With Labor Day fast approaching, I wanted to share one of my family’s most loved side dishes, my mom’s macaroni salad. This cold salad is just the thing to go with barbecue! It does not matter what you have on the grill, it will go with my mom’s salad. All of that said, I wanted to share my mom’s recipe with you and yours, so it can continue to be enjoyed for many many years to come.

My mom’s macaroni salad has been a family staple all my life (I’m 58 years old).  This salad is my son Ian’s favorite! There is not a family dinner or holiday that goes by that this side treat is not requested by Ian and he is my baby and I need him happy.  Now let me say each of my kids have a favorite dish and I make sure everyone gets their favorites unless it is chocolate chip cookies, which my son Joey makes with the skill of a baker three times his age. My mom never wrote down her recipe, but she did teach me how to make it.  Much to my hubby’s credit, this recipe is now down on paper. Now, I can not only make sure my children will have this recipe, but I can share it with others as well.  

This salad is different. It’s creamy with a bite of vinegar, touch of sugary sweetness, and the lovely freshness a bit of dill gives. Dill is one of my favorite herbs; it reminds me of rain every time I use it. I always have dill weed in my herb cabinet and just inhale it when I open the jar.  Strange habit right? If you are not a fan of vinegar you can cut back on that ingredient a bit, but the vinegar and the sweetness of sugart combine to create a sweet and sour taste! We just love it! It’s very important to allow this salad to marinate in the refrigerator so the flavors can blend and mature.  Trust me, if you try to eat it too early it will not taste as good. Let it set overnight for the flavors to be at their best. If there is an ingredient your family doesn’t really like you can omit it. Our family (my kids really) don’t care for the red onion, so we often make the salad without it. It’s pretty versatile. I hope you make it your own this holiday season. 

Shirley’s Macaroni Salad


1 lb. elbow macaroni

3 hard-boiled eggs and chopped

1 cup diced dill pickles

½ cup sliced black olives

½ cup of diced red onion


Dressing Ingredients

2 cups Miracle Whip

¾ cup of apple cider vinegar

1 ¾ tablespoon white sugar

¾ cup of whole milk

1 tablespoon Nature Seasonings

¾ teaspoon cracked black pepper

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon dried dill weed



  1. Cook macaroni per box instructions.
  2. While the macaroni is cooking dice, slice, and chop other ingredients.
  3. Once macaroni is done drain and allow to cool.
  4. In a separate bowl mix all the dressing ingredients.
  5. Once the dressing is complete combine all ingredients in a large sealable container and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours, the flavors need time to blend.