What Goes With Macaroni Salad For Breakfast, Lunch, And Dinner?

If you don’t know what to eat with macaroni salad, you’re in the right place. You can pair it with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, potato salad, and other dishes you can find in this guide

What you eat with it will depend on your diet and the flavor profile you prefer. You can also try other side dishes to find new combinations.

Read on to see what else goes with macaroni salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

What is macaroni salad?

Macaroni or ‘mac’ salad is a pasta salad made with elbow macaroni, mayonnaise, and other ingredients such as celery, onions, and peppers. You can serve it as a side dish, dessert, or a main course and pair it with grilled meats or sandwiches.

It is a very creamy and tasty dish you can eat during potluck dinners or picnics.

Some types of mac salad include:

Potato mac salad

potato mac salad - millenora

Potato mac salad is a dish made from boiled potatoes, macaroni pasta, and ingredients such as mayonnaise, onion, celery, and mustard.

You can prepare it ahead of time and refrigerate it till you’re ready to serve chilled or at room temperature.

Tuna mac salad

tuna macaroni salad - millenora

It comprises macaroni, tuna, mayonnaise, and spices. Other common ingredients include onion, celery, and green peppers. You can also add chicken for extra flavor.

Chicken macaroni salad

chicken macaroni salad - millenora

This bowl of salad contains chicken, mayonnaise, macaroni, and spices. You can also add grapes, nuts, and dried fruit. Chicken mac salad is best served with crackers or bread.

Classic mac salad

classic macaroni salad - millenora

You can make this salad with elbow macaroni, mayonnaise, and chopped vegetables, like celery, onions, and peppers.

Italian macaroni salad

Italian mac salad - millenora

It’s a promising meal you can make with rotini pasta or elbow macaroni, olive oil, veggies, vinegar, herbs, and spices. You can also use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise to keep it strictly vegan.

Southwestern macaroni salad

southwestern mac salad - millenora

Pair it with black beans, rotini pasta, corn, diced tomatoes, and green onions.

There are endless possibilities, so get creative and experiment with your favorite ingredients. You can’t go wrong with a classic American-style mac salad, but feel free to add your personal touch.

What goes with macaroni salad for breakfast?

For breakfast, some people prefer to eat it with bacon or sausage, while others enjoy it with eggs. Toast, bagels, and muffins are also popular options. 

Besides, you could try serving it with pancakes or waffles. Whatever you choose, enjoy your breakfast with a delicious mac salad on the side.

What goes with macaroni salad for lunch?

Mac salad already has a creamy and silky flavor, so you need something light and less creamy to go with it. The side dish will have to contain enough nutrients without feeling heavy. It’s also okay to add a little oil to your side dishes.

Some good options for sides to go with mac salad include:

  • Fruit salad
  • Vegetable sticks
  • Pretzels
  • Yogurt
  • Baked chips
  • Rice cakes
  • Granola bars
  • Fruit leathers
  • Nut butter packets
  • Dried fruit
  • Fresh fruit
  • Cookies
  • Canned soup
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Apple sauce
  • Cheese sticks
  • String cheese
  • Graham crackers
  • Salsa

What goes with macaroni salad for dinner?

For dinner, one option is to pair it with a simple green salad and some crusty bread. Another delicious way to enjoy macaroni salad is to top it with grilled chicken or shrimp.

If you prefer a heartier meal, you can serve it alongside a grilled steak or hamburger.

Some great sides dishes that go well with mac salad for dinner include:

  • Green beans
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Fruits
  • A simple side salad

These all provide a nice balance to the rich flavor of the macaroni salad and make for a delicious and satisfying meal.

What protein goes well with macaroni salad?

One protein that goes well with it is chicken. You can pre-cook the chicken or use tofu instead. Tofu is a better source of protein for vegetarians and has a similar texture to chicken.

Similarly, use a can of chickpeas. They are high in protein and fiber, which are good for you.

What to serve with vegetarian macaroni salad

Yes, you can enjoy this meal without meat. Load up on some extra vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or zucchini. You can also add beans such as chickpeas or white beans. 

Else, top the macaroni salad with a flavorful vinaigrette or dressing. Add some crumbled feta cheese or shredded Parmesan cheese to give the salad an extra flavor.

What to serve with chicken macaroni salad

Bread makes a perfect combo with chicken macaroni salad. You should try it. The bread will help to soak up any extra dressing or sauce that may be on the salad. And creamy bread tastes good!

Fruit or a green salad are also good sides for this meal. Avoid heavier sides like potatoes; they might make the dish too filling and heavy.

What to serve with Italian macaroni salad

Your Italian mac salad dish contains macaroni, vegetables, and dressing. The most common ingredients are elbow macaroni, tomatoes, lemon juice, onions, green peppers, olives, and a vinaigrette dressing.

Some recipes may also call for cheese, salami, or other meats. Unlike regular mac salad, it needs little or no mayonnaise and is perfect for vegans.

Some great options to serve with it include:

  • Baked or grilled chicken
  • Greek salad
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Breadsticks or garlic bread
  • Wine or beer

How to make a macaroni salad

This guide and process provide instructions on how to make healthy mac salads.


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red grapes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper


  • Cook the macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Add cooked macaroni, celery, red onion, green bell pepper, red grapes, and parsley to a large bowl.
  • Whisk the white wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the macaroni salad and stir.
  • Cover and refrigerate for up to one hour. Then, serve cold or at room temperature.

Health benefits of macaroni salad

For one, it is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which your brain needs to function properly. The vegetables in the salad also provide crucial vitamins and potassium, fiber, minerals, and vitamin C. 

The salad dressing can add healthy fats, low calories, and protein to help you maintain a healthy weight.


Are pasta and macaroni salad the same?

No, they are not. Macaroni is a type of pasta. Therefore, all mac salads are pasta salads but not every pasta salad is a mac salad.

How long can you store a homemade mac salad in the fridge?

Homemade mac salad can last 3 to 4 days in the fridge. But, in some cases, depending on the ingredients the salad contains and the type of dressing used, it may begin to deteriorate two days after.

Mac salad is best served fresh or should be consumed within one day.

What meat goes with mac salad?

Here are some of the best meat ideas to serve with mac salad:

  • Crumbled bacon
  • Ham
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Italian sausage/Salami/Pepperoni
  • Beef; ground or corned
  • Buffalo meat
  • Salami
  • Bacon
  • Salmon

Can you serve mac salad with seafood?

Yes, you can. Shrimps and crabs are a great idea for seafood macaroni salad. Remember to make it creamy. You can serve this dish alone or as a side with fried chicken, cheeseburger, and hot dogs.


Macaroni salad is a delicious and creamy dish you can enjoy with caution. There are different ways to prep it, so there is at least one recipe that everyone will enjoy.

When making this meal, use high-quality ingredients and cook the pasta al dente; that is, slightly firm, for the best results.

Thank you for reading.

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