Pimento Pasta Salad

12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Pimento Pasta Salad is a delicious take on a classic Macaroni Salad made with elbow macaroni, pimento peppers, cheddar, mayo and chives. 

Pimento Pasta Salad is a quirky take on my classic Macaroni Salad, and it is the perfect side dish served along side your favorite summer foods like Crispy Fried Chicken and Easy Pulled Pork.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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:



  • 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.Pimento Macaroni Salad on white plate

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    Pimento Pasta Salad

    Pimento Pasta Salad is a delicious take on a classic Macaroni Salad made with elbow macaroni, pimento peppers, cheddar, mayo and chives. 
    Yield 12 Servings
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 15 minutes
    Course Side Dish
    Cuisine American
    Author Sabrina Snyder


    • 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.


    Calories: 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

    Pasta Salad with Pimento Peppers

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I do not like mayo, and so want to try this. Suggestion as to a substitute for the mayo? I was raised on miracle whip…and anything with a mayo taste even to this day I cannot stand unless is covered in spices and ruins the taste of the item. I’m tired of making recipes I cannot eat. So any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time and all you have accomplished to bring us these wonderful recipes.

    1. Do you like Greek yogurt? Greek yogurt is a good substitute plus it’s healthy. Something I substitute mayo for plain Greek yogurt in my macaroni salad. Hope this helps!

  2. I made this today for my husband and me! It is delicious! I added some green pepper and green onions for a little texture and crunch! Very easy recipe to make and tastes great!

  3. What an incredible recipe! This has quickly become a family favorite in our home; can’t wait to make it again! Delicious!

  4. OMG, I wish that I thought of this, especially since I make “Pimento Cheese Spread” often. I first had it, and fell in love with it, when we were visiting relatives in Atlanta, GA. It originated down south, everyone makes it (with their own little twist at times) to spread on crackers, or to make party sandwiches. I like to make “Pimento Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches”, by scooping a generous amount of pimento cheese on Oatmeal Bread, lightly spreading the outside of both slices of bread with a good quality mayo (this makes the grilled sandwich crispy) and browning the sandwich in a cast iron skillet. I’m definitely going to make your lovely “Pimento Cheese Macaroni Salad” this coming weekend, to bring to a cookout. Thanks, Sabrina 🙂

  5. Pimento Pasta Salad
    comments in opening indicates chives. In the recipe detail cayenne pepper is call for but no chives.


    1. My apologies for any confusion Jim. The chives are meant to be a garnish, but they aren’t crucial to the recipe. 🙂