This Vegan Rainbow Macaroni Salad is:
- rich and creamy
- packed with veggies
- super easy to make!
Now that it's nearly summer, I decided it was time to make a simple but healthy salad hearty enough to serve as a main meal, but that would also make a good side dish for BBQs and picnics.
This Vegan Rainbow Macaroni salad is my answer...it's fresh, colourful, flavourful and bound to be a crowd pleaser.
It's highly customisable and can be made using whatever vegetables you like or have on hand. I decided to use a selection of summery produce:
- nutty green peas
- sweet red peppers
- crunchy carrots
- fresh zucchini (courgette)
- vibrant purple cabbage
- peppery radishes
It's effortless to throw together, as once you've cooked the pasta (green peas can be cooked in the same pot at the same time for ease and convenience) and prepared the other vegetables, all you need to is take care of the mayonnaise!
You can use a shop-bought vegan mayonnaise if you prefer, but I like to make my own because it's:
- effortless once you have an easy recipe (I do!)
- SO much more delicious
My go-to cashew mayonnaise recipe is not only simple to make but also tastes incredible: it's silky, pleasantly tangy and luxuriously creamy without being too heavy or cloying.
This recipe may seem to call for a lot of water and the mayonnaise may look very liquidy, but you do need it to be runny as the vegetables and cooked pasta soak up a lot of water, and you definitely don't want a dry pasta salad!
As mentioned above, this salad can be enjoyed as a main meal, especially on hot summer nights when you don't really feel like cooking but still want something satisfying, but it also makes an excellent side dish.
You can eat it immediately upon making, but it also keeps covered in the fridge for up to a day, though the texture and longevity of the dish may vary depending on which type of gluten-free pasta you use.
For more salads, check out my:
- Rice Noodle Salad
- Nectarine Quinoa Buckwheat Tabbouleh
- Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad
- Miso Seaweed Salad
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Vegan Rainbow Macaroni Salad:
Vegan Rainbow Macaroni Salad (GF)
- 200 g (7oz) pasta (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 150 g (1 cup) frozen green peas
For the vegetables:
- 1 red pepper, cored and diced
- Handful of purple cabbage, shredded
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 courgette (zucchini), grated
- 4 radishes, diced
For the mayonnaise:
- 75 g (½ cup) raw cashew nuts - soaked overnight in cold water or in boiling hot water for 10 minutes
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 130 ml (½ cup) water
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to instructions on packet - add peas at the same time
For the mayonnaise:
- Use a food processor, blender (or hand-held stick blender) to whizz until completely smooth
- Place the cooked pasta and peas in a large bowl along with the vegetables
- Pour over the mayonnaise and mix well
- Taste and add more salt if necessary
- Leave to cool until it reaches room temperature before serving
- Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a day, though the texture and how long it keeps for depends on which type of gluten-free pasta you use
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