Creamy Macaroni Salad With Peas & Ham (Instant Pot, Stovetop)

This classic creamy macaroni salad with peas, ham and corn is perfect for any time of the year but especially in summer. In this recipe, we show you how to make the macaroni, peas and corn in the Instant Pot, speeding up the time and saving you from using the hot stove. You can, of course, use your stovetop to prepare those ingredients. The rest is crunchy veggies, creamy mayonnaise dressing and some fresh herbs to seal the deal. A vegetarian option is provided. Enjoy and don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave your comments below.

A macaroni salad is a cold pasta salad usually made with mayonnaise dressing and served as a side dish to barbecued meat, fried chicken or as part of a picnic spread.  Like coleslaw or potato salad, creamy macaroni salad is a favorite not just in America but around the world.

This summer classic is usually made with straight or elbow macaroni pasta, creamy mayonnaise dressing and a variety of diced vegetables such as red onions, peppers, celery, peas or whatever else you have on hand. Some versions are made with cheese or egg, and some have diced ham, chicken, tuna or shrimp for added protein. 

Our Instant Pot version of a macaroni salad uses small pasta tubes, frozen peas and fresh corn, which are cooked together in the pressure cooker. You can also cook these on the stove. Both methods can be done ahead of time as you can easily store cooled pasta and vegetables in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.


Instant Pot Macaroni Salad


You will find the full list of ingredients, instructions and nutritional breakdown fr this macaroni salad in the recipe card below. Here is a quick video for how to make this recipe using the Instant Pot.

Once you have cooked macaroni pasta, peas and corn (you can also use canned peas or corn here), combine them in a large mixing bowl with other ingredients. We are using low-fat mayonnaise and a little Greek yogurt to keep this salad a little lighter and healthier. You can omit the ham or replace it with another type of vegetable for a vegetarian version. 

How to make macaroni salad with ham, peas and corn


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Creamy Macaroni Salad (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

Creamy Macaroni Salad With Peas & Ham

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American


Creamy and delicious macaroni salad with peas, corn and ham is perfect for picnics, barbecues or as a side dish at any gathering. It’s also great as a light and quick dinner and leftovers work well in a lunchbox.



To cook 
1.5 cup dry macaroni pasta

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 litre water (45 cups)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

For the rest of the salad
1/2 cup diced Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup diced ham

1 cup diced sweet peppers (any color)

12 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or dill

1/3 cup red onion

1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1.5 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise (full-fat is also fine)

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (unsweetened)


  • Add the macaroni pasta, peas and corn to the pot together with salt, water and a splash of olive oil. 
  • Stir through, pop and lock the lid, making sure the top valve is set to Sealing. Press Manual/Pressure Cook and set to 1 minute at HIGH pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and the timer will kick in. Allow 4-5 minutes for natural release, the use the quick release method to let off the remaining pressure. 
  • Open the lid, stir the pasta and strain through a sieve. Set aside to cool while you prepare the other salad ingredients. 
  • Warning: When cooking pasta under pressure, a little foam forms in the liquid; when you quick release the pressure, hold a towel just a bit higher than the valve to catch any squirting foam, which will stop after 20 seconds or so. This is normal with the Instant Pot, simply make sure to wash the lid and the valve once you’re finished. 
  • Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cooled pasta, peas and corn and stir through until everything is well coated. Serve in a large bowl or platter with a few fresh herbs on top.


Stovetop: Cook the macaroni pasta as per packet instructions and make sure to not overcook it, al dente is perfect for salads. You can throw in frozen peas and fresh corn together with the cooking pasta in the last couple of minutes. Strain and cool in the sieve before adding to the salad.


  • Serving Size: 1 heaped cup
  • Calories: 220
  • Sugar: 4.5 g
  • Sodium: 523.7 mg
  • Fat: 8.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.6 g
  • Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Protein: 9.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 19.1 mg


Creamy Macaroni Salad (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

Instant Pot Recipes
By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious Instant Pot recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

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