The Best Macaroni Salad

Today we wanted to share recipe for what we believe to be the best macaroni salad. 

This is our family’s most favorite macaroni salad.  It is the perfect sweet, creamy, tangy macaroni salad you will ever try.  We know this is true as it is the most requested recipe we are asked to bring to any bring to any potluck, barbecue, party or family gathering.  In fact those who taste it, always say it’s delicious and ask for the recipe

The great thing about this macaroni salad recipe is that you typically have just about everything on hand to make it.  You need a few fresh vegetables, some elbow noodle pasta, and a few ingredients to make the dressing. 

You might be surprised to learn that the key ingredient in the dressing is the sweetened and condensed milk.  It’s not the first thing many people think of when thinking of how to sweeten a pasta salad dressing.  But honesty it compliments all the other ingredients to make the most mouthwatering dressing.

The Best Macaroni Salad

The best and most requested pasta salad recipe for any potluck, barbecue, party or family gathering

Author Sunup to Sundown


  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 4 carrots, shredded
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add macaroni, cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  Rinse under cold water, and drain. 

  2. In a bowl, prepare the dressing.  Mix the mayonnaise, condensed milk, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. 

  3. In a large bowl, incorporate all vegetables, pasta, and dressing.  

  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. 

Recipe Notes

It’s best to make this pasta salad up a day ahead of time, and stir it occasionally and before serving.  The macaroni will absorb some of the liquid. 

This pasta salad recipe is fairly versatile in that you can substitute many ingredients to what is most suited to your diet.  This is especially helpful if you have a gluten intolerance or other dietary restrictions.  You can add more veggies to basically make it as healthy as you want.  We try to stick with onions, shredded carrots and different colored bell peppers for the favor profile and the visual appearance it affords.    

You might be wondering why we are sharing this summer side salad recipe in the middle of winter.  The thing is that this pasta salad goes great alongside any type of barbecued meat.  We even had this macaroni salad as one of the side dishes for our ham dinner on Christmas Day.  You can add meat to this salad to make it a full meal and it also goes great as a side to any burger or sandwich.  Really the possibilities are  endless based on your diet and what you have available in your pantry. 

We would really encourage you to try this recipe for yourself. We would also love to hear what you think about this recipe. If you make any changes that turn out well please also let us know.  And if you have any other ideas of what else this pasta salad goes well with please also let us know.  Thank you for stopping by and visiting Sunup to Sundown!  We’ll be back soon with another recipe or update regarding our garden or our journey to becoming more self-reliant.

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