This creamy taco macaroni salad recipe is an easy twist on classic macaroni salad. With crowd-pleasing Mexican flavors, it’s the perfect side dish for your next cookout. We also love it as a great make ahead weekday lunch.
I love a classic macaroni salad. It has 4th of July BBQ written all over it and is as American as it gets. But I’ve never actually made it for a cookout. What I like to do is mix up a big batch of it on a Sunday and then make a few days worth of work lunches out of it. It’s quick, it’s easy, and we never seem to mind eating it for 3 or 4 days in a row. (I also love to do this with this mediterranean Israeli couscous salad!)
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But still, for the sake of variety, I decided to get a little wild this time and give it a little Mexican pizazz. This taco macaroni salad recipe was hardly more complicated than the classic and was a really nice change of pace!
How to Make this Taco Macaroni Salad Recipe
The process is basically the same as with regular macaroni salad. Boil some noodles, make a mayo-based dressing and toss it all together with some chopped vegetables. In the case of this taco macaroni salad, I lightened up the dressing a bit by substituting half of the mayo for sour cream (you won’t miss any creamy deliciousness, trust me!). Then I mixed in some lime juice and an easy homemade taco seasoning.
For vegetables, I added tomatoes, green bell peppers and a little onion. I had planned to add corn and a little jalapeño, but was out of both. Next time!
I also tossed in some black beans and cheese for extra protein, and sprinkled with cilantro for freshness (use parsley if you hate cilantro!). We loved this twist on simple macaroni salad. Give it a try for your next BBQ, I think you’ll love it too!
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Products I used to make this creamy taco macaroni salad
Creamy taco macaroni salad
- 1/2 lb elbow macaroni or other pasta shapes
- 1/2 cup black beans canned, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 green bell pepper diced
- 1/4 small red onion diced
- 1 cup medium cheddar shredded
- 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley chopped
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water. Transfer the macaroni to a large bowl.
- To the macaroni, add the black beans, peppers, tomatoes and onions, and stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Add the dressing to the macaroni and vegetables and stir until well combined. Gently fold in the cheese and cilantro.
- Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.