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Creamy Macaroni Salad with Corn and Basil

Creamy Macaroni Salad with Corn and Basil

Creamy Macaroni Salad with fresh corn, tomatoes, avocado, and basil tossed in a creamy paprika dressing. Enjoy this easy macaroni salad recipe for picnics, potlucks, and summer cookouts.
Course Salad/Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 people
Calories 360kcal


  • Large stockpot or Dutch oven
  • Mixing bowls


  • 12 oz. dry pasta of choice (such as elbows or shellbows)
  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise (I use avocado oil mayo)
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (sub white wine vinegar)
  • ¾ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1 small shallot, very thinly sliced (about 3 to 4 Tbsp.)
  • 2 ears of corn, grilled or seared (*see notes below for instructions) sub 1 cup frozen/thawed or canned corn
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 to 2 handfuls baby arugula (optional)
  • cup feta cheese, crumbled (sub goat cheese)


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander, and rinse with cold water.
    While the pasta boils, prepare dressing by combining mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic powder, paprika, and ¼ tsp. each of salt and black pepper in a bowl; whisk to combine. Stir in shallots and let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
  • Combine corn, tomatoes, avocado, and basil in a large bowl. Season with remaining ½ tsp. each of salt and black pepper, and gently toss to combine. Add cooked pasta, dressing, arugula (if using), and feta; toss again to evenly coat. Serve warm, chilled, or closer to room temperature. 


*If using fresh ears of corn, you can either grill them on an outdoor grill, or give them a quick sear in a cast iron skillet. 
  1. Preheat grill or skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Remove husks and silk from corn. Brush each piece with olive oil.
  3. Grill or sear corn for 10 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally, until kernels are lightly charred. Once cool enough to handle, cut corn kernels from cob.
To Make Ahead. Make the dressing and cook the pasta up to 1 day in advance. Toss together up to 4 hours before serving.
To Store. Place leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, toss with a drizzle of olive oil to help rehydrate the noodles.


Serving: 1heaping cup | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 450mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g