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A large white bowl of Cajun Pasta Salad with a gold spoon nearby.

Cajun Pasta Salad

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: BBQ Side Dish, pasta salad, Southern cuisine
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 295kcal
This Cajun Pasta Salad is just so good! Really bursting with flavor. Just a little kick, but nothing too much. Perfect for a Summer BBQ!! Yum! If you make this ahead of time (say several hours early...add a little extra water, as it will thicken as it sits in the fridge).
Print Recipe


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp good-quality olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup shallots finely minced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp Creole/Cajun, or whole grain Dijon mustard see Note
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp hot sauce ie, Tobasco, Crystals
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped, for garnish


  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta and cook for 9 minutes, until tender.
  • Drain in colander and rinse with cool water.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • In a separate medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, to thin slightly.
  • Adjust seasonings, to taste.
  • Add the macaroni and mix.
  • Top with chopped parsley.


If you can't find Creole or Cajun mustard, any kind of whole grain, or spicy, or even just Dijon work just fine. 
You can make the pasta several hours before serving. Just rinse after cooking, then toss with the oil then cover with plastic wrap.  No need to refrigerate.
You can also make the dressing several hours before serving, after mixing together, cover with plastic wrap, and keep in the refrigerator.
Just before serving, mix pasta with dressing and a couple tablespoons of water.  You don't want the dressing too thick.  Best served at room temperature. 


Calories: 295kcal