Macaroni salad is an essential summer recipe, it's perfect for potlucks, picnics, barbeques, and pretty much any summer get together you could imagine. Having a reliable macaroni salad is extra important for vegans - unless you live somewhere kinda fancy, you probably can't pick up a tub of vegan mac salad from your local grocery store. I know I can't!
Since my Rainbow Potato Salad recipe is my most popular summer recipe, I figured it was about time I share my macaroni salad recipe! Since we're smack dab in the middle of summer (and a long weekend), the time seems just right.
This is a pretty typical deli-style macaroni salad recipe: it's a little creamy, nice and tangy, and just slightly sweet. My version is full of crunchy vegetables like broccoli florets, grated carrot, green onion, red bell pepper, and celery. If there's one ingredient that takes this salad from good to AMAZING, it's the smoked tofu. I used Soyganic Smoked Tofu but I'm including a homemade tofu swap if you can't get your hands on store-bought smoked tofu.
I've got a few tips and substitutions to keep in mind if you decide to make this salad. I looove pickles so this dressing is a little on the pickle-y side - you can sub some or all the pickle juice for white vinegar if you prefer something tangy but not pickle-y. If you make this salad start to finish, it's best eaten within a couple of days. If you want to prep the salad ahead of time, whip up the dressing and prep the vegetables/tofu/macaroni noodles separately. Add the dressing 30 minutes to an hour before serving, mix it up really well, and refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy!
Vegan Macaroni Salad
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 7 cups 1x
- Category: Salad, Side Dish
- Cuisine: Vegan
A tangy, creamy vegan macaroni salad loaded with veggies and smoked tofu.
- ¾ cup vegan mayonnaise
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp dill pickle juice
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp yellow prepared mustard
- 1 ½ tsp sriracha
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp dill pickles, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- 4 ½ cups cooked elbow macaroni, not rinsed, cooled
- ½ cup broccoli florets
- ⅓ cup grated carrot
- ¼ cup celery, chopped
- ¼ cup green onion, chopped
- ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup smoked tofu, cubed
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the vegan mayo and unsweetened almond milk. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, combine the 4 ½ cups of cooked and cooled elbow macaroni with the dressing. At first the pasta will be a little sticky from the starch, once the dressing coats the noodles they'll be easier to stir.) Add the vegetables, smoked tofu and stir well. For best flavour, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or until chilled) before serving.
!Substituting the Smoked TofuIf you can't find smoked tofu, follow my Sriracha and Soy Sauce Tofu recipe with the addition of a couple of drops of liquid smoke and marinate for at least 1 hour. Instead of cutting the tofu into bite-size pieces, cut it into slices, slightly thicker than the image below: Once cooled you can cut it into cubes to use in this macaroni salad!
Fantastic recipe. My family has now moved into the insane category due to finding out we are electric to do many things. My daughter in particular is allergic to onions, garlic, apple pear, snd celery. On top of just about every nut. I’m allergic to graines. I can eat spelt so pasta is still possible. Corn however sadly isn’t. My wife has an allergy to Apple and is now going crazy over trying to find us things to eat we are dedicated food vegans. With all that I saw your recipe for macaroni salad, and I think I can leave out the green onions, celery and garlic powder in the dressing. Going to try it this 4th of July. Let you know how it went. Kind regards, Mb.
I’ve been making this recipe since 2016! It’s my favorite macaroni salad and I judge all other mac salads based on this one. Making it again tonight. It will never get old!
My absolute favorite go to macaroni salad recipe!! The sauce is so perfect.
I absolutely love this macaroni salad!! I have made it so many times over the last few years (both with regular pasta and gluten free pasta) and realized I never left a review. It's our go-to for picnic lunches and camping and potlucks and you name it. Everyone who's tried it loves it, both vegans and non-vegans. Thanks for this amazing recipe!
I've made this several times and I omit the broccoli and it always gets rave reviews from non vegans:) Friends request it now if we ever have potlucks and my kids love it too 🙂 My new go-to.
Yay! Thanks for commenting Sabrina. I think this is a pretty solid macaroni salad too 😛
I never tried macaroni with salad now I will definitely gonna try it and I just love healthy food, it will help me with my fitness diet which I am following
Look healthy and delicious. Great to know. I will try this at weekend. Will be back with reviews.
Thanks so much Jane!
Wow I just love the recipe. It's really a nice presentation. Thanks Brittany for the lovely post.
Thank you so much Rebeiro!
I love this recipe! Looks so hearty & satisfying, can’t wait to try it!
Thank you so much!
This looks FANTASTIC! i will make this vagan macaroni salad! Thanks for sharing
Love the way you presented this recipe. I will try this for sure, thanks for shearing.
Hey, its an amazing dish and i can't wait to try it. Thanks for posting such amazing stuff.
This looks FANTASTIC! I’ve made macaroni salad with homemade mayo before to kind of mitigate the gross/gloppy factor, but this looks like a much better solution. Thanks for sharing 🙂
This is one of the best pasta salads ever😊
I made this for the family last week, Brittany and William. There were no leftovers. There probably would have been no leftovers if I had doubled the recipe. Thanks for the delicious recipe!
Ah! Wonderful! Our family LOVES this recipe and I'm so happy to hear your family did too! Thanks from commenting Eric 😀
It would be convenient and so much more if all your recipes came with nutritional facts! I am trying to gain weight + muscle and my prime focus is a 40-30-30 diet, (2:1 ratio) and it would be helpful knowing which recipes (or recipes containing [such] foods) I'd benefit the most out of. I can do it myself but for it to come from you I'll know the information will be accurate. I tried the above recipe - delish! Delish DElish DELISH! I'm planning a family gathering with all courses being vegan and no one is to bring anything but themselves because I know they will fall in LOVE with your recipes! Thanks so much!
Ehhh... I've been wrestling with the whole nutritional info thing for awhile.It's really hard to find a good nutrition calculator (I don't know of one!) and packaged products (like the vegan mayo in this recipe!) vary so much from brand to brand. I really appreciate your feedback and I'll continue to mull over it. Thanks for commenting!
Janice J. Jones
I have tried it and its perfect. A vegan Macaroni salad is a must try. I promise your children will like it.
Thanks so much Janice!
Looks delicious! Can't wait to make it thanks! I'll be using GF macaroni though.
Oh, awesome Diana! I hope you love it! 😀
Haven't made macaroni salad since I was a kid! Really craving it now haha, definitely trying this recipe out asap! Thanks for sharing! x