Mexican Macaroni Salad Recipe

Last Updated on July 11, 2021

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

When I first made The Pioneer Woman’s Mexican Macaroni Salad I completely fell in love with it. It’s a creamy salad that is zesty and full of flavour and quite different from the typical Macaroni Salad your mother makes.  

This Mexican Macaroni Salad goes so well with pretty much anything from Steak to Fried Chicken.  It’s really the perfect summer salad.

Every time I bring this Mexican pasta salad to any function it disappears quickly.  Everyone always loves it and I always get asked to share this delicious side dish recipe.

The last time I made this Mexican Macaroni Salad, I made it the day before I wanted to serve it and allowing it to sit overnight made it very delicious.

The key ingredient in all this is your selection of Salsa!  Pick one you know and already love because you taste a hint of it in every bite.

Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to make a few little changes to suit the tastes of my own family and to make it a little quicker to throw together.

I didn’t do it this time, but a little pepper-jack or cheddar cheese grated in is pretty nice too.   Enjoy!

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.
This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

How to Store Macaroni Salad

This pasta salad should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, and if stored properly should be good for 3-4 days.

In fact making this salad ahead of time and serving it the next day can really improve the flavour as that creamy dressing really marinates with all the ingredients. Just make sure you start off with al dente pasta that has been rinsed off well.

For food safety, do not leave out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

What Can I add to this Macaroni Salad?

I think this mexican-inspired pasta salad is pretty perfect as is but you may be missing some of the ingredients and looking for variations. Try adding some of the following ingredients:

  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Ripe Avocado
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Leftover Ham to turn this into a Mexican Macaroni Ham Salad
  • Cotija Cheese or Feta cheese
  • Cherry Tomatoes

What to Serve with Mexican Macaroni Salad

This is a perfect pasta salad to serve at any summer functions from backyard barbecue to camping.

It serves as a great side dish for grilled chicken, beef, pork, hot dogs, hamburgers… if you can grill it, this is a delicious salad to serve with any main course. In fact, try it as a side with a big bowl of your favourite chili!

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

Ingredients for the Mexican Pasta Salad Recipe

Pasta – I used elbow macaroni but you can use the pasta of your choice. Fusilli, farfalle, rotini, and penne are all ideal choices.

Corn – Fresh corn isn’t readily available most of the year up here, so when it’s available use it. Grill it a bit first. The rest of the year, frozen sweet corn will do well.

Olives – I wouldn’t substitute the black olives for green olives here, they have a much milder flavour. Kalamata olives would work fine.

Black beans – Drained and rinsed. Easy peasy.

Tomatoes – Use beefsteak tomatoes, they are meatier than most tomato varieties which makes them really ideal for a pasta salad.

Onion – A little red onion goes a long way.

Green onion – You can substitute with chives or cilantro here, add as little or as much as you desire.

Cheese – I love a little shredded cheese tossed into this salad.

Salsa – Use your favourite salsa, whether you use homemade salsa or store bought. Remember the heat of the salsa will change the entire flavour profile so choose wisely.

Sour Cream – I prefer full fat sour cream as it has the best consistency and flavour, you could also use Mexican Crema instead. If making this vegan, simply replace with more vegan Mayo.

Mayonnaise – Use real mayonnaise, don’t substitute. This is the key to a tasty, creamy salsa dressing. For a Vegan Mexican pasta salad use Vegan Mayo.

Garlic – Fresh only, don’t use powdered garlic.

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

More Easy Pasta Salad Recipes

Check out some of my favourite easy to make pasta salads:

Calabrese pasta salad is a wonderful pasta dish served either warm or cool and it works as both a summer side dish or as a vegetarian entrée.

This Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe features bow tie pasta and fresh ingredients for a summer salad or side dish that is full of flavour!

If you are looking for another simple recipe for a summer salad inspired by Mexican food, this Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad, also known as Esquites, is fresh, lightly creamy, spicy, & incredibly delicious.

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

Mexican Macaroni Salad

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

INGREDIENTS:
For the salad: 

1 lbs of Macaroni, cooked, drained and quickly rinsed with cold water
1 cup of frozen (thawed) corn (or 2 ears of fresh corn)
1/2 cup of sliced black olives
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large beefsteak Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup Red onions, diced
Green onions and/or chives
salt/pepper
1/2 cup Cheddar or Pepperjack Cheese, grated (optional)

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

For the Dressing: 

1 cup Salsa
1/2 cup of Sour cream
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt/Pepper to taste
Dash of Tabasco sauce

DIRECTIONS: 

Cook the pasta al dente.

Rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking. 

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the salad together.

Don’t toss yet. 

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together until smooth.

Pour over the pasta ingredients and toss gently until everything is combined.

Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Mexican Macaroni Salad
Yield: 12 Servings

Mexican Macaroni Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 lbs of Macaroni, cooked, drained and quickly rinsed with cold water
  • 1 cup of frozen corn, thawed, or 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 1/2 cup of sliced black olives
  • 1 can black beans, 15oz, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large beefsteak Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Red onions, diced
  • Green onions or chives
  • salt/pepper

For the Dressing

  • 1 cup Salsa
  • 1/2 cup of Sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta al dente. Rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the salad together. Don't toss yet.
  2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together until smooth. Pour over the pasta ingredients and toss gently until everything is combined.
  3. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 222Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 495mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag your creations with #FrugalMomEh on Instagram & subscribe for more!

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as as a tasty side dish.

45 thoughts on “Mexican Macaroni Salad Recipe

  1. I would definitely enjoy this salad, it has a bit of everything I love, including olives….my fave!

  2. The Pioneer Woman’s Mexican Macaroni Salad looks interesting, no I have not tried it It’s different from any salad that I have ever had before but I would definitely give it a try. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  3. COULD YOU KEEP THIS IN COOL TIL YOU NEED IT R DOES IT HAVE TO BE EATEN RIGHT AWAY.I THINK BEING COOL R OVER NIGHT IT BE WOULD EVEN BETTER………….

      1. Elizabeth this looks amazing. I noticed in your blog recipe that black beans are listed in the dressing ingredients instead of salsa. Thank goodness you added a printable version. I’ll try this one soon.

    1. I would make up everything and keep the dressing separate till you want to serve it. Pasta tends to drink up moisture and I always end up having to add more dressing if I put it all together the day before.

      I am definitely making this! The ingredients put a fin spin on regular macaroni salad. Can’t wait to try this version!!

  4. Looks delicious. Would it be good it add cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces to make it a meal rather than a side dish? Perhaps seasoning the chicken with taco types seasonings?

  5. This looks incredible!! I will be trying it very soon although I think instead of the mayo, I will use FF plain Greek yogurt to make it a little healthier cuz I know I will end up eating WAY more of this than I should!! Hahaha

  6. This salad looks very tasty, and one I would enjoy, hubby not to much, but that just means more for me!!

  7. This all looks very good except I would have to leave out the black olives…. all the rest is great !! I am not an olive fan except I do like green olives but not in my maccaroni….or salads. So I will try to make this without the olives and see how my hubby will like it.

  8. Yum this looks so tasty! I think I am going to try this but substitute the sourcream for greek yogurt. thanks for this inspiration …great for the summer!

  9. Wow! This is a nice and colorful Mexican salad to try!It looks great and has inspired me to make it.I can’t wait to see if it goes over big at our house.I have a feeling it will.Thank you.

  10. Looks yummy! My only question is what kind of salsa to use? Being mexican, I never buy bottled salsa. Can you please recommend something homemade?

  11. Made it yesterday it’s gone today ! My nephew who is a very picky eater had 4 bowls yesterday. He said he couldn’t stop eating it. I will definitely will be making this again. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  12. I made this salad and loved it! So refreshing from regular mac salad. Since it was only my husband and I, I halved the salad ingredients but made the full dressing recipe. It was perfect as the pasta absorbs some of the dressing. This left enough dressing to keep the salad moist.

    Highly recommend this recipe!!

  13. The recipe on the top doesn’t call for salsa, but the one in the grey ‘recipe card’ does. I think that if you use salsa, it would mess up the dish-just my opinion, though.

  14. Delicious! But I had to laugh at “not your Mothers pasta salad”. I’m 57 and my mom who is 77 has been making a nearly identical salad since I was a kid 🙂

  15. Can’t wait to make this recipe. Would definitely add cilantro, but wish I knew of a good salsa to put in it. Making my own salsa is not an option. haha 🤣

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe