Mom’s Macaroni Salad


Quick and easy macaroni salad with hard boiled egg, roasted red bell pepper, onion, mayonnaise, and paprika. The best macaroni salad recipe that's homemade with fresh ingredients.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Homemade Macaroni Salad

When you have a week straight of over 100° temps, you start looking for cooler things to make. My mother whipped up this macaroni salad earlier this week and I think I ate half of the whole bowl.

Think macaroni and deviled egg make love child and you’ll be in the vicinity. There is a hard boiled egg, some roasted red bell pepper, chopped spring onions, a generous amount of mayo, and seasoning with sweet paprika. Perfect for a summer BBQ or picnic salad.

Mom's Homemade Macaroni Salad Recipe

Mom’s Macaroni Salad Recipe

  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.


  • 2 cups (about 1/2 lb) dry macaroni pasta (use rice or gluten-free pasta for gluten-free version)
  • Salt
  • 1 hard boiled egg, chopped
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper*, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped spring onion or green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • A generous amount of mayonnaise (1/3 to 1/2 cup)
  • Several pinches of paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

* Trader Joes carries a good product, jarred roasted red bell peppers packed in oil and vinegar. We usually use these in recipes calling for roasted bell peppers. Alternatively, you can roast a fresh bell pepper by blackening it over an open flame on a gas range or broiling until the skin blisters on all sides. Remove from heat source, place in paper bag, after a few minutes remove from bag and scrape off the blackened bits. Discard seeds and stem.


1 Cook macaroni, as directed on its package, in at least 2 quarts of salted water (1 teaspoon of salt per quart of water). When cooked through, but still slightly firm (al dente) remove from heat, drain and rinse with cool water until room temperature.

2 While macaroni is cooking, put chopped onions into a small bowl and sprinkle the lemon juice or vinegar over them. This will serve to take the edge off the onions.

2 Combine cooked macaroni, onions, and all other ingredients in a large serving bowl. Adjust seasonings to taste.

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Showing 4 of 37 Comments / Reviews

  • Amanda Achtymichuk

    Totally delicious! Would like to make again and bring camping. How many days do you think it would hold up in a cooler? (airtight container obviously)

  • Janice Valdez

    I also add celery to my salad. IT gives it a little crunch which i like. sometimes i do add tuna. love your recipe. thanks

  • Shreya Sarkar

    I just tried this recipe, and oh boy did it turn out well! It was my first time at tossing a macaroni salad, but your recipe made it really easy. I added diced chicken ham and some croutons too. It was lovely :)

  • Christian

    Elise, if you’re looking to pacify regular onions — or even green ones — so they don’t take over and yet remain crunchy, you might let them rest in a bowl of cold water very lightly salted for about ten minutes after you chop them. Add a teaspoon of sugar, if you like, for extra sweetness.

  • Stephanie Weaver, The Recipe Renovator

    Wow, this totally takes me back to my childhood. My mom made something very similar on hot days, adding canned tuna fish to it.

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