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!
- 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
- 1½ 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
- 4½ 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 4½ 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.
If 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!