Sonora style macaroni salad

chipotleMexican cremacorn

Sonora Style Macaroni Salad

Sonora Style Macaroni Salad

Sopa Fría

Recipe Yield

6 to 8 servings

Cooking time

25 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.56 from 9 votes


  • 1 pound uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 1 8-ounce jar roasted red peppers drained
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from sweet chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces thick cut ham
  • 2-3 ears fresh corn husked
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 1/2 cup muenster cheese or your favorite cheese, diced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced

To Prepare

  • Bring salted water to a boil over high heat in a large pot. Add macaroni noodles and cook according to package instructions, adding in the peas in the last minute of cooking. Drain the macaroni and peas into a colander and rinse with cold water until cooled.
  • Add the roasted peppers, mayonnaise, crema, chipotle sauce, yellow mustard, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until very smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, set aside.
  • Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Add the ham and corn to the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing and flipping occasionally, until the ham is browned on all sides and the corn starts to char. Remove the ham and corn from the grill. Chop the ham into 1/2-inch cubes and cut the corn from the cob. Transfer the corn and ham into the mayonnaise mixture. Add in the cooked macaroni and peas, along with the onion, celery, cheese and scallions. Toss everything together until coated. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


72comments inSonora Style Macaroni Salad

  1. Bettye

    May 22

    Can’t wait to try the Sonora Style Macaroni Salad🥰. Enjoy you sharing your love of cooking and your heritage with us!!!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 22

      Thanks so much Bettye, un abrazo!

  2. Dan

    Feb 29

    Hi Pati,
    Is there a substitute for the sweet chipotles?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 29

      You can use the sauce of regular chipotles in adobo, just make sure to add one tablespoon at a time and check for spiciness to your taste 🙂

  3. Vctor M Lopez

    Feb 28

    Hola, Ms Jinic,

    Esta receta es para cuantas personas aproximadamente?. Me gustaría hacerla como para 30 personas de mi iglesia.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 29

      Esta receta es como para 8 personas aproximadamente Vctor, asi que tendrias que multiplicar los ingredientes x 4 🙂

  4. TJ

    Sep 06

    Hi Pati,
    This was absolutely delicious. Two of us finished it off in a day and a half. I was not able to find the La Costena Sweet Chipotles locally, but found some from a company called San Marcos it is a 7.5 ounce can and says New and Sweet Chipotles, they are fun in that they have onion and sliced carrots that I diced small and added to the salad. I am still going to keep looking for the La Costena as I would still like to try them too. Aside from how yummy this is, I was really surprised to find that it did not really need any extra dressing added, even after sitting overnight. I always have to make extra dressing for our other favorite macaroni salad, but did not need to with your recipe. Next to try Sanborn’s Swiss Chicken Enchiladas and Corn, Cheese and Chile Verde Tamales. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and we are anxiously awaiting the new season.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 20

      So happy to read this TJ, this salad is truly one of my favorite recipes!

  5. Char B

    May 31

    Just made this for a party we will attend tomorrow. It’s so good. I know everyone will love it. Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 25

      My pleasure Char, hope everyone enjoyed it!

  6. Christine R.

    Sep 03

    Hi Pati,

    I really want to make this salad but I cannot find sweet Chipoltes in Adobo sauce anywhere. I have been on Amazon and all the grocery stores I have available. I live in Canada and sometimes we are limited to ingredients especially in a smaller community. Can you suggest something else I could use. I appreciate your help.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 05

      I know Christine, sometimes is hard to find them. I love the ones from La Costena, maybe you can try on their website

    2. TR

      Dec 09

      Superstores or Extra Foods stock a good selection of La Costena products in Canada.

      1. Pati Jinich

        Jan 02

        Awesome, thanks for sharing this info TR, greetings!

  7. Liz W.

    Jun 26

    Hi Pati,
    This was delicious! Perfect for the 90-degree weather we’ve been having. One problem, though – even cutting the recipe in half, it still made a huge amount. I think we’ll be eating leftovers for a few days.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 11

      Left overs of something you like are always a good thing, right?

