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Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad ~ a summertime essential! With a healthier twist, it's mayo-free but still rich, creamy & full of classic flavor.
It's just not summertime without a big bowl of Vegan Macaroni Salad on the table. Don't you agree?
It's perfect for backyard barbecues, picnics, potlucks, and beach days. It's always the first to disappear, right next to the potato salad.
It's comforting, yet refreshing and cooling with its crisp veggies, al dente macaroni, and a tangy-sweet dressing.
Who can resist?
How to make it
After you chop your veggies and make the macaroni dressing, it's smooth sailing from there.
Just cook the elbow macaroni pasta al dente and according to package directions. Now rinse with cool water. and drain well. When cooled, place in a large bowl. Drizzle and toss with olive oil (*omit to keep oil-free).
Now add all the chopped veggies, pickles, and chopped dill to the same bowl. Add the creamy dressing on top and toss to combine well.
Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours to chill. Give it a good stir and sprinkle with paprika, freshly cracked pepper, and more fresh dill.
More summer favorites
I’d love to hear from you
If you make this Vegan Macaroni Salad, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad
- 1 ¼ cup cashews , raw (soaked in water 4-6 hours)
- 1 ¼ cup non-dairy milk , unsweetened
- ⅓ cup vegan yogurt , unsweetened
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice , fresh squeezed
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons pickle juice
- 2-3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2-3 teaspoons agave syrup
- 1 clove garlic (sub 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt , more to taste
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (*Optional)
- ½ cup red onion , diced
- ¾ cup red bell pepper , diced (1 small pepper)
- ¾ cup celery , diced (about 2-3 stalks)
- ½ cup dill pickles , diced
- ⅓ cup fresh dill , chopped (more for garnish)
- Paprika and fresh cracked pepper , for garnish
- Put all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth (*discard cashew soaking water). Adjust flavors as needed (* Keep in mind that the flavors will be concentrated, but it will be covering a lot of pasta). Set aside.
- Boil pasta in salted water and cook until al dente (according to package directions). Drain and rinse with cool water. When cooled, place in a large bowl. Drizzle and toss with olive oil (*omit to keep oil-free).
- Add all the chopped veggies, pickles and chopped dill to the same bowl with cooled macaroni.
- Now add the dressing on top and toss to combine well. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed (*the dressing will look thin and seem like a lot, but it will thicken up perfectly in the fridge).
- Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours to chill. Give it a good stir. Sprinkle top with paprika, fresh cracked pepper, and more fresh dill. Enjoy!
This was so delicious. I used macadamia nuts instead of cashews. That was the only change II made. Going to use the dressing for potato salad. Thanks for the recipe!
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Hi Kelly! We are so happy to hear that you loved the recipe and that it worked out well with the macadamia nuts 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Super yummy and so much better than using mayo. The taste and texture is perfect! The dill really makes this meal pop.
Can you freeze these and if so, please could I have instructions :))
Hi Olivia, I haven't tried freezing this, so I'm not sure of the results. Sorry, I wish I could be more help. Thank you for stopping by 🙂
Loved this recipe! I made it for a summer cookout dinner along side vegan hot dogs and fruit.
I'm so glad you liked it. Sounds perfect with the hot dogs and fruit. Thank you for giving it a try 🙂
What would you suggest for a cashew allergy? Thanks!
Made it today and it’s about to be served. Beautiful salad!
Hi Sara! Thank you so much! 🙂
love that this is dairy free 😍
This macaroni s as lad recipe was spot on in taste and texture. Thanks for the "WAY" healthier mac salad recipe!
This looks amazing!! I cant wait to make it!!
Thank you, Sarah! 🙂