Hands down the best Vegan Macaroni Salad, made with all the classic ingredients and tossed in a simple creamy sauce. This picnic-perfect dish is sure to be a hit at every potluck!

large bowl with vegan macaroni salad, a spoon and blue towel in background

Macaroni salad is a must have at any cookout, barbecue or potluck, and today I’m going to share with you the absolute BEST vegan version. It’s incredibly creamy and flavorful, and is sure to be a hit at your next get-together!

Just like my Best Vegan Potato Salad, this Vegan Macaroni Salad is a classic summer dish that no one would guess is vegan.

It’s also ridiculously easy to make in less than 30 minutes. Chill for another 30 minutes (or longer, perfect for make ahead!) and you’re good to go.

super close up photo of vegan macaroni salad with red peppers, dill and noodles

Ingredients needed

In my perfect vegan macaroni salad, the main ingredients are:

  • Elbow noodles – Feel free to use gluten free if needed.
  • Celery
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red onion – May leave it out if you aren’t a fan.
  • Fresh dill – This is such a yummy addition, but you can leave it out if needed, or use parsley instead.
  • Sweet pickles – Or sweet pickle relish.
  • Easy creamy dressing – Vegan mayo, sweet pickle juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar, mustard and garlic powder.
bowl with noodles, red peppers, onion, dill, pickles and celery

How to make vegan macaroni salad

First, cook the noodles. Drain and rinse with cold water, then add to a large bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and stir gently, so the noodles don’t stick together.

Finely chop all the vegetables and add to the bowl with the noodles. Make the simple dressing in a medium bowl by whisking the ingredients together, then pour into the bowl with the noodles and vegetables.

glass bowl with noodles and other veggies about to be mixed up

Toss until everything is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can mingle together. Stir once more before serving.

noodles in creamy sauce being stirred together in a bowl

How long will macaroni salad keep?

Macaroni salad will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator, in a covered container. It’s the perfect make ahead potluck dish!

Serving suggestions for vegan macaroni salad

Looking to have a backyard cookout with all vegan options? Try any of the following recipes:

showing half a large bowl filled with macaroni salad on wood backboard

More potluck perfect vegan salads

white bowl filled with macaroni salad and blue towel background
4.97 stars (29 ratings)

The Best Vegan Macaroni Salad

Hands down the best Vegan Macaroni Salad, made with all the classic ingredients and tossed in a simple creamy sauce. This picnic-perfect dish is sure to be a hit at every potluck!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Total: 53 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 8 ounces macaroni noodles
  • 2 ribs celery, minced
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, minced
  • 1/4 small red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet pickles (or sweet pickle relish)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill

Creamy Dressing

  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (yellow or dijon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • few shakes black pepper
  • tiny pinch garlic powder


  • Prepare the macaroni noodles according to package instructions, then immediately rinse well with cold water. Add the drained noodles to a large bowl and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and stir, so the noodles don't all stick together.
  • Finely chop the celery, red bell pepper, red onion, dill, sweet pickles and add them to the bowl with the noodles.
  • Make the dressing: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over your macaroni salad ingredients and toss until everything is well coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes if you can to allow the flavors to meld together. It will keep for 4-5 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. Stir before serving and enjoy!


  1. I used regular macaroni noodles, but you can make this gluten free if needed by using gluten free pasta. 
  2. Feel free to leave out any vegetables you don’t like, such as the celery, red onion or red bell pepper. 
  3. Instead of apple cider vinegar, you may use red wine vinegar. Or lemon juice if you can’t have vinegar.


Serving: 1of 8 servings | Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

*This recipe was first published June 2019 and has been updated with an improved recipe that is easier and tastier!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

Posted In: , , , , , , , , , , ,

you may also like:


  1. My go to macaroni salad! Love the flavor.
    I changed it a bit:
    1/2 Tablespoon sugar
    2 red and/or yellow bell peppers
    Really delicious. Thanks Nora!

    1. I’m glad you love the salad, and appreciate you sharing your recipe update ideas! Thanks for your wonderful feedback! Happy cooking!

  2. Awesome recipe! It tastes great. I added carrots to substitute for the bell pepper and I didn’t add the sugar and it came out just right for my taste. Will happily make again!

  3. Delicious! I did substitute sweet pickle juice for dill pickle juice because that is all I had in the fridge. My whole family loved this recipe.

  4. I absolutely HATE sweet pickles and was worried I wouldn’t like this recipe. It’s absolutely delicious! Definitely a trust the process moment. I swapped the red onion for shallot (my grocery store was out of decent looking red onions) and it worked out great. Might add some shredded carrots next time. This was a crowd pleaser for vegans and non-vegans (myself!) alike.

  5. This dish was a huge success. We made it tonight for a family dinner and my non vegan in-laws loved it so much they asked to take home the leftovers! This will definitely be on repeat.

  6. Nora,
    Once again I was not disappointed, nor was 60 other vegans at an annual picnic!!
    Thank you! Cara

  7. This has become a staple over the years. It is so easy. So delicious. I make it ahead of time and let the flavours mingle! I also double the fresh dill. Love love love this recipe.

    1. Hi Erica. Thank you for your fabulous review and comments! How wonderful you are loving the salad! Happy cooking!

    2. This is the best macaroni salad I’ve ever made, vegan or not: not too saucy and just the right amount of crunch and flavor. It will be a regular at our family get-togethers.

  8. This recipe is SO good I’ve made it 4 times in 2 weeks! I first tried in the night before hubby and I went on a road trip and was surprised how moist it stayed (normally the pasta absorbs the dressing and it’s left looking oily). Actually I made a double batch for our trip once hubby taste tested it.
    The only thing I did differently was use garlic pickles since that’s the only kind we ever buy and it was DELICIOUS!!!

    I’m going to make the same base and use chickpeas and baby potatoes f9 a potato salad. Another winner!

    1. Hi Michelle. I’m thrilled you loved the salad! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback and review!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.