Hawaiian Macaroni Salad: The Perfect Side Dish

Hawaiian Mac Salad

Hawaiian Mac Salad is a popular dish. I always hear people talking about it, and they just absolutely love it. The dressing, like here on the mainland, is mayo based, but it’s more than just that. It’s thinned with milk, sweetened with brown sugar, and also soured with cider vinegar. Whew! No wonder it has such popularity.

This would be a great dish to serve at your next cookout or BBQ or picnic. 

I think because I’ve grown up on the West Coast, I’ve had a special advantage in knowing what Hawaiian Mac Salad is. I actually haven’t seen much in the way of southern macaroni salad. I mean, in grocery stores yes, but in BBQ settings? Nope. I’ve seen Hawaiian Mac Salad, but also, my mom used to make this really amazing kind. I wonder where she put that recipe…

Thanks to Julia at I Believe I Can Fry for this yummy recipe!

Ingredients for Hawaiian Mac Salad

1 lb elbow macaroni
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole or 2% milk, divided (skim or 1% is just too thin)
2 cups mayonnaise, ideally Best Foods‘ or Hellmann’s, divided
1 Tbsp brown sugar
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled & grated
1 celery stalk, minced
Salt & pepper
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp salt and the macaroni; cook until VERY soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pot; add the cider vinegar and toss until absorbed. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the milk, 1 cup of the mayonnaise, the brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 tsp pepper.
Once the cooked pasta has cooled for 10 minutes, whisk in the dressing. Let cool completely.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup of mayonnaise, along with the scallions, carrot and celery. Stir to combine, then season to taste with salt & pepper. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Check out the original source for this recipe with step-by-step photographs and helpful tips as well as many other delicious recipes at:  I Believe I Can Fry.

Photo source


You may also like...


  1. I made this yesterday. I’m wondering what the vinegar is supposed to do. It gave it a tangy taste that didn’t go over too well at the gathering I went to. I think I’d leave out the vinegar next time. If there is a reason other than taste, for the vinegar, I wonder if there could be a replacement ingredient.

Comments are closed.