Dairy Free Macaroni Salad

This classic macaroni salad is completely dairy free, and if you use canola oil (or light) mayonnaise, it’s not totally terrible for you.

Dairy Free Macaroni Salad | @simplywhisked

This macaroni salad – complete with its “secret” ingredient – has been floating around my family for a while now. My mom originally got it from a girl she worked with back in the day – long before I was born. Although I’m not really sure why, I hated it when I was growing up, but I’ve slowly started to love it as my taste has “grown up”. It’s perfect for a Labor Day barbecue, or just anytime you want a yummy, creamy side dish.

Dairy Free Macaroni Salad | @simplywhisked


The “secret” ingredient I mentioned is pickle juice – preferably dill. You add it when you add the mayonnaise, and it gives the salad a little flavor punch. There’s also baby shrimp in this salad, but you could definitely replace it with chicken or whatever else you like. I’ve had it with chicken at least a few times and it’s still just as good, but I prefer shrimp the most.

Dairy Free Macaroni Salad | @simplywhisked

To make this a little lighter, I always use canola oil mayonnaise*. It has way less calories than traditional mayonnaise, but it doesn’t have the added sugar of light mayo. You do not want to use Miracle Whip here. I mean, you can, but it just won’t taste right.

Dairy Free Macaroni Salad | @simplywhisked

This would be the perfect side dish for your favorite burgers or even grilled meatloaf.


Dairy Free Macaroni Salad

Dairy Free Macaroni Salad | @simplywhisked
  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and cooled
  • 2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice (or more to taste)
  • 1 4-ounce can small deveined shrimp, drained
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green onion, green only, sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Boil macaroni according to package directions.
  2. When straining rinse with cold water until cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl stir the macaroni with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


*If necessary, add a little extra mayonnaise before serving if the macaroni seems dry.


  • Calories: 0
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Dairy Free Macaroni Salad | @simplywhisked
  • Reply
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    July 5, 2016 at 8:40 am

    […] while back we went totally crazy and bought a 10 pound bag of carrots at Costco. We were making macaroni salad for a party or something – I can’t even remember now. In my usual dramatic fashion, the […]

  • Reply
    Memorial Day Weekend - Simply Whisked
    September 2, 2016 at 9:05 am

    […] was spent relaxing at home – editing photos, doing laundry and  making macaroni salad for our third barbecue of the weekend at my parents’ house. As usual, we had too much food […]

  • Reply
    October 25, 2018 at 11:48 am

    This macaroni salad is so good that I find myself looking forward to certain events just because I know this dish will be served. The problem is trying to not eat too much because I’m always going for seconds and possibly thirds! Highly recommend this recipe.

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