Although whatever you are cooking on the barbeque is going to be the highlight of your meal, whether that is going to be chicken, steak or something else, you also need to consider side dishes. Perhaps you are going to add corn on the cob, vegetable kabobs or even potatoes to the barbeque to cook alongside the meat, but it is likely you will also want to offer some cold side dishes to offer a contrast. Take this creamy macaroni salad, for example. You can make it ahead to save time, and everyone will want some because it tastes so amazing, offering not only beautiful flavors but a lovely, creamy texture which will contrast with spicy or hot meats fresh off the barbeque. You cannot go wrong with this excellent dish.

To make this we are using elbow macaroni but go ahead and swap it for penne, pasta shells or another favorite. You can use white or whole wheat pasta. We are adding in hard-boiled eggs, red onion, cucumber, celery and red bell pepper, and then we are also using lemon juice, herbs, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish and celery salt for flavor. This combination of ingredients yields an incredible result which everyone will love, and the recipe is so easy to throw together. You might have some leftover pasta to use up, else it is quick enough to cook a new batch. The same applies to the eggs. Rinse the pasta under cold water to cool it down, and let the cooked eggs sit in cold water to speed up the chilling time.

Why Macaroni Salad is So Good

One of the best things about this kind of dish is how tasty it is, plus the fact you can add anything you like to it. Perhaps you want to have sundried tomatoes, pineapple chunks, pimento-stuffed olives, or even cherry tomatoes in your macaroni salad. Just add whatever you want. You can also change the dressing ingredients. Some people simply stir mayonnaise into their drained, cooled macaroni, but other flavors such as herbs, lemon or lime juice, chili, or garlic can also work nicely. Taste as you go and keep mixing in the ingredients, and you will be able to tell when the salad is perfect. If you are serving this with Mexican meat, swap the lemon for lime if you want a south of the border touch, and maybe add some corn kernels. If you are having it with plain grilled chicken, feel free to grind some chili flakes in there so it contrasts nicely.

Although macaroni salad can be served by itself or with bread, as a snack or lunch, it also makes a delicious side dish. If you are making this for a meal you will probably want to have shrimp, chicken or ham in there perhaps, but if it is to be served as a side with barbequed meat or fish, leave out the protein and just add vegetables, perhaps some fruit or nuts, and the tasty dressing, and then you will not have any flavor clashes. This will be wonderful with any kind of meat you are barbequing. Make extra if you are not sure how much you will need, because this salad keeps for up to 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Creamy Macaroni Salad
Summary: Cool, creamy and delicious, this wonderful macaroni salad makes the perfect accompaniment to barbequed meat, poultry or fish. The recipe includes eggs, red onion, celery, lemon, and sweet pickle relish.
Cuisine: American
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 4 chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • ¾ cup diced, peeled, seeded cucumber
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • Pinch of dried mixed herbs
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Cook the macaroni following the instructions on the package.
  2. Drain it and rinse it with cold water.
  3. Toss the eggs with the red onion, cucumber, onion, celery, macaroni, relish, and macaroni.
  4. Stir in everything else and add a little more salt if needed.
  5. Cover and chill for an hour or until cold, then serve alongside your favorite barbequed meats.

Photo Description:

You can see immediately how appetizing this macaroni salad is and everyone will want to enjoy this alongside their barbequed meat. Offering a creamy contrast to hot or spicy food, this macaroni salad is simple to prepare and you can tweak it to your heart’s content, adding apple or pineapple for sweetness, some nuts or bacon bits for crunch, or anything else you would like to use. Serve this with a big spoon and you will see everyone makes a dash for it and they will want second helpings too. Learning how to make a pasta salad is very easy and this recipe is sure to be a big hit.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

My name is Christine and I am delighted to welcome you here. Easy Barbeque Recipes aims to demystify the world of barbequing and turn anyone into a brilliant backyard chef regardless of culinary knowledge or past cooking experience. Cooking with fire is not only an easy cooking method but it is the original cooking method. An open fire was used to cook before there were such things as ovens, microwaves or crockpots. Barbequing is not just a cooking method either. It is a social event. Inviting friends over and grilling food for them is always fun and adding home-cooked food to any party is a surefire way to please a crowd. Nothing beats the incredible flavor of flame-grilled food, and you can barbeque all kinds of ingredients and recipes, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, veggies, and even pizza.


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