Chipotle Lime Macaroni Salad

I can pretend that the reason that I am choosing to share a macaroni salad during the week of the 4th of July is because I wanted to make something that would be perfect for the upcoming weekend. But the truth of the matter is that this little turkey that is growing in my belly has had a craving for anything and everything with mayonnaise in it. Egg salad, mayo on burgers, tuna salad. Pretty much just short of eating it right out of the jar. I know, weird right? I’ll send for help if I have a sudden urge to dig in with a spoon. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy creamy pasta salads like this spicy chipotle lime macaroni salad.

Usually I enjoy a traditional macaroni salad. However, this past week I decided to go in a completely different direction. I decided to do a macaroni salad with a bit of a Mexican twist to it. It is full of all kinds of goodies like olives, cheddar cheese and of course chipotle peppers. The recipe calls for 2 chipotle peppers and it was just the right amount of spice for us. If you want something a little less spicy try just using one at first. If you want something more add another pepper or a teaspoon of the adobo sauce that the peppers come in.

Chipotle Lime Macaroni Salad Recipe

Serves 4 - 6 Prep Time: Cook Time:
3 based on 2 reviews


  • 2 cups dried elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese



Cook macaroni according to package directions. Strain under cold running water. Set aside.


In a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, salt and lime zest.


Stir macaroni and remaining ingredients into the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. After chilled, adjust seasoning with salt if needed and serve.



Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    June 15, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I’m sad the reviews for this aren’t good. My family’s favorite macaroni salad. Great as a side for pork belly tacos.

    • Reply
      June 15, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      So happy to hear you enjoy it Gina! You can’t please everyone, but I’m glad your family loves it :)

  • Reply
    john butler
    April 9, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    I followed the recipe to the letter and not only did the finished product in no way resemble the photo, it was inedible. The worst macaroni salad I’ve ever had. I may try to “doctor” it to see if I can make it edible, but I’m leaning toward admiting defeat and throwing it out – it’s that bad!

    • Reply
      April 9, 2019 at 8:36 pm

      Sorry you had such a bad experience with this salad! Thanks for your feedback!

  • Reply
    Ghost Peppers
    July 3, 2011 at 10:58 am

    This recipe could get a nice kick in the pants from some ghost pepper hot sauce.

  • Reply
    Matt @ FaveDiets
    June 30, 2011 at 5:28 am

    What a great flavor combination idea for a pasta salad! Now I need to get myself some chipotle and adobo.

  • Reply
    Jenn's Food Journey
    June 30, 2011 at 4:38 am

    I love this salad, Des! I do love me some chipotle though…. and it is bad that I crave all things mayo and I’m not even pregnant?? :)

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Love this salad, and really have enjoyed perusing your blog. Your husband doesn’t take on a side business of designing blogs, does he? Mine is so plain Jane, but I am not going for Cutesy either. I think it’s great that he has helped you with your site and truly I think it’s lovely, the recipes and the design! Have a great day.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I’m inspired to get some stuff at Whole Foods this afternoon. I want to get some cavatappi pasta. Did I just send this? My computer is so finicky, sometimes it sends stuff without me. I’ll use chorizo that I bought yesterday.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Okay, you’ve got me going. I bought some Mexican chorizo yesterday and I’m going to make a chilldhood dish (well, based on childhood). It’s basically macaroni (my mother always used elbows), tomato and ground beef. Mine will be some more interesting macaroni shape (I’d love to have cavatappi) and tomato and chorizo. Yep, chorizo.

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    Hi! I am Des! Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too. Read more »

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