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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Mexican Inspired No-Mayo Macaroni and Cheese Salad Recipe
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    Mexican Inspired No-Mayo Macaroni and Cheese Salad

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    30 mins

    10 mins

    20 mins

    SarasotaCook's Note:

    First this is a much healthier and lighter version of traditional mayo based macaroni salads. This is such a nice salad for summer BBQ's, pot-lucks, even just dinner with the family. It is not spicy, but has a slight Mexican flair. Sour cream, spices and chopped peppers make this a great salad. I actually have 2 versions of this. I have added some sliced black olives and used Monterey Jack cheese, but my favorite is no olives and a good sharp Cheddar. Serve this with some spicy grilled chicken, burgers, steaks, hot dogs, etc. It is just a nice side dish.

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    Serves: 4-8


    Units: US | Metric



    1. 1
      Dressing -- In a small bowl, add the salsa, sour cream, lime juice and zest, cilantro, cumin, pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate. NOTE: I start out with 1/2 cup salsa, and 6 tablespoons of sour cream. You can always add more once you dress the salad.
    2. 2
      Pasta -- Simply cook in good salted water according to package directions.
    3. 3
      Vegetables -- In a large bowl, add the chopped green and red pepper, onion and scallions.
    4. 4
      Toss -- Once the past is done, drain and this is one time where I actually rinse my pasta under cold water. Drain well. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and add the dressing and the cheese. Toss well. You can add a bit more sour cream and salsa if necessary. Taste for seasoning and add any more salt and pepper if needed. And remember - this is not a creamy mayo type of salad. This is a healthier light version so there is not as much dressing.
    5. 5
      Serve -- ENJOY!

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on June 06, 2010


      Inspired is right. This was a great meal, especially for a hot day. I got a great deal on them, so I used one each of green, red, yellow, and orange peppers. I also added sliced black olives, some halved grape tomatoes, and one chopped avocado. I did not use the onion but increased the scallions (raw regular onions tend to overstay their welcome with my taste buds). I used 4-5 oz cheese, cut into small cubes which seems to toss better than grated. I made the dressing almost exactly as written, using 1% fat sour cream (and chunky salsa), and it is just wonderful. I love lime. I let it sit in the fridge for about an hour. To serve, I put spinach leaves on plates, then my stirred together salad + dressing + pasta (used whole grain rotini), then chopped cooked chicken from a previous dinner, for a complete one-dish meal (not to mention a fiesta of color). It took a bit of time just doing the chopping by hand, but that wasn't such a big deal and it is well worth it (plus you get plenty for lunches). I will definitely make this again (looking forward to sharing this one with friends at the next potluck type occasion). Thanks!

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    • on May 11, 2010


      We had this dish for my graduation potluck and I liked it much better than traditional macaroni salad. Now I am wondering about making rice or potato salad in the same fashion?.....Yum!

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    Nutritional Facts for Mexican Inspired No-Mayo Macaroni and Cheese Salad

    Serving Size: 1 (200 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 591.5
    Calories from Fat 158
    Total Fat 17.6 g
    Saturated Fat 10.1 g
    Cholesterol 45.1 mg
    Sodium 440.1 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 87.2 g
    Dietary Fiber 7.8 g
    Sugars 9.3 g
    Protein 24.0 g

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