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Macaroni salad with peas is a staple side dish you can enjoy not only in summer, but all year long. Creamy and loaded with goodies, this salad is truly irresistible.

Overhead image of macaroni salad with peas in a grey bowl

A perfect side dish, you just can’t go wrong with a classic macaroni salad. But with the addition of peas, it takes it to a whole new level for me – Macaroni Salad with Peas, a must make!

Now that the weather is warming up, I’m all about summer recipes; I just can’t get enough.

I have to start thinking in terms of cooking for a large crowd. We hang out a lot with friends and family during the summer months, and I have to make sure I make enough food to feed the masses!

Thankfully, this creamy macaroni salad makes a lot, is easy to throw together, and everyone loves it, so I make it often.

It’s just an overall great recipe to have on hand. Plus, you can mix up the ingredients for whatever veggies you have on hand to throw in there.

I just love recipes I can use as a base recipe and then add or subtract different things so I can gear them towards my tastes.

We love this Macaroni Salad with Peas as is but I’ll give you some tips below on how to switch it up if needed!

Some of our other favorite salad recipes we have on our site include: Tuna Pasta Salad, Broccoli Pasta Salad, and Tortellini Pasta Salad.

45 degree angle image of macaroni salad with peas in a grey bowl

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. This easy macaroni salad recipe makes a lot to feed a crowd.
  2. Great for a make-ahead option since it needs to chill in the fridge.
  3. Adding green peas makes a subtle pop of sweetness in every bite.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Macaroni noodles
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Paprika
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • Onion
  • Canned sweet peas
  • Large eggs, hard-boiled
  • Celery ribs
  • Red bell pepper
  • Fresh parsley
Overhead image of ingredients needed to make macaroni salad with peas

HOW TO MAKE MACARONI SALAD WITH PEAS:

  1. Cook macaroni according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking; drain well.
  2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, dijon, salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the onion, peas, chopped hard-boiled eggs, celery, bell pepper, and macaroni pasta in a large mixing bowl. Top with the creamy dressing and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary to your personal preferences.
  4. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Give it a good stir, add to a serving bowl, and serve with parsley garnish, optional.
Overhead collage of images showing how to make macaroni salad with peas

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

DO I HAVE TO USE MACARONI NOODLES?

Not at all, just use whatever short pasta you may have on hand. I use macaroni since there is always a box hanging out in my pantry, but use whatever pasta noodle you want.

Other shapes I recommend to replace elbow macaroni noodles:

  • Fusilli
  • Farfalle
  • Mini penne
  • Mini shells
  • Cavatappi
  • Orecchiette

DO I HAVE TO USE CANNED PEAS?

No, I mix this up from time to time myself. In place of canned peas you can use:

  • Fresh peas- blanch them quickly and shock them in an ice bath
  • Frozen peas, just add them in frozen, they will thaw quickly
Overhead image of macaroni salad with peas in a grey bowl with serving spoons

CAN THIS BE MADE AHEAD?

Yes, for best results it is recommended to let this pasta salad recipe sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

You can make it a few hours ahead of time, but not overnight. If the salad sits too long, it will absorb the dressing and appear dry.

If you are making it ahead, I suggest doubling the dressing recipe and stirring in half, then leaving the remainder in the fridge and adding more as needed.

ANY SUBSTITUTIONS OR ADDITIONS?

Definitely, here are my substitution suggestions:

  • Mayonnaise – miracle whip or light mayo (You can also leave out some of the mayonnaise and add sour cream or Greek yogurt in it’s place for a little more zing)
  • Dijon mustard – yellow mustard works perfectly
  • Lemon juice – apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (or even pickle juice!)
  • Onion – red onion or green onion
  • Red bell pepper – green pepper or any color you prefer

My favorite add-ins you can try:

  • Sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish
  • Onion powder
  • Celery salt
  • Cheddar cheese cubes or shredded
  • Other fresh vegetables – radishes, roasted red bell peppers, cucumbers
Overhead image of macaroni salad with peas with a serving spoon

HOW TO STORE:

Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Best served and eaten cold.

Always give it a good stir before serving leftovers. The longer this sits, the more of the dressing the pasta will absorb.

If you know you will not eat the entire salad at once, I suggest adding extra dressing on the side and adding more if needed.

I do not suggest freezing. Typically with mayonnaise-based sauces, they will separate in the freezer.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • This makes a large batch, but you can easily double it to feed more or halve the recipe.
  • Tons of custom options, see my tips above on that.
  • Great for a make-ahead side dish.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Make extra dressing if you are not planning on eating this at one sitting.
A serving spoon scooping a portion of macaroni salad with peas

Move over potato salad! If you are looking for a new creamy salad to make for family gatherings or any meal, you must try this Macaroni Salad with Peas.

If you’ve tried this MACARONI SALAD WITH PEAS, let me know how it turned out in the comments! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes! 

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 7 votes

Creamy Macaroni Salad with Peas

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 20 minutes
Macaroni salad with peas is a staple side dish you can enjoy not only in summer, but all year long. Creamy and loaded with goodies, this salad is truly irresistible.
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

For the dressing

Instructions

  • Cook macaroni according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking; drain well.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, dijon, salt, pepper, and paprika in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add the bell pepper, onion, peas, egg, celery, and macaroni pasta in a large mixing bowl. Top with the creamy dressing and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary to your personal preferences.
  • Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Give it a good stir, add to a serving bowl, and serve with parsley garnish, optional.

Notes

  • This makes a large batch, but you can easily double it to feed more or halve the recipe.
  • Tons of custom options, see my tips above on that.
  • Great for a make-ahead side dish.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Make extra dressing if you are not planning on eating this at one sitting.

Nutrition

Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 486mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 978IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American

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5 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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