Picture the best macaroni salad you’ve ever had. Now, take away the fear of eating too much because it’s swimming in mayo, and add the benefit of over 30 grams of plant-based protein per serving. That’s right, this Quick and Easy High Protein Macaroni Salad gives you everything you love about your favorite mac salad, and nothing you don’t.
If you’ve been around my channel or my website for the past couple of years, you know that as soon as the weather heats up, I start making cold salads. Pasta salads, and potato salads, and pretty much any hot dish I can think of converted to a cold salad… More than the salads, however, I’m obsessed with the Universal Vegan Cold Salad Dressing I use to make all of these salads. Picture mayonnaise, but made without any egg (it can even be made without oil), full of plant protein, with a rich and creamy texture, full of umami-rich flavor.
Knowing that the Universal Vegan Cold Salad Dressing was high in protein, I hadn’t really thought about bumping up the protein in the rest of the salad. Until now. This time I decided to maximize the protein at every turn. So, I used protein-rich chickpea macaroni from Banza, homemade white beans, and frozen peas.
This salad is pretty much a blank canvas and can be filled with whatever veggies or flavors you like to add to your macaroni and pasta salads.
Quick and Easy High Protein Pasta Salad
Chickpea pasta, white beans, frozen peas, and my incredible Universal Vegan Cold Salad Dressing all come together in this delicious macaroni salad, that's as tasty as it is high in protein!
- 8 ounces dry Banza Elbows or favorite high-protein pasta
- 1 batch Universal Vegan Cold Salad Dressing (recipe below)
- 1 ½ cups cooked and drained white beans or chickpeas
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta until just about al dente, about 1 minute less than the package says. Drain cooked pasta, and rinse with cold water. Transfer well drained and slightly cooled pasta to a mixing bowl along with drained and rinsed beans, and thawed peas. Toss. Add about ¾ of the Universal Vegan Cold Salad Dressing, and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Toss, and add remaining dressing if the salad appears too dry.
- Server cool or at room temperature.
410 Calories per serving
Universal Vegan Cold Salad Dressing
High protein vegan mayo alternative for sandwiches and salads.
- 1 12 ounce package firm or extra firm silken tofu (Mori-Nu)
- ½ cup raw cashews* (can be halved to reduce calories)
- 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (omit to make oil-free)
- 1 small clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- black pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend for about 1 minutes, until there are no flecks of cashews, and the mixture is emulsified.
* If you aren’t using a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or even a NutriBullet, then you should soak your cashews in cool water for a few hours before blending. You can also do a “quick soak” by simmering the cashews in hot water for about 10 minutes