Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is so fabulously creamy and simple. This mayonnaise-based pasta salad makes a wonderful side for summer bbqs and picnics.
When I travel to Hawaii, I get Macaroni Salad every chance I get. And there are a lot of chances to get macaroni salad because they eat it with just about everything.
It’s pure simple comfort food and unless you have a total aversion to mayonnaise, there’s no reason not to love it.
This recipe only uses a handful of ingredients you are sure to have on hand: macaroni, mayonnaise, milk, apple cider vinegar, onion, carrot, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You can dress it up from there by adding diced ham, peas, chopped pineapple, or bacon. There are tons of options for customizing it.
Tips for making Hawaiian Macaroni Salad:
- Do not overcook your pasta. You want it just slightly al dente becasue it will end up soaking up some of the dressing and if you overcook it it will turn to mush.
- The mayonnaise is the key to a really good Hawaiian Pasta Salad. Be sure to use a good quality one like Hellman’s or Duke’s.
- This macaroni salad tastes better if it is refrigerated for at least 2 hours. The pasta will soak up some of the mayonnaise mixture, so I like to reserve 1/2 a cup of it to mix in right before serving to ensure it is really creamy.
These are great recipes to serve Macaroni Salad with:
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- 16 ounces elbow pasta
- 1/4 cup grated onion
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 shredded carrots
- salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoons kosher salt. Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Place onion in a large bowl. When pasta is done, drain it well and add it to the bowl. Add garlic powder and apple cider vinegar and stir. Let sit 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, and sugar.
- Set aside about 1/2 a cup and add the rest to the macaroni along with carrots. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate both the bowl of macaroni salad and the reserved 1/2 a cup of mayonnaise mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Stir in the reserved mayonnaise mixture just before serving.
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