What Can I Serve With Macaroni Salad: 10 Best Side Dishes

Macaroni salad is a great dish for summer picnics, but what can I serve with macaroni salad besides chips and soda? Here is a list of 10 side dishes that go well with macaroni salad.

One of the best things about macaroni salad is you can eat it on its own or with a side dish.

What can I serve with macaroni salad?

The best thing to serve with macaroni salad is chips and soda, but if you are looking for something more substantial, here are 10 side dishes that go great with macaroni salad!

1. Cole Slaw

Macaroni salad and coleslaw go great together because they contain a lot of the same ingredients. Both have mayonnaise as their base, and both have shredded vegetables that give it a crunchy texture.

2. Potato Salad

Potato salad is another side dish that goes perfectly with macaroni salad. Just like there are similarities between the two, there are differences as well. Potatoes are used in potato salad instead of pasta. The macaroni salad and potato salad ingredients also vary slightly; some variations include celery or green onions.

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3. Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables, especially corn on the cob, is delicious with macaroni salad. Macaroni salad is a simple dish that allows the ingredients to shine through, and grilled vegetables have a natural sweetness that goes perfectly with it.

What Can I Serve With Macaroni Salad
What Can I Serve With Macaroni Salad

4. Quick Pickles

Sweet and sour pickles aren’t just for hamburgers; you can also serve them with macaroni salad! The tartness of sweet and sour pickles contrasts well with the creaminess of macaroni salad.

5. Fried Green Beans

Green beans are a great side dish that goes well with just about anything, especially a picnic lunch! If you have a deep fryer, then fried green beans are an excellent substitute for corn on the cob. You’ll get your fair share of veggies and fruit (yes, green beans are a type of fruit!)

6. Potato Chips

You knew this was coming, right? Nothing complements macaroni salad like potato chips! However, we suggest using homemade kettle-cooked potato chips or regular salted potato chips instead of store-bought because it gives the dish an extra kick. Just make sure to have a stack of napkins nearby!

7. Deviled Eggs

A picnic can’t be complete without deviled eggs, and macaroni salad is a perfect accompaniment to it. You can make so many different types of deviled eggs, from traditional egg salad to bacon ranch or even horseradish flavored.

8. Soft Pretzels

Pretzel rods are not just for movie theatres anymore. Soft pretzels are a delicious party appetizer that goes well with macaroni salad! Don’t have time to make your own pretzels? You can buy them ready-made from the grocery store.

9. Chips and Gravy

Yes, you read that right. Potato chips are not the only thing you can eat with macaroni salad; you can also serve it with homemade gravy and mashed potatoes! Make your own potato chips for this dish or buy regular salted ones.

10. Guacamole

Avocado is a great addition to any meal, and macaroni salad is no exception. If serving guacamole with macaroni salad, make sure to use more than one avocado, so it’s nice and creamy.

Is macaroni salad good or bad for you?

Macaroni salad is a mixture of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The nutrition value of macaroni salad will depend on the ingredients you put into it. For example, if you add more vegetables to your macaroni salad, then it will be lower in calories, fat and sodium.

If you are watching your weight, then macaroni salad is not for you. However, if you are looking to be more adventurous in the kitchen and want to try something new, then definitely give this dish a whirl!

The best macaroni salad recipe

Our favorite macaroni salad recipe is from Rachael Ray. She offers a light and healthy version of the dish, which uses less mayonnaise and yogurt.

Recipe: Macaroni Salad

Ingredients :

  • 1 large cauliflower, trimmed  and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano)  kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled hot peppers or banana pepper rings, drained


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; let cool.

2. Fill the same large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add eggs and cook for 1 minute (set a timer!). Transfer eggs to a strainer in the sink, run cold water over them until they are completely cooled, then peel and chop them.

3.  Add eggs, yogurt, mayonnaise, cheese, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to bowl with cauliflower; gently fold to combine.

4. Add pasta to boiling water; cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain into a colander in the sink, rinse with cold running water, then transfer to the bowl with cauliflower mixture. Toss well to coat pasta. Stir in cucumbers and peppers. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Note:  This is a great dish for potlucks! It’s good warm or cold, so you can make it the day before and chill in the fridge until party time.

The Bottom Line

We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of 10 side dishes that go well with macaroni salad! Macaroni salad can be made in advance which makes it great for potlucks and picnics. Use these recipes or create your own unique twist on this classic dish!

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