Ensalada de coditos (elbow pasta salad with mayo) is easy to prepare and everybody's favorite. This delicious dish is a perfect choice for BBQ or Christmas dinner. Find here the classic macaroni salad, as well as tuna, ham, or vegan for you to choose your favorite.
Why we ❤️ it
Ensalada de coditos (elbow pasta salad with mayo) was always part of our family recipe repertoire, served on special occasions, and one of the salad choices at the Christmas feast.
This colorful, filling, creamy Dominican macaroni salad is one of my favorite pasta recipes, and has all the Dominican sabor you'll love so much.
Classic elbow macaroni salad
This simple macaroni salad with peas, red bell peppers, sweet corn, and carrot is combined with as many ingredients as budget and family taste allows. Though always recognizable, each home will have its preferred combination.
Feel free to adapt the salad to your taste, but we've added the most common ingredients to our recipe.
Macaroni salad with tuna
One version of this salad that pops up often has tuna in it. You can substitute the ham in the recipe for a can of tuna in water (discard the liquid).
Healthy vegan ensalada de coditos without mayo
As is often the case, we also try to find alternatives for people on special diets. Instead of mayonnaise, we offer a vegan lighter dressing, and you have the option to leave the ham out if you do not eat meat. This is a very forgiving dish. It will work either way.
Ensalada de coditos (elbow pasta salad with mayo
We generally serve ensalada de coditos for lunch, but it's also great for parrilladas (cookouts), and it is the perfect side dish with barbecued meats, as a side dish, as a hearty entree, or to bring to a paseo. You can also serve with Carne de res guisada, or this Colombian sabana de res beef.
- Usually prepared with macaroni, you can use another type of short pasta for this dish.
- You can use blanched frozen veggie mix for an easy, quick pasta salad. My preferred one is flashed-frozen veggies (thawed, of course), which are more nutritional than canned.
About this recipe
There isn't just one pasta salad, and they exist everywhere (see this Mexican macaroni salad, for example), and there isn't just ensalada de coditos in our country either.
Each home will add and take out things, depending on their gusto (taste) and availability of ingredients, but all these ingredients --save the paprika, my personal touch-- will almost certainly be present in most salads served at home.
Is there an ingredient you love in your ensalada de coditos? Let me know in the comments.
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Ensalada de Coditos [Recipe + Video] Elbow Pasta Salad
- 1½ tablespoon salt, (or more, to taste), divided
- ½ pound macaroni, (or similar short pasta) [0.23 kg]
- 1 large carrot, diced and boiled
- 1 bell pepper, diced into small cubes
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- ½ cup sweet peas, (from a can, see notes)
- 1 cup sweet corn, (from a can, see notes)
- ½ pound york ham, [0.23 kg] diced into small cubes (optional, see notes)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika, (optional)
- Heat ½ galon [2 liters] of water over medium-high heat in a large pot till it reaches a rolling boil, add a tablespoon of salt. Cook the pasta in the salted water a minute longer than instructed in the package, so you get pasta that is slightly softer than al-dente. Stir regularly to prevent it from sticking.Drain water, and let the pasta cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, carrots, bell pepper, onion, peas, corn, and ham.
Make classic mayo dressing
- Add mayo and paprika and stir to combine. Season it with salt to taste if needed.
Make vegan dressing
- If you want to add vegan dressing instead, whisk the vinegar into the olive oil in a separate bowl, followed by the mustard and pepper. Then combine this with the salad and season with salt if needed.
Serving and storing
- Serve at room temperature, or cover and chill if it will be served later. Best if served within 6 hours.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
You can cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours without much change in texture or flavor. For more extended periods (2 days), refrigerate without the mayonnaise and mix in the mayo shortly before serving.
Ensalada de codito is elbow pasta or macaroni salad in Spanish, and it's a Latin-style pasta salad.
Enalada de codito is made with boiled elbow pasta and mixed with vegetables and dressing, typically mayo.