Macaroni Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8 (makes about 7½ cups salad and 1¼ cup dressing)
  • For the salad:
  • 2 cups dry/uncooked elbow macaroni (use rice, corn, and/or quinoa pasta if you avoid gluten)
  • 1½ cups grated carrots (1 to 2 medium)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced or chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 medium, ripe avocado, chopped (optional)
  • Sweet Mustard Dressing:
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ounces raw, unsalted cahsews (about ½ cup)
  • 1 ounce pitted dates (2 Medjool or 4 Deglet Noor), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons mustard (I like Dijon or stone ground)
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  1. Place all of the dressing ingredients (water, cashews, dates, lemon juice, mustard, and garlic) into a blender, and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the cashews can soften).
  2. To make the pasta, cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cool water, and set aside.
  3. Place the carrots, bell pepper, celery, red onion, parsley, basil, and avocado (if using) into a large bowl.
  4. Blend the dressing ingredients until smooth. Stir the dressing and cooked pasta into the bowl of salad ingredients. Serve immediately or after chilling for an hour.
For a lower-fat dressing, substitute ¾ to 1 cup of cooked white beans for the cashews. (If you like more dressing, for a creamier salad, make a quarter to one-half more of the dressing.)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ recipe, 1 cup Calories: 134 Fat: 4.2g Saturated fat: 0.7g Carbohydrates: 21.1g Sugar: 6.2g Sodium: 73mg Fiber: 3.0g Protein: 4.2g Cholesterol: 0
Recipe by Straight Up Food at