Easy Hawaiian Macaroni Salad From Scratch

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of Hawaiian macaroni salad on the table on a hot summer day. Each bite is full of cool, creamy, savory pasta that pairs perfectly with chicken. If you’re having a summer cookout, throwing a 4th of July party, or you need an easy supper side, this mac salad will be the perfect side!

Source: Plum Branch Home

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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe Inspiration

As a teenager, I started making my mom a special birthday meal each year, including a Hawaiian macaroni salad. She lived in Hawaii for a few years before I was born and brought back her love of Hawaiian food culture. Growing up, she introduced my brother and I to so many unique foods she enjoyed on the islands. After I made her a bowl of Hawaiian mac salad a few times, I fell in love with it.

Since the summer heat is here to stay, I wanted to develop my own recipe containing the same great flavors but with super-simple steps.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • A super easy and simple pasta recipe for the summer.
  • Uses wholesome ingredients and simplified steps.
  • This is a great side dish for any summer cookout or supper.
  • Everyone will love how creamy and delicious this mac salad is.
  • My recipe has enough liquid that it won’t get dried out if you make it ahead!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Ingredients

  • macaroni pasta (any shape as long as it’s small)
  • yellow onion
  • carrot (medium size carrot)
  • apple cider vinegar
  • mayonnaise (I like Kroger’s Simple Truth brand the most) (the traditional mayo to use is Hellmann’s)
  • salt (I like to use pink Himalayan salt but any salt will work)
  • ground black pepper
  • raw honey
  • milk

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

How to Make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

pasta getting poured into a boiling water pot
Source: Plum Branch Home

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook pasta for 8โ€“9 minutes (you want to cook your pasta extra so it becomes super soft).

While the pasta is cooking, dice half an onion fine. Then peel, shred, or grate the carrot. Set both aside.

When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and set it aside to cool while you finish this recipe. 

mayo getting poured into carrots and onions
Source: Plum Branch Home

In a large bowl, mix apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, honey, and milk with a spoon until completely combined.

Add in diced onion, grated or shredded carrot, and the cooked pasta.

hand stirring pasta into a mayo mixture
Source: Plum Branch Home

Stir to combine, then enjoy it or refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftovers by placing the mac salad in an airtight bowl with a lid. Store it in the fridge for 3โ€“4 days. 

How to Serve Macaroni Salad

You can serve macaroni salad in so many ways. Serve it as a side dish along with grilled or fried chicken. Make it as a side for savory pork dishes, and even take it to summer potlucks. 

How to Make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Ahead of Time

Making Hawaiian macaroni salad ahead of time is simple. Whip it up in a large bowl and place it in the fridge, covered with a lid. When you’re ready to enjoy it, get it out and stir it. My recipe has enough liquid that it won’t get dried out! 

up close photo of pasta in a bowl
Source: Plum Branch Home

Recipe FAQ

Why does Hawaiian mac salad taste different?

The mayonnaise base makes Hawaiian mac salad taste different than the rest. As well as a blend of honey or sugar and apple cider vinegar.

What is Hawaiian macaroni made of?

Mine is made of macaroni pasta, onion, shredded or grated carrot, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, honey, and milk.

How does Hawaiian macaroni salad set itself apart from the rest?

Hawaiian mac salad has super soft noodles, basically overcooked to ensure an easy bite. Its creamy mayonnaise-heavy base also sets it apart from the rest of the macaroni salads out there. It’s a light mac salad that balances meals.

Do you rinse to cool it down?

No, you don’t need to rinse the pasta to cool it down.

Do I need to let the pasta cool?

After I drain the pasta, I let it sit in the pan to cool while I whip up the rest of the recipe. This gives it enough time. You don’t need to go any longer than 5โ€“10 minutes. 

Can I use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise?

You could, but I don’t recommend it. I would stick with a seed-oil-free mayo to keep this dish wholesome and the texture creamy. I like using Kroger’s Simple Truth mayo. It’s got good ingredients even though it’s not the traditional Hellmann’s brand.

More Delicious Summer Recipes

bowl of pasta on the counter with a spoon and towel

Easy Hawaiian Macaroni Salad From Scratch

Molly LaFontaine
There's nothing better than a big bowl of Hawaiian macaroni salad on the table on a hot summer day. Each bite is full of cool, creamy, savory pasta that pairs perfectly with chicken. If you're having a summer cookout, throwing a 4th of July party, or just in need of an easy supper, this mac salad will be the perfect side!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cup macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • 2 Tbsp grated carrot
  • 3 Tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1/4 cup milk (cut this in half if you like a thicker consistency)

Instructions
 

  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook pasta for 8โ€“9 minutes (you want to cook your pasta extra so it becomes soft).
  • While the pasta is cooking, dice half an onion fine. Then peel, shred, or grate the carrot. Set both aside.
  • When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and set it aside to cool while you finish this recipe.
  • In a large bowl, mix apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, honey, and milk with a spoon until completely combined.
  • Add in diced onion, grated or shredded carrot, and the cooked pasta.
  • Stir to combine, then enjoy it or refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Keyword easy hawaiian macaroni salad, hawaiian macaroni salad, hawaiian macaroni salad plum branch home

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Mahalo (thank you) for posting your delicious recipe!! ๐ŸŒบ

    I sure miss the Hawaiian food, specially Manapuas!!
    I was so happy to introduce your brother and you to the Hawaiian food culture. Plus Chinese food culture. And you both fell in love with it like I did.

    I loved the special birthday meals and still love when you make me a meal ๐Ÿ’•

    1. You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ˜Š I sure do love Hawaiian and Chinese food! I can’t wait to make you more goodies when we come up๐Ÿฅฐ