Ensalada De Coditos (Mexican Macaroni Salad)

This Ensalada De Coditos is undoubtedly a classic Mexican recipe. Elbow pasta is tossed with creamy textures and dotted with crisp celery, carrots, corn kernels and flavorful peppers.

This recipe is healthy, easy, bright, flavorful, and it makes the perfect companion to other Mexican dishes. Dairy free option too!

A table setting with a pasta bowl and a white kitchen towel on the side.

When I think of Ensalada De Coditos, I think of the perfect side dish to accompany Holiday & Mexican Party dishes. It is usually served along with Frijoles Puercos for some classic dishes like Tamales, Shredded beef and Barbacoa.

This dish is also known as Sopa Fria or Pasta Fria.

This pasta is full of texture, flavor, is creamy and make-ahead easy which makes it perfect for summer & spring picnics, BBQs & potlucks.

Ingredients

I’m keeping this recipe dairy-free but you’re more than welcome to use the classic ingredients like Mexican crema. The recipe card also shows my substitutions.

Do note that my dairy free version is just as good as the original! None of the flavors have been compromised. 

  • Elbow pasta (coditos)
  • Carrots diced in small cubes
  • Corn kernels – frozen will work here, just make sure to thaw them first.
  • Fresh celery diced in small cubes
  • Roasted red bell pepper diced in small cubes
  • Pickled jalapeño diced in small cubes
  • Pickled jalapeño vinegar
  • Plant-based sour cream (or Mexican crema)
  • Plant-based (my favorite is brand Hellmann’s) is or regular mayonnaise
  • kosher salt &  fresh black pepper
All recipe ingredients on a white background board.

How to make Ensalada De Coditos

  • Cook macaroni in salted water according to directions on package (I added about 1/2 tbsp salt to the water). 
  • Drain and rinse with cold water until completely cool. Let drain very well.
  • In a medium mixing bowl stir together the rest of the ingredients and combine well.
One bowl with cooked elbow pasta and another bowl with mixed veggies and a creamy dressing.
  • Add the drained elbow pasta and fold in gently to mix with the vegetable mixture.
  • Taste for salt & pepper and add more according to taste.
Close up image of ensalada de coditos.

Tips for the Best Pasta

  • Don’t over cook elbow pasta.
  • Cool the pasta thoroughly.
  • Use good quality mayo.
  • Be sure to add enough salt & pepper or it can taste bland.

Storage

Macaroni salad will stay good refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or store in an airtight container to maximize freshness.

Ensalada De Coditos in a white bowl and a wood spoon. A small jar with bacon on the background.
Can Ensalada De Coditos Be Made in Advance?

Yes, this is great for making the night before serving. Making it ahead of time actually gives the pasta some time to soak up all that flavor and makes for a cold pasta salad.
If needed you can thin with a little more mayo/crema the next day.

Do You Rinse Pasta For A Cold Pasta Salad?

Yes. Pasta that is used for a cold pasta salad or macaroni salad should be rinsed. Not only does this cool it off, it also washes away extra starch that will cause the pasta to stick together.

How Long Does it Last?

You can store this homemade Ensalada De Coditos in the fridge for up to 3 to 5 days.

MORE EASY MEXICAN SIDE RECIPES TO TRY!

Ensalada De Coditos in a white bowl and a wood spoon. A small jar with bacon on the background.

Ensalada De Coditos (Mexican Macaroni Salad)

Servings 6 servings
Ana Frias
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
This Ensalada De Coditos is undoubtedly a classic Mexican recipe. Elbow pasta is tossed with creamy textures and dotted with crisp celery, carrots, corn kernels and flavorful peppers.
6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 5 oz elbow pasta (coditos)
  • cup carrots diced in small cubes
  • cup corn kernels cooked
  • cup fresh celery diced in small cubes
  • cup roasted red bell pepper diced in small cubes
  • 1 pickled jalapeño diced in small cubes
  • 2 Tbsp of pickled jalapeño vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp plant-based sour cream (or Mexican crema)
  • 3 Tbsp plant-based or regular mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cook macaroni in salted water according to directions on package (I added about 1/2 tbsp salt to the water). 
  • Drain and rinse with cold water until completely cool. Let drain very well.
  • In a medium mixing bowl stir together the rest of the ingredients and combine well.
  • Add the drained elbow pasta and fold in gently to mix with the vegetable mixture.
  • Taste for salt & pepper and add more according to taste.

*Ana’s Notes:

  • If you want an even richer, creamier dressing you can add more mayonnaise and crema until you reach the desired consistency. Do note that this will affect the calorie content. 
  • Macaroni salad will stay good refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or store in an airtight container to maximize freshness.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1.5cups | Sodium: 399mg | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 149mg | Calories: 156kcal | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 7g | Protein: 3g | Carbohydrates: 20g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

A bowl of ensalada de coditos and a wooden spoon.

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love to eat this Sopa Fria at parties! I see it a lot at weddings and quinceañeras lol! Can’t wait!