Easy No-Mayo Macaroni Salad: Kid-Friendly and Perfect for Potlucks

Classics are great, but sometimes, you crave a fresh take on a familiar favorite. That’s where this Mexican-style macaroni salad comes in. Packed with hearty black beans, corn, and a tangy yogurt dressing, this mayo-free salad is a delicious departure from the traditional recipe.

Mexican macaroni salad with black beans in a white bowl.

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My recipe takes a delicious detour from classic macaroni salad and adds a vibrant Mexican twist. It ditches the traditional mayonnaise for a creamy yogurt dressing, creating a lighter and tangier flavor profile.

Packed with hearty black beans, juicy sweet corn, and sweet pineapple chunks, this salad combines textures and tastes. The chopped red onion adds a subtle bite, balancing the sweetness of the other ingredients.

This macaroni salad recipe is easy to prepare with minimal ingredients. It is perfect for busy weeknights or potlucks. The unique combination of sweet and savory flavor profile is sure to please adults and kids, making it a great addition to any gathering.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make Mexican macaroni salad on a marble surface.

Elbow Macaroni: While classic elbow macaroni works well here, you can use other shapes, like cavatappi, rotini, or even farfalle, for this recipe.

Black Beans: Canned black beans are a convenient option, but if you prefer a more intense flavor and have the time, cook dried black beans from scratch.

Dressing: The main components I am using for the dressing are yogurt, salsa, and taco seasoning. This creamy dressing forms the heart and soul of the salad’s Mexican flair. I like to use plain whole-milk yogurt; however, Greek yogurt works in a pinch. Choose salsa based on your spice preference.

See the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and quantities.

Step-by-step Instructions

Dressing in a small brown bowl.

Step 1: Whisk together yogurt, salsa, taco seasoning, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until well combined.

Pasta, beans, and veggies in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: In a large bowl, combine the macaroni, black beans, corn, onion, jalapeno, and pineapple.

Dressing tossed with pasta and beans.

Step 3: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently until all the ingredients are well coated. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro before serving.

Expert Tips

  • Cook the macaroni according to package instructions, but aim for slightly undercooked (al dente). This ensures it retains a pleasant bite and won’t become mushy after mixing with the dressing.
  • Ensure the cooked macaroni is cooled completely before adding the dressing and other ingredients. This ensures an even distribution of flavors throughout the salad.
  • Pineapple chunks from a can typically have some juice. Draining them before adding to the salad prevents it from becoming overly watery.
  • Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the dish’s overall taste.

Serving Suggestions

Weeknight Dinner or Light Lunch: This macaroni salad is a quick and easy side dish that pairs perfectly with grilled chicken, fish, or steak. On a warm day, enjoy this salad as a light and refreshing lunch on its own.

Potlucks & Parties: This crowd-pleasing salad is sure to be a hit at any gathering. It’s ideal for potlucks as it travels well and can be served chilled or at room temperature.

Fiesta in a Bowl: Serve this salad in taco bowls with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and sour cream, for a fun and flavorful fiesta-themed meal.

Storing Leftover Macaroni Salad

Store leftover macaroni pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors will meld even more over time, but the texture of the macaroni might soften slightly.

Before serving any leftovers, stir the salad to redistribute the dressing and flavors. If the salad appears dry after refrigeration, add a splash of yogurt or salsa to revive its moisture and taste.

Mexican macaroni salad garnished with fresh cilantro.

More Black Bean Recipes

  1. Need a quick and tasty meal idea? Try this Grilled Chicken Black Bean Burrito Bowl recipe! It’s filling, easy to make, and sure to become a new favorite in your dinner rotation.
  2. Craving cheesy, loaded nachos but looking for a vegetarian option? These easy Black Bean Loaded Nachos pack flavor and melty cheese, making them perfect for weeknight dinners or game-day gatherings.
  3. Whip up a batch of ultra-creamy refried black beans in minutes with this Instant Pot recipe! No soaking is necessary, just simple ingredients and easy steps.
  4. Spice up your dinner table with a delightful side dish! My Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans recipe is a breeze to make. It’s as easy as dump and go, perfect for busy evenings.

If you tried this Mexican Macaroni Salad Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

Mexican macaroni salad in a white bowl with a spoon in the background.

Mexican Macaroni Salad with Black Beans

Classics are great, but sometimes, you crave a fresh take on a familiar favorite. That's where this Mexican-style macaroni salad comes in, packed with hearty black beans, corn, and a tangy yogurt dressing.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Author: Shilpa Kerur

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Large pot to cook the macaroni

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 ½ cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup black beans use canned or cook black beans at home
  • 1 cup corn frozen or canned
  • ½ cup red onion chopped
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeno chopped, adjust as per taste
  • 1 cup pineapple chopped,
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped

For the Dressing:

Instructions

  • Cook the macaroni: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Prepare the dressing: Whisk together yogurt, salsa, taco seasoning, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until well combined.
  • Assemble and dress: In a large bowl, combine the cooled macaroni, black beans, corn, onion, jalapeno, and pineapple. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently until all the ingredients are well coated. If the salad seems dry, add more yogurt or salsa, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Chill and serve: Cover the bowl and refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges (optional) before serving.

Notes

  • Cook the macaroni according to package instructions, but aim for slightly undercooked (al dente). This ensures it retains a pleasant bite and won’t become mushy after mixing with the dressing.
  • Before adding the dressing and other ingredients, make sure the cooked macaroni is cooled completely. This ensures an even distribution of flavors throughout the salad.
  • Pineapple chunks from a can typically have some juice. Draining them before adding to the salad prevents the salad from becoming overly watery.
  • Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the dish’s overall taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 530mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 665IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg
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Mexican macaroni salad Pinterest image.

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