Pioneer Woman’s Macaroni Salad Recipe | Best Salad for Summer

The Pioneer Woman’s macaroni salad is a tasty summer first course; ideal to prepare in the hottest months when the desire to stay in the kitchen is less and the desire for simple, fresh and rich summer scents grows!

With olives, onions, cherry tomatoes, and a shower of fresh basil, this colorful dish will captivate you! Like the eggplant and dried tomato macaroni salad and the classic cold macaroni, this macaroni salad is a summer dish that can become a versatile protagonist of dinners with friends and family lunches.

But try to put the macaroni salad in your lunchbox, to take to the beach or to the office: you can’t wait for the lunch break!

Please note that this recipe is inspired by Pioneer Woman’s Macaroni salad recipe with little variations.

pioneer woman macaroni salad recipe
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Pioneer woman's macaroni salad recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Author: Amelia


  • 4 cup elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp distilled vinegar
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Pickle juice to taste
  • 3  roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 6 sweat/spicy pickle slices
  • 3 green onions


  • To prepare the macaroni salad, start by washing the cherry tomatoes and cutting them into small pieces. Also cut the pitted olives into rounds and slice green onions with its green and white parts.
  • In the meantime, bring a pot of plenty of salted water to boil macaroni. Boil macaroni according to the package instructions.
  • To prepare the dressing, add mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix them well. Add pickle juice for extra flavor.
  • Drain the macaroni and transfer it to a large bowl and pour in ¾ of the dressing. Toss it and you can add more dressing if you like.
  • Now add the chopped cherry tomatoes to the bowl together with olives, onions, pickles and roasted red pepper. Mix them well. You can add a splash of pickle juice if you like.
  • Let your macaroni salad rest at least half an hour before bringing it to the table.


  • Let the macaroni salad rest for half an hour in the fridge, covered with cling film or a lid, before serving.
  • Be careful, during the preparation, not to overcook the macaroni. Always drain it to keep it firm and compact, ready for the sauce you have chosen.
  • For a light or vegetarian version, you can prepare a macaroni salad with seasonal vegetables and tuna. If you don’t like tuna or any other meat, you can use wholemeal macaroni, for a tasty but light first course.
  • Pasta salad is one of those dishes that lend themselves to a thousand variations without losing taste! If you prefer stronger flavors, use baked black olives.
  • Both the macaroni and the dressing can be prepared in advance and then combined before serving your macaroni salad.


This macaroni salad can be kept in the fridge, in an airtight container, or in a bowl covered with cling film, for 2-3 days. If you plan not to consume it immediately, however, remember not to incorporate the tomatoes, as they tend to turn sour. Add them at the time of tasting.

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