Deli-style macaroni salad is tangy, flavorful and always a hit at barbecues, potlucks, and parties. The best part is that this isn’t ordinary pasta! It’s made with gluten free macaroni noodles. We hope you love this gluten free macaroni salad as much as we do!
If you are getting ready for a picnic, you will want to make this delicious loaded baked potato salad to bring too! This recipe can easily be made vegan by using vegan mayo!
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this yummy macaroni salad. This salad is egg-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free! The dijon mustard dressing is the real show stopper! It is the perfect combination with the fresh veggies and gluten free pasta noodles.
Before I share all the delicious details, I want to take a moment to give you some help when it comes to gluten free pasta. If you are new to eating gluten free or don’t make a lot of pasta, you might be scratching your head wondering why it turns out mushy.
Take a look at my guide How To Cook Gluten Free Pasta To Avoid Mushy Pasta. You will thank yourself later!
Why this recipe is great:
This easy homemade gluten free deli style macaroni salad is so easy to make and my recipe tastes like it came from a restaurant. It tastes delicious and is popular with the whole family.
Naturally, you can make this easy macaroni salad to go with your dinner or lunch, but there are so many other reasons to serve it! Reunions, barbecues, bridal showers, baby showers, and picnics are a few of my favorite reasons to make this classic pasta salad.
What you need to make this:
- Gluten free macaroni - I highly recommend you use either Tinkyada or Jovial brands.
- Red pepper - You can also use green or yellow pepper.
- Parsley - Flat leaf or curly leaf
- Mayonnaise - Use dairy-free/egg-free if you are vegan
- Optional: Sweet relish
Recipe step by step directions:
Step 1: The first step is to boil your macaroni per package instructions. Don't forget my tip above about cooking it a minute less!
Step 2: When the pasta is done, drain into a colander and then do a cold water rinse to cool it off.
Step 3: Chop your vegetables and add them to a bowl.
Step 4: Add the mayo, vinegar, dijon, and seasoning to the bowl. Mix well and pour into a container. Put into the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it.
If you love salads as much as we do, you will want to check out all of my delicious gluten free salad recipes!
If you want to add a few extra ingredients to the macaroni salad, feel free! Or eat it the way the recipe is written. Here are some fun ideas to try out:
- Green Onions
- Crumbled Bacon Pieces
- Parmesan Cheese (If you tolerate dairy)
- Chicken Breast - Add some chopped cooked chicken breast for some protein.
What brand of gluten free macaroni is best?
I really love using Tinkyada brand of macaroni in this recipe. It is more hearty and doesn't get mushy.
Tips to avoid mushy pasta:
- Cook the macaroni a minute less than the package says so that the pasta is very al dente. This way it gets some moisture from the dressing and doesn't get mushy.
- After cooking, drain the pasta in a colander. Rinse the pasta well in cold water to halt the cooking process to avoid mushy pasta
There are many different types of gluten free pasta. Traditional pasta is loaded with wheat flour, which is gluten. So, when you are shopping for pasta, it’s best to read the labels.
You should be looking for pasta noodles that are certified gluten free and are made from multi-grains like corn, rice, or quinoa. There are also noodles that are made from buckwheat flour, chickpea, and shirataki.
Gluten free pasta can taste very similar to traditional pasta depending on what it is made out of. The texture is a little different. In most cases, you can make a gluten free macaroni salad or other pasta dish and serve it, and no one will even realize the difference.
Store leftover macaroni salad in the refrigerator. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container and it will last 2-3 days in the fridge.
Don’t freeze the gluten free salad, because the pasta and mayonnaise will not do very well. If you notice that the macaroni salad has become mushy, watery, or dried out then it’s probably old and should be thrown out.
You shouldn't freeze this pasta salad. It will not thaw out and the same as freshly made macaroni salad.
This pasta salad is super versatile and goes with all kinds of foods. Here are some of my favorite recipes to pair it with:
- Easy Grilled Pork Chops With An Olallieberry Thyme Sauce
- Dijon Mustard Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Proposition Chicken’s Gluten Free Fried Chicken Recipe
Super yummy! Added some dried parsley on top."Jordan B., Pinterest user
Literally EVERYTHING I wanted it to be! No kidding when they say it’s the best! Soooooo delicious!!"Kati C., Pinterest user
More delicious salad recipes to try:
Deli Style Macaroni Salad
- 12- ounce gluten free elbow macaroni
- ½ cup celery finely diced
- ½ cup red bell pepper diced
- ½ cup carrot grated
- ½ cup red onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp honey
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Optional: 3 tablespoons sweet relish
- Follow the directions of the packet for cooking your gluten free elbow macaroni in salted water, then drain well and allow it to cool.
- Mix together the ingredients for the macaroni salad dressing while the pasta is cooking.
- Chop the vegetables as directed and add to a large bowl with the cooled cooked macaroni.
- Add the salad dressing and mix well to combine, chill salad before serving.
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