Cooking pasta for a cold salad is radically different from cooking pasta for a hot dish. Going against the grain, you cook it not to al dente, but to tenderness. Overcooking it will leave you with a soggy mess instead of a salad, and undercooking it will produce hard-as-nails pasta once cool. Cooking the pasta just right will render this a perfect American staple.
And being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on delicious, creamy macaroni salads. This recipe uses vegan mayonnaise to keep it dairy-free. Use gluten-free pasta to make it gluten-free.
Recipe and photo from Everyday Vegan Eats* by Zsu Dever © 2014, reprinted by permission of Vegan Heritage Press.
Creamy Vegan Macaroni Salad
- 8 oz elbow macaroni (use whole grain or gluten-free if you’d like)
- 3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 celery stalk, minced
- 1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 tbsp minced red onion
- 2 tbsp minced parsley
- 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well and transfer to a large baking dish to cool. Stir gently every few minutes to cool it faster. Once it is cool, transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard and mix well. Add 1/2 cup to the pasta and set aside the remaining dressing.
- Stir in the celery, bell pepper, onion, parsley, and relish. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Chill the pasta salad in the refrigerator for an hour to meld the flavors. Stir the remaining dressing into the pasta salad before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning.
VARIATION: Tex-Mex Macaroni Salad. Replace the lemon juice with lime juice. Replace the mustard with 2 teaspoons of chipotle adobo puree. Reduce the celery to 1/2 celery rib. Replace the parsley with cilantro. Stir in 3/4 cup roasted corn kernels.
Nutritional Information: 480 calories; 27g fat; 348.7mg sodium; 119mg potassium; 50g carbs; 6g fiber; 3g sugar; 6.5g sugar
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