Ensalada de Coditos Dominicana is a versatile and hearty summer salad that’s perfect for a summer barbecue, potluck, or as a side dish for any meal. There are a couple different variations of ensalada de coditos throughout Latin America, but I have a soft spot for Ensalada de Coditos Dominicana.

Growing up, I could always count on finding my favorite sides like Dominican potato salad and this macaroni salad at almost every Dominican holiday or event.

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Why you’ll love Ensalada de Coditos Dominicana

  • Authentic Dominican flavors. Dominican macaroni salad is a delicious addition to your plate!
  • Budget friendly crowd pleaser. This hearty summer salad makes authentic Caribbean flavors accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
  • 3 easy steps. Make delicious ensalada de coditos in 3 easy steps.

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Macaroni pasta. Rotini, cavatappi, and mini penne work well too! Cook according to package directions.
  • Tuna. The one soaked in olive oil!
  • Egg. Adds creaminess to the salad.
  • Celery. Adds a fresh crispy bite to the salad.
  • Bell peppers. Adds a burst of color and a sweet, crisp texture to the salad.
  • Carrot. Adds a subtle sweetness and a satisfying crunch to the dish.
  • Cilantro. To garnish with and add some freshness.
  • Mayonnaise. The glue that brings everything together. You can substitute with sour cream or greek yogurt.
  • Olive oil. Helps incorporate all of the ingredients together evenly.
  • Parmesan cheese. Adds a rich and savory flavor, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Red onion. Adds a tangy balance to the salad.
  • Distilled white vinegar. This is what gives the onions that pickled taste. A great substitution is apple cider vinegar.
  • Garlic powder. Adds extra flavor to the dish.
  • Oregano. Fresh oregano adds so much flavor here, but dried works too.
  • Turmeric. Just a pinch for color and taste.


Loisa’s ground oregano is certified organic and brings classic balance and pure flavor to any dish.

Recipe tips & tricks

  • Don’t burn the onions while sauteing them, they should be translucent. They do not turn brown in any way.
  • Marinate the tuna in a small bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a spritz of lemon juice while preparing the other ingredients.
  • Get creative for added flavor and recipe personalization. Consider swapping tuna for ham, or substituting other raw vegetables into the recipe.

Storage tips

  • Refrigerate the macaroni salad for up to 3-4 days in an airtight container.

Common questions

Can you use yellow onion instead of red onion in the macaroni salad?

Yes! The flavors will be a little more mild but still delicious.

What if you don’t like mayonnaise?

I know mayonnaise is a hit or miss, and a great substitute is a combination of sour cream (or greek yogurt), oil, and lemon juice.

How can I make a vegetarian version?

To make a vegetarian version of this recipe, swap out tuna for chickpeas, white beans, bell pepper, or a mix of both.

Can I enjoy this recipe as a main dish?

Of course! While this recipe is most commonly served as a side dish, you can still totally enjoy it as a main dish.

Ensalada De Coditos Dominican Macaroni Salad

Dominican Macaroni Salad (Ensalada De Coditos)

5 from 2 votes
Ensalada de coditos, also known as macaroni salad, is a Latin American cold pasta salad made with cooked elbow macaroni, mayonnaise, and a variety of vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and onions.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 6 people


  • 1 cup macaroni pasta cooked according to package directions
  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 hard boiled egg diced
  • 1 celery stick chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1 handful cilantro chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • ½ red onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano or ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 pinch of turmeric
  • To taste salt and pepper


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions in a medium pot with salted water.
  • In a pan over low to medium heat, add onions and vinegar and cook until translucent.
  • In a large bowl, combine macaroni, tuna, egg, raw vegetables (celery, bell peppers, carrots), cilantro, mayonnaise, olive oil, parmesan cheese, onions, garlic, oregano, and turmeric. Mix well to evenly coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover the large bowl and refrigerate the salad for a few hours (but at least an hour) to allow the flavors to meld together. Before serving, adjust the seasoning if needed and give it a final mix. Buen provecho!


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