A simple macaroni salad embellished with colorful vegetables — peas, corn, bell pepper, and carrots — this is reminiscent of the kind sold at deli counters, but with lots more going for it. Easy to make, it’s a vegan macaroni salad recipe will appeal to eaters of all ages and persuasions.
Kid-friendly and grown-up adaptable: Serve as is to kids, who might like the idea of eating “confetti,” and embellish adult portions with minced fresh herbs—scallion, parsley, and/or dill. Toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds scattered over the top also add a nice touch.
What to serve with this macaroni salad
- This is a good side dish served with vegan burgers, sandwiches, and wraps.
- For a side-by-side salad meal, serve with a bean salad. An easy choice: Super-Quick Two-Bean Salad.
More tips for enjoying this colorful macaroni salad
- Pack leftover portions in thermoses to use as part of portable lunches. This also makes a delightful picnic dish, packed in a shallow storage container.
- For a slightly more sophisticated yet still kid-friendly salad, use pasta twists, like cavatappi or rotini.
- See more vegan pasta salads to enjoy all year round.
Recipe adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni (or your favorite short chunky shape)
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
- 3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 3/4 cup cooked fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced (or about 3/4 cup sliced baby carrots)
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish, optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Finely chopped scallion, parsley, and/or dill
- Toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions until al dente, then drain. Rinse under cool water, then drain again and transfer to a serving container.
- Combine half of the vegetables with the cooked pasta. Set the rest aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, and optional pickle relish, and stir together. Pour into the container with the pasta and stir together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Scatter the remaining vegetables over the top. Serve at once or cover and refrigerate until needed. Pass around any of the optional embellishments when serving, if you’d like.
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