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.
Adapted from Food Network.