Any occasion is just right for a garden veggie macaroni salad. A colourful rainbow pasta salad boasting the best veggies and a creamy avocado dressing, this makes a great lunch or satisfying side dish. The pasta and veggies combine beautifully with the garlic, horseradish and avocado dressing. This fresh vegetable salad will get rave reviews!
Try this macaroni salad with vegetables the next time you’re in a pasta mood. A fresh vegetable salad is always a healthy option but when you elevate the appeal with tender pasta shapes and a homemade dressing, nobody can resist a second helping!
Garden Veggie Macaroni Salad Ingredients
Let’s take a closer look at what goes into this fresh vegetable salad with pasta shapes. I like to use cavatappi noodles for this, although pretty much any pasta shape would work. Cavatappi is like corkscrew-shaped macaroni. The twisty shape is especially good at holding the creamy avocado dressing.
As for the best veggies for pasta salad, I used bell peppers, celery, onion, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber broccoli, radishes, and shallots. You can use any vegetables in this colourful rainbow pasta salad.
Corn kernels, cauliflower, poblano peppers, edamame beans, and green onions are just a few examples. This is a nice recipe for using up leftover vegetables or those almost past their prime.
Creamy Avocado Dressing Ingredients
Such a tasty garden veggie macaroni salad deserves the best dressing! To make it you will need a fully ripe avocado. In fact you could even use one that’s slightly over-ripe with dark patches. You don’t need a pretty avocado for this, since everything is going to be beaten together anyway and the over-ripe kind blend better anyway.
The creaminess comes from Greek yogurt and sour cream and then you will add in two kinds of vinegar, mustard, horseradish, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. The final ingredient is hard-boiled eggs and these help thicken up the dressing and add a rich flavour to the creamy avocado dressing.
How to Make Garden Veggie Macaroni Salad
So how do you make macaroni salad with vegetables? First of all, cook the cavatappi (or whichever pasta shapes you want to use) following the directions on the package.
Next dice all the vegetables finely. You don’t want them to be too chunky but nor do they have to be all exactly the same, so cut your vegetables more or less the same size. I usually chop the onion last (less chance of tears that way!)
Remember you can use vegetables other that what’s listed if you want – anything goes in this recipe! The best veggies for pasta salad are simply the ones you like best.
Now toss them with the drained pasta to make this pasta and fresh vegetable salad. Beat all the dressing ingredients with a mixer and toss with the pasta and veggies.
How to Serve Macaroni Salad with Vegetables
This is a versatile recipe. It makes a nice side dish or you can whip up a batch for a potluck dinner or any kind of gathering. If you want to have this as a main dish, mix in some cooked chopped chicken or shrimp before serving perhaps.
How to Store Leftovers
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This recipe doesn’t freeze well because the dressing separates and the veggies go a bit mushy.
Colourful Rainbow Pasta Salad FAQs
Cavatappi, macaroni, penne, and rigatoni are just some options. You can use pretty much any pasta shape you want for this garden veggie macaroni salad. Follow the directions on the package and cook the pasta to al dente.
You can use any creamy dressing you like. To change the flavour up, consider a rich blue cheese dressing or even peach and poppy seed which is one of my favourites! If you still want to include the boiled eggs, simply dice them and add them to the pasta with the vegetables, before tossing the salad with the dressing.
Garden Veggie Macaroni Salad and Creamy Avocado Dressing Recipe
Garden Veggie Macaroni Salad and Creamy Avocado Dressing
- 1 Pound Pasta cavatappi
- 2 bell peppers Diced
- 3 Stalks celery diced
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 Cup baby carrots diced
- 3 roma tomatoes diced
- 1 cucumber diced
- 1 Cup broccoli florets, diced
- 1 Cup radishes thinly sliced and quartered
- 3 Tablespoons shallot minced
- 2 Tablespoons dill fresh
- 1 avocado ripened
- 1/2 Cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 Cup sour cream
- 3 eggs hard boiled
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 Teaspoon horseradish
- 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper coarse
- 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
- Prepare the noodles according to the package. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.
- Finely dice the vegetables. Add to a large bowl with the noodles and toss.
- Prepare the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) and beat on medium speed until smooth.
- Pour dressing into the macaroni salad and toss to coat.
- To save time, use store-bought hard boiled eggs.
- Macaroni salad can be eaten right away, but is best after being refrigerated for a couple hours
- Make sure to pick an avocado with brown flesh that slightly gives when you press it- it will be much easier to blend into the dressing this way
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Combine your favourite pasta with the best veggies for pasta salad and your reward will be this delicious macaroni salad with vegetables. Making this colourful rainbow pasta salad simply involves beating the dressing ingredients together and tossing it with diced veggies and drained, cooked pasta.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.