Chef John's Classic Macaroni Salad
Whether it's sitting next to some smoky ribs or just a humble hot dog, this deli-style macaroni salad will always be a crowd favorite, as long as you pay attention to a few key details.
Whether it's sitting next to some smoky ribs or just a humble hot dog, this deli-style macaroni salad will always be a crowd favorite, as long as you pay attention to a few key details.
Chef John, you never disappoint! In my opinion, this is one of the best macaroni salads I've ever tasted. My favorite part is the addition of the jalapeno and poblano peppers. Don't be scared to use them. They don't make the macaroni spicy, rather they give it a whole other level of flavor. Your guests will ask what you put in it. You can definitely taste the flavor of the peppers, but not the heat. The only issue I had was that I had to add way more mayo and water than called for before serving, otherwise it was too dry. A keeper!Read More
I made this as written. This is the first Chef John recipe that we didn't care for. I made this for Father's Day, and sadly, it didn't go over well. My husband said it needed more dressing, and he didn't care for the peppers in it. I'm fairly sensitive to heat from peppers, and I did not find this to be too spicy. I made another quarter recipe of dressing to add to the salad for leftovers.Read More
Chef John, you never disappoint! In my opinion, this is one of the best macaroni salads I've ever tasted. My favorite part is the addition of the jalapeno and poblano peppers. Don't be scared to use them. They don't make the macaroni spicy, rather they give it a whole other level of flavor. Your guests will ask what you put in it. You can definitely taste the flavor of the peppers, but not the heat. The only issue I had was that I had to add way more mayo and water than called for before serving, otherwise it was too dry. A keeper!
Today's email contained an allrecipes.com announcment that this recipe is The Most Viewed New Recipe in 2015. Way to go Chef! I've made this recipe 3x, as written. Excellent each time. Like so many of your recipes, I've learned to pay attention to your instructions and let you teach me why you do things in a certain order, etc. Very helpful.
I sauteed the onions in little butter until they slightly browned over low heat. Then I add the bell peppers, jalapeno and poblano peppers, continuing to cook over low heat until tender and tasty. Make sure to get all the seeds out of the peppers or it will be really hot. Follow the recipe as stated otherwise. Omit the Cayenne pepper as their is plenty of heat in this one already. Cubed cheese goes well in this also.
This was possibly the best macaroni salad I have ever had, and I made it. Mind blown. The peppers give it a little spice, so if you are serving it to anyone sensitive to spice, you might want to just use bell peppers. That being said, the spice is really not much and it compliments all the other flavors perfectly. This will be my staple mac salad for some time.
Delicious pasta salad!! The best I've ever had! Usually pasta salads are a bit bland, but this recipe has great texture, great crunch and wonderful flavor. The bit of heat from the peppers, along with the crunchiness of the other veggies makes it super delicious. Truth be told, I didn't read the entire recipe before I made it, so I made it for dinner - right before dinner. It was warm - and I did not let it sit for 4 hours. Family was hungry. It was still fabulous! I would serve cold or warm. Very, Very good. My sweet little family RAVED about it. Chalk one up for mom :) Made it with grill asparagus and honey BBQ chicken. Yowza
I confess this is the first macaroni salad I have ever made, but we loved it! I really don't like to see when people rate a recipe on here when they have changed so many ingredients but I must admit my husband forgot to buy green onion so I did have to substitute vidalia onion since it was too late to send him back out to the store. Other than that, everything else was exact. We didn't find the salad too spicy at all. It was delicious and with just the 2 of us we have been eating it every day with meals or even as a snack. I think next time I might add 50% more veggies but I am definitely making this again and again. Delicious! And when I add those green onions next time I know it will be even better. Thanks for a wonderfully delicious and easy macaroni salad.
Zippy, tasty, tangy. No changes
I guess even one tablespoon sugar was a bit much for us. Next time maybe just a pinch. But I liked the technique (making sure the pasta was completely drained and sticky to the touch before dressing), so will play around with this one.
So I made this huge side for a lake party I went to and everyone was very pleased with how it turned out. I thought at first the poblano and jalapeño would be too much for the wimps there but it turned out to be perfect! I'm making it again for an end of summer bbq pool party. My friend said to add spinach next time because that's what she did to her plate but I'll leave the greens out on this one.
I made this as written. This is the first Chef John recipe that we didn't care for. I made this for Father's Day, and sadly, it didn't go over well. My husband said it needed more dressing, and he didn't care for the peppers in it. I'm fairly sensitive to heat from peppers, and I did not find this to be too spicy. I made another quarter recipe of dressing to add to the salad for leftovers.
Very yummy! I added peas, and because of where I live (Bangkok) I used a de-seeded, not very hot, Thai green chile.
This is the best tasting macaroni salad I've ever made.
