The hot weather here in Baltimore recently gave me a pretty aggressive hankering for macaroni salad. Let’s be honest, it’s one of the most refreshing foods out there. But obviously, the traditional version is not vegan. So I came up with this fresher, healthier avocado macaroni salad, and it totally ticks all of the boxes that I was craving.
I researched some other vegan macaroni salad recipes and while they seemed delicious, all of them either called for premade vegan mayo, or required a blender. The latter, I am currently far too lazy to deal with; and the former, while surely tasty, isn’t really in line with the recipes I post on this blog. And I just had a feeling that you guys would enjoy a bright, refreshing pasta salad recipe this time of year. So I set out to create this avocado macaroni salad with no blender required and I’m super happy with the result.
It couldn’t be much easier to make:
- Cook and cool some pasta
- Chop up a few vegetables
- Mash some avocado and stir it together with a little bit of seasoning
- Mix together and feast!
I never liked my macaroni salad drowning in mayo, and I didn’t want this avocado macaroni salad drowning in avocado dressing either. So as you can see from the pictures, the dressing is pretty light. If you want something that’s dressed a little more heavily, I recommend using a whole box of pasta (so about 50% more than the 2 cups the recipe calls for as written), making double the dressing, and adding it to taste.
Let me know if you give this satisfying, summery dish a try! I love seeing your photos on social media – you can tag me @yupitsvegan or use the #yupitsvegan hashtag to help me find it.
Avocado Macaroni Salad
- 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 avocado well-mashed
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp prepared mustard (I recommend grainy types, which are more flavorful and less pungent than plain yellow mustard)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp agave nectar (or 2 teaspoons brown rice syrup)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup diced celery
- 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions, then rinse it in cold water and drain it.
- Use a small bowl to soak the diced red onion in cold water (this helps remove the "bite" from it). Let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the mashed avocado, mustard, lemon juice, and agave nectar. Season to taste with plenty of salt and pepper.
- Drain the red onion and fold it together with the macaroni, avocado mixture, celery, bell pepper, and parsley. Have another taste of everything together and adjust seasoning as needed.
- This avocado macaroni salad is best kept cold and served the same day that it is prepared, due to the tendency of avocado to oxidize. However, I did test out leftovers and personally found it acceptable up to the 48 hour mark.
My pasta recipes usually tell you explicitly not to rinse the pasta, but this time you should, since we're using it in a cold salad. 🙂
The richness of avocado means that this dressing will need plenty of seasoning (salt). You may want additional acid too, but I'll leave that up to you!
Adapted from Food Network.