Chicken Macaroni Salad: An easy recipe using pasta, mayo, mustard, seasoned salt, pepper, celery, onion and chicken to create a side dish favorite!
Chicken Macaroni Salad
This simple, pantry staple salad recipe is just what we need right now. A simple creamy dressing tossed with tender pasta, chicken, celery, and onion that’s done in a flash.
How ready are you all for summer food? I adore any kind of pasta or macaroni salad, especially when the weather is warm, and I’m hoping you all feel the same way.
This Chicken Macaroni Salad couldn’t be easier to make so let’s get to it.
Ingredients for Chicken Macaroni Salad
You only need a few ingredients to make this macaroni salad. Here’s everything you need:
- Classic yellow mustard
- Seasoned salt
- Black pepper
I’m betting you already have everything you need on hand to make this side dish recipe (or main dish recipe, whichever category you think this would work best in!). I chose to use elbow macaroni to keep it looking classic but you can use whatever short cut pasta you have in your pantry.
And if you don’t have seasoned salt, don’t fret. You can use kosher salt in its place and it will still be delicious. I prefer the seasoned salt here because it just gives it that extra little interest and flavor.
How to Make Chicken Macaroni Salad
I love using rotisserie chicken in recipes like these for a few reasons. First, it’s super easy. It’s already cooked and ready to go so all you have to do is dice it.
It’s also often cheaper than buying raw chicken and taking the time to cook it. For a busy mom, it’s kind of a no brainer.
You can even find it pre-shredded now at your grocery store or Costco.
Or, use any leftover chicken you have in the fridge. When you know you’re going to be making this, cook two extra chicken breasts with dinner the night before or while you’re meal prepping so that assembly is a snap.
Assembling the Chicken Macaroni Salad
Mixing up this Chicken Macaroni Salad couldn’t get easier. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the mayo, mustard, seasoned salt, and pepper. Set that aside while you prep the onion and celery.
Thinly slice a large stalk of celery and dice ½ cup of onion. You can use a sweet onion for a milder flavor or a red onion if you love that pop of color. Any variety will work here. Mix the chopped veggies into the dressing and it’s ready for the pasta.
Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, rinse it with cold water and drain it well. You don’t want to add hot pasta to a cold, mayo-based dressing.
You can serve it right away or refrigerate it and serve later. If you serve immediately, it will be creamier. If you let it sit in the fridge for a while it will soak up some of the dressing and the flavors will meld together. Either way is delicious.
Great for Summer Potlucks and Barbecues
For me, a macaroni salad is a quintessential addition to any summer potluck or barbecue. It goes well with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, ribs… I could go on but I think you’re getting the picture. This salad goes with everything.
You can make this ahead of time so you can focus on the more time-sensitive dishes at your barbecue.
You’ll Also Love:
Chicken Macaroni Salad
- 16 oz. elbow macaroni
- 1 cup mayo
- 4 tsp. yellow mustard
- 1 tsp. seasoned salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup sliced celery, about 1 large stalk
- 2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook elbow macaroni according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, seasoned salt, black pepper, onion, celery and chicken. Set aside.
- Rinse elbows in cold water and drain very well. Add to the bowl and stir until well coated. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Love Easy Recipes?
If you struggle with coming up with dinner ideas that your family will love, while making sure you don’t spend a ton of time in the kitchen… then make sure to get your hands on the NEW Fabulously Fast Dinners Cookbook where I give you easy main dish recipes and pair each one with a side dish recipe!