  8. Christine Bentsen

    Jun 07

    Hi Pati ! The salad calls for sweet Chipotle sauce. I’ve never seen or noticed sweet only regular is there a difference. I live in San Antonio and shouldn’t have any problem finding it.I just want to be clear on what I m looking for. Thank you so much for your fabulous recipes 😀

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 13

      Yes, sweet chipotles are a thing! And they are not just sweeter that regular ones, they are also milder and delicious. Try looking for those from La Costena, my favorites!

  9. Teresa Atencio

    May 31

    The salad was delicious I didn’t put to much of the chipotle sauce in case was to spicy. We ate it cold and my daughter loved, she served herself twice 🙌😁

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 08

      So happy to hear you guys enjoy the salad, yay Teresa!

  10. Jessica

    May 06

    Hi Pati, when you say Mexican crema do you mean table cream or sour cream? Thanks! And I love all of your recipes and make them all of the time.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 13

      Honestly, none because Mexican Crema is very unique. If you cannot find it, then substitute with sour cream 😉

  11. Thomas Larsen

    May 01

    How long last in refrigerator

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 15

      It has mayonnaise and crema Thomas, so give it 3 to 4 days at most 🙂

  12. Julia b

    Apr 30

    Thank you for all that you do. We love your show. We love your recipes and especially when you cook with your boys. It’s import to involve the kids in the kitchen. My son loves to cook too. I have made several things of yours and they all have been delicious. I can’t wait to make this salad!! Thank you!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 10

      Thanks to you for so much kindness Julia!

  13. Christina

    Apr 10

    Pati, I love how you cook! My New Mexican grandmother taught me to cook. I think she would have loved this salad. But, I’m driving myself crazy looking for “sweet” chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. All I’m finding are the usual brands thst all mention their product has some sweetness but LaCostena nor any other brands are marketing anything actually called “sweet”.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 12

      Hola Christina, you can find the sweet chipotles from la Costena in the big national chain grocery stores such as Walmart and Kroger; I found mine in the Mega Mart close to my house 🙂 I am sure you can look them up online too, Amazon should have some options. Good luck!

      1. Reva Katz

        Jan 31

        Please please can you share the label because only finding la Costena “chipotle in adobo” with no mention of “sweet” anywhere. I live in Alaska and usually can order an ingredient online or get it special-order, but not this. Or can I make a reasonable facsimile at home by adding piloncillo and cooking a bit? My husband is dying to try this recipe!

        1. Pati Jinich

          Feb 01

          Hey Reva, I just did a quick search and see that they have the Sweet Chipotles availabe in instacart here or at Walmart here Enjoy!

  14. Elayne Greenberg

    Sep 22

    Two suggestions: It would be great to include a picture of the dish when printing out the recipe.
    We diabetics live and die by the nutrient counts in recipes. Please consider added these at the end of the recipes.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 05

      Thanks so much for your suggestion Elayne, passing it on to my team.

  15. Brad Watson

    Sep 12

    Hola Pati! Tried this salad and it is a winner. My husband’s new favorite.
    One question though – is 2 ounces of ham a typo? I used a LOT more than that.
    Love your show!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 04

      Hola Brad! So glad you guys enjoy the salad; by all means add as much ham as you like 😉

  16. Woody Mosgers

    Sep 09


    I love your shows especially the more recent ones but I have take exception to what’s on the shows and what shows up in the recipe page. The lovely thick slices of ham that you used twice in the show for the salad must weigh in at 6-8 oz each yet the recipe only calls for 2 oz which would get lost in the salad. Quite a bad typo.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 03

      Thanks for pointing this out Woody, I’ll double check the recipe 🙂

  17. Marylou Sanchez

    Aug 22

    I would like to make this salad
    But can’t find sweet chipotle in adobo
    Can you give a brand name

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 18

      My favorites are from La Costena, try your local Walmart or hispanic market Marylou 🙂

  18. Isela

    Jul 29

    Patti, I love your show, I love your family! The way you passed down the love of cooking simply by including your kids, in the cooking process is beautiful! I am so glad yooour cooking is on TV! Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 11

      Thanks to you for tuning and and for your kindness Isela 😉

  19. Jill bonilla

    Jul 03

    Making this amazing salad for 4th of july!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 04

      Yay, enjoy Jill!

