1. Home
  2. Food & recipes

Tantalizing Twist to a Classic: 15 Unique Recipes for Macaroni Salad

Our favorite kind of summer side salad has always been macaroni salad because we love how satisfying the pasta is despite the fact that it’s still a light dish that doesn’t make us feel heavy on warm days. Recently, however, we’ve been trying to explore new flavors and taste combinations that put a fun twist on our favorite salad type, rather than just making the same kind we had as kids over and over again, every single night. Don’t get us wrong, we love traditional, classically flavored macaroni salad, but there’s nothing wrong with trying new things, right?

Just in case you love macaroni salad just as much as we do, if not more, here are 15 of the best tasting and most creatively made flavours and recipes we’ve come across or tried in our search so far!

1. Hawaiian macaroni salad


Have you always been a huge fan of combining savoury and sweet flavours in one place whenever possible? Well, if you’ve ever been a big fan of juicy pineapple then we have a feeling you’ll find this delicious Hawaiian macaroni salad recipe outlined in detail on Gonna Want Seconds very interesting indeed! They show you how to make a mostly standard creamy salad, but with a delicious chunky pineapple twist that really takes the taste of things to the next level.

2. Shrimp macaroni salad


One of our favourite parts of summertime is the increase of deliciously fresh seafood in our lives. We’re very fortunate to spend part of our summers by the seaside each year, so we spend basically all spring looking forward to fresh fish, shellfish, and so on. Once we’ve returned from that trip, we find ourselves missing the seaside delicacies we loved so much for the rest of the summer, so we’re sure it’ll come as no surprise that we’re huge fans of this mouth watering shrimp macaroni salad outlined on Foodiecrush.

3. Creamy cheddar macaroni salad


Are you and your kids big cheese lovers through and through, no matter what kind of dish we’re talking about, so you can’t help but wonder whether there’s a scrumptious, sharp cheddar version of just about anything you set out to make? Well, when it comes to macaroni salad, we’re pleased to report that there actually is a fantastic version that’s perfect for cheese lovers! Check out how A Pretty Life in The Suburbs made this creamy cheddar pasta salad that we’ve seen convince even our friends who claim they don’t actually like pasta salad to take a second helping.

4. Southern macaroni salad


Are you the kind of kitchen enthusiast and avid recipe follower who is always on the lookout for classic Southern recipes because you actually grew up in the Souther States and those kinds of classic, down home recipes remind you of hot summer days when you were a little kid? Then here’s a delicious Southern macaroni salad made of ham that’s bound to bring back all that childhood happiness for you! Take a better look at how it’s made on Add A Pinch.

5. Asian noodle salad with creamy peanut sauce


Just because a particular pasta salad isn’t actually made with macaroni specifically doesn’t mean that it won’t make a great summertime side dish! After all, the whole point of this post was to get creative with a basic idea that we’ve all already tried, right? Well, for the Asian cuisine lovers out there, here’s an awesome flavour option that will have you piling your plate. Well Plated guides you step by step through the process of making a fresh tasting, creamy Asian noodle salad smothered in a light but delicious peanut sauce.

6. Crunchy noodle salad


Have you always been a fan of almost all the ingredients included in most of the macaroni and pasta salads you’ve come across in the past but you actually also have issues with texture, so you’ve never enjoyed the feeling of the soft, cold noodles in your mouth? Well, we actually really enjoy pasta salad, but we have other texture issues with different types of food, so we can fully understand that. That’s why we thought this crunchy noodle version of a pasta side salad was such an interesting idea! Get the full ingredients list and mixing details on Taste.

7. Tuna macaroni salad


Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about macaroni salads that were seafood based but shrimp has never really been your favourite kind of ocean delicacy? Then perhaps you’d prefer something that would remind you a little more of other delicious meals you probably enjoyed as a kid! We love the way The Country Cook made this creamy tuna macaroni salad that hearkens to the flavours we’ve always loved in tuna casserole and tuna salad sandwiches.

8. Vegan macaroni salad


Have you always struggled a little bit with choosing a macaroni salad recipe when you’re cooking for lots of people because you have a number of friends and family members who actually follow a vegan diet? In that case, they probably can’t enjoy a lot of the classic recipes because they often involve mayonnaise, which is egg based and therefore not the right choice for a vegan dish. Instead, take a look at how Ordinary Vegan made this awesomely scrumptious veggie and noodle based pasta salad that’s completely free of animal products!

9. Jalapeno popper macaroni salad


Did we almost catch your attention when we started talking about the delicious creamy cheddar recipe we showed you earlier on our list, but you’ve actually always been a huge fan of super unique flavour combination recipes that are almost novelty? Well, if you’re also a fan of slightly spicy recipes as well, than we have a feeling this jalapeno popper macaroni salad recipe outlined step by step on The Chunky Chef has the perfect level of kick for you.

10. Summer vegetable pasta salad


Whether you’re cooking for vegan and vegetarian diets or not, have you always been a massive fan of very vegetable heavy dishes because you simply love all the flavours that colourful summer veggies lend to any recipe you put them in? Then we have a feeling you, like some of our family members, might enjoy a recipe like this summer vegetable pasta salad made by Teen Kids News a little more than some of the heavier, creamier recipes you’ve seen so far on our list and are probably used to from childhood.

11. Dill pickle pasta salad


If we’re being fully honest with you, pickles might actually be out number one favourite food. There’s just something about the punchy dill flavour that gets our tastebuds going! We’re sure you can imagine how excited we were, then, when we came across this fantastic dill pickle pasta salad outlined in nice, clear detail on Spend With Pennies! We love that this recipe is still creamy and involves cheese, so you’re still getting all the classic elements… but with the added bonus of the dill pickles you love so much.

12. BLT pasta salad


Have you been looking at these more vegetable heavy pasta salad option sand thinking about how you’re almost convinced because a lot of them involve deliciously red looking tomatoes, but they also have a lot of things that you’re not actually as big a fan of? Then perhaps you’d get along a little better with this BLT inspired macaroni salad that gives you all the tomatoes you could hope for but is also still creamy and lets you enjoy some scrumptious bacon bits! Busy in My Oven shows you how it’s made.

13. Amazing sweet macaroni salad


Now, we can definitely understand how the idea of a “sweet” macaroni salad might sound a little bit weird if you’ve never heard of it or tried it. If you’re here to learn more about unique recipes, however, then this is absolutely one we’d encourage you to consider! Similarly to how everyone has recently discovered the mouth watering combination that sweet and salty desserts can make, this pasta salad recipe from Dear Crissy gives you the best of both worlds in a way that’s still savoury enough to actually be called a salad or a side dish.

14. Herbed cheese and veggie macaroni salad


Are you actually still thinking about how much you liked the idea of a creamy, cheese based macaroni salad, but the cheese options we’ve shown you so far on our list have been just a tiny but too plain for you? Then perhaps this slightly more “loaded” cheesy macaroni salad recipe from Anne’s Entitled Life will be a little more along the lines of what you’re looking for! Instead of just adding cheddar, they show you how to make it happen with herbed cheese and a rainbow of diced fresh veggies.

15. Smoked salmon pasta salad


Before we sign off for this list, here’s another seafood option that’s so delicious and unique that our mouths are practically watering just reading about it! For the really big seafood lovers out there, Simply Recipes is here to show you how they made a slightly creamy but mostly fresh and satisfying pasta salad that’s packed full of scrumptious smoked salmon for all the flavour you could hope for.