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creamy plant-based macaroni salad

by Jackie Newgent  |  February 25, 2022  |  1 Comment

creamy plant-based macaroni salad in a bowl

If you’re planning to have a picnic — or an indoor picnic — anytime soon, this creamy plant-based macaroni salad recipe is a must-make! (Actually, I personally think it’s a must-make anytime you feel like it!)

A couple days ago, it was almost 70°F in Brooklyn. It made me craaaave picnic food – and, specifically, a cool, comforting, creamy macaroni salad. So, I made some! And this is the exact recipe I whipped up.

The pasta

Pick your pasta shape of choice. It doesn’t have to be macaroni even if I call this “macaroni salad.” Here, I used an organic campanelle pasta. The shape is also called gigli or trumpet.

creamy plant-based macaroni salad--adding pasta to dressing

Planet-friendly techniques

To save cooking energy (and curb greenhouse gas emissions), I suggest preparing it using my “lid cooked” technique: Bring (salted) water to a boil; stir in pasta; bring back to a boil; cover with lid; turn off heat; let it “lid cook” undisturbed for the exact time suggested on the package.

And to save water, try this “ice cooled” technique. Drain your prepared pasta, stir with 3 to 4 large ice cubes until cooled to room temperature, then drain again. This will save a significant amount of water (more than 2 quarts or 2 liters, in fact!) instead of rinsing the noodles under cold running water.

Watch me do this on TikTok — click HERE!

creamy plant-based macaroni salad during prep

How to make

You’ll stir the ice-cooled noodles into a dressing mixture of vegan mayo, pepperoncini, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and sea salt — and then stir in veggies of choice. I went with extra-thinly sliced fennel stalks and freshly-roasted red bell pepper for a pop of color, texture, and mmm!

creamy plant-based macaroni salad--an angled view

Then when you’re ready to serve it, fold in scallions and arugula microgreens (or finely chopped arugula), and voila!

creamy plant-based macaroni salad_a forkful of the salad

Print
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creamy plant-based macaroni salad in a bowl

creamy plant-based macaroni salad

  • Author: Jackie Newgent
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American,
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

If you’re planning to have a picnic — or an indoor picnic — anytime soon, this creamy plant-based macaroni salad recipe is a must-make! (Actually, I personally think it’s a must-make anytime you feel like it!)


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 8 ounces organic macaroni or campanelle pasta
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • 3 tablespoons drained, minced pepperoncini or other pickled peppers
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup veggies of choice (I used extra-thinly sliced fennel stalks and freshly roasted red bell pepper)
  • 1/3 cup arugula microgreens or finely chopped arugula leaves
  • 1 or 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Cook the macaroni using my “lid-cooking” technique: Bring (salted) water to a boil; stir in pasta; bring back to a boil; cover with lid; turn off heat; let it “lid cook” undisturbed for the exact time suggested on the package. That’s it!
  2. Drain the pasta, add to a medium bowl, and stir with 3 to 4 large ice cubes until cooled to room temperature. Drain well of any excess liquid. Chill.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the mayo, pepperoncini, vinegar, mustard, and salt until well combined. Add the cool macaroni and veggies of choice and stir to combine.
  4. When ready to serve, fold in the arugula microgreens and scallion. If desired, top with additional arugula microgreens to serve.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 200
  • Sugar: 2g includes 1g added sugars
  • Sodium: 630
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: macaroni salad, picnic food, comfort food, plant-based comfort, pasta, plant-based recipe

Want to make other picnic-friendly recipes? Try my pulse based “egg salad” (see recipe HERE), avocado & roasted carrot sandwich (see recipe HERE), four layer hummus jars (see recipe HERE), popcorn, tart cherry and pistachio snack mix (see recipe HERE), and fudgy miso brownies with sea salt (see recipe HERE).

creamy plant-based macaroni salad--a closeup

 

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