15 Quick and Mouthwatering Dishes to Serve with Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is a classic dish that’s light, creamy, and refreshing. This delectable pasta dish is a crowd-pleaser that’s perfect for picnics, barbecues, and potlucks. 

It’s a simple dish that is quick and easy to prepare, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. But what to serve with macaroni salad to take it to the next level? 

While macaroni salad is delicious on its own, you can pair it with a few other dishes to create a flavorful meal for your family or guests. 

In this blog post, we will share with you some quick and amazing dishes to serve with macaroni salad. 

These side dishes are sure to please your family and friends and take your meal to the next level. So, let’s get started!

What is macaroni salad? What does macaroni salad taste like?

Macaroni salad is a type of cold pasta salad made with macaroni, mayonnaise, vegetables (such as peppers and onions) and seasonings. 

It can also contain other ingredients such as cheese, celery or olives. 

macaroni salad

Macaroni salad has a creamy texture from the mayonnaise dressing mixed in with the al dente macaroni noodles. 

The taste is savory from the mayo and vegetables combined with a hint of sweetness depending on what other ingredients were added to it – for example, pickles or sugar.

15 Best Sides to serve with macaroni salad

1. Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is an excellent option to serve with macaroni salad. The juicy flavor of grilled chicken complements the creaminess of macaroni salad perfectly. 

grilled Chicken

You can place the grilled chicken on top of the macaroni salad or serve them separately with a side of BBQ sauce to dip.

2. Watermelon Salad

Watermelon salad is a refreshing option to serve with macaroni salad, especially in the summer. 

Watermelon Salad

The juicy and sweet watermelon pairs well with the tanginess of macaroni salad. You can add feta cheese, mint, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for added flavor.

3. Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is an effortless side dish to serve with macaroni salad. The crisp and buttery flavor of garlic bread complements the mild flavors of macaroni salad. 

Garlic Bread

You can serve it absolutely fresh out of the oven for that perfect crunch.

4. Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables are a perfectly healthy and flavorful option to serve with macaroni salad. The smoky and charred flavor of grilled vegetables pairs well with the creamy texture of macaroni salad. 

You can serve them as kebabs or grilled veggies on their own.

5. Bruschetta

Bruschetta is an easy-to-make Italian appetizer that complements macaroni salad perfectly. The combination of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil on toasted French bread is flavorful and delicious. 


You can serve bruschetta as an appetizer or a side dish with macaroni salad.

Discover More: 33 Creative Side Dishes to Elevate Your Bruschetta

6. Grilled Shrimp

Grilled shrimp is a tasty addition to macaroni salad. The smoky and savory flavor of grilled shrimp complements the creamy and tangy taste of macaroni salad. 

Grilled Shrimp

You can serve them as a side dish or mix them in with the macaroni salad for added flavor.

7. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is an ideal classic side dish that pairs well with macaroni salad. The two salads have similar textures and flavors, which complement each other well. 

You can prepare coleslaw with classic ingredients such as shredded cabbage, carrots, and mayo.(Recipe)

8. Grilled Corn

Grilled corn is a sweet and savory option to serve with macaroni salad. The charred and buttery flavor of grilled corn pairs well with macaroni salad. 

Grilled corn

You can serve grilled corn as a side dish or mix it with the macaroni salad to add extra flavor and texture.

9. Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a classic dish that goes well with macaroni salad. The crispy and juicy flavor of fried chicken complements the mild and creamy taste of macaroni salad. 

Fried Chicken

You can serve fried chicken as a side dish or on top of the macaroni salad for added flavor.

10. Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a classic appetizer that pairs well with macaroni salad. Both dishes have a similar texture and flavor, which makes them the perfect pair. 

You can prepare deviled eggs with classic ingredients such as mayo, mustard, and paprika.

Explore More: Deviled Eggs: 30 Best Foods to Serve as an Appetizer

11. Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salad is a crunchy and refreshing side dish that pairs well with macaroni salad. 

Cucumber Salad

Simply slice cucumbers thinly and mix them with red onion, dill, and a simple vinaigrette.

12. Baked Beans

Baked beans are a perfect classic side dish that pairs well with macaroni salad. The sweet and savory flavor of the beans complements the tangy and creamy flavor of the macaroni salad.

13. Potato Salad

Potato salad is another classic side dish that pairs well with macaroni salad. 

Potato Salad

The starchy and creamy texture of the potatoes complements the creamy texture of the macaroni salad.

14. Cornbread

Cornbread is a hearty and flavorful side dish that pairs well with macaroni salad. 

The sweet and savory flavor of the cornbread complements the tangy and creamy flavor of the macaroni salad.

15. Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is a healthy and refreshing side dish that pairs well with macaroni salad. 

Fruit Salad

Simply cut up your favorite fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, and kiwis, and mix them together in a bowl.

What are the best flavors to go with macaroni salad?

One of the best flavor combinations to go with macaroni salad is a combination of sweet and savory ingredients. 

This could include adding diced apples or dried cranberries for sweetness, as well as something salty, like bacon bits, shallots, or feta cheese. 

