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A white bowl with macaroni salad and a silver spoon sticking out of the salad.

Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad

This easy macaroni salad is dairy-free. The dressing is made with cashews and is simple to make. The salad is full of flavor and texture. Perfect for a summer picnic side dish or a full meal.
Course Entree, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegan
Keyword macaroni salad, pasta salad, summer salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 158 kcal
Author Linda Meyer


  • 16 oz macaroni noodles or any small cut pasta
  • ½ cup gherkins pickles SEE NOTE
  • 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water SEE NOTE
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cover the 1 cup of cashews in water and boil for 12 to 15 minutes. When they’re soft and puffy, drain and rinse in cool water.
  2. Boil the noodles according to the instructions on the package. For best results, cook until el dente (firm to the bite). Check the texture 1 minute before the suggested time.
  3. While the noodles are boiling prepare the gherkins and vegetables and make the dressing.
  5. Put the drained and rinsed cashews in a blender and add the ½ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup water, SEE NOTE, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until creamy and it is thick but pourable.
  6. Drain the noodles and place in a large bowl. Stir in the dressing until the noodles are fully coated. Add the chopped gherkins and vegetables and stir until fully combined. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Recipe Notes


Gherkins pickles are crisper and have a perfect sour flavor for this salad. You can use dill or sweet, but the flavor won’t be the same.

Add more water to the blender if needed. The dressing should resemble ranch dressing from a bottle.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 158 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 93mg4%
Potassium 197mg6%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 440IU9%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.