Pimento Pasta Salad is a delicious take on a classic Macaroni Salad made with elbow macaroni, pimento peppers, cheddar, mayo and chives.
If you like macaroni salad, both for the taste and for how easy it is to make, then you need to try this recipe. It’s unusual enough to be interesting but familiar enough to be a classic, plus the pimentos play very well off of the taste of the macaroni noodles.
This is a great side dish because it has a short cook time and an even shorter prep time, so you don’t need to spend all day struggling to put it together while your main dish simmers on the stove. Keep in mind that in order to get that great crisp al dente texture to your noodles you should cook them for a minute less than what the package recommends. The firmness of the macaroni is fantastic with the creaminess of the sauce, which is perfect for hot summer days. As far as pasta salad recipes go, this one is a definite win.
Pasta salad is the perfect side dish to bring to a potluck, cookout or summertime BBQ. Just like my recipes for BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad, Easy Pasta Salad and Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta, Pimento Pasta Salad is fresh and delicious. Just be sure you make enough for everyone because people are definitely going to have seconds.
HOW TO MAKE PIMENTO PASTA SALAD
- Cook the pasta one minute shy of the instructions on the box.
- Drain but to not rinse pasta and allow to cool.
- Mix the mayonnaise, pimento peppers, cheddar cheese, cayenne and salt together.
- Add pasta and stir well.
- Garnish with chives and serve.
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VARIATIONS ON PIMENTO PASTA SALAD
- Cheese: You can sprinkle some cheese on top of the Pimento Pasta Salad for a savory garnish that goes really well with the taste of the pimentos. I would recommend trying cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese or, if you want to stick with a theme, Pimento cheese.
- Veggies: Finely chop up some green onions or bell peppers for some delicious add ins that have a zesty Southwestern feel to them. Or, if you want something a little bolder, try chopping up a dill pickle and stirring it into the pasta salad.
- Spices: Sprinkle paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes or black pepper over the top of the pasta salad to add some complexity to the flavor. Just remember that a little goes a long way so start with a smaller amount and add more to taste.
More easy summer side dishes:
- Easy Fruit Salad – a healthy side salad for bbqs.
- Easy Pasta Salad – the best and easiest pasta salad with homemade or bottled dressing.
- Cole Slaw – the easiest and best classic cole slaw.
- Baked Mac and Cheese – you will LOVE this super cheesy mac and cheese.
- Southern Baked Beans – Award Winning! BBQ Competition level award winning if I do say so myself!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PIMENTO PASTA SALAD
- Grilled Chicken: An easy main dish, you can serve it along side or chop it up and add it to the pasta salad.
- Roast Chicken: Another easy chicken option!
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin: The perfect summer grilling option!
HOW LONG IS PIMENTO PASTA SALAD GOOD?
- Serve: You shouldn’t leave Pimento Pasta Salad out for more than 2 hours at room temperature, less at hotter temperatures, due to the mayonnaise in it.
- Store: You can refrigerate pasta salad for up to 3 days before it goes bad. Make sure that you keep it in an airtight container like a sealable bag or plastic wrap.
- Freeze: It’s not a good idea to freeze any pasta salad that has mayo in it because it does not thaw out well and can go bad fairly easily.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 12 ounces pimento peppers , drained
- 2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Cook the elbow macaroni 1 minute shy of the directions on the box then drain (don't rinse) and let cool for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl mix the pimento peppers, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper and kosher salt well then add in the pasta and toss until combined.
NutritionCalories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 412IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 1mg