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Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad | Ensalada de coditos

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When it comes to classic Puerto Rican cuisine, nothing beats the creamy and tangy flavors of Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad. Also known as Ensalada de Coditos, this beloved side dish is made with macaroni pasta, a zesty dressing, and a variety of tasty ingredients. It’s a perfect addition to any meal and will leave you craving more. 

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Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad 

Ensalada de Coditos, commonly known as Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad, is a beloved side dish in Puerto Rican cuisine that boasts a combination of rich flavors and textures. This classic recipe features macaroni pasta mixed with tangy mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, savory diced ham or bacon, onions, celery, and peppers.

The salad can be customized with additional ingredients like black beans, corn, or avocado, making it a versatile and delicious dish for any occasion. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any meal or gathering and is loved by both locals and visitors alike.

Let’s explore the traditional recipe and variations of this mouth-watering Puerto Rican favorite.

Close up of spoon full of Puerto Rican macaroni salad.

What’s the difference between Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad and Mexican Maroni salad?

Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad and Mexican Macaroni Salad are both popular side dishes in their respective cuisines, but they have some notable differences.

Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad is typically made with macaroni pasta, mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard. It often includes diced ham or bacon, chopped onions, celery, and peppers for added texture and flavor. Some variations may also include olives or boiled eggs.

Mexican Macaroni Salad is typically made with macaroni pasta as well, but it has a tangy and spicy dressing made with lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and sometimes even hot sauce. It may also include black beans, corn, and avocado for added flavor and nutrition. Some variations may also include diced tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeños.

While both salads use macaroni pasta as a base and can be served cold, the difference in dressings and additional ingredients makes them distinctly different. Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad has a creamy and tangy flavor, while Mexican Macaroni Salad is spicy and tangy.

Both salads are delicious and can be enjoyed as side dishes with various main courses.

You might enjoy these macaroni salad recipes:

Plated Puerto Rican macaroni Salad

What are the traditional ingredients in Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad?

Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad, also known as Ensalada de Coditos, is a classic side dish in Puerto Rican cuisine. The traditional ingredients used in the recipe are macaroni pasta, mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard.

The macaroni pasta is cooked until it is al dente, then drained and rinsed with cold water to cool it down. The mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard are then mixed together to create the dressing. The dressing is typically seasoned with salt, pepper, and cumin for added flavor.

Additional ingredients in Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad may include diced ham or bacon, chopped onion, celery, and green bell pepper. Some recipe variations may also include diced boiled eggs or black olives.

Once all the ingredients are combined, the salad is chilled in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and gives the salad its signature creamy texture.

Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad is a perfect side dish for any occasion and is enjoyed by many for its delicious taste and satisfying texture.

What ingredients are added to the recipe to give the Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad recipe something different?

Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad is a classic side dish that can be customized in a variety of ways to give it a unique flavor profile. One of the ways to modify the recipe is by adding new and exciting ingredients.

For example, some people like to add diced pineapple or mango for a sweet and tropical twist. Others might add black beans, corn, or avocado for a little Mexican flair.

Another way to change up the recipe is by experimenting with different dressings. For example, a spicy chipotle mayo could heat the salad, while a tangy lime vinaigrette would add a fresh citrusy flavor.

Some people also like experimenting with different spices, such as curry powder or smoked paprika, to give the dish more flavor.

There are countless ways to customize Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad and make it your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients and flavors to create a salad that’s uniquely yours.

phtos of ingredients to make puerto rican macaroni salad.

What are the ingredients to make Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad?

With a prep time of 30 minutes and a cook time of approximately 10 minutes, here are the ingredients you will need, which serve 6.

  • Elbow Macaroni– Traditional pasta used in Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad.
  • Light Olive Oil- Help the pasta from sticking as it cools.
  • Diced Ham
  • Medium Red Onion – Grated or finely diced
  • Red Bell Pepper – Diced
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Greek yogurt
  • Lime juice
  • Lime zest
  • Chili powder
  • Green Olives – Chopped 
  • Jalapeno – Deseeded, deveined, and diced
  • Red onion – Small and diced
  • Hard Boiled Eggs – diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper Jack Cheese – Cubed
  • Cheddar Cheese – Cubed 
photos showing the steps to make the macaroni salad.

How to make Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad?

Now that you’ve gathered all your ingredients, it’s time to assemble this delicious Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad! 

  1. Start by cooking the macaroni pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow pasta and cook to al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Do not overcook. While the pasta is cooking, chop and prep the other ingredients.
  2. When the macaroni is done, drain the pasta in a colander and rinse under cold water. After that, transfer it to a large bowl and immediately toss it with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
  3. Once chilled, add the rest of the ingredients you prepared (except the eggs) and gently stir to combine. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Then peel and dice the hard-boiled eggs. Gently stir in the hard-boiled eggs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. Garnish with lime wedges, fresh chopped green onion, and serve.
Close up of Puerto Rican Macaroni salad

Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad | Ensalada de coditos

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad, also known as Ensalada de Coditos, is a classic side dish in Puerto Rican cuisine that's perfect for any occasion. The salad's popularity has even spread to other countries, with variations found in Latin America and the Caribbean. Overall, Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad is a delicious and satisfying dish that is sure to please any crowd!

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 Tbsp Light Olive Oil
  • 2 cups Diced Ham
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, grated or finely diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Green Olives
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded deveined, and diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 5 Hard Boiled Eggs, diced
  • ΒΌ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup cubed pepper jack cheese
  • 1 Cup Cubed Cheddar Cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow pasta and cook to al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Do not overcook.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop and prep the other ingredients.
  3. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse under cold water, after that transfer it to a large bowl and immediately toss with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
  4. Once chilled, add the rest of the ingredients that you have prepared (except the eggs) and gently stir to combine. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  5. Gently stir in the hard-boiled eggs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
  6. Garnish with lime wedges, fresh chopped green onion, and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 624Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 233mgSodium: 1175mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 32g

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

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