Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Sharing is caring!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is so fabulously creamy and simple. This mayonnaise-based pasta salad makes a wonderful side for summer bbqs and picnics.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad


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.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad


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.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

These are great recipes to serve Macaroni Salad with:

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 479kcal
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is so fabulously creamy and simple. This mayonnaise-based pasta salad makes a wonderful side for summer bbqs and picnics.
Print Recipe


  • 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.


Be sure not to overcook your pasta or it will have a mushy texture.
If you to dress it up some, add diced ham or chopped pineapple.


Calories: 479kcal

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

22 thoughts on “Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

  1. Delicious! Even my picky husband liked it, said he didn’t know macaroni salad could be this good.

  2. Good mac salad. I have made it with and without garlic. I prefer without, my husband likes it with. I do overcook my pasta by an extra 2 min to get it close to what I’m used to in Hawaii.

  3. Made it exactly as the recipe said and it was delicious! Everyone loved it! It tastes exactly like how “Hawaiian Macaroni Salad” is
    suppose to taste. Will be making this more. Thank you 😊

  4. I like this recipe much diferent then the one i usually use wich replaces black pepper with white pepper and uses sweet onions drained and only rinsed with pickeled vinigar. Less the hassle same result . Love it thank you

  5. This is so amazing, thank you for sharing. Easy and refreshing specially for hot summer days!!

    BTW – I like how it with garlic too😊

  6. This recipe seems like all the rest. Why call it Hawaiian Mac Salad if you don’t have any hawaiian ingrediants?

      1. It’s really good and it’s just a small amount of garlic. Did you try it? You might be surprised 😊

    1. Just an fyi pineapples are not Hawaiian! They were imported here and one of the main motivation for the business men that forced the start of the overthrow of the Hawaiian government and monarchy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating