8 Seriously Delicious Macaroni Salads to Complete Your Potluck Spread

Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad
Photo: Andy Lyons

When it comes to summer potlucks, macaroni salad is almost as traditional as barbecue. This side dish became popular in the '50s, was all the rage (as pasta salad) in the '80s, then fell out of favor and was considered passé in the aughts. Now it's shedding its air of nostalgia and making a decided comeback. Here are some delicious recipes for your next picnic—you can expect the classics, with elbow macaroni and mayo, but we've added some unexpected twists featuring pesto, chicken, and more.

01 of 08

Classic Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad in container with peas and radishes to side
Andy Lyons

You'll definitely get the vote for best macaroni salad when you bring this to your potluck. Our Test Kitchen's classic version blends pasta with peas, radish, celery, and cubed cheese. Hard-cooked eggs and the signature creamy dressing bind it all together.

02 of 08

Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad

Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad
Andy Lyons

Two picnic favorites team up in this delicious macaroni salad. The rich dressing achieves the tangy flavor of classic deviled eggs by combining egg yolks with mayo and quick-pickled onions. And there's paprika, too.

03 of 08

Shrimp Boil Macaroni Salad

Shrimp Boil Macaroni Salad
Andy Lyons

When it comes to food mashups, this macaroni salad is hard to beat. Succulent shrimp, corn, and potatoes are flavored in a classic Cajun-spiced broth. Don't toss the cooking liquid—it's our secret ingredient for the irresistible dressing. This salad can be made up to 24 hours in advance, so it'll be ready to go when you are.

04 of 08

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad on yellow plate with pulled pork sandwich
Jennifer Levy

Lighten up your picnic plate with this healthy macaroni salad recipe. Instead of mayo, opt for plain yogurt or sour cream to achieve a creamy dressing that has only 150 calories per serving. A squeeze of lemon juice, fresh spinach leaves, and tomato are added to the healthy mix.

05 of 08

Italian Pesto Pasta Salad

Italian Pesto Pasta Salad
Andy Lyons

Add some green to your spread with our Italian-inspired macaroni salad. In only 30 minutes this top-rated BH&G pasta salad can be infused with herbs and ready to serve. If you have extra time, try making your own basil pesto.

Buy It: Gotham Steel 5-Quart Multipurpose Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid ($30, Amazon)

06 of 08

Southwestern Chicken and Macaroni Salad

Southwestern Chicken and Macaroni Salad
Andy Lyons

This hearty macaroni salad with chicken is good enough to serve as an entrée. Salsa, roasted poblanos, and cream cheese combine in our rich Southwestern dressing. Crunchy chicken tenders and creamy avocado top off this delicious salad.

07 of 08

Fresh Macaroni Salad

Fresh Macaroni Salad in bowl
Jason Donnelly

You can pack the garden into one dish, thanks to this healthy macaroni salad recipe. Get a nice crunch from fresh broccoli, sugar snap peas, and green onions. We keep the calorie count down by using multigrain pasta and making the dressing with fat-free plain yogurt.

08 of 08

Pea and Macaroni Salad

Pea and Macaroni Salad in white bowl
Bill Stites

It's all things green in this macaroni salad. Fresh pea pods, peas, and celery are the mix. The dressing gets a mighty kick from a bit of horseradish mustard.

Test Kitchen Tip: If your macaroni salad gets a little dry after it's been chilled in the fridge, moisten it by adding one to two tablespoons of milk.

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