Pioneer Woman's Best Macaroni Salad Ever

"From the Pioneer Woman. Feel free to add more or less sugar, salt and pepper to the dressing. Also add more of olives, onions, pickles or peppers, however much you like. You can also use canned pimentos in place of the red peppers."
photo by Boomette photo by Boomette
photo by Boomette
Ready In:




  • Cook macaroni in lightly salted water till done. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, milk and pickle juice in medium sized bowl.
  • In large bowl place cooked macaroni. Add about 3/4's of the mayonnaise mixture to the macaroni. Next add the peppers, pickles, olives and onions. If needed, add the remaining dressing. Add a splash of pickle juice to the salad. The salad dressing will thicken up after refrigeration.
  • Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. mikecompton3232_126
    I made this recipe as written but we found that it was way under dressed. Good flavor if you could catch some of the dressing but not enough. After making, I doubled the dressing recipe and added it in. This probably could have used more. The original recipe is very dry and tastes like an under seasoned bland macaroni salad. I should have had a warring when she stated what she hates about pasta salad. Double or triple the dressing and this could possible be a good macaroni salad.
  2. AmyZoe
    Good stuff. I added some peas and bell peppers and skipped the roasted red peppers. I also added more pickles and olives. Very tasty!
  3. Tricia M.
    Very good macaroni salad, which I usually don't like because it tends to swim in dressing. That being said, I agree that it could still use more dressing than what the recipe calls for. Same for all the goodies - you could easily double the olives, pepper/pimentos, chopped sweet pickles, green onions AND dressing, and this would be even better.
  4. DJM
    Pickle Juice! The secret ingredient. I made a quarter of a recipe for the two of us; 4 cups of elbow macaroni makes a family reunion sized bowl. We think this is much better than the Mac salads that we have made in the past. I used McClure’s sweet and spicy pickles.
  5. Suzanne N.
    It's now my husband's very favorite! I have made this several times this summer, and I suspect I will make it from now on as a regular! I give it four stars because the dressing can be somewhat runny- and I do not put in the milk. It's likely because I use a bit more pickle juice! I substitute apple cider vinegar for red wine vinegar. I recommend if you are going to use a whole box of salad macaroni, to use twice the amount of sweet pickles and twice the amount of olives. Also, I add some chopped celery to give it a bit more crunch! On the macaroni- make sure you drain it well! That means being a bit patient, and make sure ALL the water is drained off before you add it, or it will be even runnier!


  1. Suzanne N.
    I add chopped celery. I also scale back the mayo and use greek yogurt with it to cut down calories.
  2. Gourmetgreasemonkey
    Added 1 cup Ranch Dressing.
  3. mskinnertk421
    I used red onions instead of green and Greek yogurt instead of the milk. Didn't use any sugar.



Find More Recipes