The perfect combination of macaroni pasta, fresh crunchy veggies, and a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing. This macaroni pasta salad with egg is just like the pasta salad you would find in the deli at your local supermarket but so much better. No gluggy dressing here! Comes together super quickly with a boil of the pasta, a chop of the veg, and a whisk of the dressing. Easily packed into lunchboxes for a filling salad that will be loved by kids and adults alike.
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🥙 Deli Macaroni Pasta Salad With Egg
You are going to love this quick, easy, and deliciously filling macaroni salad recipe!
It comes together so easily and makes the perfect addition to any lunchbox. Kids and adults alike love it.
Filling and light all at the same time you get a mixture of perfectly cooked pasta, crunchy fresh veggies, and a creamy dressing.
🧂 Ingredients You Need
Simple ingredients are needed to bring this cold pasta salad with egg together, just a handful of grocery store staples:
- elbow pasta: otherwise known as macaroni, this is the preferred pasta for this salad, however, you can definitely use whatever pasta you have on hand. When choosing the pasta shape, choose something that will hold onto the dressing. Shapes that have nooks and crannies like elbow macaroni, small shells, or even spiral shapes work nicely.
- bell peppers: I use a mixture of yellow bell peppers, red bell peppers, and orange bell peppers as I always think the more color the better, but use whatever you have;
- green peas: I used frozen green peas as I always have some in the freezer. Fresh will work just fine. If you have one of those weird kids that don't like peas (what's with that?!?) then replace with some shelled edamame instead;
- celery: this adds the perfect crunch to the salad, so be sure to grab some crispy celery and don't use soggy old celery that has seen better days;
- red onion: this is perfect when combined with the egg, and in my opinion is completely necessary for any decent macaroni with salad. If you have someone in the family with sensitivity to onions then either replace them with finely chopped green onions or leave them out altogether.
- hard-boiled eggs: the eggs should be hard-boiled but not overcooked, you want the yolk to be just cooked through, about 9-10 minutes;
- Fresh parsley: this is for garnishing so is completely optional.
The dressing is a combination of mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, honey, sweet pickle relish, and some salt and black pepper to taste.
TIP: if you have a kid who will gag at the site of onion simply chop the onion so it is super fine and soak for 5 minutes in cold water. This lessens the intensity of the onion flavor.
📋 How To Make Easy Macaroni Salad
This recipe really is very easy.
Cook the pasta in a large pot according to the directions on the packaging.
Once cooked, pour macaroni into a sieve over the sink and run it under cold water to remove all the extra starch which can lead to the pasta being sticky and gluggy. This step also helps the pasta come to room temperature a lot quicker.
In the bottom of a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the salad dressing until well combined.
Add the cooled pasta, and the chopped veggies to the dressing mixture and give everything a good mix until it is well combined and all of the pasta has been coated with the dressing.
Pop everything in the fridge for at least 15-30 minutes before serving.
TIP: if you plan on making this ahead of time and using throughout the week then make a little more dressing to add to the salad later in the week as the pasta will absorb some of the dressing the longer it sits in the fridge.
🥚 How To Hard Boil Eggs
For this recipe you want the eggs to be hard-boiled but not overcooked.
The yolk should be slightly undercooked, otherwise, you run the risk of dry egg yolk which will lead to a dry salad.
I tend to stick to boiling on the stovetop for about 9-10 minutes or cooking in the air fryer for 12 minutes at 250F (120C) depending on the size of your eggs.
I prefer the air fryer method as I find it makes the eggs a lot easier to peel.
Once cooked, remove them straight away and put them into an ice bath to cool them down quickly.
Boom you have the perfect eggs for pasta salad!
TIP: Make a couple of extra hard-boiled eggs to pop into your lunchbox for a quick and easy breakfast or savory afternoon snack.
💭 Important Teaching Tips
It is important to let the cooked pasta come to room temperature before adding it to the pasta salad dressing.