  20. Hilda

    May 12

    Great recipe!! My daughter commented “this macaroni salad is dangerous” as she served herself a second helping. Found all ingredients except for the sweet chipotles in adobo so added 2 traditional chipotle peppers from a can and that was fine. This recipe will definitely be our contribution for any family gathering. Thank you Pati for sharing you love of Mexican cooking and history with us!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 23

      Dangerous is a compliment I will take anytime when it comes to my food haha, thanks Hilda! Hugs to you and your daughter 🙂

  21. Marlene

    Apr 21

    I found all of the ingredients and made this today. It’s delicious, with just the right amount of heat from the chipotles. We’re having it as a complete meal tonight but I’m anxious to serve it with bbq fare this summer. At times I will omit the ham for a vegetarian family member. Thanks for another wonderful recipe Pati!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 25

      So glad you liked it Marlene, the vegetarian version will be yummy as well 🙂

  22. Karen Gradington

    Apr 18

    Pati I just love your show and your excitement about your cooking!!! I am going to try your Sonoran Macaroni salad
    Thank you so much!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 25

      Thanks for your kindness Karen, enjoy the Salad 🙂

  23. Nicole

    Feb 07

    Hi, Pati!
    I watch you all the time on PBS and decided to try this pasta salad for the Superbowl. I really love the mix of flavors and how hearty it is. I will make this again and again.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      So happy you liked this pasta Nicole, gracias!

  24. Maria M

    Jan 27

    Pati, my oldest daughter and i made this the other day and it literally brought tears to my eyes because it reminded me so much of the macaroni salad my mother made for me as a child. She passed last summer and her loss was very difficult for all of us. But just eating that macaroni salad brought back happy memories. Thank you for that.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Gracias Maria for your very sweet message, so glad this recipe brought back the memories of your mom’s kitchen. Un abrazo!

  25. Tim

    Jan 16

    This is a winner! A new favorite. ¡Bien hecho! Pati

  26. Ryan

    Jan 08

    Just saw your episode, this salad looks delicious. Im gonna add some diced seranno chilies to spice it up!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 17

      The salad has already a bit of spice because of the chipotle sauce Ryan, but of course some serranos will be yummy!

  27. Rica

    Jan 05

    I don’t like mayonnaise what can I substitute it with????

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 05

      Hi Rica, you may want to try cottage cheese, olive oil or maybe some avocado crema, good luck!

    2. mts

      Jan 11

      I have found avocado mayonnaise has gotten me past that issue.

  28. Tom

    Dec 11

    Hello Pati,
    I have tried to find those sweet chipotles in adobo and have even looked for them in the brand you mentioned in comments below, the “La Costena” brand. But I can not find any that are specially marked as “sweet chipotles in adobo.” The only ones I find are marked in the usual way, as plain old “chipotles in adobo”, instead of labeled as a sweet kind. I searched almost everywhere else on internet I could think and could not find them.
    Are the ones which you use in the recipe actually labeled as “sweet chipotles” on the packaging?
    Thank you for your wonderful new season.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 11

      Just go ahead and use traditional chipotles in adobo Tom, this pasta salad will be equally delicious 😉

  29. Darren

    Nov 16

    I will definitely be trying this, the ingredients are so interesting!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 22

      Thanks so much Darren, hope you like it 🙂

  30. T

    Nov 02

    Hi Pati,
    This sounds really yummy, but I am wondering about the 2 Tablespoons of sauce from sweet chipotles in adobo. I have not had any luck finding sweet chipotles in adobo, can you recommend a brand. Thank you for all the great recipes, techniques and information you share, we have liked/enjoyed every recipe we tried.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 03

      Thanks so much for reaching out T. My favorite brand is La Costena, you can find it online 😉

      1. T

        Nov 03

        Thank you for your reply and information. I actually have that brand on the list for my next mexgrocer order. Thank you again. Looking forward to the next cookbook. You are so awesome!


    Oct 29

    Where do you find sweet chipotles in adobo?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 03

      In Latin or Hispanic Markets Deborah, also you can try online from La Costena 😉

  32. Robert Macias

    Oct 29

    Now that looks good.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 03

      It is good Robert, hope you will give it a try 😉

    2. Aidee Navarrete

      Dec 23

      This salad is simply delicious. The kids love it and I have used it in our family get togethers and everyone loves it. Thank you very much Pati!

  33. Anirudh

    Oct 29

    As a vegetarian, what can I use instead of ham?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 03

      Just leave the ham out Anirudh, it will be equally delicious 😉

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