Tangy and Creamy Macaroni Salad Recipe

Photographs: Vicky Wasik

If you want nothing more than heavy, mayo-laden pasta, the ubiquitous deli macaroni salad is for you. This recipe, however, takes the standard and gives it a depth and tang that makes it stand out in a crowd.

Why this recipe works:

  • Boiling the pasta until very tender allows it to absorb the vinegar and dressing better; it firms up once cold so won't taste overcooked.
  • Sour cream, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, and hot sauce give this dressing more depth than the standard macaroni salad.
  • Celery, shallots, and scallions give a crunchy texture.

Recipe Details

Tangy and Creamy Macaroni Salad Recipe

Active 25 mins
Total 95 mins
Serves 8 to 10 servings


For the Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 3/4 cup whole milk

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, preferably Texas Pete

  • 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Salad:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

  • 4 scallions, finely sliced

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the dressing: Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  2. For the Salad: In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add vinegar and stir until completely absorbed. Let pasta stand until cool, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add dressing and stir until well coated. Stir in celery, shallots, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.


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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
374 Calories
29g Fat
21g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 374
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 545mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 154mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)