Vegan Creamy Ranch Macaroni Salad

We've swapped in a creamy cashew ranch dressing for heavy mayo in our veggie-packed macaroni salad.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 45 min (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours, then rinsed and drained

1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for drizzling

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons dried Italian herb blend

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon honey 

1 teaspoon onion powder

3/4 teaspoon pepper

Kosher salt

One 8-ounce box quinoa elbow-macaroni pasta

20 grape tomatoes, halved

2 leaves lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves finely chopped crosswise (save stems for another use)

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 ear corn, kernels removed

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Directions

  1. Blend the cashews, oil, vinegar, dried herbs, garlic powder, honey, onion powder, black pepper and 1 cup water in a blender (preferably high-speed) until smooth; season to taste with salt and refrigerate until cold.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes; rinse with cold water and drain. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toss; let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the cooled macaroni, tomatoes, kale, celery, corn and bell pepper. Add the dressing and toss to combine.