Creamy Cajun Macaroni Salad

Creamy Cajun macaroni salad gives pasta salad a zesty makeover. With a little kick from a Cajun spice blend, this creamy cold noodle dish isn’t your regular deli side dish. It packs so much flavor, you will want to make this for every picnic!

creamy macaroni salad in a glass bowl on top of a red checkered cloth napkin

Memorial Day weekend is upon us.

And while Memorial Day weekend and summer in general may look a little different this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy classic summer food outside.

And this creamy Cajun macaroni salad is the pasta salad you will want to make all summer long. 

creamy macaroni salad in a glass bowl on top of a red checkered cloth napkin with a wooden spoon and vegetables in the background

What is Cajun Macaroni Salad?

This Cajun macaroni salad recipe is a variation on traditional creamy pasta salad.

Instead of just tossing pasta with onions, celery and mayo the way traditional pasta salads do, this recipe adds a little zest and flair thanks to a blend of spices and seasonings to make it feel like you’re enjoying this dish in New Orleans.

This pasta salad uses Cajun seasoning and smoked paprika for so much flavor.

Plus the dressing isn’t just mayo.

It’s a combo of mayo, yellow mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and a little dash of hot sauce. 

creamy macaroni salad in a glass bowl on top of a red checkered cloth napkin and a wooden spoon taking a scoop out

Is this pasta salad spicy?

I wouldn’t describe this Cajun macaroni salad as spicy.

It’s definitely packed full of flavor though, but the creamy mayo based dressing mellows out any spice.

If you are concerned about the heat level in this dish, you could omit the cayenne pepper and the hot sauce. 

creamy macaroni salad in a glass bowl being shown served in a stack of smaller black bowls

How to Make Cajun Macaroni Salad

Making this macaroni salad is very easy!

To do it, cook your rotini according to the package directions.

When the pasta is done, drain the pasta and run it under cold water until the pasta is cool to the touch.

Once it’s cool, leave it in the colander to let it drain completely.

Meanwhile, mix together the seasoning, salt and pepper, mustard, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and hot sauce in a large bowl until it’s smooth.

Toss it with the noodles, chopped onion and celery. Then serve the salad immediately.

Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

creamy cajun pasta salad shown in two black bowls on top of a red & white checkered cloth napkin

Tips and Tricks

This recipe is pretty easy, but these tips and tricks will make sure it comes out perfectly each time.

  • Use full fat mayonnaise for best results. Avoid mayonnaise dressing or reduced fat mayo.
  • Can’t find rotini? Feel free to substitute in another medium pasta like penne or even elbow macaroni.
  • Taste the dressing after it’s whisked together to make sure it doesn’t need more salt and pepper.

creamy macaroni salad in a glass bowl on top of a red checkered cloth napkin

Other Picnic Salads You Might Love

This Cajun macaroni salad is the perfect way to add flavor to a traditional creamy macaroni salad. Make it as a side dish the next time you barbecue!

Looking for other picnic salad recipes? Try these:

If you’ve tried this CREAMY CAJUN MACARONI SALAD, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

creamy macaroni salad in a glass bowl on top of a red checkered cloth napkin

Creamy Cajun Macaroni Salad

Creamy Cajun macaroni salad gives pasta salad a zesty makeover. With a little kick from a Cajun spice blend, this creamy cold noodle dish isn't your regular deli side dish. It packs so much flavor, you will want to make this for every picnic!
4.34 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch, Pasta, Salad, Side Dish, Side Salad
Cuisine: American, Cajun
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 343kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb rotini pasta
  • 1 cup chopped vidilia onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • chopped fresh parsley leaves optional, for garnish

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Stir in the pasta, and cook according to the package directions.
  • Drain the pasta in a large strainer, and run it under cold water (gently stirring) to stop all of the pasta from continued cooking. Continue until all the pasta's cooled to the touch. Set it aside to drain completely.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, except for the celery and onions. Whisk until smooth. If the mixture's too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water.
  • Season the sauce as needed with additional salt & pepper. Add the pasta, onion, and celery to the pot and toss gently to coat.
  • Serve the macaroni salad immediately, garnished with fresh parsley- if desired.

Notes

Otherwise this pasta salad can be made a head of time, refrigerated until ready to use, and then re-hydrated.
Just add some extra water or milk (only a couple teaspoons) to stir everything back to their preferred creamy consistency.

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 336IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

 

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