Chicken Taco Macaroni Salad is a tasty side dish that takes your everyday macaroni salad and gives it a Mexican flare. This delicious Taco Macaroni Salad has cubed chicken, mayo, taco seasoning, bell peppers, jalapenos, cheese, and cilantro. This quick and easy Macaroni Salad with chicken is made from pantry staple ingredients and can be ready in under an hour and a half.
Chicken Taco Macaroni Salad
Macaroni salad is great for taking to potlucks, summer celebrations, parties, and get togethers. It’s the perfect side dish, or you can eat it as a meal on its own. Chicken Taco Salad has so much flavor and is so filling.
These kinds of sides, like this Strawberry Pasta Salad, are something that I can’t get enough of during the summer months. It’s so nice to have a filling side dish that everyone can enjoy. Lemon Orzo Salad is another filling pasta salad recipe you’ll enjoy.
Macaroni salads are versatile, they’re easy to customize and are generally a dish that your guests will really enjoy. Try my Tortellini Pasta Salad.
Cold macaroni salads are so tasty and easy to make. They’re great for road trips, stored in a cooler, taking on a picnic, or to bring to a barbecue. Take this to your family gatherings or keep some prepared in the refrigerator for those warm evenings when you don’t want to cook!
Taco Macaroni Salad with chicken takes the deliciousness of tacos and combines it with a filling pasta salad and makes an amazing combo!
How to Make Chicken Taco Macaroni Salad
• Gather everything you will need to make the recipe.
• Cook the noodles according to the package directions and cool before adding the remaining ingredients (To cool the noodles quickly, run under cold water, then drain completely).
• Combine the mayonnaise and taco seasoning in a small bowl and stir into the pasta.
• Add the chicken red pepper, jalapeño and cheese. Stir to combine.
• Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
• Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
What to Serve With Chicken Taco Macaroni Salad?
Can I Use Other Pasta?
• While macaroni salad usually uses macaroni pasta in the recipe. You could actually make this Chicken Taco Macaroni Salad as a chicken taco pasta salad and swap out your macaroni pasta for another pasta choice.
• Bowtie pasta and rotini (spirals), or small shells are great options for this kind of cold potluck dish.
Can You Make Macaroni Salad Ahead of Time?
Absolutely, it's a great time saver to make it ahead of time. I suggest making this recipe no more than a day or two ahead of time.
Be sure to store the salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Chicken Taco Macaroni Salad Tips & Variations
- Don’t overcook the noodles so they don’t get mushy- cooking them al dente is a better option for this.
- You can easily customize this pasta salad by swapping out any of the vegetables.
- Another fun way to make this dish is by making 2 boxes of mac and cheese according to package directions, then adding in the remaining ingredients. This makes it a bit cheesier and creamier than the original taco macaroni salad recipe.
- You can use homemade taco seasoning or change up the seasonings to create a new dish all together.
- Try adding in more vegetables like tomato, diced chiles, or olives.
- Adjust the heat and spice level of this recipe by omitting the jalapeños or adding more in if desired.
- For a real treat of Mexican flair, add in some homemade queso to your taco macaroni salad.
- Feel free to garnish with diced green onions or cotija cheese.
More Flavorful Salad Recipes
How to Store Chicken Taco Pasta Salad
Any leftover pasta salad should be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Since this macaroni salad uses mayonnaise, when you are not serving or enjoying this dish it needs to be kept in the refrigerator.
I do not recommend freezing these leftovers.
If you've been searching for the perfect summertime side dish this easy Chicken Taco Macaroni Salad is exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Chicken Taco Macaroni Salad
- Pot to cook the noodles
- Large serving bowl
- Small mixing bowl to mix the dressing
- 1 pound Elbow Noodles, cooked and cooled
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Taco Seasoning
- 2 cups Cubed Cooked Chicken
- ½ Red Bell Pepper diced
- 1 Jalapeño, seeded and diced
- ½ cup Mexican Blend Cheese
- Cilantro, for serving
- Gather everything you will need to make the recipe. Cook the noodles according to the package directions and cool before adding the remaining ingredients (To cool the noodles quickly, run under cold water, then drain completely). Add the cooled noodles to a large serving bowl.
- Combine the mayonnaise and taco seasoning in a small bowl and stir into the pasta.
- Add the chicken red pepper, jalapeño and cheese. Stir to combine.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
- Don’t overcook the noodles so they don’t get mushy.
- Another fun way to make this dish….make 2 boxes of mac and cheese according to package directions, then add the remaining ingredients. Makes it a bit cheesier and creamier.
- This can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.