Macaroni Salad

by: Miss Sampieri (1st grade teacher)

Every year growing up, my family would have a backyard party at the end of summer. This macaroni salad was always a staple and the first food to go. This recipe was written down for me once I was old enough to make it on my own, which is why the seasonings don’t have exact measurements. It’s a fun way to learn what a dish needs in order to taste amazing! 

Source: Family recipe


1 box (lb) elbow pasta (or similar)
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 can pitted and sliced black olives
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
garlic powder (to taste)
onion powder (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
salt (to taste)

Recipe Steps

  1. Cook pasta al dente according to box instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Return to the pot and fill with COLD water; add salt and stir. Cover loosely and let sit 30-45 minutes. (This will keep the salad from drying out.)
  2. Into a large bowl, add grated carrot and diced onion.
  3. Add white vinegar and lemon juice. Stir, then let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in sugar and mayonnaise, then add 3-4 shakes of garlic powder, 2-3 shakes of onion powder, and 4-5 cracks of black pepper.
  5. Drain pasta and add to the bowl, mixing well. Adjust seasonings to taste (At this point, I usually add more garlic powder and black pepper.)
  6. Sprinkle chopped cucumber to the top of the bowl and salt; let sit for 2 minutes before mixing in.
  7. Drain and add sliced olives, mixing well.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed (again, I usually am adding more garlic powder and black pepper).
  9. Cover and refrigerate 2+ hours before serving (or overnight). This truly gets better as it marinates!
  10. Stir well before serving and enjoy!!