salad that includes cottage cheese, canned pineapple and Cool Whip. Also known as Pink Stuff, this recipe creates one of those classic dishes that graced holiday dinner tables across the Midwest.

Black Bean Caviar Salsa

Crock Pot Calico Beans

These Crock Pot Calico Beans are easy to make and full of flavor. With bacon, ground beef and four kinds of beans, it is a hearty side dish.

Old-Fashioned Fruit Salad

This Old-Fashioned Fruit Salad is a fruit salad recipe with pudding. It might be the ultimate kid-friendly side dish or dessert. With only four ingredients, this fruit salad is perfect for a cookout, pitch-in, barbecue or whatever you call a gathering with lots and lots of food!

Southern Vegetable Salad

Southern Vegetable Salad is a tried and true vinegar based salad that marinates in the refrigerator.  It's cool and refreshing, and gets better with time. Store this marinated vegetable salad up to a month in the refrigerator. 

Sweet Potato Salad with Canned Yams

Sweet Potato Salad with Canned Yams is as easy as it is delicious. Starting with canned sweet potatoes is a super time-saver, and the result is a slightly sweet and very special cold potato salad.

Classic Macaroni Salad

This Classic Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish for a summer cookout, family reunion or even a tailgate. Along with the traditional ingredients, the dressing for this version of macaroni salad includes sweetened condensed milk. This is definitely a recipe your friends and family will be asking for after they taste it.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Refrigerate4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic macaroni salad, creamy macaroni salad, macaroni salad, macaroni salad with sweetened condensed milk, sweet macaroni salad
Servings: 12
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. macaroni pasta
  • 3 large carrots grated
  • 1 onion diced small
  • 1 green pepper diced small
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook macaroni according to package directions to al dente. Drain.
    Classic Macaroni Salad with sweetened condensed milk is the perfect side dish for any meal. Just one bite takes you back in time.
  • Mix together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, sweetened condensed milk and salt and pepper; add to macaroni and stir well.
    Classic Macaroni Salad with sweetened condensed milk is the perfect side dish for any meal. Just one bite takes you back in time.
  • Add in carrots, onion and green pepper. Mix until completely incorporated.
    Classic Macaroni Salad with sweetened condensed milk is the perfect side dish for any meal. Just one bite takes you back in time.
  • Refrigerate for a minimum 4 hours before eating.
    Classic Macaroni Salad with sweetened condensed milk is the perfect side dish for any meal. Just one bite takes you back in time.

Notes

  • Use sweetened condensed milk for this recipe, not to be confused with evaporated milk.
  • Red, yellow or orange peppers could be substituted for green peppers, if desired.
  • Be sure to refrigerate this old fashioned macaroni salad for a minimum of 4 hour to let the flavors marinate together before serving.
  • If the pasta salad seems dry, add a bit more mayonnaise to loosen it up. 
  • Want a pasta salad that can serve as a main dish? Try our Tuna Pasta Salad.
For some more pitch-in recipes, try our Old Fashioned Pea Salad, Cherry Fluff and Ranch Cauliflower Salad. 

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