Sour Cream Cheddar Pasta Salad

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Sour Cream Cheddar Pasta Salad

I have been searching for the perfect sour cream cheddar pasta salad recipe for years. My love of sour cream cheddar pasta salad came about the first time I ate some years ago when a friend shared some with me. I fell in love. I love a good pasta salad don’t you?

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Creamy Sour Cream Cheddar Pasta Salad

At the time I didn’t know that the pasta salad that was shared with me was not homemade. That was until I told the friends daughter I wanted her mother’s recipe and she laughed because her mother was not a good cook and had bought the salad from the store. 

Sour Cream Cheddar Pasta Salad

The next time I came across a sour cream cheddar pasta salad I found it in the deli section at Target. It was good and every once in awhile I would pick up a container and think to myself I have got to find a recipe for this sour cream cheddar pasta salad! 

Well I never found a recipe that looked like the same sour cream cheddar pasta salad I had fallen in love with. So I did what I usually do when I want to make something that I don’t have a recipe for. I made a recipe up myself.

I’ve had very good luck making up my own pasta salad recipes. My Macaroni Salad recipe is famous with family and friends. My two daughters (even the 16 year old) knows how to make the recipe and I hope one day they will pass it down to their kids as Grammy’s Macaroni Salad recipe. 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sour Cream Cheddar Pasta Salad
Prep time
Total time
A creamy sour cream pasta salad. Can be divided.
Recipe type: Pasta Salad
Serves: serves a crowd
  • 1 box Cellentani pasta or pasta of choice
  • ¼ cup finely diced red pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced green pepper
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Boil pasta until done, drain well and rinse with cold water until pasta is cool to touch.
  2. Pour the well drained pasta into a large mixing bowl.
  1. In a small bowl mix the sugar and vinegar until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. In another bowl mix the mayo, sour cream and milk mixing well.
  3. Add the vinegar and sugar to the bowl.
  4. Mix until well combined.
  5. Pour the dressing over the pasta.
  6. Add the shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl.
  7. Stir until the dressing covers all the pasta.
  8. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.


Looking for more Pasta Salad Recipes?


Buttermilk Ranch Pasta Medley Salad 

Bowtie Pasta Medley Salad

Zesty Italian Garden Pasta Salad

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  1. Correen says

    Besides this recipe, which I must try, I really appreciate the larger font you use in your posts.

    • says


      Thank you I hope you enjoy the recipe. Thank you for taking the time to let me know that the larger font is helpful. I hate reading a blog with a smaller font because I can’t see the writing very well myself.

  2. Amy says

    I’m curious before trying this delightful recipe if you, yourself, prefer to use for mayonnaise a sweet dressing such as Miracle Whip or a less sweet mayo dressing such as Hellman’s or Kraft. Eager to try!

    • says

      Amy I use Hellmann’s for most all of my recipes unless noted.I prefer Hellmann’s mayonnaise but Miracle Whip would work well for this recipe also. Next time I make it……… Probably this weekend as we are cooking out for Mother’s Day I will use Miracle Whip and see how it tastes.

  3. Carrie says

    Thanks for the recipe! I have also been looking for a sour cream cheddar macaroni recipe that tastes like the one they sell at the deli at my local giant eagle. Theirs is delicious. I have a party to go to this weekend and I’m going to try your recipe. I think to jazz it up a bit and add some more color to it, I am going to try adding some cooked, crumbled bacon to just a little bit of the salad to see if it goes good with it. If it does, then I’ll add bacon to the whole mix. Fingers crossed.

  4. Taryn says

    I guess I am the only person to have actually made this recipe before making a comment. I do not know how this is five star rated without actual reviews – anyway – too much cheese! The sharp cheddar completely over powered this salad. Also – one box of pasta is not specific enough – I used one – one pound box and the amount of cheese completely ruined the dish.