This is an A-mazing macaroni salad! I made it exactly as directed, and resisted the temptation to change or add anything. With such simple ingredients it kept for almost two weeks in the fridge. Everyone who tasted it said it was delicious. Home made macaroni salad is 1000% better than store bought so there is really no comparison. I will make this again, and again. YUMMY!
This was sooooo good! I can't stop eating it! Thanks Chef John, this will be on my short list of dishes to impress!
Yes! Another tasty hit from Chef John. Following the instructions and techniques as described really makes the difference. Yummers!
Very good! This really does taste like the mac salad that you get at the deli. While this won't replace our favorite mac salad, this was great for a change and something I will def be make again when we want something different. Thanks for sharing. :)
Perfect recipe as is.Yes I'm actually rating the recipe as is, not this recipe after I made a bunch of changes to it!
Best Macaroni Salad ever! I didn't add the hot stuff, but I did double the recipe. I used Hellmans Mayo and Miracle Whip. Most flavours get absorbed into the Macaroni after a few hours....not this one! This will be my fave to make at weekend get togethers! Thanks so much for a fabulous recipe!
This recipe was a hit with my family. Add a can of tuna and it makes for a great stand alone lunch.
Excellent salad. I didn't use carrots (might in the future) but put a can of finely mixed tuna in it for protein - my mom made it like that. I also didn't put any sugar in it. I'd bought similar salads, including potato and coleslaw at the grocery deli a few times when I didn't have much time to cook and they were sickly sweet. I liked the tip about the water before serving it and lightly coating it with the tiny bit of dressing on the spatula.
Very good recipe and quite a different taste but I wouldn't call it classic macaroni salad with jalapeño and pablano peppers...I'd make it again
I cant eat mayonnaise, so I appreciate a recipe with such precise measurements. Hubby and son have RAVED, son said he could have eaten just that for dinner and been happy, lol. I used a green pepper because that's what we had, and threw The parts of the green onion that looked wilted or tough into the boiling water with the noodles when they were cooking. Thanks again for another great recipe, Chef John!
Delicious! I used roasted red peppers (2) and yellow onions. Very tasty. Thanks for another favorite recipe.
This makes a substantial amount of [delicious] mac salad. I only had bell peppers, so I splashed it with a little bit of Tapatio. Definitely keeping this one on file!
This was an easy & tasty recipe even though I did not use any of the peppers. Next time I will use a yellow or white onion instead of green.
I've made it more than a few times - sometimes I completely follow the recipe - other times, I use just mixed salad greens but i do the "sauce" that you do. I also add in a drop of horseradish, which gives it the kick that i seem to like (besides which, horseradish is good for you :D )
1/4c white vinegar and mayonnaise and Dijon mustard was far too much vinegar. I doubled the macaroni amount and added 6 hard boiled eggs and it evened out the over powering vinegar!! Need to add more salt too. Flavorless (except real vinegary) when following the recipe to the letter.
I find myself repeating out loud "this is the best marcaroni salad EVER". I have made it twice for tailgate parties and everybody raves. We are meeting again for the superbowl and yes I will be bringing it with.
The only change I made was half the amount of sugar specified in the recipe. It was delicious. My family loved it and I will make it again.
I had leftover macaroni so I found this recipe for macaroni salad. I made it last night and we ate it tonight. It was perfectly moist and delicious. I'll probably
I was craving something cold in our heatwave in San Diego! I followed this recipe and loved it! Adding the additional mayonaise the following day makes it very creamy!
My mum said she liked this dish, but I thought it was a tad too much vinegar for me - as I’m one to follow the recipe this one wasn’t for me! However, a creamier dressing would be really nice I may try a similar thing with chives.
I followed this recipe to the letter in ingredients and methodology from the video. I feel like this is a good base recipe, but it is definitely missing something. Also, the amount of peppers in this is just too much for my taste. The sauce is nice, and I didn't feel that it was too dry, like other reviewers did, but next time I make it I would probably take out the pablanos, reduce the amount of red peppers, and perhaps add either some other veggies or maybe pickles or relish? Perhaps adding egg would add another layer of flavour that would make it a bit more rounded. As I said, the sauce is great, but the recipe as a whole could use some tweaking for our tastes.
I made it as described, and it's perfect. In the future I'll probably use whatever vegetables I have on hand, although I won't purposefully change anything about the recipe. It's a winner.
Such a good, no frills, everyone likes it salad. Always bring this one to gatherings. Very flavorful.
Excellent side dish. Flavorful and easy to make.
