Side Dish

Mexican Macaroni Salad

As I said in a recent post, the Too Hot Tamales TV show was a big reason I started cooking.  They were two chefs on Food Network using many of the ingredients I grew up with, but usually in a different way.  This is one of those recipes.

As warm weather arrives here in Wisconsin, we are enjoying our dinners on our porch.   As things get even warmer, we are looking forward to inviting friends over for afternoon lunch or dinner out in our backyard.   While I love macaroni salad, I don’t like to let it sit outside too long because of the mayonnaise.  This is a delicious alternative without the mayonnaise.  The best thing about this salad, aside from its deliciousness, is that you can add a variety of vegetables to it.  I like diced red peppers, carrots and other vegetables you can eat raw.

Mexican Macaroni Salad

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar

3 garlic cloves, minced

Salt to taste

1/2 pound pasta (I use Dilatini pasta, the original recipe calls for penne)

1 cup Panela or queso fresco, cubed

1 small red onion, finely chopped

3 small cucumbers, chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped

2 Serrano chiles, seeded and minced


Cook the pasta along with some salt and olive oil until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

For the dressing:  place the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk well.  Set aside.


Place the pasta in a large bowl.  Add the cheese, onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, capers, oregano, chiles and the dressing.   Toss well.  Chill for an hour and serve.



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