This jalapeno pasta salad is loaded with all classic flavors from your favorite macaroni salad but with a nice twist: Pickled jalapenos!

This is a summer salad that everyone loves. The richness and tanginess from the mayo, the crunchiness from the vegetables and the tenderness of macaroni pasta makes this dish a summer favourite for your family.

This jalapeno pasta salad is also budget-friendly and the best of all is that you can make it ahead of time. Everyone loves this salad because you can adjust the ingredients to your liking and have even vegan versions of this fulfilling side dish.

Mexican, Italian or what?

Mi husband and I grew up in different continents, still, we both know macaroni salad since we were kids. His mom make a delicious Italian salad called insalata di pasta fredda which is pretty similar to this recipe, but have some ingredients that make it very Italian, like salumi (charcuterie) and mozzarella.

My mom, in the other hand, taught me to make pasta fría de codito (macaroni salad) with jalapeños en vinagre (pickled jalapeno) and peas.

Two versions of this salad that we enjoy every summer.

I like to make a mix of both and to be honest, I am pretty open to just change ingredients with whatever I have available in my fridge.  So this recipe is all about fusion, to make it more to our taste and to also offer you a nice option for a pasta salad.

Because my friend, what kind of summer this will be without a big bowl of macaroni salad on the table?

I always coat macaroni with a tablespoon of mayonnaise right after rinsed with cold water. That prevents it from sticking while a finish to prepare the rest of the ingredients. Sometimes I even prepare pasta the day before, then just add that little bit of mayonnaise, coat evenly, cover and put it in the fridge until the next day.

Coating macaroni with mayo on a bowl.

The ingredients

MACARONI – Use a short pasta, like elbows, shells or ditalini. You can even make it the day before, place it on a bowl and coat it with a bit of mayo to keep it from drying, the make your salad next day.

PICKLED JALAPEÑO – You can find those at any latinoamerican store, they are sold in small cans or you can also find them in Amazon. But if you want to bring this jalapeno pasta salad to the next level, you can make pickled jalapenos at home! I promise, they’re so easy to make.

VEGGIES – Celery, red and yellow bell peppers, carrots and red onions adds a nice crunchy touch. Dill pickles will give an extra flavour that everyone loves.

PROTEINS – Boiled eggs are a classic. You can also make it richer by adding some ham (cubed), cheese or hotdog sausages.

CONDIMENTS – Mayonnaise, yellow mustard and sour cream. Vinegar, salt & pepper and bit of sugar to balance the flavours.

All ingredients displayed on bowls on a marble surface.

Make this jalapeno pasta salad your fav for picnics!

Pack your macaroni salad and enjoy it at the beach, lake, park or anywhere you go. This salad can be made ahead of time and save you lots of time so you can enjoy more this summer.

Jalapeno Pasta Salad

Jalapeno pasta salad will be your best option for any gathering, barbecue, picnic or family dinners. A salad made with macaroni and tossed with pickled jalapeno, veggies and a simple mayo dressing.
prep 15 minutes
cook 10 minutes
total 25 minutes


  • 10 ½ oz (300g) macaroni pasta
  • 1 cup (130g) red bell peppers (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup (130g) Yellow bell peppers (finely chopped)
  • cup (40g) Red onions (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup (60g) Carrots (shredded)
  • ½ cup (60g) Celery (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup (60g) Dill pickles (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp Pickled jalapeno (finely chopped)
  • 2 boiled eggs (chopped)


  • ¾ cup (160g) Mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup (160g) Mexican cream (or sour cream)
  • 2 Tbsp Yellow mustard
  • 3 Tbsp White vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • Salt & pepper


  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender Drain the pasta and rinse under cool running water.
  • Place pasta onto a mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Coat evenly and set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl stir together mayonnaise, sour cream (or yogurt), vinegar, mustard, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl add pasta and all vegetables
  • Add the dressing. Mix to evenly coat and adjust of salt and pepper.
  • Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge until serving.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 567kcal
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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This salad was a big hit! I used whole wheat pasta and increased the amounts of carrots and celery to make it a bit healthier. I also subbed in diced pickled jalapenos (mild) for the dill pickles and used a little of a jalapeno brine in the dressing. So good! I might try adding a diced fresh jalapeno next time to spice it up even more. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Laurie, so glad you liked it! Fresh jalapeno surely would be a nice addition, thanks for the tip! :D