3 Ingredient Macaroni Salad

It doesn’t get any easier with this 3 ingredient macaroni salad. Use a store bought veggie mix and a tangy dressing and whip it up in no time. Perfect for potlucks, summer picnics, and BBQs!

this simple macaroni salad recipe is a crowd pleaser for any summer bbq

3 Ingredient Macaroni Salad

This recipe makes the classic macaroni salad you serve at potlucks even easier!

Let’s be honest, I love a pasta salad recipe. Not because I could eat pasta for every meal, every day of the week. But because they are easy, delicious, and you can add just about anything you want to them and they always come out delicious. 

And they are better when you prep them a little in advance so the flavors can mix. Which means you are not stressing out last minute putting it together.

Favorite Salad Recipes

Pasta salads are my jam like this dill pickle pasta salad. But I do love a creamy potato salad, a ramen noodle salad, and a broccoli salad with grapes. I love the crunch and all the fresh veggies.

simple ingredients for a homemade macaroni salad

Ingredients Needed

Pasta – I like to use elbow macaroni as it’s the easiest. Feel free to substitute your favorite pasta shape.

Veggies – A bag of stir fry veggies is fun or substitute your favorite mix.

Dressing – Olive Garden Italian dressing or substitute your own.

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Variations

Pasta – Switch up your pasta with fun shapes like elbow, small shells, bowties, or ditalini pasta. Just make sure they are bite sized.

Veggie Mix – I like a stir fry mix for the variety or you can use your own. A broccoli slaw mix or a light coleslaw mix is great! Or make your own combo of broccoli florets, red bell pepper, green onions, and hard-boiled eggs.

Dressing – Get creative. I used a store bought Italian but you can make a homemade one, use a creamy dressing like ranch, or a fun one like an Asian ginger.

Favorite Add-Ins – This recipe is quick and easy but feel free to add in some crispy bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, red onion, dill pickles, black olives, toasted nuts, sweet pickles, fried onions, etc.

How to Make 3 Ingredient Macaroni Salad Recipe

First: Cook the macaroni noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.

Second: Open the bag of slaw and chop into smaller pieces if the vegetables are too large.

Third: In a large bowl combine the cooled macaroni and chopped slaw. Toss to combine. 

Fourth: Add the dressing and toss to coat. Chill and serve.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

creamy macaroni salad recipe

How long does it last?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Give a quick stir and maybe a little extra dressing before serving.

Can I make it in advance?

Be sure to give it at least 30 minutes in the fridge before serving so the flavors mix. But you can also prep everything up to 3 days in advance.

I would hold off on the dressing until about an hour before you eat it.

But really, with just tossing three ingredients together, how much advance time do you really need.

a spoonful of macaroni salad

Serving Suggestions

This is great all by itself if you ask me. But if you are bringing it as a side dish, it pairs perfectly with hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, and even a sandwich made with this old fashioned ham salad recipe.

Best Macaroni Salad Recipes

All of them are delicious to me but some of my favorites are my chicken macaroni salad, my southern macaroni salad, and this deviled egg macaroni salad.

close up of pasta and veggies

Tips for No Leftovers

  • Prep all the ingredients up to 2 days in advance to make it stress free.
  • Cook the pasta noodles al dente and rinse under cool water so they don’t get mushy when you add the salad dressing.
  • Use your favorite mix of veggies. Those pre-prepped bags in the store are a life saver.
  • Switch up the dressing to match your ingredients. You can make a Greek version or an Asian version too.
  • Don’t be afraid to add some crunchy toppings like toasted nuts or french fried onions.
  • Chill for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can mix. And keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Give it a quick stir just before serving.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

3 ingredient macaroni salad recipe collage

This easy macaroni salad recipe uses just 3 ingredients! Grab everything already prepped at the store and toss it all together when you’re ready to serve it. It’s the perfect side dish to so many things.

3 ingredient macaroni salad recipe

3 Ingredient Macaroni Salad

It doesn't get any easier with this 3 ingredient macaroni salad. Use a store bought veggie mix and a tangy dressing and whip it up in no time!
Give me a rating:)
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Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 273kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta noodles Elbow, small shells, or bowties.
  • 12 ounce vegetable stir fry mix Or broccoli slaw mix.
  • 6 ounces salad dressing I used a vinaigrette dressing.

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.
  • Open the bag of slaw and chop into smaller pieces if the vegetables are too large.
  • In a large bowl combine the cooked pasta and chopped slaw. Toss to combine.
  • Add the dressing and toss to coat.
  • Chill and serve.

Notes

  • Prep all the ingredients up to 2 days in advance to make it stress free.
  • Cook the pasta noodles al dente so they don’t get mushy when you add the dressing.
  • Use your favorite mix of veggies. Those pre-prepped bags in the store are a life saver.
  • Switch up the dressing to match your ingredients. You can make a Greek version or an Asian version too.
  • Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving so the flavors can mix together.
  • Stir just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 178IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

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