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This easy Southwest Macaroni Salad recipe is loaded with flavor and has just a hint of spice. It’s the perfect side dish for picnics, potlucks and parties!


I love long holiday weekends, don’t you? We always have a cookout on the Fourth of July, but this year, we’ve been feasting all weekend long. I know that sounds like a lot of work, but it’s actually pretty simple, especially if you get things done ahead of time.

So basically, we grill the meat, and then I serve easy side dishes to go with it. Now, if you wanted to keep things super simple, you could buy some macaroni or potato salad from the store, but I really, really do not like storebought salads. There’s usually way too much mayo going on there for me.

I usually make my Grandma’s Potato Salad, which is a little bit of work since you have to cook the potatoes, but it’s so worth it. And, it’s one of the Hub’s favorite side salads. He could eat the whole bowl if possible, and he really looks forward to it.

Homemade macaroni salad, on the other hand, is very easy — just boil the pasta and add whatever else you want to it. I wanted to jazz things up a little this time, so I made a Southwestern style salad with a hint of spice and not a whole lot of mayo.


I added some pickled jalapeno peppers,  but I used a mild version so that it would still be kid friendly. Then, I threw in some cherry tomatoes, avocado chunks and mayonnaise, plus a little spice. And that’s it — simple, but loaded with flavor.

How to Make Southwest Macaroni Salad

5 from 2 votes

Southwest Macaroni Salad

By: Dee
Southwest Macaroni Salad is an easy pasta side salad with a hint of spice that's perfect for cookouts, potlucks and picnics
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 15


  • 1 pound macaroni
  • ½ cup mild pickled jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 2 avocados seeded, peeled, chopped and drizzled with lime juice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved and seeded
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
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  • Cook the macaroni according to package directions
  • Drain in a collander, rinse with cold water,and allow to cool
  • In a large bowl, add all ingredients, and stir well
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired
  • Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve


Calories: 360kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 350mg, Potassium: 225mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 115IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 0.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
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The nice thing about this recipe is that you can easily customize it to suit your own tastes. You can add more mayo, reduce the chipotle powder or even add more for extra spice. You could also leave the tomatoes whole or leave them out — whatever works for you!

Southwest Macaroni Salad recipe

My family loved this Southwest Macaroni Salad exactly as it is. I even put out some extra mayo for the Hubs, but even he didn’t think it needed any more, and he usually likes his salads drowned in mayo. He even had seconds!

Have a super day, friends!


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Recipe Rating


  1. Miz Helen says:

    Your recipe has been featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your new Red Plate and have a great week!
    Miz Helen5 stars