You can also include a bit of crunch by adding nuts or seeds such as walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds

best flavors to go with macaroni salad

Adding herbs and spices like dill or oregano can also lend an interesting flavor profile to your macaroni salad that will make it stand out from the ordinary. 

Finally, don’t forget to add some kind of dressing! Balsamic vinaigrette is always a great choice for macaroni salads, but you can also play around with different flavors like Caesar or ranch. 

Have fun experimenting and get creative with your macaroni salad flavors!

Find Out More: 10 Quick and Amazing Dishes to Serve with Chicken Caesar Salad

How do you jazz up macaroni salad?

To jazz up macaroni salad, you can add a variety of ingredients like diced bell peppers, chopped celery, sliced green onions, cubed cheese pieces, crumbled bacon or ham chunks, fresh herbs like dill or parsley and crunchy vegetables such as julienned carrots. 

You can also dress it up with flavorful additions like sweet pickles, spicy seasonings such as red pepper flakes and capers and tangy vinegar. 

Finally, give the salad some zing by stirring in creamy dressings like mayonnaise or Greek yogurt. With all these additions, you’ll have an irresistible macaroni salad!

macaroni salad

How do you display macaroni salad on a platter?

Displaying macaroni salad on a platter can be an easy and attractive way to serve the dish. 

Start by arranging a bed of colorful lettuce, spinach, or watercress on the platter for a bright appearance and a pop of flavor. 

Next, spoon the macaroni salad onto the bed in an even layer before adding any additional toppings. 

Toppings can include diced vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, sweet onions, celery, olives, or shredded cheese. 

Additionally, garnishing with parsley adds color and texture that will make the presentation more appealing. 

Finally, drizzle with your favorite dressing to finish off the look and add some tangy flavor.

bread to serve with Mac pasta salad

1. Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread is an Italian classic that pairs perfectly with Mac pasta salad. 

It’s chewy texture and subtle flavor make it a great choice for this dish, as the crunchy croutons, creamy dressing, and light macaroni can be complemented by the softness of the focaccia bread. 

Additionally, its unique look makes it an ideal presentation piece to serve with your Mac pasta salad.

Learn More: 23 Hearty Soups Perfectly Paired with Focaccia Bread

2. Ciabatta Bread

Ciabatta bread has a rustic look and a slightly sour flavor that pair nicely with Mac pasta salad. 

Ciabatta Bread

The tartness of the ciabatta balances out the creaminess of the dressing in this dish, while the large holes in each slice give it a unique texture that contrasts with the creaminess and crunchiness of the components in this salad.

3. Baguette

A long French loaf, baguette has an airy texture and mild flavor that meshes well with Mac pasta salads. 

It has a crisp crust on top and is excellent when served at room temperature or lightly toasted for extra crunch. 

This type of bread also has more surface area to hold onto all the delicious flavors of your salad!

4. Sourdough Bread

A staple ingredient in many recipes, sourdough works wonderfully with Mac pasta salad for its unique flavor profile and texture combination. 

It is slightly tangy due to the fermentation process used to produce it, making it perfect for pairing with creamy dressings like those found in this dish. 

Also, its light yet chewy crumb gives it a pleasant bite that won’t overpower any other flavors you may have included in your recipe.

5. Rye Bread

Rye bread is another traditional option that goes well with Mac pasta salads because of its distinctive grainy taste and hearty texture, which helps bring all elements together into one complete dish. 

Rye Bread

Its nutty notes mingle well with the cheesy flavors often included in this type of recipe as well as its savory aspect, so you can enjoy every bite without any overwhelming tastes or textures standing out too much from one another!

Explore More: What to Serve with Chinese Chicken Salad- 15 Quick and Amazing Side Dishes to Serve

Wrap Up on what to serve with macaroni salad

In conclusion, macaroni salad is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of dishes to create a flavorful meal. 

Whether you are hosting a summer barbecue or a family gathering, these ten quick and amazing dishes will impress your guests and satisfy their taste buds. 

These side dishes are effortless to make and require simple ingredients. We hope this guide has given you some inspiration on what to serve with macaroni salad.


How much macaroni salad per person?

On average, it is recommended to serve about 1/2 cup of macaroni salad per person

This amount of macaroni salad will provide enough for each guest to have a small portion while still leaving plenty of other food options to choose from. 

Additionally, since macaroni salad is often served at room temperature, it can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days before serving, making it an ideal option that won’t take up too much time in preparation.

What vegetable goes with macaroni salad?

Macaroni salad is traditionally served with a variety of vegetables, such as diced bell peppers, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, and red onions. 

It can also be made with different types of cheeses, herbs and spices for added flavor. 

Adding hard-boiled eggs to macaroni salad is another popular variation. Garnishing with fresh parsley or other herbs adds a nice finishing touch.

Can you eat macaroni salad by itself?

Macaroni salad is a dish made with cooked macaroni pasta mixed with various ingredients such as mayonnaise, vegetables, herbs, and sometimes proteins like chicken or ham. 

It is typically served chilled and can be enjoyed as a standalone dish. 
Macaroni salad is a versatile and flavorful option that can be consumed as a main course or as a side dish with other meals. 

Whether you prefer to have it on its own or alongside other dishes is entirely a matter of personal preference.

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