I am rating this a five star because I can change it just a bit to make it more taste friendly to our tastebuds. I followed very closely except did not use poblano chile and carrots since I did not have that on hand. I would add that next time. What I would definitely Not use is the mustard. I even cut back on the mustard and we still found it almost overpowered all the other flavors. I think using mustard in salads is more of a "southern" taste. I'm from the North. Next time I may just try adding a bit of "powdered mustard" to add a kick but it may not be needed because of the jalapeños. I will keep this in my rotation - but Kim's Macaroni Salad is still my favorite. Maybe I will add the veggies from this to Kim's Macaroni Salad to kick that up a notch. Love all the ideas you get from Allrecipes.
Chef John is the best!! This salad is wonderful and is requested over and over again by family members. The taste is excellent and even the young kids love it. Thanks!
Made EXACTLY as instructed and it is WONDERFUL! No changes,
A familly favourite,I dont add hot peppers and add other veggies if I have on hand.
I left out the jalapeno. it was still great. Wife shared it with a group, and everyone loved it
Thank you again Chef John. I now have my go to pasta salad. This one is fabulous.
Loved this macaroni salad! Perfect as is. The crunch, color and heat...yum!
I was a little afraid of using the peppers, so I used just a small amount and chopped until really fine. It came out tasting great! I made it the night before and that gave time for all the flavors to blend. Next time, I will use a little more of the peppers.
This recipe is FABULOUS. I wasn't sure of the peppers but I must tell you it was a phenomenal success. I had five guest and all of the macaroni salad was GONE-people wanted to take any that was left over home. This is the kind of recipe's I like. Honesty from the Chef along with ingredients that marry each other to make a delectable dish! I made chicken wings for my main course that were marinated in mango habanero and chili sauce. I also served fresh grilled corn on the cob with a poblano lime crema. Dessert was a frozen pistachio mold light and airy. A dinner party that people are still raving about! Thank you Chef John, I will follow you anywhere.
Everyone ask to make this side dish every time we have a get together not too spicy just perfect great twist to macato I salad .I just followed the recipe the way it is and always good ! Thanks chef John I love your recepies!
This is a very good salad, tho painful to make-- my fingers are still burning the day after from cutting the jalapeno. Didn't add cayenne, sugar or poblano (couldn't find that last one); let it chill overnight, and very good depth of flavor.
Made absolutely no changes, turned out perfect! Yummy...
Made it with no changes. We really like it a lot and will make it again. May add fresh peas next time just because I like them in pasta salads
This is now my go-to macaroni salad. Has a great, yet subtle, little kick to it.
Except for the jalapeno, because children were at the party, I made it as stated in the recipe. It was very flavorful, not heavy on the mayonnaise as some macaroni salads are. Got rave reviews by all and asked for the recipe. Will be using this recipe from now on....oh yeah, I did add cheddar cheese, which I always do when making macaroni salad.
My husband loves this salad and he is particularly picky. Will continue to make again and again.
Really liked this recipe - especially the fact that it does not separate or weep after a day in the refrigerator. Added canned tuna to the leftovers and had a delicious tuna Mac salad for dinner the next evening. Will be making this often during the summer.
Chef John, this was the best Macaroni Salad I have ever made! I followed the recipe to a "T" and all I can say is EXCELLENT! I think the key to it being so good is that you don't rinse the macaroni, and it's best if refrigerated overnight. The dressing gives it such a wonderful mouth-watering taste. YUM!!!
Fresh, clean, crisp flavors. Might be the best macaroni salad I have ever had. I usually add a little more than 1 tablespoon of mayo before serving, but other than that, no changes.
I love this recipe, I subscribed mayo for hummus and then found out the
Very good but I decreased the jalapeños , didn't add poblanos, and added sour cream to cut the heat from the jalepenos. Makes a lot so cut in half if you don't need to feed a crowd.
This is the best macaroni salad I've ever had. I followed the recipe exactly and I will be making it again..
Very good, classic salad!
delish, i added tuna and peas and no sugar.
Delicious! The jalapeno and pablano peppers really add amazing flavor!
Chef John, I love this, what a great new twist on macaroni salad. I made it today at 3 for dinner tomorrow, tasted it at 7....I can hardly wait for tomorrow.. Thank you for another great recipe, I made it exactly as written,
Tasty! I followed the advice of others and doubled the dressing; also halved the amount of the two peppers.
Just wanted to say that I enjoy listening to Chef John as much as I enjoy his recipies. Love the often subtle humor!
I've made this, as written, numerous times. The tip to drain, not rinse and cool the pasta to room temp before dressing makes a big difference. The addition of jalapenos and poblanos are a wonderful accent.
Best macaroni salad I ever had. So good that I made it lady spring for a family gathering and they requested this salad for our upcoming Christmas family diner.
This salad was a winner. My family enjoyed this dish, I withheld the jalapeño. I received so many compliments with this dish.
