If you love KFC Macaroni Salad, you're going to love this copycat recipe! This easy pasta salad is made with simple ingredients and tastes just like the real thing. It's perfect for picnics, potlucks, and summer BBQs!
Remember KFC Macaroni Salad? Now you can make it yourself right at home with this super easy copycat recipe that tastes just like the real thing.
KFC is a fast-food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken. Originally Kentucky Fried Chicken, it was founded in 1952 by Harland Sanders and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.
KFC is the second-largest restaurant chain in the world, with over 20,000 locations in 123 countries. Impressive!
But, the chicken isn't the only star in this popular American fast-food chain. The sides including the coleslaw, mashed potatoes, and macaroni salad, are just as popular!
If you're craving a tasty, quick, and easy macaroni salad it can easily be made at home with simple ingredients. In fact, you may already have them on hand!
Just toss cooked elbow macaroni with carrots, onions, and sweet pickles and mix with a homemade mayonnaise-based sauce that's easy to whip up.
This easy pasta salad can be served as a side dish with any main course. It's also perfect for potlucks, picnics, and summer BBQs! So, if you're looking for a KFC macaroni salad copycat recipe, this is it!
One thing I love about making copycat restaurant recipes at home is that you can mix it up with different restaurant dishes! Serve this salad with Cajun Chicken Wings (Wingstop Copycat), Louisiana Rub Wingstop Chicken Wings, and Chili's Skillet Queso.
Why Make This Recipe
- It tastes just like the KFC version without a trip to the restaurant.
- This copycat KFC macaroni salad is made with simple ingredients you may already have in your kitchen.
- You can customize by adding different seasonings or using different pasta.
- Serve it as an easy weeknight side or make a big batch for a summer event!
- It's just a really good mac salad!
- Elbow Macaroni - The shape of this pasta is perfect for pasta salad because it holds the dressing well.
- Mayonnaise - This is the base of the dressing and gives it a creamy texture. You can use Duke's, Hellman's, or your favorite brand.
- Pasta Salad Vegetables - You'll need a mix of finely diced celery, onion, and sweet pickles along with shredded carrots for sweetness and crunch to add texture and flavor to the pasta salad.
- Miracle Whip - This condiment is often used in pasta salad recipes. It's mayonnaise and vinegar-based dressing that's slightly sweet with a tangy flavor.
- Dry Mustard Powder - Adds a little bit of spice and tangy flavor to the dressing.
- White Sugar - Sweetens up the pasta salad rounding out the flavors perfectly.
- Salt & Pepper - Balances and enhances all of the flavors in the dish.
Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the full quantities.
Wondering how to make this KFC Macaroni Salad recipe? It's easy!
Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Cook the pasta: Prepare the macaroni according to package directions, then drain and rinse under cold water and drain again. Set aside.
Chop the vegetables: Shred the carrot, then finely mince the pickles, onions, and celery.
Assemble the dressing: To a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, miracle whip, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk to fully combine.
Mix the salad: To the bowl with the dressing, add the chopped vegetables and cooled pasta. Toss to fully combine.
Chill and serve: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then chill the pasta salad in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving cold.
Before adding the pasta to the dressing and vegetable mixture, make sure the pasta is completely cooled as warm pasta will make the dressing runny.
Make sure the vegetables are properly finely diced into small pieces to ensure even distribution throughout the salad.
If you can't find Miracle Whip, use additional mayonnaise and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
If you want a little more sweetness, add an additional tablespoon or two of sugar to the dressing.
This salad is best served when chilled to allow the flavors to meld together.
If you want to lighten up this recipe, use Greek yogurt or a lighter mayonnaise in place of all or some of the regular mayo.
To add more flavor, try adding different seasonings like Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, or dill weed.
Add a little bit of color and flavor to the pasta salad by stirring in some chopped red grapes or green peas.
If you want a heartier pasta salad with high protein, add in some diced cooked chicken or ham.
Storage & Freezing
Storage: Store any leftover macaroni salad in an airtight container in the fridge. Store in the fridge for up to 7 days. The longer it sits, the more the sauce will absorb into the pasta. If it gets too dry, you can add additional mayonnaise or miracle whip to rehydrate.
Freezing is not recommended.
The KFC macaroni salad has about 12 grams of sugar per serving. If you make this recipe at home you can adjust or omit the sugar.
The dressing is mayonnaise and vinegar-based dressing that's slightly sweet with a tangy flavor. It's made with mayonnaise, miracle whip, dry mustard, salt, and pepper.
I like to use elbow macaroni or shells, but you can really use any type of pasta that you like. Just make sure it's a short pasta so that it's easy to eat and you get all the delicious flavor in every bite.
More copycat recipes
If you love this tasty KFC-inspired Macaroni Salad, then be sure to also check out these other copycat dishes too!
KFC Macaroni Salad
- Mixing Bowl
- Cutting Board
- 9 ounces elbow macaroni
- ½ cup celery finely diced
- ½ cup carrot peeled and shredded (or ½ a large carrot)
- 1 tablespoon yellow onion finely diced
- ⅓ cup sweet pickles finely diced
- 1 cup Miracle Whip
- ¾ cup Mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon white sugar (or superfine sugar)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Prepare the macaroni according to package directions, then drain and rinse under cold water and drain again. Set aside.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.
- When the macaroni is completely cooled, stir it into the sauce.
- For best results, chill for at least 2 hours for the flavors to blend.
- Store in the fridge for up to 7 days.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.