In Arizona when the temperatures start to hit the high 70's, I think BBQ! And when I think BBQ, I think classic vegan macaroni salad. When I was a kid, I think macaroni salad was my favorite BBQ salad. Even as a kid, I didn't like meat, so I would load my plate with salads, fruit, and chips, and skip right by the meat dish. Of course, then, the macaroni salad I was eating was full of mayo and God only knows what else. So, as with all great recipes, I just 'veganized' my mom's classic macaroni salad and made this vegan macaroni salad recipe.
Unlike most recipes, my mom always put peas in her macaroni salad. Now that I think about it, she probably was trying to trick us into eating peas. But, it's tradition now, so I always put peas in my vegan macaroni salad.
WHAT INGREDIENTS GO IN MOM'S CLASSIC VEGAN MACARONI SALAD RECIPE?
My mom, before becoming plant-based, always made the same macaroni salad. So, I used the same ingredients and changed up her classic mayonnaise dressing, and made my own vegan version.
- Elbow macaroni noodles (small or large size)( I used gluten-free elbow macaroni noodles, but any noodles will work)
- Red pepper pepper
- Green Peas (I used cooked frozen)
- White onion
OTHER POSSIBLE INGREDIENTS POPULAR IN MACARONI SALAD RECIPES:
- Green pepper
- Red onion
- Or any vegetables you have in the refrigerator that dice well
MAKING A VEGAN MACARONI SALAD DRESSING RECIPE THAT TASTES FABULOUS!
As I have said many times, it's all about the dressing. Not only does a great vegan macaroni salad need to be full of veggies, it demands a tangy creamy dressing. So, all you need is a few ingredients to make a killer macaroni salad dressing that will WOW your guests.
- Raw cashews
- Distilled white vinegar
- Pure maple syrup
- Yellow mustard
- Black Pepper
Of course, if you don't have a high-speed blender, you should soak your cashews overnight. But, if you have a high-speed blender, you simply need to blend all the ingredients on high.
PREPARING VEGAN MACARONI SALAD MOM WOULD BE PROUD TO SERVE
First, this recipe takes a total of 15 minutes to make from start to finish. The first step, however, is to cook the noodles. The gluten-free elbow macaroni noodles I used, for example, took 8 minutes to cook. But, you need to follow the directions on the package of noodles you have, as times vary depending on the type and size noodle you choose.
One very helpful tip is to immediately rinse the noodles in cold water to stop them from cooking. Don't forget, though, to toss the noodles around in the colander, in the cold water, so you rinse all the noodles, not just the top half. Then, transfer the cold noodles to a large bowl.
Next, add your chopped vegetables. As a time saver, I use my favorite vegetable chopper, so all my veggies are the same size. Once all the veggies are added, I pour in HALF the vegan dressing and reserve the other half to stir in right before I serve it. Reserving half the dressing, for instance, adds an extra creamy element right before serving.
Now, cover and store the vegan macaroni salad in the refrigerator. Right before serving, add the rest of the dressing and spoon into bowls. Although I serve vegan macaroni salad as a side dish for burgers, sloppy joes, and BBQ jackfruit sandwiches, it can also be served as an entree.
DO YOU LOVE PASTA SALADS? WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED! SUMMER IS COMING!
- Skinny Greek Veggie Pasta Salad
- Skinny Roasted Vegetable Pesto Pasta Salad
- Kale Asian Pasta Salad
- Vegan Kale Pasta Caesar Salad
- Vegan BLT Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