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Ensalada de Coditos. You will see a big bowl of this traditional dish at every Mexican party – birthdays, Sunday afternoon carne asada, Quinceañera.
My sneaking suspicion is that we took it from the Americans – a little cross border culinary borrowing.
The true origins of this dish may remain a mystery to me, but the taste is so incredibly creamy and delicious that it’s awfully hard to resist.
Frijoles de la Olla, Arroz Blanco, Papas con Rajas
How to Make It
Check out the ingredients above.
These are all of the ingredients that you need.
Seriously, this super simple yet satisfying Mexican side dish, a no-brainer recipe. You probably already have most, if not all, of the ingredients to make Ensalada de Coditos right now.
Ground Beef Taquitos,Chorizo Cheese Dip, Ceviche de Camarón
The fact that this easy sauce is made up of only these four ingredients: mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, and just a hint of mustard. Super simple sauce, right?!
• Mix these thoroughly and set aside.
There are people who will add some of the brine of Pickled Jalapeños.
However, this is the traditional recipe. Adjust this delicious dish as you and your family see fit.
Here are some other ingredients to add:
- Slices of raw jalapeño
- Cebolla en Escabeche
- Diced Red Pepper
- Diced Yellow Pepper
- Diced Green Pepper
- Diced Celery
- Diced Red Onion
- Diced Roasted Poblano Peppers
- Slices of Serrano Pepper
Please note: Remember to be extra careful with mayo. Keep this dish refrigerated particularly in the warm summer weather. If you are serving it at a party, it’s important to keep the Ensalada de Coditos cold.
Ensalada de Coditos literally translated means “Elbow Macaroni Salad.”
It is essential that the macaroni is elbow pasta – not linguini, spaghetti or shells. Otherwise, it won’t be the same and will have a totally different name.
Where to Find It
• You can find this type of macaroni in the pasta aisle or Italian food section of nearly any grocery or specialty store.
If for some reason you aren’t able to find it, try looking for it in the Hispanic foods section.
You need a nice, juicy thick cut of ham. In a pinch, you can use the thinner type of deli ham to make Ensalada de Coditos.
• Look for the thick cut of ham in the meat section of the grocery store. You are not going to find it in the deli meats area. Many times it will be referred to as a ham steak.
And, if all else fails, ask the butcher to carve a thicker cut of ham for you.
Then again you can also use regular Virginia ham. I know what you may be thinking – “Virginia ham for a Mexican dish?!” Believe it or not, I have actually seen it offered for sale in stores all over Mexico.
Ensalada de Coditos with Chicken:
- Swap out the ham for cooked, diced chicken.
- Continue with the recipe as normal.
Ensalada de Coditos with Tuna:
- Drain the tuna can and swap it out for the ham.
- Add the juice of half a lemon to the dressing.
- Continue with the recipe as normal.
Ensalada de Coditos with Crab:
Here’s another creative twist to this recipe: swap out the ham for crab meat. Add the lemon juice to the dressing.
- Add all the ingredients to a large container.
- Mix and keep cold until ready to serve.
This is why it makes such a great leftovers, potluck dish. It literally comes together in minutes.
However, you do have to let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. The flavors need to marry to fully develop an even better tasting salad.
This CREAMY and EASY pasta salad is a big time crowd pleaser. As a side dish next to carne asada or take it to your next potluck, everyone is sure to love it.
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Ensalada de Coditos
- Cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions.
- Drain, rinse, and set aside until it is room temperature.
- In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, and salt.
- Set aside. (If you are assembling the salad later, be sure to refrigerate the dressing).
- In a large container, add the cooked elbow macaroni, peas and carrots, corn, ham, and dressing.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
- Serve with saltine crackers.