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Ensalada de Coditos (Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad) in a large white bowl surrounded by small bowls of hard boiled eggs, cilantro and olives.
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5 from 3 votes

Ensalada de Coditos (Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad)

Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad (Ensalada de Coditos) is the perfect side dish to bring to any holiday potluck or family picnic. Cold salad with macaroni (Ensalada fria de Coditos), ham, green olives and hard boiled eggs combine for a killer pasta salad recipe. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Barbecue Side Dish, Elbow Pasta Salad, Pasta Salad, Puerto Rican Recipes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 382kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $10


  • 1 Lb Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 Tbsp Light Olive Oil (*Note 1)
  • 8 oz Diced Ham or Spam (*Note 2)
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, Grated (*Note 3)
  • 1/2 Cup Red Bell Pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Mayonnaise (*Note 4)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Green Olives
  • 1-3 tbsp Green Olive Brine (To Taste) (*Note 5)
  • 5 Hard Boiled Eggs, Shelled and Diced (*Note 6)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt


  • 1 Cup Cubed Cheddar Cheese (*Note 7)


  • Make hard boiled eggs, in your preferred method, and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow pasta and cook to al dente, according to the instructions on the box. Do not over cook.
  • While the pasta is cooking, chop the ham, eggs, bell pepper and olives and grate the onion. Set aside.
  • Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse under cold water. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and immediately toss with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour in the refrigerator.
  • Once chilled, add the rest of the ingredients (except the eggs) and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Gently fold in the hard-boiled egg before covering and refrigerating for a minimum of one hour.


Note 1 - Don't skip this step. Your noodles may become soggy or stick together if you don't coat in olive oil.
Note 2 - Ham steak works best, as it's thicker than deli ham. We use leftover ham after the holidays.
Note 3 - Dice the onion if you prefer a bit more texture and crunch.
Note 4 - Use mayonnaise that you enjoy the flavor of and one that lists oil as the first ingredient. Some list water as the first ingredient and it won’t mix well. 
Note 5 - Start with 1 tablespoon of olive brine. After the pasta salad sits for an hour, taste and add more if needed.
Note 6 - Use your favorite method to make hard boiled eggs. We like Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs as they're easy to peel.
Note 7 - Cubed cheddar cheese is found in some Puerto Rican Macaroni Salad recipes while not in others. So take it or leave it - your choice.


Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 388IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg