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Green Chili & Cheddar Macaroni Salad

Growing up, camping isn’t something the Ingersols did a lot of…or ever. In fact, I don’t think I had ever slept in a tent until I was an adult. But it turns out I really love being outside, enjoying the elements.

There’s probably no better state to enjoy the great outdoors than Colorado. Three years ago, Craig and I went camping with a group of friends and got hooked on the summer Colorado camping trip.

Craig’s brother, Mark, and his girlfriend, Leah, live in Winter Park. So last year, we planned a family camping trip with them and Craig’s other brother, Tom, at the end of the summer. We also invited a few friends who reside in the Rocky Mountain state. We camped at Green Mountain Reservoir, a spot that Craig and I hadn’t been before.

After surviving a brief but tempestuous thunderstorm as soon as we set up camp, we were given the picturesque view of a rainbow reflecting off the reservoir.

One of the coolest things I’ve ever witnessed was watching the moonrise over the mountain tops as we sat around a campfire.

(photo cred: Brandon Heller)

On Saturday, we rented a pontoon boat and spent the day cruising the lake.

Maude served as our trusty lifeguard!

Saturday night Craig and I were on dinner duty. Earlier in the week we had smoked a pork roast for pulled pork, had frozen it, and carted the pork in a cooler for our meal. I wanted to bring a pasta salad of some sort. Craig loves traditional pasta salad, but I had made that for our previous camping trips and wanted to bring something a little different. The food I most associate with Colorado is the green chili. So when I was racking my brain for ideas for a side dish to bring camping, it naturally had to include green chilies. I threw this recipe together, lied to Craig about it containing mayo, and it seemed to be enjoyed by all. Hope you enjoy it too!

I cooked the macaroni pasta according to the direction on the package. While that is cooking, I nuked some whipped cream cheese for 30 seconds. I had Greek whipped cream cheese, but regular whipped cream cheese works fine or even regular cream cheese should too. Then I whisked in the mayo, sour cream, and honey.

I added in the spices, cilantro,  chopped green onions, chopped olives, green chilies and cheddar cheese.

Then I added my macaroni to the bowl after the pasta had cooled, but you could toss it in warm.

I mixed everything well and stored in the fridge for at least an hour to get cold. Keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.

This would make a the perfect side to go with last week’s Insta-Pot Pulled Pork.

Green Chili & Cheddar Macaroni Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 7 minutes  Yields: 15 servings, Serving Size : 1/2 cup
WW Totals: 7 Freestyle Points


2 cups of dry macaroni, prepared according to package directions

7 oz can of green chilies

1 ¼ cup of light mayonnaise

¼ cup of light sour cream

1 tablespoon honey

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp of chili powder

½ tsp of garlic powder

¼ tsp of salt

1 tbsp chopped cilantro, dried or fresh

¼ cup green onions

¼ cup of chopped olives (I used green salad olives)

3/4 cup of whipped cream cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to directions on box. As pasta cooks, microwave whipped cream cheese for 30 seconds in a large bowl, or use room temperature cream cheese. Whisk mayonnaise, sour cream and honey in bowl.
  2. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, cilantro, green onions, olives, green chilies and cheddar to bowl and mix.
  3. Once drained, add macaroni to the bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Keep cold until ready to serve.

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