Tender puffy elbow macaroni mixed with a tangy easy to make dressing that tastes just like the kind you get on a lunch plate in Hawaii! This is the dish everyone will ask you to bring over and over again!
The secret to this easy Hawaiian Mac Salad is cooking the elbow macaroni a bit longer than the box suggests and cups of creamy mayo and half and half that soak into the tender pasta while it’s still warm, making it oh so perfect!
What ingredients go into Hawaiian Mac Salad?
- elbow macaroni
- shredded carrots
- green onion
- half and half (a blend of half cream and half whole milk)
- lots of salt and pepper
Simple ingredients but when combined and allowed to sit for a bit…boom! A family favorite!
How to make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad:
First boil your elbow macaroni for about 5-7 minutes longer than the box suggests. You want it super tender but not falling apart. Pour into a colander BUT DO NOT RINSE! You want your pasta hot when you mix all the mayo and cream in. Thats whats gonna puff up that pasta!
Add 1/4 cup vinegar to the hot pasta and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
Combine the mayo and half and half in a large bowl.
It seems like too much liquid but it soaks up in minutes making the pasta soft and creamy!
If making this mac salad ahead of time, you may want to add a bit more half and half and mayo the next day.
Toss in the veggies and lots of salt and pepper and you have a big bowl of the best mac salad ever!
What do I serve with this pasta salad?
- Burgers – Chili Lime Burgers, Stove Top Burgers, Chicken Avocado Burgers, just to name a few.
- Steak – Pan Seared Steak, Reverse Sear Steak (you have to try this method!)
- BBQ Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- Simple Grilled Shrimp
- Lemon Grilled Chicken
Whatever you serve with this it will be a hit! A bit of the islands at home!
Kathi & Rachel
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup vinegar : white or apple cider
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 cups half and half :half cream and half milk
- 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
- 1 cup celery :chopped
- 1/3 cup green onion :chopped
- 1 cup carrots : grated
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to directions on box plus 5 minutes.
- Drain but do not rinse. Pour back into large pot. Add 1/4 cup vinegar, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
- In large bowl combine half and half and mayonnaise with a wire whisk until no lumps appear.
- Pour mayo and cream mixture over pasta along with the celery, carrots and onion. Stir. Add salt and pepper.
- LET cool at room temp for 30 minutes. Stiring a couple times . Taste for salt and pepper.
- Pour into a plastic or glass bowl with a lid and chill in refridgerator for 2 hours or best over night. NOTE: you may want to add additional mayo and cream the next day.
Um just wondering why it’s called Hawaiian macaroni salad, there’s no pineapple in it! You had me so excited! Now I feel let down. Maybe not, I’ll add some in my own recipe. Thanks
Kathi & Rachel says
There is a history to it Earlyne. It is served all over the islands on thier lunch plates. Sometimes called Loco Moco served along side a hamburger patty with an egg on top. No pineapple in authenic Hawaiian mac salad but you can certainly add some:).
Interesting! Thanks for that.