Brazilian Pasta Salad with Mayo

This Pasta Salad with Mayo is a classic Brazilian side dish that’s a great recipe to bring along for a barbecue. Made with fusili pasta, peas, corn, diced ham and more, this flavor-packed pasta dish is perfect for sharing. No matter what you make Brazilian Pasta Salad for, this easy recipe is sure to add pops of flavor and a familiar, yet slightly different twist to a classic many people already know and love.

Brazilian pasta salad in a bowl, dressed with celery leaves

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Oi gente!

Brazilian Pasta Salad is another classic recipe that I just had to share with you. We love to bring this to barbecues and holiday parties because this pasta salad feeds a crowd and is great for sharing.

We call this dish “macarronese” in Portuguese, which is a combination of the words macarrao (pasta) and maionese (mayonnaise). And it is something every Brazilian knows and has their own version of.

What I love about this recipe is how customizable it is. You can add the ingredients you like, leave out what you don’t have and as long as you follow the instructions on the timing of the dressing, you’re left with a delicious pasta salad with mayo!

I hope you like this Brazilian pasta salad as much as we do!

Bom Apetite!

More Summer Side Dish Recipes: Chimichurri Salad / Salpicão de Frango – Brazilian Chicken Salad / Brazilian Potato Salad / Watermelon Salad Recipe

Brazilian Pasta Salad Ingredients

I know, I know. This is a lengthy list of ingredients, but this pasta salad recipe is totally worth it. Additionally, these ingredients aren’t challenging to find, either.

  • Fusili pasta – or any other short pasta you like or have around, as long as it has some texture to help the dressing and the mayo stick to it.
  • Frozen peas – I prefer frozen to canned because the frozen ones have better color and hold their shape better.
  • Corn – I use either fresh that I cut off the cob or frozen. Canned works, too, if you’re looking for the fastest option available.
  • Diced ham – I get a couple of ham steaks and dice them ‘cos that’s the easiest thing for me, but you can also work with a whole ham or even the same amount of deli ham slices.
  • Fresh chives – I love chives, but most other fresh herbs can work in this recipe, as well. I also use green onions and sometimes parsley.
  • Green olives – Make sure you’re using pickled olives, not the ones that come in water. You can also use Kalamata or any other vinegar-y olives if you like these more.
  • Olive juice – You know, the pickle-y, brine-y, vinegar-y stuff the olives float in when in the jar – don’t go to the store and ask for a bottle of olive juice like you would orange juice, haha.
  • Mayonnaise – Use any kind of mayo you like and have on hand… and as much or as little you like. The recipe calls for 1 cup, which is on the conservative side. If you like more, add more!
  • Shredded carrots – You can purchase the pre-shredded kind from the store or shred them home.
  • Diced onion
  • Diced celery
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard

How to Make Brazilian Pasta Salad With Mayo

Make the dressing. In a bowl or a mason jar, mix the Dijon mustard, olive oil, white wine vinegar and olive juice. Set it aside.

Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente. We want the pasta to have some texture for the pasta salad, so be careful not to overcook it.

Season while hot. Ring the bells!!!! This is THE big secret to the best pasta salad! After you drain the pasta, dump the pasta into a large bowl and add in the diced onions, and the dressing while the pasta is still warm. This will do two things. One, it’ll “cook” the onion with the pasta’s residual heat. Two, it’ll allow the pasta to soak in all those delicious flavors.

Let it cool. This is the other big secret. While you need to season the pasta when it’s hot, you need to make sure the seasoned pasta cools before you add anything else. This will ensure you’re not cooking any other ingredients with the residual heat, especially the mayo! (It makes for a nasty taste and weird texture.) So let it cool all the way on the counter top, or even the fridge as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Add remaining ingredients. When the pasta is cooled, mix in the remaining ingredients, and stir until combined.

Last but not least, add the mayo—however much you like. I use one cup of mayonnaise, which is sort of on the low side of how much you could add to a pasta salad with mayo. So if you like your pasta salad with more, add more to your taste.

Refrigerate the Brazilian Pasta Salad at least two hours before serving. This helps all the flavors incorporate.

A spoonful of Brazilian Pasta Salad with Mayo

Brazilian Kitchen Abroad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

What to serve with pasta salad with mayo

I love Pasta Salad with Mayo because it’s great for a summer barbecue side dish, picnics, potlucks… and even holiday gatherings! In fact, this is a great recipe to use up any leftover holiday ham, too!

Here are some of my favorite grilling recipes that would go great with Brazilian Pasta Salad.

And don’t forget the Batata palha potato sticks! You heard it right. This might sound super strange to a lot of people, but the Brazilians in your life will understand.

We love to sprinkle in some batata palha on pretty much anything—at least I know I do!—and I can confirm it adds a delicious crunch to this pasta salad if added just before eating.

Sprinkling Brazilian pasta salad with mayo with batata palha potato sticks

Other pasta dishes you’ll love

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5 from 1 vote

Brazilian Pasta Salad with Mayo

This Pasta Salad with Mayo is a classic Brazilian side dish that's a great recipe to bring along for a barbecue. Made with fusili pasta, peas, corn, diced ham and more, this flavor-packed pasta dish is perfect for sharing. No matter what you make Brazilian Pasta Salad for, this easy recipe is sure to add pops of flavor and a familiar, yet slightly different twist to a classic many people already know and love.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 347kcal
Author: Aline Shaw

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients:

  • 16 oz package of fusili pasta uncooked
  • 2 cups of shredded carrots from about 2 carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
  • 3 cups diced ham about 2x 8oz ham steaks
  • 1 cup green olives, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, small dice 1/2 cup
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh chives, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, small dice from about 2 celery stalks
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise more or less, depending on how you like it

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive juice

Instructions

Make the Dressing:

  • Add all the dressing ingredients to a small bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.

Make the Pasta Salad:

  • Cook the pasta to al dente, according package instructions.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain all the water, and place the cooked pasta in a large bowl.
  • While the pasta is still warm, add the diced onions and the dressing. Gently stir to combine, and set aside to allow pasta to cool completely before moving on to the next step. (This is to make sure the mayonnaise and the other ingredients don't cook with the residual heat of the pasta).
  • When the pasta has cooled, add in the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Bom Apetite!

    Did you make this recipe? Show me how it turned out! Snap a photo and share with me on Instagram tagging @aline_shaw!

    Nutrition

    Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 877mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4558IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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