Creamy Macaroni Salad

Contributed by Zsu Dever, author of Everyday Vegan Eats.


Serves 4.


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. Make this dish soy free by choosing a soy- free vegan mayonnaise. Use gluten-free pasta to make it gluten free.





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


    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.


    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. Stir in the bell pepper, onion, parsley, and relish. Season with salt and black pepper.

    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 pureé. Reduce the celery to 1/2 celery rib. Replace the parsley with cilantro. Stir in 3/4 cup roasted corn kernels.


From Everyday Vegan Eats, by Zsu Dever. © 2014 Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.