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.
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.
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.