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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