A quick way to cool down the cooked pasta is to place it in a sieve and run it under cold water. This also helps to remove a lot of the starch from the outside of the pasta, which makes it less likely that the pasta salad will become gluggy.
If you plan on meal-prepping this and using it throughout the week be sure to make a little extra dressing and keep it stored in a glass container in the fridge as the pasta can absorb the dressing, making the salad a bit dry.
The next day you serve it simply drizzle the extra dressing over the salad and mix to combine.
Leftover pasta salad should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
It should keep for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge if stored correctly.
Do not leave the salad out at room temperature or in the sun for extended periods of time.
When packing this pasta salad in a lunchbox be sure to pack it with lots of ice packs so that it stays nice and cold.
TIP: if you don't have extra dressing and your salad seems a bit dry after a couple of days in the fridge, simply loosen it up with a little milk.
🥢 Useful Products
It is important to keep this macaroni pasta salad with egg cold, so if you are packing it in a lunchbox be sure to pack it with lots of ice packs.
The best part of this recipe is how versatile it is!
Use this as the basic recipe and throw in your favorite add-ins to make it your own, anything from a classic macaroni salad to an over-the-top creation goes.
You can use sour cream in place of the Greek yogurt if preferred. I love the tanginess of the Greek yogurt though, and it keeps the salad a little on the lighter side of things.
If you would like to switch things up think about adding some:
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- some pickle juice for extra tang
- chopped radishes: these are great for some extra crunch
- corn kernels
- chopped cucumbers
- chopped tomato
- sliced black olives
- finely chopped cauliflower or broccoli
- chopped ham or salami
- cubed cheese
- chopped jalapeno peppers or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a bit of kick
- some chopped pineapple and ham cubes for more of a Hawaiian macaroni salad vibe
- yellow mustard instead of dijon mustard, or to lighten up the flavor you could opt for honey mustard.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Sprinkle with some fresh chopped parsley and you are good to go.
If you want to beef the salad up a little I would suggest adding some shredded chicken breast or grilled chicken breasts for some extra protein.
I love serving this deli-style macaroni salad with egg up picnic style (or pot luck style) with a fresh bread roll for lunch, but it also makes the perfect side dish for some roast chicken or hot dogs.
👪 Frequently Asked Questions
Although it is possible to freeze pasta salad, I do not recommend it as there will be a change in flavor and texture which can be unappealing.
The mayonnaise-based dressing will lose its creaminess and the eggs may become tough and rubbery.
It should keep for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge if stored correctly.
Salads with an oil-based dressing retain quality better than those made with dairy or mayo, which means they will last an extra day or so.
If your salad includes any ingredient that loses quality faster like avocado etc, then the flavor will deteriorate even sooner.
This macaroni pasta salad with egg is a favorite recipe around here. If you enjoy it please leave a 5-star rating on the recipe card or comment below.
Just Like The Deli: Macaroni Pasta Salad With Egg
- ½ lb (or 250g) dried elbow macaroni pasta
- 1 cup bell peppers diced (combination of yellow, red and orange)
- ½ cup frozen green peas thawed and cooked according to package directions
- 2-3 stalks celery thinly sliced
- ½ red onion diced finely
- 3 hard boiled eggs (see notes below)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish or chopped dill pickles
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Drain in a sieve and then run under cold water while mixing to remove the extra starch (stickiness) from the outside of the pasta.½ lb (or 250g) dried elbow macaroni pasta
- While the pasta is cooking, add the chopped onion to a small bowl and cover it with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes before draining.½ red onion
- In the bottom of a large bowl (preferably with a lid) add all of the ingredients for the salad dressing and whisk to combine.½ cup mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish or chopped dill pickles, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- Add the cooled pasta, chopped veggies, and soaked onion to the dressing mixture, top with salt and pepper and stir well to combine.1 cup bell peppers, ½ cup frozen green peas, 2-3 stalks celery, 3 hard boiled eggs, salt and pepper
- Cover and put into the fridge for at least 15-30 minutes before serving.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.