A Gathering Must Have: Traditional Macaroni Salad

In a pinch and need a quick, easy potluck side dish for your next gathering?

You’re in luck! This traditional macaroni salad that is also a third generation family recipe is packed with tender macaroni, crunchy vibrant vegetables, hints of sweetness between the sweet relish and pineapple pieces and savory chicken that provides a great source of protein. It will be an irresistible side dish that will have guests going back up for seconds or even thirds!

This macaroni salad will be your saving grace when you are in a pinch and need an easy last minute or even make ahead side dish for your next gathering. It is a 30 minutes or less recipe consisting of three main things: boiling, chopping and mixing. It‘s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

I am very familiar with that being overly busy or time flew by and the party is tomorrow feeling and your family or friends are expecting a homemade side dish from you. Sometimes jumping on Google to search for something can make things harder than easier for you... imagine yourself trying to find the best recipe while taking what ingredients you currently have or don’t have in your fridge into consideration, thinking about how much prep work is involved and worrying about if overall it will be time consuming. Well, let’s wipe all of those worries away. My family recipe is to the rescue!

This recipe is so special to me because it is a third generation family recipe. It is one of those family ones that is so simple, yet so satisfying. It was created by my Grandma, then passed down to my Mom and now passed to me! It is another one of my special family recipes that I can’t wait to share with you. It has made an appearance at almost every single family gathering throughout the years and at the end of the party, we all fight over who is going to get the most left overs. It is that good!

Serves 10+, INGREDIENTS:

1 Lb. elbow macaroni, cooked

2 Cups plain chicken breast, cooked and shredded (about 2 chicken breasts)

3 Celery stalks, thinly sliced

3 Carrots, peeled and diced

Half of a yellow onion, minced

1 Can pineapple tidbits, juices removed

4 TBSP mayonnaise

3 TBSP sweet relish

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling add macaroni noodles and cook about 10 minutes over medium heat or until al dente. Once they are done, strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

  2. Prepare other ingredients. Slice celery stalks, dice carrots, mince onion and strain juices from pineapple can.

  3. In a large bowl, add one layer of macaroni. Add half of the onions, carrots, celery, shredded chicken, sweet relish, mayonnaise and some salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

  4. Repeat this process with the other half and remaining ingredients. Mix well again and add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.


  1. Glass Prep Bowls

  2. Marble Salt Container

  3. Calphalon Knives Set

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