Classic Deli-Style Macaroni Salad (Easy + Vegan)

June 21, 2019

Appetizers and Sides

By: Chris Petrellese 

A veganized version of classic deli-style macaroni salad that is spot on to the original, and maybe even better!

close up shot of a vegan macaroni salad by sweet simple vegan

This vegan macaroni salad is creamy with the perfect crunch of veggies, and it brings me right back to my childhood. As a kid, macaroni salad was a staple at all of our summer cookouts. It was always my favorite side dish and I always piled my plate up with as much as humanly possible. 

classic deli-style macaroni salad by sweet simple vegan

Since I was such a fan of macaroni salad as a kid, I thought it was the perfect summer picnic recipe to veganize. As you may expect, it’s pretty easy to make this dish vegan. With a simple swap of mayo for vegenaise, you’re well on your way to enjoying an elevated version of the macaroni salad you know and love. 

Ingredients for vegan macaroni salad on a marble board by sweet simple vegan

One thing I have noticed is that no two macaroni salads are exactly alike. It’s pretty much up to your preference as to what veggies you’d like to include. The most classic veggies in macaroni salad are celery, bell peppers, carrots, and onions, but you can also get fancy and put tomatoes, peas, olives, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.

rainbow vegetables in a bowl making a vegan macaroni salad by sweet simple vegan

close up shot of a vegan macaroni salad by sweet simple vegan

To make this recipe a little bit healthier, we swapped out some of the vegenaise for plain unsweetened dairy-free yogurt. This helps cut down the fat and makes it a bit lighter, which I like because I can eat more ????.

Vegan classic deli-style macaroni salad with serving spoon

If you’re hungry for more picnic recipes we’ve got plenty for you! 

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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close up shot of a vegan macaroni salad by sweet simple vegan

Classic Deli-Style Macaroni Salad (Easy + Vegan)

  • Author: Chris @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


A veganized version of classic deli-style macaroni salad that is spot on to the original, and maybe even better!



  • 3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain vegan yogurt (or you can use more mayo)
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Black pepper, as desired

Additional Ingredients

  • 8 oz. gluten-free macaroni noodles (or noodles of choice)
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red (or green) onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


  1. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Add in the carrot, red bell pepper, celery, onion, parsley, dill and the cooled macaroni noodles. Fold everything together until well combined and uniform.
  3. Serve immediately or place it into the fridge until you are ready to serve.


  • Store the macaroni in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Feel free to customize this recipe and add/omit vegetables and herbs of your choice! This woul be great with peas, olives and even diced vegan cheddar cheese.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Appetizer, Side
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-free, American

Keywords: Vegan, Gluten-free, American, Appetizer, Side, Macaroni, Salad, Picnic

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Carrie says:

    These recipes look tempting, but anything with 3/4 cup of vegan mayonnaise or coconut oil is NOT healthy food! I’d love to see more low or no oil things that look as delicious as these do!

    • We have lots of oil-free recipes on the blog 🙂 We also never claimed that this was a health food, just a veganized version of the classic dish. Our goal here is to create something for everyone. If you want to make it healthy, try just using the vegan yogurt 🙂

    • Amy Sevigny says:

      Just made this and it is fabulous!! My daughter is not a huge fan of pasta salad and she can’t stop eating this one! Thanks!

  2. Barbara Hecht says:

    Made a half recipe to test. This is a nice solid base for a macaroni salad and easily customizable.
    I had to use dried herbs so used 1/3 less (after dividing in 2) so it will need to sit to meld those flavors but I can see keeping this in the summer rotation but full fat since this will be a potluck salad for work.

  3. Definitely going to be giving this a try next week, it looks delicious!

    Shannon |

  4. Danielle Lacy says:

    This is absolutely delicious ???????? just another amazing recipe from you guys. Thank you for always coming up with great recipes that can work for everyone.
    Love you guys ????

  5. Karla says:

    Looks so good! I was planning on making this today but I don’t have sweet relish. Can I substitute it with chopped pickles or will it give it a different flavor? Should I add a sweeter if I do? If so what sweeter no use suggest and how much? Thanks

  6. Molly says:

    I made this and it came out so good. I had a lot of veggies in my fridge to use up so I chopped up yellow summer squash, zucchini, broccoli and carrots and blanched them for about 2 minutes with the cooking pasta. I opted for all mayo, no yogurt and the relish really makes this recipe taste like the macaroni salad of my childhood. So perfect for any BBQ or summer potluck!

  7. oh this macaroni looks so good!!!!!! love the easy recipe.

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