Mom’s Macaroni Salad Recipe

by Sandra Merville Hart

Sometimes I long for my mother’s cooking. In the summer she often made macaroni salad. She served it in a special, tall glass bowl that was only used for this salad.

The recipe is easy and no one ever wrote it down to my knowledge so I’m sharing it here.

We attended a family reunion where my aunt brought macaroni salad. As I went back for another spoonful, I asked my aunt what made it taste so delicious. She leaned over and whispered, “I put cucumber in mine.”

So, when I made it over the summer, I included her secret ingredient. Amazing tip! It adds another layer of flavor and crunch.

16 Ounces elbow macaroni

½ – 1 green pepper

1 large tomato

1 medium onion

1 large cucumber

1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups mayo


Cook the macaroni until tender. Drain and set aside to cool. Hint: Stir it a couple of times to release trapped heat and steam.

Chop the vegetables. I only used one half of a green pepper but a whole one doesn’t overpower the salad because there are several vegetables.

I like a lot of tomato in this salad. A large tomato was enough to add vibrant color and flavor.

Once the cooked macaroni begins to cool, stir in the chopped vegetables.

I never measure the mayo when making this salad but I did it this time to tell you. Cooked macaroni tends to absorb the mayo. After adding a cup of it, I spooned it in a bit at a time until it reached the desired creamy texture.

Delicious! The different soft and crunchy textures were even tastier than I remembered.

It may have something to do with my aunt’s secret ingredient. 😊