Ensalada de Coditos (Mexican Pasta Salad), photo by Leslie LimónPhoto by Leslie Limón

Ensalada de Coditos (Mexican Pasta Salad)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10-12 servings

One can never have too many pasta salad recipes. This classic pasta salad made with elbow macaroni, ham, and diced veggies in a cheesy pimento cream dressing is a childhood favorite that is often served at birthday parties, cookouts, and potlucks. At children's birthday parties this salad is served on crispy tostada shells, but it can also be served as a filling for sandwichón (a popular sandwich cake). This tasty Mexican pasta salad is sure to be a hit at your next summer cookout.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 cups potatoes peeled and diced
  • 6 cups water
  • cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • 1 jar pimentos
  • 8 ounces deli sliced ham chopped
  • cups corn kernels drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2-3 pickled jalapeños chopped

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Directions

  1. Bring the carrots and potatoes to a boil in the 6 cups of water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low; let simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are fork tender. Remove from heat; strain. Rinse with cold water.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Strain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Puree the Mexican crema, American cheese slices, and pimentos in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  4. Combine the carrots, potatoes, and cooked pasta in a large bowl. Add the ham, corn kernels, frozen peas, and pickled jalapeño peppers (if using). Stir in the Mexican crema mixture until completely combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate salad for at least 2 hours before serving.
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