Dominican macaroni salad is a versatile dish 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 Dominican style macaroni salad.

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 this recipe

  • Authentic Dominican flavors. Dominican macaroni salad is a delicious addition to your plate!
  • Budget friendly crowd pleaser. This recipe 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!
  • Tuna. The one soaked in olive oil!
  • Egg. Adds creaminess to the macaroni salad.
  • Celery. Adds a fresh crispy bite to the salad.
  • Bell peppers. Adds a burst of color and a sweet, crisp texture to the macaroni salad.
  • Carrot. Adds a subtle sweetness and a satisfying crunch to the dish.
  • Cilantro.
  • 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 of the ensalada de coditos.
  • 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.

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), olive oil, and lemon juice.

Ensalada De Coditos Dominican Macaroni Salad

Dominican Macaroni Salad (Ensalada De Coditos)

5 from 1 vote
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
  • 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


  • In a pan over low to medium heat, add onions and vinegar and cook until translucent.
  • In a large bowl, combine macaroni, tun, egg, celery bell peppers, carrots, cilantro, mayonnaise, olive oil, parmesan cheese, onions, garlic, oregano, and turmeric. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate the salad for 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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