Green Goddess Macaroni Salad is a simple summer dish that features celery, green onions, herbs, tender macaroni, and the most incredible green goddess dressing. This delicious version of classic Macaroni Salad is inspired by one of our most favorite salad dressings, the Green Goddess Dressing. (The dressing I used here is inspired by the salad dressing, but has been adjusted slightly for pasta salad!)
Green Goddess Macaroni Salad
There’s a lot to love about Green Goddess Macaroni Salad. It’s easy to make, summery as can be, travels well, and always garners compliments when served at summertime festivities! While I’m a huge fan of traditional macaroni salad, this green goddess version really elevates everything to new heights
It’s not only the flavor and aroma of this macaroni salad that makes it so bright, either. The signature vibrant green color of it also attracts many eyes! You can also throw it a few extra green vegetables that you love.
Make sure the herbs you’re using are FRESH, not dried! Fresh herbs are what create the green color and bold flavor of Green Goddess Macaroni Salad. If you have access to an herb garden, even better.
Don’t worry though, store bought fresh herbs are still totally fine to use in this recipe and will definitely get the job done. The way that the herbs combine with the rest of the ingredients to create the most dreamy pasta salad dressing is downright delicious!
Ingredients like mayonnaise and sour cream thicken the sauce to a perfectly creamy consistency, while lemon juice and olive oil enhance the fresh flavor of the dish. Bring this flavorful, creamy, and summer-ready Green Goddess Macaroni Salad to your next backyard barbecue or picnic – you’ll be glad you did!
How to Make Green Goddess Macaroni Salad
Ingredients You’ll Need:
For the macaroni salad:
- Macaroni – Any brand works just fine. Make sure to follow package instructions when cooking. (Feel free to use gluten free macaroni if needed.)
- Celery – Always rinse your celery prior to chopping.
- Green Onions – Chopped green onions add a ton of fresh flavor to any dish!
- Fresh Herbs – You’ll need a combination of fresh parsley, dill weed, and tarragon.
- Salt – Be cautious to not use too much salt, as it will easily overpower the fresh herbs.
For the dressing:
- Mayonnaise – I recommend using a full fat mayonnaise for the best consistency. Low fat will also work, but full fat is preferred.
- Sour Cream – Similarly to the mayonnaise, full fat sour cream is recommended to create the best consistency for the pasta salad dressing.
- Lemon – You’ll need both the freshly squeezed juice and the zest.
- Olive Oil – I like to use good quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Fresh Herbs – You’ll need a medley of fresh parsley, dill weed, cilantro, basil, tarragon, and mint to create the signature green goddess color and flavor.
- Green Onions
- Garlic – Continuing the fresh flavor trend, make sure you’re only using fresh garlic here!
- Anchovy Paste – This adds a salty flavor to the dressing, as well as a rich umami note that really can’t be substituted with anything else.
- Salt – Keep in mind that the anchovy paste already lends a salty flavor to the dressing, so you don’t need too much additional salt.
- Black Pepper
Prepare the ingredients.
Cook the macaroni in salted water according to package instructions. Drain the cooked pasta and let it sit until it’s no longer hot.
Dice the celery and green onions.
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth.
Assemble the macaroni salad.
Mix the room temperature pasta with the celery and green onions. Refrigerate it for a few hours. Store the dressing in the refrigerator as well in a separate container.
When you’re ready to serve the pasta salad, combine the dressing with the macaroni until evenly coated. Keep in mind that it’s best to toss it all together just before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other veggies can I add to Green Goddess Macaroni Salad?
Since this is a green goddess recipe, try to stick with the green theme! You can add:
green bell pepper,
shaved brussels sprouts,
and even jalapeños.
Can This Macaroni Salad Be Gluten Free?
Absolutely! Simply use gluten free elbow macaroni instead of regular one. My favorite gluten free brand for pasta is Tinkyada rice pasta. It doesn’t crumble apart and has the closest texture to regular pasta.
Store your leftover macaroni salad in an airtight food storage container in the refrigerator. Stored properly, this macaroni salad should stay fresh for about 3-4 days.
You can easily make this salad ahead of time. Mix the cooked macaroni with the vegetables and store it in a food storage container in the refrigerator. Prepare and store the dressing separately from the salad. Mix the macaroni with the dressing when you’re ready to serve it.
Try More Pasta Salad Recipes:
For a classic fare, try our Macaroni Salad and our family favorite Pasta Salad! If you want something a little more unusual, try Greek Tortellini Salad and Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad.
Green Goddess Macaroni Salad
Green Goddess Macaroni Salad
- 1 lb macaroni
- 3-4 celery ribs
- 2-3 green onion stalks
- 2 tbsp fresh minced parsley
- 2 tbsp fresh minced dill weed
- 1 tbsp fresh minced tarragon
- salt to taste
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 lemon-zest
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp fresh dill weed
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
- 3-4 green onion stalks
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 3-4 tbsp fresh tarragon
- 2-3 tbsp fresh mint
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp anchovy paste
- black pepper
- Cook pasta in salted water according to box instructions.
- Drain cooked pasta and let it cool until no longer scalding hot.
- Dice celery and green onion and herbs while pasta is cooling. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a blender or food processor and blend.
- Once pasta is cooled to room temperature, mix in celery and green onion (and other veggies if using) and refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight. Store the dressing in a separate container, in the refrigerator.
- It's best to serve this macaroni salad cold and to mix the dressing right before serving.
- When ready to serve, mix the salad with the dressing until evenly coated.
I love this salad dressing recipe! It is one of my favs!