Creamy comfort food gone healthy in this vegan macaroni salad made with all whole food ingredients! Perfect for barbecues, picnics or a night on the couch!
I love food. Raise your hand if you agree! I see you. I’m guessing this is one of the reasons you’re here? Well, today I have a huge treat for you.
One of my absolute favorite things to do is recreate typically unhealthy food into healthier versions BUT not lose that classic amazing comfort food taste.
Today’s success story: Classic Macaroni Salad. To be clear, I’m talking about vegan macaroni salad made with ALL whole foods.
This isn’t your slap some vegan mayo in it and call it a day type of recipe. This has NO mayo. NO oils. ALL whole foods blended and stirred and chilled to make a macaroni salad you can serve at a picnic, or summer barbecue, or simply on a sit on the couch with a giant bowl and dig in type of day. But you will literally have no idea it’s actually healthy.
We Are Pasta Fiends
Even if something is super healthy, I refuse to eat it if it doesn’t taste good. Why would I consume gross calories? I’m too old for that, not a 16 year old who eats everything and anything and never gain a pound type of girl anymore.
I’ve told you about my love for good pasta before, and I’m back. Back with yet another amazing pasta find: truRoots Ancient Grain Pasta. A huge plus for this one? It is good chilled the next day!! Which makes it perfect for this vegan classic macaroni salad.
When truRoots came to me about joining their newest campaign on recreating my favorite comfort pasta dish into a lighter and healthier version, it took me about 1 second to know this was a job for me.
This is my thing. My favorite part of this job. What gets me excited. So I knew pretty quickly that this vegan macaroni salad was going to be my conquest.
Comfort Food Made Healthy – Win Win
I love classic pasta salad, but the traditional version isn’t the healthiest choice. So I was committed to making my version with all whole foods. TruRoots pastas are awesome out of the fridge, so they are perfect for salads and such that you want to serve later that day or even the next day.
Plus they are are Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and gluten-free. Also awesome, they come in Spaghetti, Penne, Elbow and Fusilli varieties. Woot woot!
Oh wait….AND the elbows cook in 2-3 minutes. No big deal. Ummm, YES IT IS!! It’s a VERY big deal! That’s shorter than the time it takes for my kids to even get to the table!
Why Should You Make This Vegan Macaroni Salad?
- It’s made with ALL whole foods and no mayo!
- It has about 1/3 the fat of the traditional version thanks to the multiple sneaky ways I use to get creaminess into it.
- It has a boost of hidden protein.
- TruRoots pasta is made with a blend of unique, quality ingredients. This combination keeps a firm al dente texture after cooking and stays that way even when left for later.
- The truRoots elbow macaroni cooks in 2-3 minutes. BAM.
- It tastes amazing. Just as creamy and comforting as the original.
Convinced yet? You should be, because this. is. real.
- 16 ounces truRoots elbow macaroni pasta
- 2 cups chopped sweet red/orange/yellow pepper
- Dash of salt and veggie broth or oil to sauté , low sodium if needed
- ¾ cup chopped celery
- ¾ cup chopped dill pickles plus ¼ cup juice from jar
- ¾ cup chopped red onion soaked in cold water for a few minutes and drained (see note)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup raw cashews see note
- ¼ cup cooked red or russet potato
- ½ cup cooked white beans rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
- 2 teaspoons pink salt
- ½ teaspoon chopped garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard seed
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Saute chopped sweet pepper over medium heat using veggie broth or oil and a dash of salt. Cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put celery, red onion, dill pickles, pickle juice and black pepper in a large bowl.
- Next, make the creamy dressing by putting the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
- Once pasta is done, rinse in cold water then add it to the bowl. Then add the creamy dressing. Taste and adjust salt as necessary. I needed an extra ½ teaspoon. Place in the fridge to allow it to get cold and so the flavors can marinate completely. Once ready, garnish with ingredients of choice and devour!
- Any sweet pepper variety works, or a combo of all.
- Soaking the onion helps takes the bite out of it. This step is optional but it helps reduce the strong onion flavor.
- I like putting the extra pickle juice in the bowl with the veggies to help them marinate in the flavor while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- If you are not using a high speed blender you can either soak the cashews overnight or grind them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder.
- Tips to prep ahead: Chop veggies. Saute red pepper. Soak or grind cashews if not using a high speed blender. Cook potato. Make creamy dressing.
- Baby/toddler food idea: make sure pasta is well cooked and veggies are finely chopped.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of truRoots. The opinions and text are all mine.