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Mayo-Free Macaroni Salad

Fresh, creamy, easy classic Macaroni Salad recipe made mayo-free! This simple macaroni salad will surely be a family favorite! Serve it up at your gatherings for a lovely side dish.

Mayo-Free Macaroni Salad Recipe - simple ingredients, lots of flavor and a Greek yogurt dressing make this easy macaroni salad so refreshing!

Chilled summer salads bring so much joy to life, and this macaroni salad just nails it. I made it a bit lighter than a traditional heirloom recipe, but it’s still loaded with flavor and that creamy appeal without being overly rich or heavy.

I prefer using Greek yogurt for the dressing in this macaroni salad as opposed to mayonnaise, but don’t you worry – if you love mayo, feel free to make the swap! It will make the dressing even creamier.

The fresh veggies make this macaroni salad taste nice and vibrant and snappy, leaving that refreshing essence to keep you making it again and again.

Barbecues, picnics, meal prep, dinner with friends…whatever the occasion, this macaroni salad is here for you!

It’s super straight-forward and actually pure joy to prepare. Let’s get into it!

Amazingly flavorful creamy Macaroni Salad made with a Greek yogurt dressing is light and refreshing!

How to Make Macaroni Salad:

Cook the macaroni noodles according to package instructions. Drain into a colander and immediately run cold water over the noodles to help cool them down and to remove excess starch. Note: I add a few tablespoons of avocado oil to the boiling water while cooking the pasta noodles, which helps them not stick together once drained.

While the noodles are cooking, add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a mixing bowl and stir together until well-combined.

Add the chopped bell pepper, red onion, celery, dill pickles and chopped hard-boiled eggs and stir well.

Ingredients for macaroni salad in a mixing bowl

Transfer the cooked and cooled macaroni to the mixing bowl and stir everything together until combined.

Stir ingredients for macaroni salad in a mixing bowl

Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. If desired, add more vinegar and/or mustard.

Note: After mixing everything together, the dressing will seem watery. As the macaroni salad sits in the refrigerator, the dressing will thicken up and become more luscious.

Pasta salad is always better after it sits! I recommend preparing this macaroni salad 6 to 24 hours in advance for best results.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Add sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives, capers, and/or artichoke hearts to give this macaroni salad a Mediterranean vibe.
  • Cook up 4 to 6 strips of thick cut bacon, chop them up and serve on top of the macaroni salad for some extra flavor and crunch.
  • I use gluten-free elbow macaroni noodles, but you can go with your favorite macaroni noodles.
  • Swap the Greek yogurt for mayo.
  • Always feel free to ramp up the sea salt, vinegar, mustard, etc. to give the salad more flavor.
Healthier Macaroni Salad recipe with Greek yogurt dressing - mayo-free, flavorful and delicious!

More Healthy Summer Salads:

Enjoy this macaroni bliss!

Mayo-Free Macaroni Salad Recipe - simple ingredients, lots of flavor and a Greek yogurt dressing make this easy macaroni salad so refreshing!
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4.46 from 35 votes

Mayo-Free Macaroni Salad

A refreshing Macaroni Salad with Greek Yogurt dressing is light and flavorful – marvelous to share at any gathering!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Side Dishes & Snacks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 268kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta noodles I use gluten-free elbow macaroni
  • cup red bell pepper
  • ½ cup red onion
  • cup celery
  • 3 Tbsp chopped dill pickles or gherkins optional
  • 3 hard boiled eggs chopped

Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup or cane sugar
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard or stone ground mustard
  • ½ tsp sea salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the macaroni noodles according to package instructions. Drain into a colander and immediately run cold water over the noodles to help cool them down and to remove excess starch.
  • While the noodles are cooking, add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a mixing bowl and stir together until well-combined.
  • Add the chopped bell pepper, red onion, celery, dill pickles and chopped hard-boiled eggs and stir well.
  • Transfer the cooked and cooled macaroni to the mixing bowl and stir everything together until combined.
  • Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. If desired, add more vinegar and/or mustard.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 6 | Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

Mayo-Free Macaroni Salad - Fresh, creamy, easy classic Macaroni Salad recipe made mayo-free! This simple macaroni salad will surely be a family favorite! Serve it up at your gatherings for a lovely side dish. #pasta #pastasalad #macaorni #macaronisalad #glutenfree #summer #sidedish #summersalad

Recipe Rating




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Susan

Sunday 23rd of April 2023

I made this today and wow, it is so good! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I never thought macaroni salad could be made healthy, ha. I didn't have any rice vinegar, dill pickles or gherkins, so I substituted with distilled white vinegar and finely chopped carrots.

Julia

Monday 24th of April 2023

Yaay! I'm so thrilled to hear that, Susan! I didn't realize I loved macaroni salad either until developing this recipe, lol! Happy you enjoy it too!

Brittany

Thursday 19th of January 2023

Hello! I’m making this right now and not sure if I need to mince the garlic or put a garlic clove inside the mix. Lol help! :) thank you!

Julia

Thursday 19th of January 2023

Hi Brittany! My apologies for the confusion! The garlic is meant to be minced before adding it to the macaroni salad. Hope you enjoy! xo

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