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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.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Entree, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 158kcal
Author: Linda & Alex

Equipment

  • stove
  • Blender

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce 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
  • FOR THE DRESSING
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water SEE NOTE
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • While the noodles are boiling prepare the gherkins and vegetables and make the dressing.
  • FOR THE DRESSING
  • Put the drained and rinsed cashews in a blender and add the ½ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup water, SEE NOTE, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until creamy and it is thick but pourable.
  • 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.

Notes

NUTRITION DISCLAIMER
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

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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