Mexican Macaroni Salad (2024)

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If you’re a fan of Mexican flavors, you’ve got to try thisMexican macaroni saladfor summer BBQs and cookouts. It takes a classic macaroni salad and adds some Mexican flare with roasted corn, black beans, bell peppers, and the best creamy Mexican dressing. It’s easy to make and goes with everything!

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Table of Contents

  • Why You’ll Love This Mexican Macaroni Salad
  • Ingredients You Need
  • How to Make Mexican Macaroni Salad
  • Recipe Variations
  • What to Serve It With
  • How to Store
  • More Cold Pasta Salad Recipes
  • Mexican Macaroni Salad Recipe

I absolutely live for Mexican recipes — their color, their flavor, their flare. So when thinking about cold salads to serve up in the summer months, I always want this one on the menu. Crunchy sweet corn, black beans, and jalapeno give it a delicious texture and kick.

Just mix up your veggies while the pasta cooks, toss it all together with the creamy dressing, let the flavors marinate in the fridge for a bit, and enjoy! It makes a great side dish, light lunch, or even a main course with a grilled protein. In fact, I can’t think of a protein that wouldn’t taste good next to this!

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Macaroni Salad

  • Easy:This quick dish comes together in just a few simple steps.
  • Perfect side dish:It’s one of those easy recipes that takes minimal effort, travels easily, and goes with every dish.
  • Crowd pleaser:This recipe will be a winner with everyone at the BBQ.
  • Healthy:A generous mix of fresh vegetables gives it lots of crunch, color, and healthy goodness.

Looking for another easy pasta salad? Tryeasy Italian pasta saladorsummer orzo saladnext time.

Ingredients You Need

Grab the following ingredients for this Mexican Macaroni Salad. Jump down to the recipe for exact measurements.

Pasta Salad Ingredients

  • Elbow pasta:Use gluten-free if needed.
  • Fresh corn:Prepare it roasted, steamed, or grilled. Canned or frozen and thawed corn kernels will also work.
  • Black beans:Hearty black beans add protein and fiber.
  • Cherry tomatoes:Substitute with grape tomatoes or Roma tomatoes.
  • Green bell pepper:Orange or red bell peppers will also work.
  • Red onion:Adds a nice crunch. Substitute with white onion if needed.
  • Fresh cilantro:You can omit the cilantro if you’re not a fan.
  • Jalapeño:Leave out the seeds if you’d prefer less heat.
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Dressing Ingredients

  • Greek yogurt and sour cream:You can substitute the Greek yogurt for mayonnaise.
  • Lime:Used for fresh lime juice.
  • Garlic:Fresh garlic is best, but you can substitute with garlic powder.
  • Seasonings:Chili powder, cumin, kosher salt.
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How to Make Mexican Macaroni Salad

Here are the basic steps, with images, for this Mexican pasta salad recipe. Skip down to the recipe card below for the full recipe.

  1. Cook the macaroni:Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Darin and rinse it under cold water.
  2. Grill or roast the corn:Brush corn with olive oil and grill over high heat or roast at 425. While cooking, turn the corn until browned and cooked through. Cool and cut the kernels off the cobs.
  3. Make the dressing:Mix all of the dressing ingredients togetherin a small bowl or jarwhile the pasta cooks.
  4. Chop veggies and add to a bowl:Combine the cooked macaroni in a large bowl with the remaining pasta salad ingredients.
  5. Toss with dressing and serve:Pour the dressing on top and toss to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. Taste and add more salt, lime juice, or cilantro to taste.
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Recipe Variations

  • Don’t have elbow macaroni? Try another small pasta like rotini, fusilli, or ditalini.
  • Adjust the heat level by adding more or less jalapeño. Adding the seeds will add more heat as well.
  • Mix in more Mexican ingredients like black olives, pickled jalapeno, or deli ham.
  • Add some cheese like shredded cheddar cheese, cubed pepper jack cheese, or cotija cheese.
  • Top with chives, green onions, fresh cilantro, or freshly squeezed lime juice.

What to Serve It With

  • Instant pot carnitas
  • Perfect grilled chicken breasts
  • Instant Pot chicken tinga
  • Salmon with mango salsa
  • Grilled burgers or hot dogs
  • Instant Pot chicken salsa
  • Perfect grilled ribeye
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How to Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Success Tip! Pasta soaks up the dressing as it chills in the fridge. If you know you’ll have leftovers, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and mix it with 1/4 cup of the dressing and reserve it on the side to toss before serving after storing.

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More Cold Pasta Salad Recipes

  • Roasted vegetable pasta salad
  • BLT pasta salad
  • Chicken Caesar pasta salad
  • Mexican street corn pasta salad
  • Lemon orzo salad

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5 from 1 vote

Mexican Macaroni Salad Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes mins

Cook: 15 minutes mins

Total: 30 minutes mins

If you’re a fan of Mexican flavors, you’ve got to try this Mexican macaroni salad for summer BBQs and cookouts. It takes a classic macaroni salad and adds some Mexican flare with roasted corn, black beans, bell peppers, and the best creamy Mexican dressing. It’s easy to make and goes with everything!

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Molly Thompson

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Molly Thompson

Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

Macaroni Salad

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni gluten-free if needed
  • 2 ears (1 cup) fresh corn (canned or frozen and thawed work)
  • 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and finely diced

Dressing

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 lime juiced (3 Tablespoons), plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool the pasta.

    1 lb elbow macaroni

  • Heat an indoor or outdoor grill over high heat and brush the corn with oil. Cook the ears of corn for a few minutes on each side until it starts to brown. Alternately, roast at 425 for 12-15 minutes. Cool and cut the kernels off the cobs.

    2 ears (1 cup) fresh corn

  • Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or blender while the pasta cooks.

    3/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1 lime, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Combine the cooled pasta in a large bowl with the remaining pasta salad ingredients. Pour the dressing on top and toss to coat evenly.

    1 cup black beans, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 green bell pepper, 1/2 medium red onion, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 1 jalapeño

  • Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes if possible, but serving at room temperature works too. Taste and add more salt or lime juice as needed. Top with fresh chopped cilantro and sliced jalapeno before serving.

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Equipment

  • Large bowl

  • Grill or oven for cooking corn

  • Small bowl or blender to mix the dressing

  • Cutting board and sharp chef's knife

Like this? Leave a comment below!

Mexican Macaroni Salad (2024)
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