Classic Macaroni Salad with Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickle Relish

Average Rating 5 from 1 rating

This is a delicious classic macaroni salad. For an extra special twist, make your own pickle relish to stir in. The relish is also great served on hot dogs or with sausages. Made with Pamela’s Elbows or Pamela’s Rotini Pasta.

Classic Macaroni Salad with Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickle Relish

Yield: 4 large or 8 small servings pasta salad; 3 to 4 cups pickle relish

Classic Macaroni Salad with Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickle Relish


  • 1 (8 oz) box Pamela’s Elbows or Rotini Pasta
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup chopped bread and butter pickles or Sweet & Spicy Pickle Relish (recipe below)
  • 2 to 3 hardboiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • Finely chopped zest of 1 lemon
  • FOR TH PICKLE RELISH (optional - use in place of chopped pickles)
  • 2 large cucumbers (about 1 pound total), peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 3 or 4 whole allspice berries (optional)
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated, peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Large pinch red pepper flakes


Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

TO MAKE THE DRESSING: In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, and Dijon mustard together. Add sugar, salt, pepper, celery seed, and lemon zest and mix completely. Taste and correct seasonings. Refrigerate dressing until pasta is cooked.

TO MAKE THE PASTA: Boil Elbows or Rotini in a large pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes until done al dente. Drain and rinse well with cold water.

TO ASSEMBLE THE PASTA SALAD: Set aside ½ cup of dressing. In a large bowl, toss the remaining dressing with the well-drained pasta. Add celery, bell peppers, and onions. Add pickles or Sweet & Spicy Pickle Relish and toss again. Add chopped eggs and reserved dressing to taste, and toss gently. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

TO MAKE THE PICKLE RELISH (optional): Set cucumbers in colander over a plate or bowl, sprinkle with salt, and let drain for at least 15 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat vegetable oil. Add mustard seeds, bay leaves, and allspice and stir until some of the seeds pop. Add vinegar, sugar, ginger, turmeric, and red pepper flakes and cook over low heat until reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard allspice berries and bay leaves.

Put cucumbers in a medium bowl. Pour liquid over cucumbers and mix. Refrigerate until cold.

© Pamela's Products, Inc.

One Review or Comment for Classic Macaroni Salad with Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickle Relish

  1. Sam August 17, 2018 at 10:53 am #

    This was so tasty, perfect side dish for our BBQ last night. I love bread and butter pickles but I’d never thought to add them to a mac salad! I used my favorite Bubbie’s bread and butter pickles, it went really well with this recipe, thanks for sharing!!

    Recipe Rating: 5

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