Macaroni Salad Recipe and Recipes for Labor Day Picnics

A Macaroni Salad Recipe is the perfect addition to any picnic or BBQ celebration during warmer months. Luckily for us, Labor Day BBQs and Picnics are just around the corner. We last shared this recipe for Macaroni Salad on the 4th of July and I sure wouldn’t mind a dish of this recipe one more time before summer is on it’s way out.

Labor Day kind of feels like summer’s last hurrah before we can start preparing for the change of seasons. I’m certainly looking forward to fall, but I don’t mind celebrating such a fun summer one last time. It certainly was one worth remembering for us. Pasta salad recipes are some of my favorite dishes to serve at picnics.

This Macaroni Salad Recipe is easy to make, but a little different than traditional. It’s colorful with additions like sliced black olives, diced red bell pepper, and bright green sugar snap peas. I also like to add a small bunch of thinly sliced radishes for a little extra crunch, but feel free to customize the vegetable additions to the recipe as you see fit.

macaroni recipe for picnics how to make macaroni salad

If you like a more traditional approach to Macaroni Salad for your Labor Day Picnic this year, start with the base recipe as listed in the printable recipe area. Then, choose any additions that you see fit or just keep it simple if you prefer. Do you like diced Hard Boiled Eggs in your salad? Be sure to check out my Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs method.

More Recipes for Labor Day Picnics:

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Do you need a little inspiration for your Labor Day Menu? Check out these suggestions:

Drink Recipes

Grilled Main Dishes

Side Recipes

Dessert Recipes

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Macaroni Salad


Recipe Base:
1 pound elbow macaroni
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijion mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 celery rib, minced
2 tablespoons red onion or shallots, minced
2 tablespoons sweet relish

3/4 cup sugar snap peas, cut into thirds
1 - 3 ounce can sliced black olives
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced
6 slices center cut bacon cooked and crumbled bacon


Cook the pasta according to package instructions for "al dente pasta." After cooking, drain and rinse with very cold water to speed cooling and prevent continued cooking. Spread the macaroni out on a layer of paper towels. Pat dry.

In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, dijion mustard, salt, pepper, and parsley. Whisk until combined. Stir in cooled and dry pasta until evenly coated. Add the relish and onion, stirring to combine.

Prepare all of the vegetables, then add them and any remaining ingredients except bacon to the large bowl with the pasta. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Chill for 1 hour, or up to 24 hours before serving.

Prior to serving, sprinkle the top of the salad with the crumbled bacon.