Home > Salads > Macaroni Coleslaw Salad Macaroni Coleslaw Salad May 30, 2018 | 25 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Macaroni Coleslaw Salad is what you get when two of the best summer side-dishes (coleslaw and macaroni salad) collide into one insanely tasty potluck salad! Looking for more crowd-pleasing potluck favorites? This Raspberry Fluff, Mediterranean Pasta Salad, or Potato Salad are always a hit! Macaroni Coleslaw Salad What is this concoction?! Essentially this salad is a mash-up of coleslaw and macaroni salad! You get the best of both worlds in one salad! It’s loaded with coleslaw, macaroni noodles, veggies, and a quick homemade coleslaw dressing. And it’s tangy, sweet, and crunchy. Macaroni Coleslaw Salad is the absolute best thing to bring to a summer potluck or BBQ. QUICK TIP This salad is especially tasty on the side of a BBQ Chicken Sandwich or Sloppy Joes! Macaroni Coleslaw Salad Ingredients Macaroni and apple cider vinegar. We highly recommend elbow macaroni for this recipe, but any short pasta shapes will work. The small size of the noodles provides plenty of nooks and crannies to ensure the dressing and small ingredients get trapped in and evenly dispersed throughout the pasta. We toss just a little bit of apple cider vinegar with the cooked pasta after it’s been drained to ensure the noodles don’t stick and clump together. Coleslaw mix. Nothing fancy here — just a store-bought package of coleslaw works great here! Most coleslaw mixes are in the produce section of the grocery store near other packaged salad mixes. Celery. This is a classic macaroni salad addition and adds a nice crunch! Cucumber. We like English or Persian cucumbers (sometimes labeled as mini cucumbers best in this salad. Regular cucumbers lack sufficient flavor and texture. They also break down more quickly (they’re quite watery), which isn’t ideal in this salad. Red onion. If you’re sensitive to the flavor of raw red onion, soak the diced onions in ice-cold, salted water for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly before using. And just FYI, the longer this salad sits and stores in the fridge, the stronger the flavor of red onion becomes. Green bell pepper. This is another ingredient that adds a nice crunch and savoriness to the salad. Dressing Ingredients Mayo. Mayonnaise is perhaps the most important ingredient in this recipe–it makes a huge impact on the flavor. We love Hellman’s/Best Foods® best (not sponsored). It’s creamy and isn’t too sweet. We like their regular (full-fat) mayo best in this salad — it yields the creamiest dressing. Sugar. Most macaroni salads are intentionally sweet and this one is no exception. The sugar offsets the tang of the vinegar in the dressing and balances out the veggies. If you’re not a fan of sweetness, add sugar slowly and to taste. Apple cider vinegar. The vinegar gives this salad some nice tang and balances the sweetness from the mayo and sugar. Seasonings. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder are all small additions with big flavor repercussions. If flavors seem at all flat, the salad may just need an extra pinch of salt! Fresh lemon juice. This acidic ingredient balances flavors and adds a bit more tang to the salad. This is an ingredient you may want to increase if you love fresh lemon juice! And we really think that fresh lemon is miles ahead of bottled. Seriously! Use fresh lemon juice for maximum results. QUICK TIP For the quickest prep time possible, pick up some fresh (refrigerated) coleslaw dressing (I like Marie’s® best; not sponsored). The refrigerated coleslaw dressings are typically found in the refrigerated area of the produce section, not with the shelf-stable dressings. Macaroni Coleslaw Salad Tips Salt the pasta water. Since this pasta is served cold, the flavors tend to get muted. Make sure the pasta is well-salted as it cooks since this is the only chance you have to season the actual pasta. Read about how to properly salt your pasta water here. As a general rule of thumb, I add 1 teaspoon of salt to every 4 cups of water. The dressing may be a bit lumpy at first — don’t worry about it; the lumps work themselves out as the dressing gets tossed with the salad. Chill for 30 minutes. While it’s fine to serve this salad right after you make it, it does taste better cold and after the ingredients have had a chance to meld a bit with the dressing. Macaroni Coleslaw Salad Storage Assemble this salad right before eating. We just said to chill the salad for 30 minutes, didn’t we? Well, that’s not the same as storing it for four or five days. This is not a pasta salad that sits well with the dressing beyond a day. The noodles continue