A spoon taking a scoop of Hawaiian macaroni salad frome a serving bowl.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe

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This Hawaiian Macaroni Salad recipe is the real deal. A super creamy and comforting mac salad that is the perfect side dish for any summer cookout, family BBQ, or Luau! This would be the perfect addition to our Huli Huli Chicken recipe.

Close up of authentic Hawaiian macaroni salad on a white plate served with Huli Huli chicken.

Hawaiian macaroni salad goes with just about any grilled meat. In Hawaii, it’s known for being one of the critical components in the Hawaiian plate lunch. A typical lunch plate comes with Huli Huli chicken, Teriyaki chicken, Katsu chicken, Pulehu chicken or kalua pork, but they are always served with this authentic Hawaiian macaroni salad and two scoops of sticky rice.

Ingredients For Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

  • Macaroni: Use a dry elbow macaroni and cook to al dente.
  • Milk: I like to use whole milk. But, if you like a thicker dressing use half & half instead.
  • Mayonnaise: Use a quality mayo for the best flavor. Regular and low fat both work in the recipe.
  • Onion: Yellow onions add the perfect amount of bite. Just make sure to grate them for the most flavor.
  • Carrots: I like to grate my own carrots because it adds so much more flavor. But, shredded carrots are also a great option.
  • Celery: I like to dice the celery into small pieces, so there’s no major crunch.
  • Green Onion: Adds beautiful color to the salad and the perfect amount of flavor.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds a wonderful tangy flavor to the noodles and helps them from sticking together while they are cooling down.
  • Brown Sugar: Balances out the tangy flavor from the apple cider vinegar.
  • Salt & Pepper: You can adjust to your liking.

How to Make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

1- Combine all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

2- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove over high heat, then cook the macaroni noodles in it according to package directions. Make sure to cook the pasta until it becomes very soft. This will allow the dressing to stick better to it.

3- Drain the macaroni well in a colander, then return it to the pot and add the apple cider, stirring until the warm pasta absorbs the vinegar. Cover with a lid and place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. (Or until cool)

4- Add the dressing to the cooked/chilled pasta, stirring to coat.

5- Add the green onions, celery, and grated carrot to the pasta and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Now enjoy this creamy macaroni salad with all of your favorite Hawaiian dishes. One of my favorites to eat with this is Easy Huli Huli Chicken .

Authentic Hawaiian macaroni salad in a blue bowl and garnished with green onion.

Can I Make It In Advance?

Yes, it actually tastes better if you let it sit in the fridge overnight. It gives the macaroni time to soak up all the flavor from the dressing. It also tastes so much better when it has had time to completely chill. I you feel that is a little dry after sitting in the fridge. You can add a small amount of milk and mix it in.

This recipe was originally posted on April 27th 2020 and has been updated on May 27th 2021.

A spoon taking a scoop of Hawaiian macaroni salad frome a serving bowl.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

This Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the real deal. A super creamy and comforting mac salad that is the perfect side dish for any summer cookout, family BBQ or Luau! This Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the real deal. A super creamy and comforting mac salad that is the perfect side dish for any summer cookout, family BBQ or Luau!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 15
Calories 256 kcal

Ingredients
  

DRESSING

  • 1 Cup whole milk (You can substitute Half & Half to make it creamier)
  • 2 Cups mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow onion (grated)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon salt

PASTA SALAD

  • 16 Ounces elbow macaroni (1 pound box)
  • ¼ Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 Green onions white and green parts sliced thin(Leave off the last inch)
  • 2 Large celery pieces (chopped)
  • 1 Cup carrots (grated)
  • ¼ Cup yellow onion (grated)

Instructions
 

  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove over high heat, then cook the macaroni noodles in it according to package directions. Make sure to cook the pasta until it becomes very soft. This will allow the dressing to stick better to it.
  • Drain the macaroni well in a colander, then return it to the pot and add the apple cider, stirring until the warm pasta absorbs the vinegar. Cover with a lid and place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. (Or until cool)
  • Add the dressing to the cooked/chilled pasta, stirring to coat.
  • Add the green onions, celery, and grated carrot to the pasta and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to a large serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours until completely cool before serving.

Notes

SOME FUN ADD IN IDEAS

  • 1 cup diced bacon
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  • pineapple tidbits
  • 4 chopped hard boiled eggs

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 33.6gProtein: 5gFat: 11.5gSaturated Fat: 1.9gSodium: 393mgPotassium: 144mgFiber: 1.4gSugar: 5.5gVitamin D: 7µgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, Macaroni Salad
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