This healthy take on macaroni salad has loads of garden fresh vegetables in it. Bring it to your next potluck and watch it disappear in a flash!

Garden Macaroni Salad a vegetarian side dish for your cookout by Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Macaroni salad is one of those perennial favorites at summer cook-outs and barbeques, but I’ll often pass it by when making my rounds filling my plate at the picnic table. That’s because often times its way too heavy, way too much mayo, not enough veggies, and lacking in interesting flavor.

Garden Macaroni Salad a simple vegetarian side dish for your picnic by Healthy Seasonal Recipes

That’s why I knew I needed to do a healthy make-over of macaroni salad on the blog this summer. And now that this week marks the first week of summer, let’s get it going on folks!

Garden Macaroni Salad an easy vegetarian side dish for your barbecue by Healthy Seasonal Recipes

I started with my fave trick of mixing mostly Greek yogurt with a small amount of mayonnaise for the base. (Way less mayo than this recipe! Yikes!) But to make up the difference in lower fat dressing, I took the flavor and jacked it waaaaay up! I added in white wine vinegar, coarse grain mustard, shallot and tarragon. Hello there taste-buds. {Feel free to use dill if you’re not a fan of tarragon.}

Garden Macaroni Salad a quick vegetarian side dish for your next potluck by Healthy Seasonal Recipes

And then, I’m sure you won’t be surprised that I went even further. No, no, you’re not. I used whole-wheat macaroni for added fiber and I loaded in the garden fresh veggies. Holla veggie lovers! 3 cups of fresh veggies to be exact.  Which works out to just slightly less than half the total volume.

Garden Macaroni Salad a delicious vegetarian side dish for your next cook-out by Healthy Seasonal Recipes

But wait there’s more! Because every macaroni noodle just wants to cry when it cant be snuggled up with cheese, I was sure to grab the most cheesy cheddar I could find to make it happy. And I added that too! You’re welcome. 😉 That way the cheese flavor really goes a long way. I only used 4 ounces for the whole bowl, but trust me you can really taste it.

garden macaroni salad
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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Serving Size: 3/4 cup

garden macaroni salad

This healthy take on macaroni salad has loads of garden fresh vegetables in it. Bring it to your next potluck and watch it disappear in a flash!


  • 2 cups dry macaroni, preferably whole wheat 
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, fat-free if desired 
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon coarse grain or brown deli mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon or dill 
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste 
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
  • 1 shallot, minced 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded 
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen and thawed 
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, such as Cabot Alpine (about 1 cup) 
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes for garnish 


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add macaroni, stir and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cool running water. Drain thoroughly. 
  2. Meanwhile whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth. Add shallot. 
  3. Mix the cooked macaroni into the yogurt mixture until coated. Add carrots, peas and cheddar and stir to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with cherry tomatoes just before serving.