This is the BEST Macaroni Salad made with tomatoes and black olives, and a simple creamy mayo-based dressing, a perfect summer side dish!
Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes
When the weather starts to warm up, you can find me outside, taking advantage of the sunshine. I especially love a good outdoor summer BBQ, and this creamy Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes is perfect for the occasion. It’s my go-to all summer long! Some other delicious pasta salads that you should try are this Summer Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes and Zucchini, BLT Macaroni Salad, and Mayo-less Tuna Macaroni Salad.
This easy macaroni salad recipe is excellent for parties. You can make it the day before to save time the day of your event. All you have to do is cook the pasta and then stir everything together. I usually mix the summer tomatoes in with the other ingredients in a bowl while the pasta cooks. The tomatoes release their juice and make the sauce creamy and saucy.
- Pasta: Uncooked elbow macaroni, wheat or gluten-free
- Vegetables: Ripe tomatoes such as plum, vine-ripe or campari tomatoes, sliced black olives and chopped red onion.
- Herbs and spices: garlic powder, dried oregano, salt (or adobo seasoning salt) and black pepper
- Salad Dressing: mayonnaise and white vinegar (optional, add a few dashes of Franks Hot Sauce)
How To Make The Best Macaroni Salad
The combination of these flavors just work! You can see my suggestions below, but I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. Here’s how to make it:
- Cook the macaroni in salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Meanwhile combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, tomatoes (and all of juice from the tomatoes), olives, onion, garlic powder, oregano salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well.
- When the pasta is ready, add to the bowl and mix well.
- Serve room temperature right away or chill it in the refrigerator to serve later. If you serve it later, you may need to add more mayo.
- Add cucumbers, red bell peppers or celery for more vegetables and crunch
- You can use whole wheat macaroni for more protein and fiber or gluten-free macaroni for a gluten-free macaroni salad.
- Use apple cider vinegar instead of white
What to Serve with Macaroni Salad
- Burgers – Turkey Burgers or Salmon Burgers are perfect with elbow pasta salad.
- Chicken Breast – Juicy, flavorful Grilled Chicken Breast or Air Fryer Chicken Breast.
- Chicken Thighs – Juicier and more flavorful than chicken breast, these Grilled Chicken Thighs are a winner in my house. If you have an air fryer, make these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs.
- Steak – Grilled steaks or Air Fryer Steak
- More Side Dishes: Round out your summer potluck with Creamy Cucumber Salad, Greek Pasta Salad, Red Potato Salad or Grilled Corn.
Should you rinse pasta before making macaroni salad?
Yes, it’s best to rinse hot pasta with cold water before making macaroni salad. Typically, if you’re eating your pasta cold, like in a pasta salad, you’ll want to rinse it with cold water right after it’s done cooking. The cold water stops the cooking process, cools off the pasta, and helps prevent the noodles from clumping together.
More Pasta Salad Recipes You’ll Love:
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Chilled Italian Shrimp Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Summer Pasta Salad with Baby Greens
- Warm Pasta Salad with Corn and Zucchini
- Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad with Tomatoes
Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes
- 6 oz uncooked elbows, wheat or gluten-free
- 2 ripe medium tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 red onion, or white, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Hellmann's light mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2.5 oz can sliced black olives
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions.
- Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, tomatoes (and all of the juice from the tomatoes), olives, onion, garlic powder, oregano salt and pepper. Mix well.
- When the pasta is done, mix it in and serve right away room temperature or chilled.