7 Best Dressings for Macaroni Salad: Delicious Recipes to Try Now

Macaroni salad is a classic summer side dish that is loved by many.

It’s a perfect addition to any barbecue or picnic, and it’s easy to make in large batches.

While macaroni salad is delicious on its own, the right dressing can take it to the next level.

In this article, we will explore the 7 best dressings for macaroni salad that will elevate this classic dish.

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macaroni salad with dressing

When it comes to macaroni salad dressings, there are many options to choose from.

From the classic mayo-based dressing to the tangy vinaigrettes, each dressing adds a unique flavor to the salad.

Some dressings are creamy and rich, while others are light and refreshing. Depending on your preference, you can choose a dressing that complements the other ingredients in the salad.

In this article, we will provide you with a list of the 7 best dressings for macaroni salad.

The 7 Best Dressings for Macaroni Salad

Classic Mayo-Based Dressing

The classic mayo-based dressing is a staple for macaroni salad, and it’s easy to see why. It’s creamy, tangy, and pairs perfectly with the pasta. To make this dressing, simply mix together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, and salt. Adjust the ingredients to your taste, and you’ll have a delicious dressing in no time.

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Creamy Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is a crowd-pleaser, and it’s no different when it comes to macaroni salad. To make a creamy ranch dressing, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, salt, and pepper. This dressing adds a cool and tangy flavor to your macaroni salad.

Zesty Italian Dressing

If you’re looking for a dressing with a little more kick, try a zesty Italian dressing. Mix together olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. This dressing adds a bold and tangy flavor to your macaroni salad.

Tangy Mustard Dressing

Mustard dressing is a tangy and flavorful option for macaroni salad. Mix together Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. This dressing adds a tangy and sweet flavor to your macaroni salad.

Sweet and Sour Dressing

If you’re looking for a dressing with a sweet and tangy flavor, try a sweet and sour dressing. Mix together sugar, apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. This dressing adds a sweet and tangy flavor to your macaroni salad.

Spicy Chipotle Dressing

If you’re looking for a dressing with a little heat, try a spicy chipotle dressing. Mix together adobo sauce, lime juice, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper. This dressing adds a smoky and spicy flavor to your macaroni salad.

Vegan Avocado Dressing

For a vegan option, try an avocado dressing. Mix together avocado, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. This dressing adds a creamy and flavorful twist to your macaroni salad.

There you have it, the 7 best dressings for macaroni salad. Whether you prefer a classic mayo-based dressing or something a little more zesty or spicy, there’s a dressing on this list for everyone. Try them all and find your new favorite!

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Tips for Perfecting Your Macaroni Salad

Chilling and Serving

One of the most important things to remember when making macaroni salad is to chill it properly. After cooking the pasta, run it under cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent it from becoming mushy. Once the pasta is completely cooled, mix in the other ingredients and dressings. Refrigerate the salad for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

When serving the macaroni salad, make sure it stays chilled. Keep it in a bowl over a bed of ice or place the bowl in the refrigerator between servings to keep it at a safe temperature.

Adjusting Seasonings

Macaroni salad can be made with a variety of dressings and seasonings, but it’s important to taste it as you go to make sure the flavors are balanced. If the salad is too bland, add more salt, pepper, or other seasonings. If it’s too tangy or acidic, add a little sugar to balance it out. Remember that the flavors will intensify as the salad chills, so be cautious when adding more seasonings.

Adding Texture

Macaroni salad can be enhanced with the addition of different textures. Try adding crunchy vegetables like celery, bell peppers, or carrots, or incorporate some chopped nuts or seeds for extra crunch. You can also add some chewy dried fruits like cranberries or raisins for a sweet and tangy flavor.

Making it in Advance

Macaroni salad can be made in advance, which makes it a great dish to bring to potlucks or picnics. However, keep in mind that the pasta will absorb some of the dressing as it sits, so you may need to add more dressing before serving. If the salad seems dry, add a little more mayo, sour cream, or dressing and mix well.

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Remember to keep the salad chilled until you’re ready to serve it. You can also prepare the ingredients ahead of time and mix everything together right before serving to ensure the salad stays fresh and flavorful.


By following these tips, you can create the perfect macaroni salad every time. Whether you prefer a classic recipe or something with a little more flair, these tips will help you achieve the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Experiment with different dressings and add-ins to create a macaroni salad that’s uniquely yours.

Macaroni Salad with dressing

7 Best Macaroni Salad Dressing Recipe Collection

Macaroni Salad is a classic dish that is perfect for any occasion, from picnics to potlucks. However, finding the perfect dressing can be a challenge. That's why we've compiled a list of the most delicious and easy-to-make dressings that will take your Macaroni Salad to the next level. From classic mayonnaise-based dressings to tangy vinaigrettes, these recipes will satisfy any taste preference. So, get ready to impress your guests with these mouth-watering dressings and enjoy the perfect Macaroni Salad every time.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dressing
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 444 kcal


  • Classic Mayo-Based Dressing
  • Creamy Ranch Dressing
  • Zesty Italian Dressing
  • Tangy Mustard Dressing
  • Sweet and Sour Dressing
  • Spicy Chipotle Dressing
  • Vegan Avocado Dressing


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious salad dressing recipe in 30 minutes or less!