This classic macaroni salad is completely dairy free, and if you use canola oil (or light) mayonnaise, it’s not totally terrible for you.
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.
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.
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.
This would be the perfect side dish for your favorite burgers or even grilled meatloaf.
Dairy Free Macaroni Salad
- 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
- Boil macaroni according to package directions.
- When straining rinse with cold water until cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large bowl stir the macaroni with the remaining ingredients.
- 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