Chipotle Ranch Macaroni Salad

Chipotle Ranch Macaroni Salad is an easy to make side dish that is perfect for BBQ. Whether you’re serving brisket, pulled pork or hamburgers, this side dish is sure to be a hit.

a bowl of Chipotle Ranch Macaroni Salad

When it comes to BBQ, sides are almost as popular as the meat itself. And one of the most popular side dishes is macaroni salad. This dish is just one of our many different macaroni salads that we serve when entertaining.

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Chipotle Ranch Macaroni Salad Ingredients

This recipe is made in two parts. The dressing and the salad. Each part is very easy to make.

For the dressing:

  • Mayonnaise. Regular or low-fat mayonnaise can be used to make this recipe.
  • Chipotle Ranch Dressing. Salad dressing makes this easier to achieve the chipotle ranch flavour without a lot of additional ingredients.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. This will add a tang to the dressing for the salad.
  • Hot Sauce. When it comes to hot sauce, use your favourite. Typically, we use Frank’s Red Hot because it is milder, making it perfect for different taste buds.
  • Chili powder. This spice complements the chipotle in the dressing.
  • Cumin. Another spice that complements the chipotle.
  • Garlic Powder.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.

For The Salad:

  • Macaroni. The macaroni in this recipe needs to be cooked and cooled before adding the dressing. IF it isn’t cooled first, the heat from the pasta could possibly cook the vegetables and cause them to wilt.
  • Sweet Peppers. This can be red, yellow, or orange peppers. It can even be a mix of two or all three.
  • Black Olives. If you prefer, green olives can be substituted or both can be used.
  • Green Onions.

Can Other Pasta Be Used?

Macaroni is not the only pasta that can be used in this salad. Rotini and fusilli also make good options for making pasta salads.

Tri-coloured pasta is an option and it adds colour to the dish.

Another great pasta that can be used is bowtie shaped pasta (farfalle).

Serving Chipotle Ranch Macaroni Salad

To serve this salad, it should be cold. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

If serving macaroni salad outside, it is best to keep it out of direct sunlight and only have it out as long as necessary.

When its really hot out, we like to only take out small amounts of the macaroni salads and replenish as needed. It may be a little more work, but it is better to be safe when it comes to mayonnaise based dishes in the heat.

Tips For Keeping Macaroni Salad Cold While Entertaining Outdoors in The Summer

The salad can also be kept on ice by placing the bowl of macaroni salad in a larger bowl of ice.

If the salad cannot be refrigerated while entertaining, keep a cooler by the table to put the salad in while entertaining.

When we are entertaining, sometimes people don’t all want to eat at the same time.  Instead of going in and out of the house with food, we place all the salads in air-tight containers in a cooler and take them out as people want to eat.

Make It A Meal

Easily make this salad a meal by mixing in your favourite protein to the salad. We like to add leftover rotisserie chicken or chopped brisket to make this into a meal.

Storing Leftover Macaroni Salad

Any leftover pasta salad should be stored in the fridge as soon as possible.

If this salad has been out in the heat for longer than one hour, we recommend discarding the salad.

a bowl of Chipotle Ranch Macaroni Salad

Chipotle Ranch Macaroni Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dish


  • 1 package elbow macaroni, 454g/1 pound
  • 2 sweet peppers, diced (yellow/red/orange)
  • ¾ cup black olives, quartered
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup chipotle ranch dressing
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  • Drain pasta and place in a bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes to cool. Stir after ten minutes.
  • In a bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients until well blended.
  • Remove the pasta from the fridge and stir gently.
  • Add peppers, olives, and green onions to cooled pasta,
  • Pour dressing over macaroni and gently stir to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Keyword pasta salad, side dish

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