This Vegan Macaroni Salad is a lighter, vegan-ized version of a classic BBQ staple. This is a total crowd pleaser.
Was anyone else totally grossed out by mayo when they were a kid? You couldn’t get me to eat anything with mayo on it. If it even touched my sandwich, I wasn’t eating it. Funny story though, I could eat ranch all day every day. Makes total sense, I know.
It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized a little mayo can add some nice flavor to certain meals. And lucky for us vegans, there are so many vegan mayo options these days. From Veganaise, to Just Mayo to Trader Joe’s spread, you will probably be able to find at least one version of vegan mayo at your local grocery store.
A classic summer staple that usually calls for A LOT of mayo is macaroni salad. And while the flavor of macaroni salad is tasty, I don’t think you need ALL that mayo (vegan or otherwise).
You can still achieve a really great flavor and get all of your macaroni coated without going overboard with the vegan mayo.
Ok, now that you’ve heard my whole rant on mayo, let’s talk about the rest of this salad.
I like to keep my veggies simple. Some bell pepper, red onion and celery are all you really need. I’ve seen other recipes that call for a bunch of extra stuff. But I like keeping it minimal. The flavor comes from the dressing…the veggies are just there for some crunch.
Once you have your dressing made, veggies chopped and macaroni cooked, you’re literally going to combine everything in a bowl and let it chill for an hour. This will give everything time to marinate and develop a really great flavor.
I swear no one will ever know this is vegan. Perfect for BBQs and parties.
NOTE: If you are someone who likes a heavily dressed macaroni salad, just double the dressing recipe. It’s all about personal taste!
More of a visual person? Watch the video:
Vegan Macaroni Salad
- 2 cups macaroni dry
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp pickle juice
- 1 tbsp spicy mustard
- 1 tbsp agave
- red pepper flakes to taste
- garlic salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, pepper optional toppings
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- While macaroni is cooking, prepare dressing. Combine mayo, vinegar, pickle juice, spicy mustard, agave, red pepper flakes, garlic salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Add macaroni, dressing and chopped veggies to a large bowl. Toss to combine and place in the fridge for an hour to let the flavors marinate.
- Serve with chopped parsley, pepper and/or red pepper flakes.
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