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creamy southern macaroni salad with pimento cheese

Southern Macaroni Salad

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5 from 1 review

Irresistibly creamy yet crunchy, this Southern Macaroni Salad abounds with savory and nostalgic flavors inspired by pimento cheese. Skip the plate; eating directly from the bowl is encouraged.

  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: About 10 Servings 1x


  • ½ pound macaroni pasta
  • ¾ cup sharp cheddar, cubed
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted
  • 3/4 cup mayo (Duke’s for tradition)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Roast the red pepper. Turn up your grill or gas burner and char the red pepper for a few minutes until the skin
  2. Cook the macaroni in a large point of boiling, salted water according to the package instructions. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse in a strainer with cold water to remove excess starch.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, dice the celery, jalapeno, scallions, and roasted red pepper.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, apple cider vinegar, sweet relish, grated garlic, and paprika.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta with the dressing in the small bowl, along with the cubed cheese and diced vegetables. Toss everything together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add more mayo if the pasta isn’t creamy enough. Garnish with additional paprika for color.
  6. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving, overnight if possible.


The pasta will soak up the dressing, so if you’re serving for the next day don’t be afraid to add a little extra mayo to keep it creamy.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Pasta Salad
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