Instant Pot Magical Macaroni Salad

Sometimes when cooking a wonderful dish, the Instant Pot doesn’t have to always be the star of the show.  Nope, sometimes we can use it as more of a background player to make our lives a little easier.

And since pasta cooks SO easily and quickly in it, (not to mention doesn’t heat up the kitchen in the already hot Summer) making a Macaroni Salad is the perfect dish to do this with – especially since you can prepare the sauce mixture WHILE the Instant Pot cooks the noodles!

Ah, but this isn’t just ANY Macaroni Salad – no no.  This is the ULTIMATE Macaroni Salad!  I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF.

Not only is this one filled with a few unconventional ingredients (like pickles!), but it’s also the PERFECT side dish to any barbecue, party, tailgating or picnic meal!  You are gonna go nuts over this one and I assure you, NO bitter vinegar aftertastes here!

Here’s How I Made It!:

Start with some elbow macaroni and throw it in the Instant Pot.

Cover it with enough water so all the macaroni is submerged.  Secure the lid and cook it up!

While that’s cooking, let’s whip up our dressing ingredients.

We’ll start with some chopped scallions…

…chopped black olives…

…chopped pickles (yes, you read that right)…

…and shredded carrots which we’ll add to a large mixing bowl.

THEN, we’ll add some mayo, white vinegar, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and some of the pickle juice (secret ingredient!).  Shake on a little pepper and add too!

Mix it all up real good!

Meanwhile, when the pasta’s done, perform a quick release and transfer to a strainer to drain and rinse under cold water for a bit so the macaroni cools down.  We don’t want it too hot!

Once cooled, add the macaroni to the dressing and toss well.

Pop in the fridge for a few hours to set.

Just before you’re ready to serve, take some ham and dice it up…

…and cube up some colby jack cheese.

Then add them to the bowl along with some Miracle Whip for a finishing, extra creamy touch (if you hate the stuff for whatever reason, just use a little more mayo).

Mix well!

And you have the ULTIMATE macaroni salad!  No barbecue will ever be the same again!

Instant Pot Ultimate Macaroni Salad
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Magical Macaroni Salad

Instant Pot Magical Macaroni Salad

There's macaroni salad and there's MAGICAL macaroni salad. This one pullls out all the stops by loading it up with a variety of other goodies. Try it for yourself and you'll never look at another macaroni salad the same way again.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes


  • 1 box (16oz) of Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 6oz can of black, pitted olives, drained and chopped
  • 16oz jar of Bread & Butter pickles, chopped
  • 10oz bag of shredded carrots (you can find this in the produce section of your supermarket)
  • 1.5 cups of mayonnaise (I used light but some would call that unorthodox)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 2 tbsp of white vinegar
  • A generous splash of the pickle juice from the Bread & Butter pickles
  • A few pinches of ground black pepper
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 12 oz bottle of Miracle Whip
  • 8oz block of Colby Jack cheese, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 lb of ham, sliced thick from the deli and diced (optional)


  1. Add the full box of Macaroni to the Instant Pot and use enough water to cover the noodles (about 3.5 cups).
  2. Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 6 minutes.  Quick release, drain the noodles and rinse with cold water
  3. As the noodles are cooking, in a large mixing bowl, prepare the base mixture by adding the scallions, black olives, pickles, carrots, mayo, sour cream, black pepper, milk, vinegar, pickle juice and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix together well and then add the drained and cooled noodles to the base mixture and mix together well.
  4. Put the tossed macaroni in the fridge for 3-4 hours so it really sets (Do this for best results so it’s probably best to either make this in the morning for an afternoon/evening meal or before bed and let it sit in the fridge overnight)
  5. Take the macaroni out of the fridge and, if you wish to REALLY make it over the top, add the cheese and ham
  6. Finally, add that Miracle Whip to really send it home and give it that super creamy texture and taste (or sub in another 1 cup of mayo, 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1 tbsp of white sugar if you are anti Miracle Whip)
  7. Enjoy!

Jeffrey's Tips

The beautiful thing about Macaroni Salad is you can add whatever veggies/items to it you see fit!  Want red peppers and celery in there? Add ’em!  Hate black olives?  Leave ’em out!  The choice is totally yours but I DO highly suggest using the pickles with a splash of some pickle juice – it really sets it apart!

I also suggest you leave the liquids/mayo/sour cream/miracle whip exactly as I’ve listed it as this will give you the PERFECT Macaroni Salad consistency WITHOUT that nasty, bitter, vinegar overkill aftertaste!

Not a fan of Miracle Whip?  Instead of the final toss with it, feel free to just add in another cup of mayo and another half cup of sour cream with about 1 tbsp of white sugar and mix.

This goes PERFECTLY with my Fall-Off-The-Bone Baby Back Ribs!

Reader Interactions


  1. Meri A Michaud

    Oh my, this is going to be another recipe I top with my dehydrated pickles! I can’t wait to try this <3

  2. Tony Elliott

    Oh yummy goodness!! With the ham and cheese, and about a tablespoon of course black pepper! Thanks Jeffrey!

  3. Jeff

    yeah, this is totally different from any grocery store salad. nobody has ever thought of putting pickles or pickle juice in. Wow! how original!

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