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This fresh vegan macaroni salad is packed with crispy veggies, fresh herbs, al dente pasta, and comes with a bright vinaigrette dressing! Plant-based, refreshing, and super simple to prepare. A delicious appetizer or side dish!

Macaroni salad with green peas, radishes, mint, and cucumber in a bowl.

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • Quick and easy. While the pasta is cooking, slice the vegetables and prepare the vinaigrette. Toss everything together, and you are done. This salad takes less than 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish and is incredibly easy.
  • Versatile. Got avocado? Cherry tomatoes? Stir them in! This salad is versatile, so you can easily tweak it to your liking.
  • Delicious as a side or an appetizer. You can serve this macaroni salad as an appetizer, a light lunch, or as a side with your protein of choice for a heartier meal.

🥒 Ingredient Notes

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this refreshing pasta salad:

  • Macaroni – I went with large elbow macaroni pasta here, but any type of pasta will work. If using smaller macaroni or a different type of pasta, I recommend measuring it by weight. You should use about 5 ounces of dry pasta.
  • Cucumber – For juiciness and crunchiness. If using English or Persian cucumber, there is no need to peel them as their skin is usually thin and not bitter.
  • Green peas – Frozen peas work great. Simply let them thaw for a few minutes on the counter.
  • Radish – Red radishes add color, crispiness, and a peppery flavor.
  • Red onion
  • Fresh herbs – I went with a mix of cilantro and mint, but you can use basil, dill, or parsley.
  • Ricotta – Optionally, you can stir in crumbled vegan ricotta to add extra freshness.
Ingredients like dry macaroni, green peas, cucumbers, radishes, and mustard.

Then, for the dressing, you will need:

  • Oil – You can use virgin olive oil or a neutral oil like avocado or canola oil. The best option is obviously olive oil, as it will add a lot of flavors.
  • White vinegar – For tanginess. You can use white rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even balsamic vinegar!
  • Lime juice – Preferably fresh lime juice.
  • Mustard – To add some tang and a subtle spiciness. I recommend using Dijon mustard.
  • Miso – Optional. White miso adds extra saltiness and umami to the dressing.
  • Salt and pepper – To season.
Cooked macaroni, red onions, radishes, cucumber, and fresh herbs in a bowl.

🥣 How to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta.
  2. Drain it and rinse it under cold water to cool. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Next, add the diced cucumber, red onion, green peas, radishes, and fresh herbs.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients.
  5. Pour the vinaigrette into the bowl and toss to coat. Taste and adjust the saltiness to your liking.
  6. Serve immediately or refrigerate for one hour.

📔 Tips

  • Do not overcook the pasta. You don’t want mushy pasta! Stop the cooking as soon as the pasta is al dente and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Salt the cooking water. Do not hesitate to add a generous pinch of salt to the pasta cooking water. It will enhance the overall taste of the salad.
  • Optional add-ins: If you want to add even more flavor to this salad, a few options are chopped sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, bell peppers, or even olives!
  • Make ahead: For the best flavor and texture, serve this salad within 2-3 hours. If you don’t plan to serve it within this timeframe, stir the cooked pasta with the vegetables and keep it in the refrigerator (you can toss it with a teaspoon of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other). Toss it with the dressing right before serving.
  • Add protein: If you want to make this salad more balanced, you can add vegan chicken strips, smoked tofu, or some thinly sliced seitan.
Cooked macaroni, red onions, radishes, cucumber, and fresh herbs in a bowl.

This simple vegan macaroni salad is packed with crisp veggies, healthy fats, and flavor! It’s super fresh, thanks to the mint, cilantro, and lime juice, and perfect for spring/summer!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Macaroni salad with green peas, radishes, mint, and cucumber.
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Recipe

Easy Vegan Macaroni Salad

5 from 3 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
This fresh macaroni salad is packed with crispy veggies, fresh herbs, al dente pasta, and comes with a bright vinaigrette dressing! Plant-based, refreshing, and super simple to prepare!
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 8 minutes
Total Time : 23 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 202 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 and 1/2 cup dry large elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1/3 cup frozen green peas
  • 4 small radishes sliced
  • 1/3 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed mint
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/4 cup vegan ricotta optional

Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp white miso optional
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp and 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook it according to the package instructions.
  • Once tender, drain and rinse the pasta under cold water a few times to stop the cooking process. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Add the green peas, radishes, cucumber, red onion, fresh herbs, and vegan ricotta if using. Pour in the vinaigrette dressing (recipe below) and toss to coat. Taste and adjust the saltiness if needed and serve.

Vinaigrette Dressing

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients together.

Notes

  • Do not overcook the pasta. You don’t want mushy pasta! Stop the cooking as soon as the pasta is al dente and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Salt the cooking water. Do not hesitate to add a generous pinch of salt to the pasta cooking water. It will enhance the overall taste of the salad.
  • Optional add-ins: If you want to add even more flavor to this salad, a few options are chopped sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, bell peppers, or even olives!
  • Make ahead: For the best flavor and texture, serve this salad within 2-3 hours. If you don’t plan to serve it within this timeframe, stir the cooked pasta with the vegetables and keep it in the refrigerator (you can toss it with a teaspoon of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other). Toss it with the dressing right before serving.
  • Add protein: If you want to make this salad more balanced, you can add vegan chicken strips, smoked tofu, or some thinly sliced seitan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 202 kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.1 g | Protein: 7.3 g | Fat: 1.1 g | Sodium: 22 mg | Potassium: 87 mg | Fiber: 2.9 g | Sugar: 4.6 g | Calcium: 12 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Course : Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine : Mediterranean
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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5 stars
Made this tonight, served with vegan sausages. Very tasty! I doubled the recipe for this macaroni salad, so glad I did.
Thank you,
Trina

5 stars
This an amazing salad, super easy to make. Thank you!

5 stars
Great salad. Fresh, flavorful.
Thank you for this recipe.
Jan