Cool Pasta Salads/ Pasta and Noodles/ Vegan Recipes

Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad

Creamy Macaroni Salad by Zsu Dever

Cooking pasta for a cold salad is radically different from cooking pasta for a hot dish. Going against the grain, you cook it not to al dente, but to tenderness. Overcooking it will leave you with a soggy mess instead of a salad, and undercooking it will produce hard-as-nails pasta once cool. Cooking the pasta just right will render this a perfect American staple.

And being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on delicious, creamy macaroni salads. This recipe uses vegan mayonnaise to keep it dairy-free. Use gluten-free pasta to make it gluten-free.

Recipe and photo from Everyday Vegan Eats* by Zsu Dever © 2014, reprinted by permission of Vegan Heritage Press.

Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad

Serves: 4


  • 8 oz elbow macaroni (use whole grain or gluten-free if you’d like)
  • 3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well and transfer to a large baking dish to cool. Stir gently every few minutes to cool it faster. Once it is cool, transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard and mix well. Add 1/2 cup to the pasta and set aside the remaining dressing.
  3. Stir in the celery, bell pepper, onion, parsley, and relish. Season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Chill the pasta salad in the  refrigerator for an hour to meld the flavors. Stir the remaining dressing into the pasta salad before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning.

VARIATION: Tex-Mex Macaroni Salad. Replace the lemon juice with lime juice. Replace the mustard with 2 teaspoons of chipotle adobo puree. Reduce the celery to 1/2 celery rib. Replace the parsley with cilantro. Stir in 3/4 cup roasted corn kernels.

Creamy Macaroni Salad by Zsu Dever


Nutritional Information: 480 calories; 27g fat; 348.7mg sodium; 119mg potassium; 50g carbs; 6g fiber; 3g sugar; 6.5g sugar

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Subscribe & Follow

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    WOW! Looks amazing! LOVE Vegan Mac Salad! I’d LOVE to win Zsu’s Book, too! Everything I have seen so far seems right up my alley 🙂

    • Reply
      May 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Jennifer, I’m not doing a giveaway as yet, but stay tuned, I may do so in June.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    OH! And the Variation! Great ideas!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    This is delicious. We love it. I just wanted to let you know that the celery is not incorporated into the directions.

    • Reply
      November 25, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks so much, Dana! And we’ve made the correction.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Making this today seems pretty easy

  • Reply
    November 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I made it for our full day sailing tour and served it during the beach BBQ. I loved it and the clients loved it too! (and no one knows it’s vegan!!) haha! This recipe is going to be a regular, so yummy!

    Oh, and down here in Costa Rica I can’t just walk into a market and buy vegan mayo so I make my own; one block of tofu, some fresh lemon juice, some white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, a little salt and a little olive oil…blend. Rico!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Sounds amazing, Heather! I should look into your Sea Bird Sailing Excursions …

    Leave a Reply