This Vegetarian Pasta Salad, a complete macaroni salad with crisp summer veggies, is a perfectly delicious side dish for your next picnic or party.
Easy to make and delicious to enjoy, I personally love pasta salads (like my tri color pasta salad) because they are one of the few foods that taste better the next day!
Now I would never say that pasta itself is a “healthy” salad, but carbs in and of themselves are not detrimental to your diet. This vegetable pasta salad is a perfect balance of good for you and keep you full all at once and its as beautiful to look at in the bowl as it is a complimentary side dish for chicken or freshly grilled summer hamburgers.
And if you are looking for other delicious options to serve that include a healthy selection of veggies, you should also try these avocado pesto zoodles. Um, YUM!!
Vegetarian Pasta Salad Recipe
This pasta salad is vegetarian friendly. I do not know if its “vegan” friendly because I am not well versed in that nutritional guideline, so if someone knows feel free to let me know!
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- cucumber, sliced in rounds
- large tomato, chopped
- yellow red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup real mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup milk
- salt and pepper
More Pasta Salad Recipes
- CousCous Salad
- Quinoa Black bean Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Mandarin Salad (with little oranges and chicken!)
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Vegetable Cold Pasta Salad
Cook macaroni according to package directions. A lot of people always ask me in macaroni and pasta dishes if you can substitute the macaroni noodles for other pastas. Technically you can but traditionally you shouldn’t. Changing up the pasta can change the density and consistency of the side dish and its meant to soak up just the right amount of mayo for this to work.
If you would like to change it up, let me know how it goes! Just note that you may need to adjust the dressing.
Drain your macaroni pasta and rinse with cold water to cool.
In a mixing bowl, add cucumber, tomato, red pepper, onion and carrots.
Mix all your vegetables really well.
Add mayonnaise and milk and mix to combine.
The addition of the milk helps thin out the mayo giving it a creamy and light texture, with just enough “dressing” covering the veggies.
Season with salt and pepper.
Fold in your cooked macaroni noodles.
Refrigerate this pasta for 4 hours or overnight and serve cold.
Stir and combine one more time before serving.
This macaroni pasta salad recipe as is serves 6-8
Chefs Note: On occasion I am asked if you can use Miracle Whip over Mayo. While they often serve the same purpose, the tastes are preferential. I personally do not use Miracle Whip so I can not provide the measurements for that.