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Summer Macaroni Salad

I didn’t grow up eating casseroles, chili with Fritos, macaroni salad or even that green bean dish with the Funyuns on top; the foods that I think of as quintessentially American. It could just be an Alaskan anomaly, as we’re separated from most of the United States by an entire, vast nation (hint, it’s Canada). Are we just too removed to adopt such cultural food oddities? Perhaps it was simply my upbringing, but I suspect it’s a native Alaskan thing as none of my friends shared these dishes with their families either.

Yet, this doesn’t explain my inexplicable and utterly spontaneous cravings for macaroni salad. I’d only had the stuff a few times at random work functions or slopped as a side dish at some late-night restaurant before I had ever actually made it myself. Commercially prepared macaroni salad is absolutely dreadful, for sure, so I can’t even imagine the origin of my hankerings.

My macaroni salad has just the right amount of sweet and tang to it. Not too much dressing, but definitely full of crunchy summer vegetables. It whips up in a breeze and will stand out from the sad and drowning macaroni salads of your nightmares, found at summer BBQs across the nation. The best part is that no one will guess it could possibly be vegan.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: pasta salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Kathleen Henry



  • 1 pound (454 g) elbow pasta, dry
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar or white vinegar


  • 1 cup (237 g) vegan mayonnaise
  • Juice from 1 lemon about 1/4 cup (60 ml)
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon (22 g) mustard (I like stone-ground)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon (7 g) vegan granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 2 large (107 g) celery ribs, sliced
  • 2 medium (241 g) roma tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 medium (101 g) orange bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 large (170 g) onion, diced small
  • 1/4 cup (10 g) fresh parsley, chopped


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta about 1 to 2 minutes longer than recommended, about 10 minutes. It should be very tender (but not falling apart). Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Stir the vinegar into the cooked pasta and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  • While the pasta cooks, whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or large measuring cup. Set aside. Prep the veggies and add them to the cooked pasta. Pour the dressing on top and stir gently to coat.
  • Cover and place in the fridge to cool. Serve chilled . . . or warm, if you’re like me and can’t wait!