Made this to have at our Easter Brunch...and it was the hit of the meal! Everyone LOVED it! Had a little kick to it but not too much and so flavorful! Will be a staple at all our gatherings now!
My husband and I both loved this. The zing in the taste is so different from most macaroni salads and we really enjoyed it. I would definitely make it again.
My husband has made this recipe a few times and now its his go to recipe for macaroni salad. thank you Chef John
I cut down on the Paeblo peppers it was plenty spicy but very good
Very good recipe! I sprinkled smoked paprika on top.
Delicious! As one reviewer said...don’t be afraid to use the peppers. Not spicy or hot at all! Just a little added flavour that makes this macaroni salad stand out from the rest. I did have to double the dressing as I too, found it too dry. Next time I will either double it right from the beginning or I will only use 2 cups of dry macaroni instead of 4. Everyone loves it and judging by that comment, you probably can tell that I’ll definitely be making it again!
It was delicious, we added a few squeezes of lemon juice. Yes we will definitely make this dish again..! He was right it is still sweet, we used 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.
Excellent! Leftovers stay nice too. Sept'17
Like many of Chef John’s recipes, this one rates top notch! The idea to add the extra pepper types, little sugar, and nice variety of other vegetables is genius! Not only do I get compliments, I get request for the recipe. And yes, I forward the real recipe with the real Chef.......
Don't like macaroni salad, but had leftover pasta that I didn't want to waste. Found this, and I actually like it. Hubs really likes it. Only change was I didn't have the proper spicey peppers. Only my own grown Hungarian hot peppers, which I cut my very first one today and my taste tester daughter thought they were extremely hot! So I only added about a quarter finely diced! Turns out, I will add at least half more of the pepper next time! Thank you chef John! Will definitely make this again!
Fantastic and even better after refrigerating overnight!
Followed recipe as is, it was SO good. The only thing I will do differently next time I make it is to add a bit more Jalapeno pepper as it adds a really nice unexpected zing to the salad that is just scrumptious.
I added grated radish instead of the spicy peppers. I had great kick without too much heat.
Have just made this macaroni salad again. My husband and I love it!! Wonderful, is a 5 star recipe!!
Great! Too spicy for me though. Next time I will go lighter with seeded hot peppers and with cayenne. I added sweet peas from my garden.
WAY too much vinegar!! I am from Texas and used to Texas Macaroni salad.....we never use this much vinegar. I ruined it going by the 1/4 cup amount. Next time I will use a couple of tablespoons. Little too much onion too.
Easy to make, everyone loved it!! I had to leave out the cayenne pepper due to my husband, nobody missed it!! Can’t wait to make it again
My family enjoyed this dish. I added extra mayonnaise (without adding the extra water) the next day because it looked a little dry. Turned out great.
This recipe makes a significant size batch and that’s unfortunate because it was a major let down. The flavor wasn’t good and even after adding the mayo and water combo to “freshen” it up a bit, it was still dry. Followed to the letter and it’s a no from us. Glad it worked for others however!
I dislike many macaroni salads that have a ton of sugar, so this one appealed to me. The variety of veggies was also a draw. Very successful. I kept to the recipe (although just eyeballed the veg amounts) and found it to be a great ratio of dressing, veggies and pasta. Was concerned the poblano skins would be too tough, but not the case at all, small dice helps. Leftovers are fantastic with a can of tuna mixed in so I'll make this recipe again as a main just for that!
I haven’t finished letting it marinade yet but it already tastes fantastic! Thank you Chef John for another great recipe.
One the best pasta salads ever!!!!!! The peppers give it an amazing taste and kick, without being over powering or too spicy. This will be my go to in the future! Perfect summer dish!
Very good! All I did was leave out the hot peppers and the celery. If you don’t leave it in the fridge overnight it will have a strong taste of vinegar because the flavors will not have blended together all of the way
I will make again and no changes! It turned out great.
This recipe was very tasty. I appreciate watching the video first, letting the dressing set first, then cooking the macaroni and adding that into the dressing. The only change I made was adding a little more mayonnaise to the recipe. Very good.
didnt change a thing and it was so good...rave reviews at the bbq !!
Very good. I've made this recipe twice. The first time as written, the second time I used yellow mustard rather than dijon. I think the yellow mustard gave it the bit of zing it needed.
I was looking for a dairy free pasta salad dressing and this was delicious. I didn't have the exact veggies on hand so used what I had and also added chicken. The dressing worked perfectly, people loved it at a potluck.
First, I admit that I substituted the jalapeno and poblano with more bell peppers, because I was making a double recipe for a crowd, I never had made it before, and I wasn't sure about using the heat. Also, we needed protein, so I added diced ham. (We saved some without ham for the vegetarians.) Next time, I'll try it exactly as written! That being said, it was a really good salad, and I'm sure I'll make it again!