to absorb the liquid from the dressing and bloat giving the salad an unpleasant texture. The veggies also get soft and the salad as a whole becomes watery. So please: chill for 30 minutes, as advised, but then pull it out of the fridge and serve! If making it in advance, store the salad separately from the dressing and combine the two right before eating. Only dress meal-sized portions. QUICK TIP Because pasta is made of starch, it absorbs liquids and can become dry. To combat this, I usually add quite a lot of dressing to pasta salads. Instead of adding it all at once, add most of it when you mix the dish, and then gradually add more as needed to re-moisten the salad. If serving this salad at a potluck, stir it every 30 minutes or so, adding more dressing as it starts looking dry. More summer favorites: Grilled Chicken Marinade reader favorite recipe! Creamy Pesto Orzo made in one pot; 30 minutes or less! Grilled Flank Steak with chimichurri Zucchini Pasta Sauce over spaghetti noodles Taco Pasta Salad with taco-seasoned ground beef FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Macaroni Coleslaw Salad 5 from 6 votes - Review this recipe Macaroni Coleslaw Salad is what you get when two of the best summer side-dishes (coleslaw and macaroni salad) collides into one insanely tasty potluck salad! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Macaroni Coleslaw Salad 5 from 6 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Macaroni Coleslaw Salad is what you get when two of the best summer side-dishes (coleslaw and macaroni salad) collides into one insanely tasty potluck salad! Course Salad, Side Dish, Vegetarian Cuisine American, Vegetarian Keyword macaroni coleslaw salad Prep Time 30 minutes Total Time 30 minutes Servings 14 -16 side salad servings Calories 326kcal Author Chelsea, highly adapted from Taste of Home Cost $8.65 IngredientsSalad2 cups (300g) elbow macaroni, measured when dry1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar2 English cucumbers, cut into half moons (2 cups; 260g)1 green bell pepper, finely chopped (1 cup; 135g)2 regular celery ribs, finely chopped (3/4 cup; 93g)1/2 large red onion, finely chopped (1 cup; 135g)1 package (14-16 oz; 454g) coleslaw mix Note 1Dressing1 and 1/2 cups (300g) mayonnaise recommended: Best Foods/Hellman's1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar Note 21/4 cup (57g) apple cider vinegar1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt1/4 teaspoon pepper1/2 teaspoon garlic powder1 tablespoon (17g) fresh lemon juice InstructionsMACARONI NOODLES: Prepare the pasta according to package directions. (Cook only 2 cups, not the whole package.) Make sure to generously salt the water (I add 1 teaspoon to every 4 cups of water), or the whole salad will taste underseasoned. Drain pasta, rinse under cold water, and pour back into the (dry) pot they cooked in. Toss with apple cider vinegar and then allow the noodles to fully cool. VEGGIE PREP: Meanwhile, prepare the veggies. Remove about an inch of each end of the English cucumbers (this part is bitter). Slice each cucumber in half and then cut the halves into moons. Finely chop the green pepper and red onion.ASSEMBLY: Once the noodles are completely cooled, add to a very large bowl. Toss with the coleslaw mix. Add the cucumbers, green pepper, celery, and red onion on top. DRESSING: Meanwhile, add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. If serving all of this salad the same day (See Note 3): pour over the salad and toss until all the ingredients are well coated. Cover tightly and allow to chill thoroughly in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before serving. Toss right before serving and taste for additional seasonings if needed. Once dressed, salad is best enjoyed the same day. Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Coleslaw mix: Not prepared coleslaw; just a store-bought package of coleslaw (shredded cabbage and carrots) Most coleslaw mixes are in the produce section of the grocery store near other packaged salad mixes. Note 2: Sugar: If you're worried about sweetness, start with less and gradually add more to taste preference. Note 3: Storage: This is not a pasta salad that sits well with the dressing beyond a day. The noodles continue to absorb the liquid from the dressing and will bloat, giving the salad an unpleasant texture. The veggies also get soft and the salad as a whole becomes watery. If making it in advance, store the salad separately from the dressing and combine the two right before eating. Only dress meal-sized portions. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 93IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.