Best 5 Macaroni Salad Recipes

From picnics and graduation parties to weekend cookouts and the upcoming Father's Day holiday, summer's all about leisurely get-togethers, and for those you need simple, tried-and-true dishes you're sure will feed a crowd. Burgers, hot dogs and barbecue are go-to main dishes, but when the focus is on traditional sides, macaroni salad reigns supreme. This easy-to-fix favorite is a crowd-pleasing classic, and it can be prepared ahead of time and served when guests arrive. Check out Food Network's top-five macaroni salad recipes below to find next-level renditions from Rachael, Guy, the Neelys and more Food Network chefs, then browse more side dish selections ideal for grilling season.

5. Bacon and Egg Macaroni Salad — Rachael starts with balsamic vinaigrette-topped macaroni and adds crisp bacon, hard-boiled eggs and pimentos for welcome texture and added flavor.

4. Macaroni Salad with Dill and Ham — Ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, this go-to picnic favorite features a classic ingredient combo — peas and ham — and the flavors are combined with a tangy mustard-sour cream topping.

3. Mac-Daddi-Roni Salad — Guy's easy-to-do side dish boasts a creamy garlic-mayonnaise dressing, plus a duo of peppers as well as carrots and celery for subtle crunch. He recommends refrigerating the dish for an hour before serving so the tastes can marry.

2. American Macaroni Salad — A five-star recipe with nearly 300 user reviews, Food Network Kitchen's quick-fix recipe is surprisingly healthy; the secret is using just a bit of mayonnaise and sour cream, and letting the naturally bold vinegar, dry mustard and fresh vegetables add plenty of flavor to this big-batch salad.

1. Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad (pictured above) — Follow the Neelys' lead and beef up everyday macaroni salad with chopped ham steak, creamy hard-boiled eggs and sweet shallots, then toss with a relish-laced dressing. Click the play button on the video below to watch this salad come together.

Get the Recipe

How to Make Neely's Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad 03:04

Sunny Anderson and Gina Neely whip up some Neely's Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad, the perfect side for a rack of barbecue ribs or pulled pork. To make this easy pasta salad recipe, you'll need one pound of large elbow macaroni, a shallot, two stalks of celery, four hard-boiled eggs, 2/3 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish, a 4-ounce can of pimentos, a lemon and 4 ounces of ham. Refrigerate this creamy macaroni salad for one hour to let flavors meld before serving.

Next Up

Best 5 Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five recipes for decadent macaroni and cheeses from Trisha, Alton and more chefs.

Best 5 Broccoli Salad Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five broccoli salad recipes to find traditional and dressed-up takes on this go-to favorite from Alton, Trisha and more chefs.

Best 5 Pasta Salad Recipes

Check out Food Network's best-five pasta salads to find top-rated classic and dressed-up creations from some of your favorite chefs, like Giada and Ina .

Best 5 Pesto Recipes

Check out Food Network chefs' top-five recipes for no-cook pesto, and find five-star ways to put this summer sauce to work in pasta or atop pizza and meats.

Best 5 Passover Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five recipes for Passover, each an easy-to-make holiday favorite that will impress your whole family.

Best 5 Appetizer Recipes

Food Network's top five appetizer recipes below offer traditional and unique versions of your favorite pre-dinner eats that are ready in a flash.

Best 5 Meatloaf Recipes

Check out Food Network's best five meatloaf recipes below and cook up one for dinner tonight.

Best 5 Couscous Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five couscous recipes to find classic and creative interpretations of this endlessly versatile dish.

Best 5 Gingerbread Recipes

Think beyond the cookie, and reimagine the classically spicy flavors of gingerbread in seasonal recipes for waffles, trifles, cupcakes and more party-ready favorites.