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FAVORITE VEGAN MACARONI SALAD

This is a crowd-pleasing Vegan Macaroni Salad recipe loaded with colorful veggies and tossed in a classic creamy sauce that’s quick, easy and a perfect pasta salad for summer potlucks and parties! 

top down view of easy vegan macaroni salad in a glass bowl.

It has been ages since I’ve had macaroni salad and this vegan version did not disappoint in the least! In fact, once you start eating it, you can’t stop!

This is pretty much the ultimate vegan macaroni salad and my new favorite bring along classic side dish for summer picnics and BBQ’s.

I love that this recipe can easily be customized and uses lots of fresh ingredients. The dressing is creamy, silky and perfectly seasoned and flavorful.

So without further ado, let’s make something worth eating and repeating!

top down view of creamy vegan macaroni salad dressing freshly mixed in a measuring cup.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, tender pasta is tossed with a variety of colorful veggies, herbs and creamy dressing for a classic macaroni salad everyone will love!

Here is everything you need:

  • Elbow pasta – switch it up using your favorite such as short macaroni, penne, shells, etc.
  • Red onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Peas – fresh or frozen
  • Dill – fresh is best, but half the amount of dried is ok too
  • Vegan mayo
  • Apple cider vinegar – can sub with fresh lemon juice
  • Dijon
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Salt & pepper

What Other Add-ins Can I Use?

I love that macaroni salad is so easily customizable. You can add in whatever you like to suit your taste or use whatever you have on hand.

Some other optional add-ins to mix and match include:

I only use a handful of these at at time. But you can see there are many ways to customize macaroni salad making it perfect for you!

Looking To Cut The Mayo?

Instead of using all mayo, you can use half plain vegan yogurt and half mayo. Or you can try using half vegan sour cream and half mayo. This would also be delicious with a tahini base, using 1/3 cup tahini mixed with 1/3 cup water, adding more water and tahini as needed. But I do love the vegan mayo the best since that is what helps keep this macaroni salad nice and ultra creamy.

top down view of ingredients to make vegan macaroni salad in a glass bowl with creamy dressing being poured overtop.

How To Make Vegan Macaroni Salad

Making macaroni salad only requires a few simple steps.

  • Boil the pasta. Start by boiling your elbow macaroni noodles until they are al dente. Quickly drain the noodles and run cool water over them to keep them from cooking any further.
  • Prep the produce. While the pasta is cooking, prep the produce and whisk together the creamy sauce.
  • Assemble: In a mixing bowl, or pot you cooked the pasta, add the pasta, veggies and dill, pour the creamy sauce overtop and toss to coat. Keep the salad chilled until ready to serve.

top down view of easy vegan macaroni salad in a glass bowl.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container.
  • Make ahead: Macaroni salad is great made ahead and tastes even better the second day, once the flavors have had a chance to blend together. Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to give a good stir before serving.

Serving Suggestions

This vegan macaroni salad has a creamy, fresh and tangy flavor, which makes them perfect for pairing with a variety of mains courses or side dishes.

A few of my favorite options are:

side angle view of vegan macaroni salad in a glass bowl.

More Vegan Side Recipes You’ll Love

top down view of a serving of creamy vegan macaroni salad in a wooden plate.

If you try this macaroni salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

VEGAN MACARONI SALAD

This easy macaroni salad is loaded with veggies and tossed in a delicious creamy sauce, and is a perfect side dish to bring to Summer BBQ’s, parties and more!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 12 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Boil, Mix
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 lb. elbow pasta
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 large carrot (about 1 cup), peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery (about 1 cup), diced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

Macaroni Dressing

  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dijon
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt, or to taste

Instructions

Pasta: Boil your elbow macaroni noodles until they are al dente, according to package directions. Drain the noodles and run them under cool running water to stop them from cooking.

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the creamy sauce.

Assemble: In a large mixing bowl, or pot you cooked the pasta, add the pasta, onion, bell pepper, carrots, celery, peas and dill. Pour the creamy sauce overtop and toss well to coat. Keep the salad chilled until ready to serve.

Serves 12

Store: Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days in a covered container.

Notes

I love lots of veggies in my macaroni salad, feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your taste.

Use gluten-free noodles to keep gluten-free.

For variation try these other add-ins mixing and matching to suit your taste:

  • Sliced Green Onions
  • Diced Radish
  • Fresh Corn off the Cob
  • Olives
  • Coconut bacon
  • Pickles

Dressing

  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

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25 Comments

  1. Pretty sure everyone who tried this loved it. I didn’t even put the onions, and I added some olives. Very easy to change up with whatever you have or add things in. Had plenty for leftovers too. Yum yum

  2. We all really enjoyed it, and our friend made it with her family – but they had to make another batch they ate the first one so fast! Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. Perfect combination of flavors and textures. I made it with GF macaroni and took it to a VGF potluck. Thanks!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, Andre! We are so glad everyone loved the macaroni salad! Cheers :)

  4. This is now the only pasta salad I will make. Delicious and perfect every time—the recipe cannot be improved upon so just make it as written. Thanks for a winner, Julie!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Glad you’re enjoying the recipe, Betsy! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Amber Eallonardo says:

    This recipe is delicious!!! I skipped the dill and peas and added in a cucumber diced up. So good!!!

  6. Anita Sauer says:

    This is the best pasta salad I have ever had! Honestly! The tangy creamy sauce is unbelievably good!! Thank you!!

  7. Is dijon the powder or the mustard? Can’t wait to try this, thank you very much!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It is the creamy mustard. Enjoy!

  8. Joan Buffy says:

    I made this for a group. Did not use peas and could not find my celery. I did throw in some green onions and used a full lemon for juice. It is the best salad I ever ate. I’m making one all for me.

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