This Mac Salad is made constantly in my house during the summer. Along with  Granny Nute’s Potato salad it’s expected at family gatherings and I remember having both piled high on my plate as a kid.

What’s not to like? Pasta, Bacon, Cheese? Yes please. This was probably the first acceptable form of pickles allowed on my plate as a child and I loved every bite of it.

It’s funny the things we remember as kids.

Now that I’m gluten free I’ve modified it and made it my own.  I love using elbow noodles made with corn. They usually turn out awesome either hot or cold, have great texture while cold and don’t fall apart like some other brands I’ve tired. The right noodles are what make a great Mac Salad.

I also love mincing the onions and pickles so you get a little punch in every bite. My mother liked cubing the ingredients when I was a kid, which works, but as a personal preference I like having everything cut small.

Give this recipe a try and let me know how fast is disappears at the next bbq you take it to!


Mac Salad

This Mac salad is a  favorite at family parties and bbq’s. Its creamy, with pickles, cheese, onion, and bacon to flavor each bite.

  • Author: Alycia Louise
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale
  • 6 cups Water
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Gluten free Elbow noodles
  • 8 Strips Bacon
  • 2 Large Pickles (Minced)
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion (Minced)
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar cheese (Shredded)
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 TBS Pickle Juice
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Heat the 6 cups of water  and 2 tsp of salt over medium-high heat. Once is starts to boil add in the pasta and cook till Al Dente (Most gluten free pastas  will take 7 to 10 minutes- check the pasta’s packaging for suggested times). 
    When Pasta is done, drain and rinse in cold water to cool completely. Set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking you can cook up the bacon until it is crispy. I like cooking mine on the stove top, but oven baked or microwaved will work just fine. Allow to cool a bit and chop into bite sized pieces.
  3. Mince the pickles and onions and shred cheese if needed
  4. In a large bowl combine the mayo, yellow and dijon mustard, and pickle juice. Once this is combined you call add in the pickles, onions, cheese, bacon, and pasta and stir thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. You can serve it immediately or cover and  let chill for a few hours (or overnight). It will develop more flavor if left to chill.


Not all Gluten free pasta is created equal. For eating cold I prefer a corn or quinoa based pasta. I prefer the texture more and find that rice only based pastas don’t hold up as well. I love this one from Barilla.  Try out different pastas and find your favorite.

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Keywords: Gluten free, Pasta, Pasta Salad, Salad

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Alycia Louise
Alycia has worked in the food industry for over 10 years. She lives in the PNW with her husband and three dogs. Her likes include coffee, rainy days and horror movies.
Articles: 251

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