Protein packed, whole grain pasta mixed with crisp vibrant veggies all dressed with the most incredibly tangy and creamy dressing EVER! Make it ahead, take it on the go or enjoy it right away! This is a macaroni salad to top all macaroni salads. Perfect summer recipe!
Summer is almost here and pasta salads are a MUST! They are the perfect thing to bring to cook-outs, pot-lucks, barbecue’s or just to eat poolside. I mean is summer really summer without pasta salad? Enter in the BEST Vegan Macaroni Salad like EVER! I don’t say that lightly either. This really is the most incredible macaroni salad. The fact that it is dairy free means you can easily bring it to the beach, let it sit out at a cookout or even pile it into a mason jar and take it to go.
It has everything too! Protein packed pasta, loads of crisp veggies and a dressing that tops ALL dressings I have ever made! I would eat anything you put this dressing on. It’s tangy and creamy with a hint of chili power and a secret ingredient that just brings it to a whole new pasta salad dressing level.
Is Macaroni Salad Healthy?
This is a tough one to answer since most macaroni salads are made with white flour traditional macaroni, loads of regular mayo and sometimes cheese. So those versions I would not consider “healthy”. But fear not! This Vegan Macaroni Salad is actually a healthy pasta salad that you can feel good about eating. Why? It has protein packed, whole grain macaroni, loads of veggies, vegan mayo and contains no dairy or bad cholesterol. Full of flavor and very very easy to make!
How to make Vegan Macaroni Salad
First things first…..the macaroni. To make this a little healthier and because I don’t eat a lot of white flour, I used this amazing protein pasta that my kids will actually eat. It tastes just like regular pasta but is packed with protein and made from all whole ingredients with no white flour in site. Thank you pasta gods!
Next up…all the VEGGIES! I wanted crisp, crunchy veggies that were full of vibrant colors. Here are the veggies I used In this masterpiece.
- Bell peppers
- Purple onion
- Green onion (aka scallions)
Other veggies that would work? Corn, peas, sliced asparagus, cherry tomatoes, carrots or cucumber could also be used. Really any veggies you would typically eat raw in a regular salad or with a dip work well in pasta salad recipes.
Finally, the main ingredient that brings this Vegan Macaroni Salad to a whole new level and earns it the “BEST” title, the dressing. OMG!!! You guys, I am over the moon in love with this dressing and plan to put it on EVERYTHING! For now it is going on this macaroni salad but I have plans for it. BIG plans!
And there it is!!!! My super secret ingredient that you all now know. Capers! Capers bring this tangy, salty, briny flavor to this dressing that I just cannot get over. Mixed in with vegan mayo, the prefect blend of spices, vinegar and dijon mustard this dressing literally has outdone itself. Trust me you will want to use it on everything. I actually think it would work in a potato salad, on sandwiches or wraps or even just as a dip with some veggies. YAY!!!
And now…the most fun part of this recipe…mix everything up, the pasta, veggies and the dressing. Top with fresh chives or parsley and you have yourself the most amazing macaroni salad that is healthy and can be pulled together in no time at all!
How long does macaroni salad last in the fridge?
This one can vary depending on the type of container you use to store the macaroni salad in. If you use a good airtight container then it would last about 5 days in the fridge. You will need to stir it up before eating it and maybe add a dash of red wine vinegar just to wake it up a bit but mostly it gets better as it sits. Macaroni salad is a great make-ahead recipe for the summer since it can just stay in the fridge, ready to!
For the macaroni salad
- 4 cups protein packed pasta - cooked al dente
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 3 stalks of celery sliced
- 1/2 a red onion diced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup bread and butter pickles diced
- 1/4 cup green onion sliced
For the incredible dressing
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon capers plus 1 tablespoon caper juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh chives or chopped parsley for topping
Assemble the salad
- Add the cooked macaroni to a large mixing bowl.
- Add all of the veggies to the macaroni and toss.
Make the dressing
- Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk well to combine into a creamy, smooth dressing.
Put it all together
- Pour the dressing onto the macaroni salad and toss well to coat all of the pasta and veggies in the dressing.
- Top with fresh chives and parsley
- This can be eaten right away or stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days!
- This is also a great recipe to take to pot-lucks, picnics, barbecue's or just on the go!
- Veggie variations: Sub any of the veggies in the recipe for other veggies you may have on hand like: cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, corn, peas or even asparagus.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 241mg Carbohydrates: 15g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Protein: 27g