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Mexican Macaroni Ham Salad

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Mexican Macaroni Salad (ensalada de coditos) recipe it's an authentic, simple and flavorful pasta dish that comes together with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Serve as a light main dish or as a side dish.

Before you head over to the recipe, make sure you read all the information regarding this recipe.

Let's begin.

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A close up of a spoon full of Mexican macaroni salad

What goes with Macaroni Salad?

Mexican Macaroni Ham Salad is a great side dish for grilled meats, hamburgers, or sandwiches like any other macaroni salad recipe.

However, since it already has meat in it, it’s also a great one-dish meal. But you can’t go wrong with some grilled chicken. It’s a great side dish for the summer months.

You might like these Mexican recipes:

Mexican macaroni salad with ham

How do you keep macaroni salad from drying out?

Toss your pasta with a small amount of olive oil before mixing your pasta with the salad dressing. This will give your pasta a protective layer that prevents the pasta from soaking up all the dressing. Not only will your salad stay moist, but your pasta won’t become mushy either.

overview photo of plated macaroni sald

Can you freeze macaroni salad?

You never want to freeze Mexican macaroni salad, or any simple macaroni salad for that matter. The mayonnaise and sour cream will separate. Once the salad thaws out, this will leave you with a watery nasty mess.

How do you keep mayonnaise from separating in macaroni salad?

There are actually a couple of tips you can do to prevent mayonnaise from separating in macaroni salad, and they are, and you will find them below:

First, make sure to cool your pasta before mixing your salad. Otherwise, the heat will break your mayonnaise.

Second, you want to use a mayonnaise with oil as the first ingredient. Some brands use water, which will separate in macaroni salad.

Photo of macaroni salad.

What’s the difference between Mexican macaroni salad and Puerto Rican macaroni salad?

The two salads are actually quite similar. The Puerto Rican version has more ingredients, including cheese, olives, red onion, hardboiled eggs, and a few others. Both do include ham and carrots, though.

Ingredients to make Mexican Ham Macaroni Salad

What are the ingredients to make Mexican Macaroni Ham Salad?

To make this ensalada de macaroni recipe, you are going to need the following ingredients:

  • Small macaroni noodles
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mexican sour cream or crème fraiche
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sliced ham
  • Can of mixed vegetables
  • Pickled jalapenos, if desired

How to make Mexican Macaroni Ham Salad

Now that you have gathered your ingredients, it is time to make the Mexican macaroni salad. All you have to do is follow the steps below:

First things first. Cook your pasta according to the directions for al dente pasta.

photo of cooked macaroni in a colander

Drain the pasta and then allow it to cool. You can also run the pasta under cold water to help it cool faster. Remember, it’s important to cool your pasta before adding the dressing or the mayonnaise will separate.

You can then toss your pasta in a little oil to prevent the pasta from soaking up the dressing and creating a dry salad.

A mayonnaise, Mexican sour cream, salt, and pepper combined in a glass bowl.

Mix the mayonnaise, Mexican sour cream, salt, and pepper until well combined.

Photo of pasta with the dressing combined in a glass bowl.

Toss the pasta with the dressing until well combined. A great tip is stir the salad in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid.

Put the lid on and turn the bowl upside down a few times to coat the pasta with the dressing.

photo of macaroni with mayo in glass mixing bowl.

Stir in the additional ingredients and then store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This will give the flavors time to combine.

photo of ingredients being mixed in a bowl.

Your Mexican Macaroni Ham Salad is ready to serve!

Photo of plated Mexican macaroni salad

Mexican Macaroni Ham Salad with Ham Recipe

Now that you know everything you need to know about how to make Mexican Macaroni Ham Salad, it is time to print the recipe.

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Mexican Macaroni Salad Recipe

Mexican Macaroni Salad Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

An authentic, simple, and flavorful pasta dish comes together with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is served as a light main dish or as a side dish.


  • 2 cups or 8 oz dried small macaroni noodles
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon Mexican sour cream or sub with crème Fraiche
  • large pinch of salt
  • large pinch of ground black pepper
  • 6 oz of sliced ham, or more if desired*
  • 1 15 oz can of mixed vegetable mix, drained**
  • optional: pickled jalapenos, drained and roughly chopped (according to spiciness level)***


  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Drain and set aside to cool to room temperature; alternatively, you can rinse under cool water and drain thoroughly.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, salt, and pepper, until well combined.
  4. Then mix in the cooked and drained pasta and stir until the sauce coats the noodles as best as possible.
  5. Next, mix in the drained canned vegetables until well combined.
  6. Then mix in the jalapenos and then lastly mix in the ham bits and stir until all ingredients are well incorporated. Taste and, if needed, adjust the salt and or pepper.
  7. This pasta salad can be served right away or store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. It makes a great lunch or an excellent side dish. Enjoy!


* You can use regular deli-style ham or if you’d like you can use leftover roasted ham from the holidays. If using the latter you’ll want to add more than the 6 oz, add as much as you’d like.

** I used one that has carrots, peas, and corn.

*** The jalapeno adds a nice tangy and slightly spicy touch.
If you’d like you can omit it. Another great touch is to drizzle in a bit of
the brine from the canned jalapenos.

Serves 4 are a light main paired with a green salad, or 6 as
a side dish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 671mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 19g

These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.

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  1. Very simple and super delicious! We added diced pickle and shredded cheddar cheese. I was very skeptical about the jalapenos but we tried it and LOVED it.

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