Best Vegan Macaroni Salad- Al dente elbow macaroni combined with various veggies and tossed in a delicious homemade dressing. The onion, bell pepper, and celery add a wonderful crunch while creating a bright, eye-catching salad with peas and carrots. This creamy macaroni salad is perfect for a side dish or light meal.
Pasta salads are the perfect food for any occasion. They're easy to make, and there are endless possibilities for flavors and combinations. Plus, they're always a hit with guests! Whether you're looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or something to take to a potluck or barbecue, pasta salads are the answer.
This creamy macaroni salad is my favorite pasta salad. There are so many reasons to love vegan macaroni salad! For one, it's incredibly easy and quick to make, making it the perfect dish for a last-minute meal. It's also super satisfying and filling, thanks to the hearty pasta and nutritious vegetables. Best of all, this dish is packed with flavor and deliciousness, making it a crowd-pleaser no matter who you're serving it to. Whether you're looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a tasty potluck dish, vegan macaroni salad is definitely the way to go!
Why You'll Love This Creamy Macaroni Salad Recipe
Minimal Prep- This dish comes together quickly with just a few simple ingredients.
Creamy and Delicious- This macaroni salad is creamy and full of flavor, with a pleasing texture that features a subtle crunch from the diced veggies.
Kid-Friendly- Even the pickiest of eaters love this pasta salad, plus it's a great way to sneak in extra vegetables!
Great To Make Ahead- This macaroni salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, making it perfect for meal prep or a quick side dish.
Perfect For Parties- This is the best macaroni salad for your next party or event; it serves a large crowd and is always a hit!
Equipment Needed To Make Macaroni Salad
- Medium Pot
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Small Bowl
- Cutting Board
- Rubber Spatula
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
Ingredients Needed For Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad
For The Pasta:
- Elbow Macaroni - You can use gluten free pasta if you prefer
- Red Onion
- Red Bell Pepper
- Frozen Peas
For The Dressing:
- Vegan Mayonnaise
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Organic Granulated Sugar
- Vegan-Friendly Dijon Mustard
- Fresh Parsley
How To Make Homemade Vegan Macaroni Salad
Did you know that making macaroni salad is both easy and delicious? First, start by boiling the pasta until it's al dente according to the package directions. Next, while the pasta is cooking, chop and dice the vegetables. After that, add them all to a large bowl.
After the pasta is done, rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain it before adding it to the bowl of veggies.
To make the dressing, mix together all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Next, pour the dressing over your pasta and mix everything together, ensuring the noodles are coated well.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the salad to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour so that all of the flavors can come together.
Serve and enjoy!
What to Serve/Pair With This Simple Macaroni Salad
This salad is the perfect side dish to bring to a cookout, potluck, or picnic. It pairs well with just about anything. If you're looking for something to pair the macaroni salad with for the main dish, some of my favorites are:
- Toasted Veggie Sandwiches
- A Baked Potato Bar
- Pan-Seared Watermelon Steaks
- Veggie or Black Bean Burgers
- Grilled Tofu
Popular Substitutions & Additions
Don't have all the veggies called for in this delicious recipe? No problem! You can easily swap out any of them for what you do have on hand. Here are some ideas:
- Swap the red onion for white onion or green onions
- Use frozen corn instead of peas
- Add in chopped-up dill pickle, pickle juice, dill pickle relish, or fresh dill
- Diced avocado
- Black Olives
Want to make this dish a little heartier? You could add cooked and crumbled tofu or canned chickpeas. Just mix them in with the rest of the ingredients before adding the dressing.
Try stirring in more finely chopped fresh herbs like basil, oregano, or thyme for a little extra flavor.
How To Store & Reheat Creamy Macaroni Salad
This easy vegan macaroni salad is best stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you're ready to eat it, give it a good stir before serving so that the dressing gets redistributed evenly.
Classic macaroni salad is best served cold or at room temperature, so there is no need to reheat it.
Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad FAQs
Should I let the pasta cool before adding the dressing to it?
It's best to add the dressing to the pasta while it's still warm. Adding the dressing to the warm pasta allows the flavors of the dressing to really penetrate the pasta and infuse it with flavor.
Can I make macaroni salad ahead of time?
Yes! This creamy vegan macaroni salad is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day. So, if you're making it for a party or potluck, I recommend making it the day before.
What can I use in place of vegan mayo?
If you don't have any vegan mayo on hand, try using a store-bought vegan salad dressing or mixing some olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper together.
Do I have to use elbow macaroni in this salad?
No, you can use any type of small pasta shape that you like. Some other good options are shells, rotini, or even mini penne noodles.
Why do we rinse the noodles in cold water?
Rinsing the noodles in cold water helps to stop the cooking process so that they don't become mushy. It also helps to rinse off any excess starch, which can make the noodles sticky.
Don't Forget To Come Back And Let Me Know How Your Vegan-Friendly Macaroni Salad Turned Out!
Best Vegan Macaroni Salad
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- ½ cup red onion - finely diced
- ¾ cup red bell pepper - diced, about ½ bell pepper
- ½ cup celery - diced, 2 stalks
- ¾ cup carrot - matchstick shape and chopped
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- 1 cup dairy free mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard - buy a vegan variety
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley - chopped
- salt and pepper - to taste, start with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. You'll probably need more salt
- Boil pasta according to directions on box to al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, chop and dice the vegetables and add to a large bowl.
- When the pasta is done, rinse thoroughly in cold water and then add the same a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and mix until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and mix to coat well.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 4 days.
It'sso nice to have a vegan macaroni salad. The dressing is really delicious. I think it might be becasue of the apple cider vinegar. Thanks so much!