  5. Eileen says

    I, too, love the sour cream and cheddar mac salad. First had it at my local supermarket, Stop & Shop….I was disappointed when they discontinued it. I now live in Florida and found it again at Walmart… my Target doesn’t have the supermarket. Anyway, it’s getting expensive..I mean, it’s only pasta salad….so, I finally decided to make my own. After Googling, your site is the only one that came up with your blog post and the recipe.
    But Google does bring up the company who makes it wholesale and sells it to retailers.…sure enough, found it and I found the ingredients. The recipe has diced red peppers, shredded carrots ( I used the shredded Matchstick carrots that you find over by the packaged coleslaw mix ) matchsticks and tiny diced celery (I really dislike celery, so I dice it tiny), scallions and the cheddar cheese (I used sharp cheddar cut into longish, rectangular dice, and even used the orange cheddar, something I don’t normally use, but this white salad looks better with some more color. Plus the pasta with the dressing.

    It also has 2 ingredients that surprised me, but after making this yesterday, I would never skip them. My Sour Cream Mac and Cheddar Salad tasted exactly like theirs. It has buttermilk powder and cheese powder…neither of which I had. And, I knew that even if my Publix supermarket sold buttermilk and cheese powders, they would, undoubtedly, be ridiculously expensive.

    So, I knew that Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix in the package is made up of buttermilk powder. And because the salad isn’t orange colored, I knew it had to be white cheddar cheese powder. Cost me 1.50 for a box of organic white cheddar mac and cheese (with the cutest, teeniest, tiny pasta shells I’ve ever seen) and I bought one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch. I used about 2 tsp. of each. The recipe also has dehydrated onion..I just used onion powder. If you go to the site and click on products>salads>macaroni salads you will see it listed and when you click on Sour Cream Mac and Cheddar you will see a picture of it.. exactly as it appears in the supermarket.

    I was glad to have found your post because I used it for the proportions for the mayo, sour cream and the vinegar, sugar and milk. Although, I ended up using more milk…. just to thin it enough to get the right consistency. Thanks! I hope that you will try it with the buttermilk powder (Ranch Dressing) and the White Cheddar Cheese Powder!

    Also, I’m not sure you even realize it, but you list all the added ingredients such as the peppers and celery and then you didn’t even mention them in the instructions part of the recipe.


    • says


      I just found your comment! I’m glad my recipe could help you recreate your own Sour Cream Cheddar Pasta salad. What great tips! I had no idea buttermilk came in a powder. Next time I make it I will try your tips and see how it turns out. Sounds right on the money!

    • Kim says

      OMG the buttermilk and cheese powder was what was missing. I know the sour cream and cheddar macaroni salad you are talking about and the store by me stopped carrying it too. I tried several recipes which were good but not the same. This is the recipe with your powdered additions. Thanks so much for your comment!!!

        • Cindy says

          FYI, Saco, a Wisconsin company makes a cultured buttermilk powder. Living in Minnesota, it is to be found in almost all the grocery stores in the baking aisle. If your store doesn’t carry it, I know they have it at Amazon. (But, then again, they have one of everything there.) They also produce a very good cocoa powder – suitable for baking and making old fashioned hot cocoa.

          We have made a similar salad in my family for years. We include 1 cup minced sweet onion and 1/2 cup minced carrot with the celery & bell peppers. However, we have not used the sour cream in the dressing. That is something I intend to try ASAP.

          For the poster who felt the sharp cheddar overwhelmed the salad, she should try using a medium or mild cheddar instead.

          • says


            Thanks for the tips. Good idea on using medium or mild cheddar. I actually like the sharp cheddar but for someone who might think the sharp cheddar is overwhelming then medium or mild should help!Thanks for stopping by!

  6. says

    I was so very excited to find this recipe, I too have not been able to purchase this salad at my local giant eagle. I made it today, followed the directions as directed….very disappointed, nothing like the store bought salad. If I try it again I will use some of the tips from the other comments. Very bummed out……

    • says

      Hi Kathleen

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe. Not sure if you noticed but I said my recipes was like the recipe from Target. I’ve never been to a Giant Eagle so I have no clue what they’re recipe might taste like. We do not have them here.