Mexican Macaroni Salad

I was not prepared for just how much we loved this Mexican macaroni salad. Sure, I looked at the ingredient list and thought “Hey, that’ll be good”. But I didn’t think it’d be absolutely fantastic. But it was. This is what every ole pasta salad you’ve ever had wished it was. Creamy, crunchy, savory, every bite is perfect. Oh, and it makes a HUGE batch, making it perfect for feeding a crowd!

I made only a small change to the original recipe for this Mexican macaroni salad. I wanted the contracting texture of cheese so I cubed a block of Monterey Jack cheese and added it in. Cheddar (mild or sharp) would also be excellent. I think you’d want it cubed, versus shredded, though, so you get a nice ‘bite’.

If I wanted a spicier version of this salad (and I do), I’d use a spicy salsa and add cubed pepperjack cheese instead.

Also try my Creole macaroni salad.

Mexican Macaroni Salad

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or whatever pasta you prefer
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 15 ounces black beans drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup black olives finely chopped
  • 6 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • 1/2 medium red onion finely diced
  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese cubed (use pepperjack for a bit of a kick!)

For the dressing

  • 1 cup jarred salsa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

For the salad

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain but do not rinse.
  • Meanwhile, roast the corn. Brush lightly with oil and place on a hot grill or under a broiler, rotating often until lightly browned and cooked.
  • Let the corn cool slightly before cutting the kernels off the ears. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the beans, olives, tomatoes, green onion, red onion and cheese, if using. Toss gently to mix.
  • Add the dressing and cooking pasta and stir gently to coat.
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with additional green onions if desired. Note: If the salad is too thick, stir in some more salsa or mayonnaise before serving.

For the dressing

  • Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl.

Creole Macaroni Salad

It doesn’t take a whole lot of changes to make a pretty much run-of-the-mill pasta salad different. This Creole macaroni salad has buttermilk in the dressing, giving it that wonder tangy flavor. I love buttermilk so I instantly thought how great this salad would be with buttermilk fried chicken (and it was!). The salad also has tomatoes and (Anita’s favorite) olives. Her motto is: You can’t have too many olives.Creole Macaroni Salad
This recipe comes from Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue Cookbook, a huge book of everything barbecue. Get it. It’s packed with recipes like this great salad and whole lot more.

I would (and did) add more cayenne pepper to give this Creole macaroni salad even more kick. I think the dressing has a somewhat cooling effect, so a bit more heat isn’t going to hurt anything.

Also try my Hawaiian-style potato and Mexican macaroni salads.

Creole Macaroni Salad

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or whatever pasta you prefer
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese diced
  • 1/2 cup celery diced
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup stuffed green olives halved

For the dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Place all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl or resealable container.
  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss gently to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving

Creole Pasta Salad Version 2.0

Our post on a peas and pasta salad has been the most popular post on Life’s A Tomato for a long, long time. We make it often. Well, I was reading through Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin’ Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue when I came across this recipe for Creole pasta salad. I knew it would be a hit. It has everything in it that we love, from crunchy celery, to salty olives, to a great buttermilk dressing. I made a few minor changes to the recipe and made up a big batch. Oh, how it was sooo good. It was even better the next day after the olives got happier in the dressing, giving the entire salad a nice lightly salty olive flavor.

Creole Pasta Salad Version 2.0Paul Kirk’s book is amazing. I can’t recommend it enough. It has recipes for everything from sauces, to meats, to wonderful salads like this one.

If the salad gets a little dry the next day, stir in a little extra buttermilk or mayonnaise.

Also try my Mardis Gras pasta salad and my other other version of Creole pasta salad.

Creole Macaroni Salad

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 -16

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni cooked, drained, rinsed
  • 2 cups seeded diced tomatoes you can omit these if you want
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese cubed
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup stuffed green olives sliced

For the dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 T Creole seasoning optional, more or less, to taste

Instructions

  • Combine all of the salad ingredients in a very large bowl.
  • Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
  • Pour dressing over the salad and gently stir to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.