Ensalada de Coditos (Pasta Salad)

Ensalada de coditos (Pasta salad)Ensalada de Coditos (Pasta Salad) was always part of our family recipe repertoire, and for a long time I believe only we (meaning, our family) ate them. Children believe all kind of weird things.

When you are a kid you also tend to believe everything you read: I thought that all English ladies went picnicking once or twice a week and that they all wore long flowery dresses and big floppy hats or fascinators, sat on red and white-checkered tablecloths and sipped tea under a big, old tree.

Ensalada de coditos (Pasta salad)

I wondered why we didn’t do that in the Dominican Rep. Hot humid days in the sunny tropics might be a good explanation, but I suspect it is because fun wise our paseos beat an English picnic any day.

Ensalada de coditos (Pasta salad)

A paseo is an odd combination of picnic, noisy party, and all-purpose celebration. Any weekend a bunch of friends and relatives would get together, hop in the back of a pickup truck and head for the nearest beach or river. Instead of expensive cheese and fine wine they would bring rum or beer and a big pot full of espagueti. Oddly enough we will accompany the spaghetti with bread. No paté de foie gras and caviar, thankyouverymuch, we will buy yaniqueques and fried fish in Boca Chica beach instead.

Ensalada de coditos (Pasta salad)

Music is a must in a paseo. Loud, earsplitting merengue and bachata from the minute one leaves to the moment everybody returns home. This is after all a party, and there will always be the same characters in any paseo. There’s always the old lady who did the cooking, the restless children, the young couple that can’t seem to get their hands off each other, and that will probably disappear for a while some time during the trip. Someone will get drunk and have to be dragged back home. Someone will get sick from eating too much, all the more likely if they happen to come across a mango tree in season. A whole day of fun that will leave everyone tired, with funny hair and hoarse voices.

Yeah, I think I have everything all figured out. Why would anyone have a picnic if they can have a paseo?

Ensalada de coditos (Pasta salad)

Usually prepared with macaroni, you can use other type of short pasta for this dish. Ensalada de coditos goes better with barbecued meats or as a hearty entree, or to bring a paseo. It is also a popular option for the Christmas’ Eve dinner.

Aunt Clara
Ensalada de Coditos Recipe (Dominican Pasta Salad)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easy to prepare, and everybody´s favorite. This delicious ensalada de coditos (pasta salad) is a perfect choice for BBQ or your Dominican Christmas dinner.
Serves: 6 porciones
  • ½ lb [0.23 kg] of macaroni (or similar short pasta)
  • 1 large carrot
  • ½ lb [0.23 kg] ham (or cheese) diced into small cubes (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper diced into small cubes
  • 1 cup of sweet corn (from a can)
  • ½ cup sweet peas (from a can)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
Vegan/light dressing
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  1. Boil the pasta until tender (it needs to be softer than al dente) adding the salt to the water.
  2. Separately boil carrot. Peel the carrots and dice into small cubes.
  3. Mix the pasta, carrots, pepper, onion, peas, corn and ham (or cheese).
  4. Mix with dressing of your choice. Chill before serving.
  1. In a separate container mix mayo, paprika, and vinegar.
Vegan dressing
  1. Whisk the vinegar into the olive oil, followed by the mustard.
  2. Season with a pinch of pepper.
Some cheese that work with this salad is queso de freir, haloumi, or cheddar.
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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Rosa Napoles January 8, 2015, 12:39 AM

    I love this recipe… it would be great fora Bebé—Q

  • maria March 22, 2013, 12:39 PM

    Instead of doing the dressing Can i add the mayonnaise to the macaroni

    • Aunt Clara March 22, 2013, 11:27 PM

      Sure. I haven’t tried it like that, but I can’t see why not.

  • Dstela August 24, 2012, 1:02 AM


    I loooooove this just made it for tomorrow :)

    Question if I store the macaroni in the fridge will they get hard? I normally add a Lil olive oil to plain pasta before storing but not to sure what to do for this one~ keep the recipes coming I adore your site, xoxox

    • Aunt Clara August 24, 2012, 6:40 AM

      If you put it in a sealed container it should be OK, best yet if you don’t add the dressing until it’s time to eat it.

      I am glad you like our site, thanks for commenting.

  • dalisa March 1, 2011, 6:43 AM

    Hi Aunt Clara,

    It would be great to know how much prep time, cook time, and people can eat with each recipe.

  • Michaela Hufford January 6, 2011, 6:07 PM

    Do you have to cook the corn and peas?