Ensalada de Coditos (Macaroni Salad)

1 year ago 214

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This Macaroni Salad also known as Ensalada de Coditos (elbow pasta) is nostalgic and easy, made with a handful of affordable ingredients. This creamy and delicious salad can be made in less than 30 minutes. 

Ensalada de Coditos (Macaroni Salad) in a Mexican brown barro bowl with wooden spoon and striped napkin      

This ensalada de coditos is very similar to my mom’s macaroni salad that she makes for family picnics, potlucks, and holiday cookouts. This salad is made simpler with the help of Barilla Ready Pasta making it perfect for a quick school lunch. This pasta is loaded with fresh veggies such as peas, carrots, and corn.

Ham, chicken, or tuna can be added for a heartier meal. The traditional dressing for any macaroni salad is mayo, but I added a mixture of Greek yogurt and less mayo to make it a bit healthier.

What is Ready Pasta?

Barilla Ready Pasta is fully cooked pasta that is ready to eat after a quick 60 seconds in the microwave. My daughter saw the pouches on the countertop and was like, “WHAT? This pasta is already cooked? Can I take these to college with me?” It was then that it hit me how genius and convenient this pasta truly is. No need to boil water – which is a convenient shortcut to get perfectly al dente pasta.

Barilla Ready Pasta pouch with fresh ingredients on a cutting board

My son will be starting school soon and this ensalada de coditos will be on rotation. It’s a great lunch for school or snack before football practice. With my daughter starting her second year of college, I will be sure to pack Barilla Ready Pasta for her. I have a sneaky feeling she will be quite popular in the dorm when it comes to those late-night macaroni and cheese cravings.

How to make this salad

Pasta

This recipe is failproof. You don’t have to worry about overcooking macaroni and having a mushy pasta salad. You also don’t have to dirty extra dishes (ex: pot or strainer). Simply follow cooking instructions on the pouch.

cooked Coditos (Macaroni) in a Mexican brown barro bowl

Veggies

Chop up a carrot, remove kernels from a corn on the cob, and measure out a cup of frozen peas and cook, drain, and let cool.

Tip: Cooking the veggies can be done 2 to 3 days before and refrigerated. For a shortcut, purchase frozen or canned veggies.

a Mexican blue bowl filled with cooked carrots, peas, and corn and cooked macaroni in a bowl in the background

Dressing

Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, and a pinch of salt.

cooked macaroni in a brown Mexican bowl, cooked veggies in a blue bowl, and measuring cups and spoons with dressing ingredients on a wooden board

Assemble

Combine dressing with pasta and cooked veggies. Serve immediately or cover and allow to cool in the refrigerator.

ingredients to make Ensalada de Coditos (Macaroni Salad) in a Mexican brown barro bowl

How long can I refrigerate this salad?

I have a feeling your family will gobble this up in one day, but if they do not — simply cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Feel free to add extra yogurt or mayo to leftovers to make it creamier.

Variations

Add chopped ham steak, baked chicken, shredded chicken, or a can of drained tuna.

Add chopped cheese, just like my mom does in this recipe.

Ensalada de Coditos (Macaroni Salad) in a Mexican brown barro bowl with wooden spoon and striped napkin and a pouch of Ready Pasta by Barilla

Need more back to school lunch ideas?

Is there an ingredient you love in your ensalada de coditos? Let me know in the comments below.

Ensalada de Coditos (Macaroni Salad) in a Mexican brown barro bowl with wooden spoon and striped napkin

Ensalada de Coditos (Macaroni Salad)

This Macaroni Salad also known as Ensalada de Coditos (elbow pasta) is nostalgic and easy, made with a handful of affordable ingredients. This creamy and delicious salad can be made in less than 30 minutes.  

Yield: 8

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 12 mins

Total Time: 27 mins

  • 2 pouches Barilla® Ready Pasta Elbows
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 corn, kernels removed
  • 1/4 pound ham steak, chopped (optional)
  • In a large bowl combine mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, and ¼ teaspoon salt.

  • Boil 5 cups water and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook carrots for 6 to 7 minutes, then add peas and corn and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the peas begin to float. Drain and let cool.

  • Tear corners of Ready Pasta pouches to vent, heat in microwave for 60 seconds.

  • Toss pasta in dressing and combine.

  • Add veggies and ham, if using. 

  • Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

  • For some spice add a drizzle of siracha! Or dice up a jalapeño.
  • For a quick alternative, use frozen or canned veggies.
  • Pasta will absorb a lot of the dressing after refrigerated. You may want to add additional mayo or yogurt to your liking.

Serving: 8g, Calories: 94kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 404mg, Potassium: 143mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1434IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1mg

Course: Salad, Side Dish

Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex

Photography by Jenna Sparks

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