Skip to Content

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:

Pin It

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

Drink Recipes

Grilled Main Dishes

Side Recipes

Dessert Recipes

macaroni recipe for picnics

Macaroni Salad

Yield: serves 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

A Macaroni Salad Recipe is the perfect addition to any picnic or BBQ celebration during warmer months.


Macaroni Salad 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

Mix Ins:

  • 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


  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions for "al dente pasta."
  2. 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.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, dijion mustard, salt, pepper, and parsley. Whisk until combined.
  4. Stir in cooled and dry pasta until evenly coated. Add the relish and onion, stirring to combine.
  5. Prepare all of the vegetables, then add them and any remaining ingredients except bacon to the large bowl with the pasta.
  6. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  7. Chill for 90 minutes, or up to 24 hours before serving.
  8. Prior to serving, sprinkle the top of the salad with the crumbled bacon.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 277Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 24mgSodium 656mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 9g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!


Sunday 4th of September 2011

What a nice little salad. I made this recipe today for our little family get together, everybody loved it! I added the bacon, pepper, and radishes, but I hate olives and sugar peas. I used green pepper, and added some diced up tomato instead.

Aimee @ Simple Bites

Thursday 1st of September 2011

Talk about making me hungry! And I'm crashing the party of you and Shaina get together on the weekend.


Thursday 1st of September 2011

You wouldn't be crashing it, because we'd love to have you!


Thursday 1st of September 2011

This salad looks lovely! Would love to have this on my table for Labor Day!

Bev Weidner

Thursday 1st of September 2011

Uh yes, I could seriously eat my way through that and be happy in life.


Wednesday 31st of August 2011

Mmmmmmmmmm, colorful & with a crunch, what's not to like! YUM!

Skip to Recipe