Are you looking for a classic and crowd-pleasing side dish for your next summer bbq or picnic? Try this Deli Style Macaroni Salad recipe! Packed with flavor and texture, this creamy and tangy salad features tender macaroni, crisp veggies, and a zesty dressing that will satisfy any appetite.

It costs approximately $6.67 to make this salad. The recipe makes twelve servings for about $0.55 per serving. 

Need more great recipes to bring to a potluck or barbecue? Try my Tri-Color Pasta Salad with Italian DressingAvocado Potato Salad with Bacon, and Food Truck Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.

The finished Deli Style Macaroni Salad in a blue serving bowl.

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

It is time to skip the deli counter and get more for your money with this Deli Macaroni Salad recipe. You will enjoy classic macaroni salad in no time at all. The best part is that this salad is bursting with bold flavors. It is crunchy, creamy, and sweet, with a little tang.

The salad is full of pasta, and colorful veggies, including celery, red peppers, green peppers, hard-boiled eggs, and onions. It is tossed with a homemade dressing that gets in all the nooks and crannies of the pasta. 

With simple ingredients and easy preparation, this recipe is ideal for busy weeknights or weekend gatherings. Whether hosting a potluck or just looking for a satisfying lunch, Deli Style Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish.

My favorite time of the year is when things slow down a bit without all the school and sports schedules, and I can host summer potlucks and make a simple recipe like this creamy macaroni salad! So give it a try and enjoy the delicious taste of this classic dish! This classic macaroni salad will be a big hit at your next gathering. 

A close up picture of Deli Macaroni Salad so you can see the texture of the soft pasta and small chopped veggies.

Ingredients and Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $0.55

Recipe Cost: $6.67

  • 16 oz box elbow macaroni – $1.38
  • 4 large celery stalks – $0.72
  • 1 green bell pepper – $0.72
  • 1 red bell pepper – $1.24
  • ½ cup red onion – $0.59
  • 2 hard boiled eggs – $0.86
  • ½ cup mayonnaise – $1.04
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard – $0.03
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar – $0.06
  • ½ teaspoon pickle juice – $0.01
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar – $0.02

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in April 2023.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How to make Deli Macaroni Salad Recipe

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. First, cook pasta according to the package instructions.

  2. Then, drain pasta and rinse it in cold water.

  3. Next, mix together the macaroni noodles, cut veggies, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.

  4. Using a second bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients.

  5. Toss the salad and dressing together and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

  6. Finally, let the salad chill in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

Recipe Variations

  • Don’t like eggs in your macaroni salad? Simply leave them out.
  • If you don’t like any of the veggies listed in this recipe, leave them out.

Storage Tips

SERVE: Similar to many recipes that contain dairy products, it’s important not to leave this macaroni salad out for more than two hours.

STORE: This salad will stay fresh for up to five days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

FREEZE: You can freeze this salad, just note that pasta might become a little soft when it’s in defrosted. Place the assembled macaroni salad in an airtight container in the freezer. When you are ready to use it, put it in the fridge the day before you want to eat it to defrost.

Recipe FAQs

How do you keep macaroni salad from absorbing dressing?

Rinse the pasta in cold water after cooking and drain the excess water. Rinsing the pasta in cold water helps stop the cooking process and cools the pasta down. If the pasta is warm while adding the dressing, it will absorb more of the dressing.

Why does my macaroni salad not stay creamy?

Cook the pasta according to the box directions. If the pasta is undercooked or overcooked, it can affect the overall texture and consistency of the salad, resulting in dry or soggy pasta. On the other hand, when the pasta is cooked just right, it will result in a perfectly creamy salad. 

Is it better to make pasta salad the night before?

You can make this Deli Macaroni Salad recipe the day before. Then, as it chills in the fridge, the flavors marry and become even more delicious.

The finished Deli Style Macaroni Salad Recipe in white bowls.

More Side Dishes

A close up picture of the finished Deli Macaroni Salad Recipe in a blue serving bowl.
5 from 6 votes

Deli Style Macaroni Salad

Recipe Cost $ $6.67
Serving Cost $ $0.55
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
12 people
Packed with flavor and texture, this creamy and tangy Deli Style Macaroni Salad features tender macaroni, crisp veggies, and zesty dressing.


  • mixing bowls
  • cutting board
  • chef's knife
  • mixing spoon
  • colander
  • large pot
  • measuring cups and spoons



  • 16 oz box elbow macaroni
  • 4 large stalks celery finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced
  • ½ cup red onion finely diced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs chopped




  • Cook and drain macaroni according to the box instructions.
  • Rinse the pasta in cold water.


  • Add pasta, cut vegetables and eggs to a large bowl, stir to combine.
  • In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.


  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Serve and enjoy.


Serving: 0.66cup | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 457IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. I can never say NO to a good macaroni salad. Fantastic recipe to keep handy for those times when you need something quick and easy.

  2. This Deli Style Macaroni Salad is perfect for a summer bbq! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

  3. I love macaroni salad. I always get it with a deli sandwich. Saving your recipe to try out this weekend.

  4. so good and so perfect. I love macaroni salad and this was the best ever I have tasted.

  5. TAYLER ROSS says:

    This macaroni salad is perfect! I made it for a work luncheon today and everyone raved about it!

  6. Amazing flavors. In the end I made double the dressing to get a consistency I liked. I will be making this again