Healthy Macaroni Salad is an easy, classic, creamy side dish that’s perfect for Summer! Made with yellow onion, celery, macaroni pasta, and Greek Yogurt.
Macaroni Salad is a classic Side Dish that usually comes with a high calorie count. But, just like our recipe for Baked French Fries, this Healthy Macaroni Salad recipe has the taste you love without any of the guilt!
HEALTHY MACARONI SALAD
This Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish for summer cookouts, weeknight dinners, and potlucks. It’s so quick and simple to throw together! This Pasta Salad recipe sure to become a new go-to appetizer. Apart from refrigerating, the total time is just 15 minutes!
The familiar flavors and crunchy celery in this Macaroni Salad make it the perfect side for so many meals. It’s the perfect pairing for BBQ chicken, burgers, or even shrimp.
Pasta Salad is made-over in this healthy version of the classic side. Instead of using full-fat mayonnaise, like most store-bought or homemade pasta salad recipes, this Macaroni Salad uses one part Greek Yogurt and one part light mayo. This makes for less saturated fat and a low-calorie salad. You could also use fat-free mayo in your salad, but it won’t be as creamy.
This Macaroni Salad is excellent as it is, but it’s also very versatile. You can add a variety of ingredients and dressings to the salad. For more healthy ingredients in your Macaroni Salad, make it extra veggie-packed. Add some chopped cucumber, tomato, or bell peppers. It’s an easy recipe to adapt and experiment with!
MORE HEALTHY SIDES
VARIATIONS ON HEALTHY MACARONI SALAD
- Add ins: There are plenty of veggies and other mix-ins you can put in this easy Pasta Salad. Try cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers, chopped tomato, zucchini, red onion, red pepper, or any other veggies you’d like. Apart from veggies you could try crumbling some cheese over the top. Great options are feta cheese, goat cheese, or Parmesan Cheese. For more flavor, add some fresh herbs, lemon juice, or a light vinaigrette over the top of the Pasta Salad. For more protein, mix in some chickpeas or sliced hard-boiled eggs.
- Italian Pasta Salad: It’s easy to make Italian Pasta Salad! First, take the mayo and the Greek Yogurt out of this recipe. Add cherry tomatoes, black olives, and mozzarella cheese. Then for the dressing, mix 1 ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, the ¼ cup white vinegar, and ¼ cup cold water. Mix that in with the pasta and refrigerate. It’s that simple!
- Gluten-Free: Most the ingredients in this salad like yogurt, low-fat mayo, and vegetables are already gluten-free. Although, you may want to check the label of the mayonnaise, just to be sure. The only ingredient you’ll have to exchange are the noodles. A few alternatives to use in your Macaroni Salad are soba noodles, brown rice pasta, chickpea pasta, and zoodles (zucchini noodles).
- Vegan Macaroni Salad: To make your cold pasta salad vegan, you’ll need a dairy-free alternative to the yogurt, and egg-free mayo. Plenty of brands, including Hellman’s, have vegan mayonnaise. You can also find plant-based yogurts like almond milk yogurt, coconut milk yogurt, and flax milk yogurt. Kite Hill’s Almond Yogurt has a Greek style yogurt that will work best for pasta salad.
- Noodles: Classic Macaroni Salad typically uses elbow macaroni, but there are plenty of other pastas you can try. Some good options are tri-color rotini noodles, orzo, fusilli, whole-grain pasta, or farfalle (bowtie noodles).
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HEALTHY MAIN DISHES TO SERVE WITH MACARONI SALAD
HOW TO STORE HEALTHY PASTA SALAD
- Serve: Macaroni Salad shouldn’t be left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
- Store: You can store any leftover salad in the fridge for 3-5 days. Be sure to cover it in plastic wrap or put the Macaroni Salad in an airtight container.
- Freeze: It isn’t recommended to freeze this recipe as the dressing will not stay emulsified after thawing.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 cup 2% greek yogurt
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 yellow onion , minced
- 2 stalks celery , chopped
- Boil macaroni one minute shy of directions on the box, then drain and rinse.
- In a large bowl combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper, stirring well.
- Add in the onion, celery and pasta and toss to combine.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.