Mexican Macaroni Salad is a fantastic side dish for any meal. A creamy salad filled with your favorite Tex-Mex seasonings, fresh vegetables and cotija cheese. A surefire hit for potlucks, summer cookouts or a great addition to taco night!
We were talking about a new pasta salad to add to our cookout menus and my husband said we need to make one that tastes like the sauce that drips out of a taco. I am a total taco fanatic and decided that would be genius.
I made a version of the taco sauce that we used on our grilled fish tacos and added in our favorite taco toppings in with the pasta. It is just as good as it sounds!
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How to Make Mexican Macaroni Salad:
- Boil macaroni according to package directions, drain and rinse in cold water until cooled. Drain well and set aside.
- Mix the dressing by combining mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and chili flakes.
- Dice green onions, tomatoes and jalapeño.
- Place pasta in a large bowl, add chopped vegetables and cotija cheese. Top with dressing and mix well.
- Garnish with additional tomatoes, onions and cilantro.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Can be made up to 1 day in advance, best if consumed within 2 days.
Pasta Salad holds endless possibilities. Additional add ins include: black beans (rinsed and drained), corn, shredded cheddar cheese, diced bell peppers, diced red onion and diced celery.
Use any small pasta in place of the macaroni, such as bowtie pasta or cavatappi or fusilli.
What is Cotija Cheese?
Cotija cheese is a hard Mexican cheese that is similar to feta cheese. It is my favorite for tacos and a must- have for Skillet Mexican Street Corn. You can find it in the dairy isle of most grocery stores, close to the refrigerated tortillas or other Mexican cheeses. It keeps really well even after you open it. If you can't find it or don't have it on hand, feta or Parmesan can be substituted.
I love keeping pasta salad on hand for easy dinners and my kids love it as a snack. This version is a definite favorite and I love how simple it comes together without a ton of effort. If you are a fan of Mexican flavors, add it to the menu this week!
- 16 ounces macaroni
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- juice of 1 small lime
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 large tomatoes
- 4 green onions
- 1 jalapeno
- ½ cup cilantro
- Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water until cooled. Drain well and set aside.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, chili flakes and salt.
- Dice tomatoes, removing core, seeds and excess juice.
- Dice green onions using green and white parts.
- Dice jalapeno removing seeds and membrane.
- Place macaroni in a large bowl and add chopped tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and cheese.
- Top with dressing and stir until well combined.
- Garnish with more chopped vegetables and cilantro if desired.
- Can be served immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Can be made 1 day in advance. Best if consumed within 2 days.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in refrigerator.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 367Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 476mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 5g
Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.