This Mexican Macaroni Salad is secretly healthy! Vegan, gluten free option and SO colorful!
If you have seen my New Italian Pasta Salad at all, you already know that I’m not a huge fan of conventional pasta salad recipes.
I mean, come on. Does anyone really, truly think the “macaroni, diced ham, pickles and cheese drenched in mayo” combination is tasty?
Sorry, friends who’re all about that. I’m… Not.
Lately we’ve been trying to eat less pasta and instead go for adventurous whole grains, like millet and quinoa and amaranth and the like.
But everyone knows a good pasta salad and summer belong together like
mama and vino salt and pepper, right?
So I try to at least make our pasta salads as nutritious, colourful and good-for-you as possible!
My family loves tex mex flavours when it’s hot outside, and there’s so much goodness the right ingredients can bring:
Plenty of good fats in avocado! It also adds a little creaminess without using dairy AND the baby goes crazy for it. Win win win!
Fiber and plant protein from the black beans – they really make this pasta salad a filling side.
Tomatoes, sweet corn and peppers for vitamins and crunch. I’m all about that.
Salsa, olive oil and red wine vinegar as a super easy dressing! You know how you get that sick feeling after eating mayo-heavy macaroni salad? Yeah friend, not with this one. It’s the easiest “dressing” ever, but so good. You can either use organic jarred salsa or make your own if you feel like it – I usually don’t though ?
Now about the pasta… I’ve had this old box of macaroni sitting in my cupboard for ages, and I HATE wasting food, so that’s what I used. But you can really use any pasta: Whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, whole spelt… Whatever you have on hand! You could even use a sturdy whole grain such as farro or buckwheat to turn this into a grain salad vs a pasta salad.
Your possibilities are endless, but the salad will always taste amazing 🙂
Watch the Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe video here:
Get the printable recipe for this Mexican Macaroni Salad here:
Mexican Macaroni Salad
- 2 1/2 cups dry macaroni (any kind works) 250g
- 1 yellow pepper diced
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 red onion chopped
- 2/3 cup sweet corn kernels 120g
- 1 can black beans rinsed
- 1 cup salsa 250g
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon taco spices
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- In the meantime, combine all other ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add the macaroni and toss well.