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Classic Vegan Macaroni Salad

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This is the best vegan macaroni salad recipe I’ve ever had. It is the perfect summer side dish to accompany you to your next get-together. This vegan pasta salad is super easy to make. You can whip it up in less than 30 minutes, but the magic doesn’t happen until it has time to marinate in the fridge, so plan accordingly.

Classic vegan macaroni salad

This is the best vegan macaroni salad recipe I’ve ever had. It is the perfect summer side dish to accompany you to your next get-together.

This vegan pasta salad is super easy to make. You can whip it up in less than 30 minutes, but the magic doesn’t happen until it has time to marinate in the fridge, so plan accordingly.

One of my favorite parts of summer is BBQs. They scream summer, family, and or friend time.

I’m a big fan of potlucks, and this vegan classic macaroni salad is always front and center, that and vegan potato salad.

Some people may say it’s unnecessary to have two carb-heavy sides, and I say we don’t care, and these are both delicious and need their spot at the table.

I serve this every 4th of July. So, if you’re ever coming over, you know what we’re having!

What should I serve this vegan creamy macaroni salad with?

  • vegan black bean burgers
  • store-bought vegan burgers like; beyond meat, impossible foods
  • veggie burgers
  • vegan hot dogs
  • calico vegan beans
  • vegan potato salad
  • salads
  • corn on the cob
  • fruit salad

Whatever you like for side dishes.

How much does this serve?

This makes a smaller batch, not enough for a big potluck but perfect for a small gathering. I would do a double batch if you bring it for a big summer barbecue.

What’s the best vegan mayonnaise?

We like Best Foods vegan mayo, Veganaise, or Just Mayo.

The mayonnaise you pick is very important because it is the main ingredient, and the flavor will shine through.

Ask me how I know this; let’s just say a particular store brand of vegan mayo is not too great. And I may have ruined the macaroni salad that night.

Can I cut down on the vegan mayo to save calories?

If you want to cut some fat and calories from the recipe, feel free to do half mayo and half a plain unsweetened vegan yogurt.

It won’t be quite as rich, but it will still be delicious!

There are also recipes out there that use silken tofu for a mayo substitute, or you can always make a cashew mayo as well.

Can I use other colorful veggies?

The only vegetables I like to put in mine are celery, pickles, and onion.

I like to chop these into pretty small pieces, so it doesn’t overpower a bite, just a subtle crunch and flavor burst.

You can always try different vegetables, but I can’t vouch for them.

Here’s a list of vegetables or extras people like to add to their salad- those people not being me, haha.

  • green onion
  • black olives
  • red Pepper
  • green Pepper
  • sweet pickles
  • vegan cheese chunks
vegan mac salad

Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried?

Yes, you can; the amount will be different.

The typical substitution is 1 tsp dried herbs= 1 TB fresh herbs, so keep that in mind when converting the recipe.

How do you store this perfect side dish?

This is best stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

This dish does not freeze well.

How early can I make this easy recipe?

If you want to make this ahead of your event, I recommend only making it 24 hours in advance at most.

This dish is best after it sits; I would let it sit for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

Make it up and place it in the fridge in a covered container until your event.

Do I have to use macaroni noodles for macaroni salad?

I always use elbow macaroni noodles because it just feels right, but feel free to use another noodle if macaroni noodles don’t feel right to you.

However, you want to stick to smaller pasta and not something like a spaghetti noodle or anything like that.

The pasta needs to be able to be coated well.

If you need to use gluten-free pasta to make this a vegan, gluten-free macaroni salad, then do it; it works great.

Just follow the package instructions on whatever pasta you choose to make.

vegan macaroni salad

What ingredients do you need for this easy vegan macaroni salad?

  • Macaroni Noodles
  • Vegan mayonnaise
  • Celery
  • Yellow Mustard (not dijon mustard)
  • Onion ( I prefer yellow or white onion over red onion)
  • Dill Pickles + 1 TB Juice
  • Celery
  • Dried Dill
  • Dried Parsley
  • Salt + Pepper

How do you make this vegan macaroni salad recipe?

Follow these simple steps, and you will be on your way to enjoying this classic vegan macaroni salad.

Let’s start by making the pasta.

Make your pasta according to the package directions for the al dente version.

Let’s make the creamy dressing.

While you’re making your noodles, you can make your creamy sauce.

Get a large bowl and add vegan mayo, yellow mustard, dill pickle juice, dried dill, dried parsley, salt, and black pepper; stir this until it’s combined.

Then add your crunchy veggies -chopped dill pickles, chopped celery, and chopped onion.

I always use either Just Mayo, Veganaise, or Best Food Vegan Mayo.

Once your pasta is done and strained, you can add it ( yes, while it’s still warm) to your sauce + vegetable mix and stir until well combined.

Now stick that baby in the fridge and let it do its thing.

If you’re looking for more questions on this creamy vegan pasta salad, take a look above, where I’ve answered many common questions.

Tips for the best macaroni salad-

  1. Cook your noodles for the right amount of time. You don’t want mushy or crunchy noodles, pay attention to the cooking time.
  2. Mix the pasta and the dressing together while it’s still warm. The sauce will absorb into the warm pasta, but some will still hang out on the outside of the noodles as long as you didn’t add too many noodles.
  3. Make sure you pick the correct noodle; you want a small noodle, not anything too big to have it appropriately coated.
  4. Give enough time for the flavors time to marry. It needs good six-plus hours for the flavors to soak in.
  5. Cut your vegetables very small, so everything is bite-sized and not too overpowering in one bite.
The best classic vegan pasta salad

The BEST macaroni salad

Print Pin Rate
Prep : 15 minutes
Cook : 10 minutes
Total : 25 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 1/2 cup dry macaroni noodles
  • 3/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 TB dill pickle juice
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup dill pickles chopped
  • 2 TB yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp parsley
  • 2 TB onion chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste


  • Start by cooking your noodles in boiling salt water according to the package directions. Once done, strain and set aside.
  • Take a medium bowl and mix all your ingredients, but the pasta. Once it’s all mixed add your pasta and set in the fridge until ready to serve. This is best made 6-24 hours in advance.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 485mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keywords: classic pasta salad, potluck recipe, vegan pasta salad
Author: Courtneys Homestead
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