Classic Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe with Ham
Ok, we love a classic easy macaroni salad recipe and honestly, buying it just doesn’t taste good. It always tastes bland with no texture and hardly any flavor. Making it homemade is so much better than store bought!
Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe
Seriously, you can totally make it to your personal liking and add more flavor with spices and your favorite ingredients. Our version is creamy, delicious and loaded with chunks of ham. You can leave out the ham if you want and make it vegetarian! But we love the ham because it’s salty and balances out nice with the macaroni pasta. Again, you can do what you want and make it your own!
Video: How to Make Classic Macaroni Salad
Easy Picnic Pasta Salad or for Potlucks
We love a good pasta salad to bring to potlucks or picnics. This is a perfect one to make and share. What makes our dressing creamy is the addition of mayo and boiled eggs. The mustard adds a nice tang and the crunchy textures of celery and ham makes it extra awesome! We often like to double the dressing ingredients for an extra creamy layer in every bite of macaroni. We’re not fans of dry macaroni salad, so the extra dressing makes our easy macaroni salad super special.
What Else to Add To This Easy Pasta Salad?
- chopped broccoli, cauliflower
- other veggies like chopped bell peppers, onions, parsley and cilantro
- extra pickles
- extra boiled egg for creaminess
- crispy bacon bits!
Can you make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, this is a great make ahead recipe. You can make it ahead about 2 days ahead of time. We suggest making the dressing in a separate bowl and right before serving, stir in the creamy dressing. This will ensure that the flavors are fresh and creamy. The pasta won’t soak up all the dressing while sitting in the fridge.
Favorite Macaroni Salad with Ham
For the Salad:
- 12-16 ounces (340-454 g) dried macaroni pasta (or pasta of choice), cooked to package instructions
- 2 cups (227 g) chopped cooked ham
- 2 boiled eggs , peeled and chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery , sliced thin
- 1/4 cup (40 g) minced red onion
- 1/2 cup (75 g) diced bell pepper
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) minced parsley
For the Dressing:
- 1 cup (224 g) mayo
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) prepared mustard
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) paprika
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt , or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper
- Prepare the pasta: Fill a large bowl (big enough to hold cooked pasta) halfway with ice water. Boil pasta to package instructions. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water and shock the pasta by adding it to the cold water to get it cold fast. Once cold, drain the pasta, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- In bowl large enough to fit all the pasta, make the dressing first: add mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined.
- Add the pasta, ham, boiled eggs, celery, onion, bell pepper and parsley. Combine all ingredients together. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if necessary. Chill pasta salad for at least 1 hour before serving.
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