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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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27 Comments

  1. Jeanne Buffy says:

    I assume that the peppers, celery and onion are raw. Is this the case? I am making it for a group. Thanks.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, they are raw, adding a nice bit of freshness to the macaroni salad. Enjoy!

  2. Jennifer Largent says:

    De~Lish! I halved the mayo with Greek yogurt. So yummy!

  3. hi I would love to make this is there any sub I can use for the apple cider vinegar?!

    thanks!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, you can use fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Hope that helps!

  4. What is the serving size for the calories listed?

  5. This macaroni salad is SO GOOD!! We are obsessed and have made so many batches of it! Thank you for the recipe!

  6. Rachel Dupuis says:

    Hello, I don’t know if I’m missing it but am I supposed to put the peas in frozen? Or should I steam them first before mixing it in with the rest of the ingredients?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Rachel! I’ve added in the ingredients that the peas are thawed. But you can use frozen peas as well, they will thaw pretty quickly once mixed – especially if you add them first with the warmed pasta. Hope that helps. Enjoy the macaroni salad!

  7. Patty Grasher says:

    This was great. Loved the dressing and blend of ingredients was good. I didn’t add the frozen peas so added chopped mushrooms and olives instead and though they didn’t add any flavor so much they did add a different consistency. Next time I’m definitely adding the peas plus the olives. Mushrooms maybe not so much. . .

  8. All I can say is YUM! A delicious recipe!

  9. Totally satisfying and super easy to make! Instead of celery I added cucumber instead. So yummy!!!

  10. Definitely a recipe I’ll be making soon!
    (One observation: If the mayo is vegan, cholesterol in the Nutrition Facts should be listed as zero.)

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Hilda! Looks like I had a soybean dressing instead of vegan mayo. I’ve fixed it and sure enough it’s 0 cholesterol. Thanks so much for pointing that out and enjoy the macaroni salad! Cheers :)

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