This classic vegan macaroni salad will hit all your favorite summer notes in one pasta dish without sacrificing any flavor! Absolutely delicious and can feed a crowd! 15 minute prep & can be made Top 8 Allergen Free!
There are three types of people. People who love potato salad but not macaroni salad. People who love macaroni salad but not potato salad. And people who love both. If you are considering this vegan macaroni salad, then you are likely in one of the later categories.
Macaroni salad is an iconic summer side dish staple. You will see it everywhere from main courses for family dinner when mom’s don’t feel like cooking. To a staple at every family get together all summer long.
Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to make a vegan macaroni salad and there’s not much that you have to alter.
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What ingredients do you need to make macaroni salad?
If you read my last post for easy vegan fudge, then you know that we don’t do a lot of ingredients without it being necessary. This recipe has 13 total ingredients that we think we combined together make a great vegan macaroni salad.
The ingredients that you need are:
- macaroni noodles
- red bell pepper
- red onions
- sweet pickle relish
- vegan mayonnaise
- lemon juice
- vegan sugar
- dijon mustard
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
How do you make vegan macaroni salad?
The first thing you are going to do is add your uncooked pasta to a pot of salted, boiling water. Cook according the package directions for al dente.
While your pasta is cooking, chop all your vegetables – celery, red bell pepper, and red onions.
When your pasta is done, immediately drain the pasta into a colander and rinse under cold water for 2 minutes, tossing occasionally. Let drain for 5 minutes, tossing at least 2-3 times during that time.
To a large bowl, add all your ingredients except the macaroni and stir until well combined. Then, add your well-drained macaroni and stir until all of your macaroni noodles are well coated.
Season with more salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Do I have to use macaroni noodles?
This classic pasta dish that we grew up seeing at all summer get togethers is called macaroni salad, thus uses macaroni noodles.
The reason that macaroni noodles are best in this recipe is because the sauce gets inside the small tubular pasta and really ensures that you get full flavor impact.
While you could definitely use other types of pasta, another tubular pasta would be best, like penne, cavatappi, or canneroni.
Can I prep this vegan macaroni salad ahead of time?
Whether you are meal prepping for your own lunch or your next get together, you can absolutely prep this easy vegan salad ahead of time. Follow the directions as called for and leave in the fridge.
The salad is good for up to 7 days after making, so you can make that many days in advance as long as you plan to eat the entire bowl.
Can this be a Top 8 Allergen Free macaroni salad?
Yes! Pretty easily you can make this Top 8 Free. The 2 ingredients that may contain allergens are the pasta and the mayo.
There are so many options for gluten free pasta now, just choose once that works for your family, trying to find a tubular one if possible local to you, but using what you can find as needed.
The other ingredient is the mayo. Since this is a vegan macaroni salad, it is already egg free; however, many vegan mayo containers have soy also. You can use a soy free, vegan mayo like Follow Your Heart for an easy swap to this allergen.
With those two simple swaps, you will have a Top 8 Free, vegan macaroni salad.
What other vegan summer dishes should I make?
There are endless possibilities, but here are some of our favorite vegan summer dishes that we think everyone will like:
- Italian Vegan Pasta Salad
- Vegan “Chicken” Salad
- Chickpea Vegan Tuna Salad
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Vegan Green Bean Salad
Pin this vegan macaroni salad for later:
Vegan Macaroni Salad
- 1 lb macaroni noodles
- ¾ cup peas (can be frozen or fresh)
- ½ cup celery, minced (about 2 ribs)
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- ⅓ cup red onion, minced
- 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
- ¼ cup lemon juice (can sub with apple cider vinegar)
- 2 tablespoon sweet pickle relish*
- 1 ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon vegan sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add uncooked pasta to a pot of salted, boiling water. Cook according the package directions for al dente. If using frozen peas, add them in during the last minute of cooking.
- While pasta is cooking, chop vegetables – celery, red bell pepper, and red onions.
- When pasta is done, immediately drain into a colander and rinse under cold water for 2 minutes, tossing occasionally. Let drain for 5 minutes, tossing at least 2-3 times during that time.
- To a large bowl, add all ingredients except the macaroni and stir until well combined.
- Then, add well-drained macaroni and stir until all noodles are well coated.
- Season with more salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Let’s see your creations!
Share to Instagram and tag us @makeitdairyfree so we can see and share it!
This post was originally published on 6/19/19 and updated on 5/21/2020
Fantastic recipe. Refreshing and filling. My cousin introduced me to this blog and it opened my world to my new favorite recipe. Very simple and tasty.
So happy that your cousin shared with you! We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂 We appreciate you taking time to leave your thoughts!
YUM YUM YUM YUM!!!! I made this for a camping trip and it was delicious! Whatever was leftover, was on my lap for the ride home. Macaroni salad was my favorite side dish growing up – and this was the PERFECT vegan version! I absolutely loved the lemon-y taste and the crunchy veg! Even after the pasta was finished, I add all the saucy veggies by themselves. SO GOOD!! Thank you!!
We appreciate you so much for taking the time to leave a review and so happy to hear that you’re enjoying the recipe.
I’ve made this four times so far. I can’t stop!
We’re so happy to hear it’s a favorite!!!
Just finished making this. It’s our favorite macaroni salad recipe! I cook the pasta in the instant pot (1lb pasta on low for 4 min then a quick release). Added black olives, cherry/grape tomatoes & basil. First time I made it I only had about 1/8 c lemon juice. I used 1/8 c ACV. So delicious!!! Can’t wait to try the potato salad!
OMG! Thank you for sharing! I’m soooo happy that you liked it. I appreciate you taking the time to let us know! And thanks for the tip on the IP!