This Deli Macaroni Salad Recipe Is:
- Loaded with Vegetables
- Versatile: you can use any vegetables you have on hand, or swap in your favorites.
- Vegetarian and gluten free, and very easy to make vegan.
This is the year of the macaroni salad for me – I’ve been experimenting with different versions and recipes this summer. I have my Classic Macaroni Salad with a Greek Yogurt dressing, a delish Hawaiian macaroni salad, Coleslaw Macaroni Salad, and also a deviled egg macaroni salad coming soon! Some serious midwestern eatin’ going on over here.
Macaroni salad is so yummy served with anything coming off the grill. Its awesome with veggie burgers, hot dogs, fresh grilled corn, or any salad. This deli-style salad is actually loaded with tons of vegetables in it, so it has a nice refreshing crunch in eat bite. For a lighter version, you can sub out the mayo for Greek yogurt.
Whats In This Deli-Style Macaroni Salad?
- Macaroni Noodles: or any small gluten-free pasta shape of your choice.
- Onion: a sweet yellow onion or a red onion would be great
- Celery: for that extra crunch
- Carrots: for sweetness and crunch
- Bell Pepper: use any color you’d like! I used red because that is what we had, but any variety will work.
- Hardboiled Eggs: I think these make a nice addition and give the macaroni salad a high-protein profile, but you can skip if you don’t like or eat eggs. For a vegan version, cubed or crumbled tofu would be excellent.
- Mayo: You can use regular mayo, homemade, or a vegan version for plant-based. If you don’t like mayonnaise, you can totally substitute it out and replace it with a plain unsweetened Greek Yogurt.
- Sweet Relish: I used a prepared sweet relish, which gives the macaroni salad a little je ne sais quoa.
- Yellow Mustard: I used the classic prepared yellow mustard, no fancy dijon here.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: for a nice acidity and a little kick. You can also use a white vinegar or any you prefer in a salad.
- Granulated Sugar: for a bit of sweetness. You can substitute a natural sweetener instead to keep this refined sugar free. Maple syrup or honey would also be delish!
We always had macaroni salad in the fridge growing up… or at least for a day or two, it never lasted very long! I prefer a homemade version to the deli variety because I can add whatever veggies I want in it, and also control the amount of sodium in the dressing. We try to eat very low sodium over here, which is super difficult to monitor when buying prepared salads from the deli. You can check out my other low sodium recipes here!
How Do I Make This Deli Macaroni Salad Recipe?
This sweet deli macaroni salad is great to make ahead for a BBQ, party, or potluck. Make it the day before, cover and let it rest overnight, and it’s ready to go the following day! Like traditional pasta salad or coleslaw, this macaroni salad tastes better if made a day or two before.
- This recipe is vegetarian, and contains no meat in the macaroni salad.
- To make vegan, use a dairy-free or vegan mayo which are super easy to find at the grocery store. Or make your own vegan mayo!
- To make gluten free, make sure the pasta or any ingredients are GF (relish, mayo, etc.)
- To make this refined sugar free, just substitute a natural sweetener for the sugar in this recipe, and make sure there is no added sugar in the relish.
Classic Side Dish Recipes We Love!
As always, if you make this deli-style macaroni salad be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe, and tag me on Instagram so I can feature you. I love seeing all your photos of my recipe recreations!
Sweet Deli Macaroni Salad Recipe(Vegetarian, GF, Vegan Option)
- 1 16 ounce box macaroni noodles
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion finely diced
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 cup sweet bell pepper chopped
- 4 hardboiled eggs
- 1.5 cups mayo
- 1/4 cup sweet relish
- 3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions. Drain, rinse in a colander under cool water.
- On a large mixing bowl, add the macaroni noodles, onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, hard boiled eggs, mayo, relish, mustard, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Mix well to combine all ingredients. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.