No potluck or backyard BBQ is complete without Easy Macaroni Salad with Pickles and Olives and this delish dish is ready in about 20 minutes!
Easy Macaroni Salad with Pickles and Olives is an easy-to-make crowd favorite and a yummy must-have potluck dish no one can get enough of! The tender elbow macaroni, salty pickles, and olives, crisp onions, tossed with a homemade mayo dressing is at the top of everyone’s list of most favorite potluck foods.
Simply a Favorite
Like a moth to a flame, we all see the macaroni salad at the potluck and we can’t help but spoon a nice big helping onto our plates. Even when I am already stuffed I still can’t deny the allure of pasta, pickles, olives, and cheese in a creamy dressing, and will fill my plate to the brim with amazing easy macaroni salad! This dish is also one of my go-to’s because I can whip it up the night before and just give it a stir when I’m ready to serve- it’s perfect!
Other Recipes to Serve with Easy Macaroni Salad with Olives and Pickles
- Serving Pina Ritas, or Coconut Pineapple Margaritas, is the perfect way to host a great get-together!
- Pickles are irresistible in the summer, so get the party started with Dill Pickle Dip– it’ll be gone before you un-wrap the macaroni salad!
Pasta: To make this salad, you will need elbow macaroni pasta. If you want to use something else, like medium shells or bowtie pasta, you absolutely can. It just becomes “pasta salad” instead of “macaroni salad.”
Veggies: Sliced olives are needed for this salad and bring texture to the macaroni party with chopped red onion and chopped dill pickles.
Cheese: Pick up a brick of Colby Jack cheese to shred for this recipe.
For the dressing: For the dressing, you will need mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
How to Make Easy Macaroni Salad with Olives and Pickles
STEP ONE: Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Once the pasta is finished cooking, strain it, rinse it with cold water, and place it in a large bowl.
STEP TWO: Add the chopped onions and pickles, sliced olives, and cheese to the bowl with the pasta.
STEP THREE: In a separate bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, pickle juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and mix well.
STEP FOUR: Spoon the dressing over the pasta and toss well to fully mix everything. Cover and chill until you are ready to serve or serve immediately.
Tips for Success
- The pasta will soak up the dressing, so if you are not serving the salad immediately, it’s a good idea to make extra dressing. Toss the salad with the extra dressing before serving to re-fresh the salad.
- Chop the dill pickles yourself instead of purchasing relish. The dill flavor and the crunch of the pickles are so delicious and you’ll need to use pickle juice in the dressing too!
- If you like green olives more than black olives, then use those instead. Both are great options in this easy macaroni salad.
How long does easy macaroni salad last?
Macaroni salad is the ideal potluck dish because you can make it in advance and enjoy any leftovers for a few days! Make the salad up two days before you need it and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. As long as the macaroni salad doesn’t sit out too long in the heat at the potluck, you can cover it back up and store it in the fridge for up to four days.
Why is my macaroni bland?
There are a few ways to achieve a delicious macaroni salad. To start, make sure you salt the pasta water well. When in doubt, throw in a little more salt because I don’t know about you but I’ve never had plain pasta that was too salty! After draining the pasta, toss it with a little dressing, as warm pasta soaks up dressing really well. Prepare the rest of the macaroni salad as written and you will have an incredibly flavorful and delicious dish!
More Amazing Salads for the Potluck!
*This post originally posted on 08/31/2012.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot in salted boiling water according to the package directions. Then drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
- Add the diced onion, chopped pickles, shredded cheese, and sliced olives to the pasta.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, pickle juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and gently mix everything together until evenly combined.
- Top with extra pickles and olives if desired. Chill until ready to serve.