Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a creamy, delicious, easy to prepare side dish with a few simple ingredients! It’s so good it will have you saying “Aloha”.Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a creamy, delicious, easy to prepare side dish with a few simple ingredients! It's so good it will have you saying "Aloha!"I found a simple recipe for a Hawaiian Macaroni Salad while searching online the other day. I first tried Hawaiian macaroni salad (and loved it) several months ago, when our oldest son dropped by our home with pulled pork and macaroni salad he picked up from a local, well known authentic Hawaiian restaurant.

We loved this recipe!  I grew up not really liking “regular” macaroni salad, due to all the sweet pickle relish my Mom put in the recipe (not a big fan!). Perhaps that is why I really like this simple, creamy Hawaiian-style macaroni salad, made with a few simple ingredients (and no pickle relish!) Finely shredded carrots are what give this tasty salad it’s slight orange coloring. Here’s how to make this fantastic “Hawaiian-style” side dish:

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How To Make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Cook one pound (16 ounces) of elbow macaroni according to package instructions.

Cooking macaroni for Hawaiian salad

Finely shred the carrots and onion while the macaroni is cooking. I used the smaller opening of my hand grater to finely shred both the carrots and the onion.

Onion and carrot is shredded for Hawaiian macaroni salad.

Drain Macaroni, But Do Not Let It Cool

When the macaroni has finished cooking, drain it well, but don’t let it cool off. Just let the water drain out, but don’t rinse the noodles. The hot macaroni will absorb more if it mixed while still hot.

Macaroni noodles are cooked, then drained.

Put the macaroni in a bowl, or container with a lid.  While the macaroni is still hot, add apple cider vinegar, carrots and onion. Stir well. After ingredients are mixed together, let it cool for about 15 minutes.

Carrots, onions and apple cider vinegar added to cooked macaroni.

While macaroni is cooling off, mix together mayonnaise, milk and sugar in a separate container. Once macaroni is completely cool, add the mayonnaise mixture; gently stir it in, until ingredients are fully combined.

Mayonnaise mixture added to Hawaiian macaroni salad in bowl.

Time To Refrigerate The Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

After ingredients are completely mixed together, add salt and black pepper, to taste. At this point the salad will seem “wet” , but never fear! The macaroni will absorb lots of the moisture as it refrigerates.

Salad is mixed well, then refrigerated to absorb flavors and sauce.

Cover the salad and refrigerate for at LEAST 4 hours (trust me, the longer it refrigerates, the better it tastes!). Make sure to give it a stir before serving, then enjoy this great side dish with some pulled pork (and rice), for an authentic Hawaiian meal!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is ready to eat!

I’m really glad I made this Hawaiian macaroni salad. I kept coming back and having a few bites of it here and there (couldn’t stay out of it!).  I even invited our son over to taste test it, and he loved it (and took some home for later)!  It is (or WAS… we scarfed it) delicious, simple to prepare, very creamy (like it’s supposed to be), and a great side dish. Hope you’ll give it a try!

Looking For More SIDE SALAD Recipes?

You can find ALL my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have lots of side salad recipes you might enjoy, including:

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Author's signatureRecipe Source: http://www.favfamilyrecipes.com/authentic-hawaiian-macaroni-salad.html

5 from 1 vote
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a creamy, delicious, easy to prepare side dish with a few simple ingredients! It's so good it will have you saying "Aloha!"

Category: Salad/Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hawaiian macaroni salad
Servings: 10 servings
Calories Per Serving: 561 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni , uncooked
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large carrots , finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded onion
  • 2 1/2 cups mayonnaise (Best Foods or Hellman's recommended by original source)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • Salt and pepper , to taste
  1. Prepare the elbow macaroni, according to package instructions. When done, drain macaroni and put it into a large bowl while still hot.
  2. While the macaroni is hot, add the apple cider vinegar, shredded carrots and shredded onion. Stir and mix well. Let the macaroni cool down for 15 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, milk, and granulated sugar together until fully combined. Gently stir in the mayonnaise mixture into the macaroni (which is now at room temp). Stir until all ingredients are fully coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Cover bowl; place salad in refrigerator for at least 4 hours (or overnight-the longer it refrigerates, the better it will taste!). When ready to serve, give the salad a light stir... and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 561 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Fat 42g65%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 369mg16%
Potassium 166mg5%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 2085IU42%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a creamy, delicious, easy to prepare side dish with a few simple ingredients! It's so good it will have you saying "Aloha!"





Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

17 Comments on Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this several times now and it is a hit Every. Single. Time. Sometimes my family will add tuna but the original way is always what gets me the compliments!

  2. I’ve seen several comments in which people asked why it’s called Hawaiian Mac Salad. Quite simply, this style of Mac salad is the norm that you find in local restaurants and that is served in local homes. There are definitely variations but the recipe as presented is the basic version of what you would get at places like L&L, Loco Moco Drive-in, Bob’s, or any other of the many little places where we go to get plate lunch.

  3. I made this tonight. It was so good. I used coconut milk instead of evil at milk. I forgot to get some regular milk from the store and saw I had a can of the coconut milk. It was delish!!

  4. It’s called Hawaiian Mac Salad cause we don’t add pickles to it. I make a potatoe/Mac salad also but truly there’s Mac, Potatoe & Combo(3 types) we also make a breadfruit salad (Samoan) which is over the top. Now any variation you can add crabmeat, tuna,ham,fishcake,…anything you want to own it. Frozen peas are great also. I have other spices that I add also but the one secret I’ll share is season the potatoes when it’s peeled and hot.Aloha ..enjoy!

  5. Hello! Well being its called Hawaiian macaroni salad, I was expecting to see pineapple chunks or tidbits in the recipe. Wonder what that would be like? If anyone tries it please let me know!

  6. I dont understand why it is called Hawaiian mac salad. I make mine with the same ingredients egg and all, but… I chop all the veg. Could that be it?… Help! L.O.L.

    • Hi, Corinne… I don’t understand it, either. I suppose it is one of life’s great mysteries… ha ha! All I do know is that is really tastes good, right? Thanks for writing, and have a great week.

  7. Being a born and raised Hawaiian, I need to mention the one thing I find missing from this macaroni salad recipe. Having been to many luaus throughout my 67 yrs, be it a baby’s 1st birthday, a graduation, Hawaiian wedding, etc., a macaroni salad is almost always one of the many side dishes offered at these traditional feasts. Many mac salad variations are apparent at these occasions, but if chopped boiled eggs are missing, then something doesn’t quite seem right, and it showed here. It was still a tasty dish otherwise.

    • Good morning! Thanks for the great tip! Two Hawaiian restaurants near our home do not use eggs, but I can see where that would really add additional flavor and texture to this salad. Thanks for writing, and have a great day!

      • I have Polynesian friend and she says it should have diced potatoes as well. I found that recipe online in a Hawaiian magazine a few years ago and it it potatoes. I can’t find it now.:(

        • Hi, Sharon… I love all the interesting add-ins from different people. Guess it is kind of like potato salad… everyone seems to add their own personal touch to make it the way they enjoy it most! Thanks for sharing! Have a great day.

  8. Wow, this was fantastic! I used Best Foods vegan mayo and hemp milk and even my non-veg family gave it rave reviews! I will be making this again and again! Thank you!

    • Good morning, Mardy! Thank you so much for taking the time to write about the salad. So glad you all enjoyed it! As a matter of fact, I made this exact same salad yesterday to go with some grilled burgers on Memorial Day! Hope you have a fantastic day!

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