Mexican Macaroni Salad


I was skeptical when I heard Mexican flavors can be blended with pasta salad until I tried it for myself, and believe it or not it’s my new favorite macaroni salad! How could it not be with fresh ingredients and flavors like this?? There is just so much goodness going on in this salad between the tender macaroni, charred fresh corn, sweet tomatoes, salty Cotija cheese, creamy black beans and avocados, the light bite from the red onion and the zip from the cilantro lime dressing, my oh my! So good! Try this for yourself and see what I’m talking about. It will likely become a new go-to summer staple.

Mexican Macaroni Salad

Mexican Macaroni Salad

This is a perfect recipe for bbq’s, parties and potlucks but of course it’s just the perfect summer side dish to serve with your favorite grilled chicken and steak. It’s such a hearty and filling macaroni salad and I love that it’s loaded with veggies. If you don’t have ancho chili powder regular chili powder may be substituted but I love that depth of flavor the lightly smoky ancho chili powder brings so try it in the future. And be generous with the cilantro, it really is about one small full bunch once you mince it up finely. It brings a lot of flavor to the dressing. Now make it soon (today seems like a good day, right?). I hope you enjoy this Mexican Macaroni Salad as much as we do!

Mexican Macaroni Salad Mexican Macaroni Salad Mexican Macaroni Salad


Mexican Macaroni Salad

Yield: About 8 servings


  • 2 ears fresh yellow corn , husked
  • 10 oz . dry elbow macaroni
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes , seeded and diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 can black beans , drained and rinsed well
  • 1 large avocado (semi-firm but ripe), diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion , rinsed or 2/3 cup chopped green onion (or use a blend of both)


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (full fat)
  • 1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh cilantro (about small 1 bunch, leaf portion)
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin


  1. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat to about 450 degrees. Once preheated add corn and grill, turning about every 2 - 3 minutes until charred on all sides, about 8 - 9 minutes total. Set aside and let cool then cut corn kernels from cobs.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente in lightly salted water (about 1/2 Tbsp) according to directions on package. Drain and rinse, then let drain and cool.
  3. For the dressing, in a mixing bowl whisk together mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper). Chill until ready to assemble macaroni salad.
  4. Set aside some of the mix in ingredients (tomatoes, corn, avocado, onion if you'd like some color on top of the salad). In a salad bowl toss together drained macaroni, corn kernels, tomatoes, black beans, avocado, Cotija cheese, onion and the cilantro dressing mixture. Sprinkle set aside ingredients over top. Serve immediately or chill up to 2 hours (thin with a little water if desired, it thickens as it rests since the noodles absorb the liquid).
  5. Recipe source: Cooking Classy



  • Paige: Yum! We have a recipe really similar to this that we love to make in the summer! It’s one of our favorites!

    Paige June 11, 2017 at 6:09pm Reply

  • Melissa @ Insider The Kitchen: Yum, looks delish. All I need to get is the corn and I can pick that up on the way home. Thanks! June 11, 2017 at 10:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Melissa! June 13, 2017 at 11:58am Reply

  • daylene barrett: Looks wonderful making it tomorrow June 12, 2017 at 12:57am Reply

  • Kimberly R: This Mexican Macaroni Salad looks fantastic can not wait to try it. Not liking the ad popping up on the recipe when I go to print it out though….not good! Leaves a big gap between the title and the ingredients and ends up using two pages of paper1 Should be able to remove it from the recipe. June 12, 2017 at 9:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So sorry this is happening – working on a fix. I’m glad you like the Salad! June 13, 2017 at 11:56am Reply

  • mary: whenever itry to print your recipes, the ads appear. how can I stop this? closing the ad does not help. June 12, 2017 at 3:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I have my team on this as we speak, thanks for letting me know Mary! June 13, 2017 at 11:55am Reply

  • Dale: Colourful, flavourful and delicious! A really great blend of ingredients and easy to assemble. I’ll be making it again! July 3, 2017 at 1:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Dale! Thanks for your comment! July 9, 2017 at 11:36am Reply

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