New York Deli Style Macaroni Salad

New York deli style macaroni salad.  No eggs, no cheese, no carrots.  Just like you would find at your corner  deli. 

Growing up on Long Island (or anywhere in NYC for that matter) you will find a deli about every 7 feet.  They are on literally every corner.  The best part is when you walk in and you see that enormous glass counter where all the freshly made delicious salads are just waiting for you.

Back then there was no need to add preservatives to the salads because they were usually gone the same day, and I’m pretty sure that rings true today.  They made what they could sell and when they ran out, they ran out.

It was always a good idea to get there early in the morning on the weekends just for that reason.

Today they have pre packaged macaroni and potato salads in these plastic square tubs in almost every supermarket.  And I don’t know about you, but they always taste …. a little off.  Maybe it’s the preservatives, maybe its the vinegar.  I don’t really know.

There are very few delis here in the Midwest, and none of them make salads like back home.  I’ve always missed the hustle and bustle of the early morning workers getting their egg sandwiches and coffee (wit 2 sugas) and seeing the freshly made salads coming out in those big huge vats.

I’ve tried for YEARS to learn how they do it and today I am beaming with pride to tell you I think I’ve come as close as possible.

One little tip … after you drain the macaroni put it in ice water and put it in the fridge while you are making the dressing.  The cooler the pasta is the less it will soak up the dressing.  We want this macaroni to have a little extra dressing if you know what I mean.


New York Deli Style Macaroni Salad

new york deli style macaroni salad in a blue bowl

New York deli style macaroni salad, perfect every time.

  • Author: Debi


  • 1 lb Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 Stalks Organic Celery, diced fine
  • 1 Organic Red Pepper, diced fine
  • 1 1/2  Cups Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Whole Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt


  1. Cook the macaroni according to directions
  2. Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl
  3. Drain the macaroni and rinse under cold water until the macaroni itself is cooled
  4. Toss together and refrigerate until ready to serve


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  1. Good recipe.. but
    LI is technically not part of NYC.
    I’m from Brooklyn.

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