Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish to your favorite summer grilled foods or teriyaki recipes. This Hawaiian-style Macaroni salad is different than traditional macaroni salad thanks to extra mayonnaise, shredded carrot, and shredded onions.

Macaroni Salad as a Hawaiian Side Dish

Macaroni Salad ALA Hawaii

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is one of my favorite things about getting Hawaiian food. When you order a Hawaiian lunch plate either in Hawaii or here in the mainland, you choose your grilled, fried, or teriyaki glazed meats, and you get a serving of rice on the side and a scoop of amazing macaroni salad.

So how do you make Hawaiian macaroni salad exactly? Or how is it different than regular macaroni salad? The difference between most macaroni salad and Hawaiian macaroni salad is the extra mayonnaise, the shredded carrot, and the shredded onions.

Macaroni Salad made Hawaiian Style

Making Macaroni Salad Your Own

Want to add some different flavors to your Hawaiian Pasta Salad?

  • Many locals will add tuna to this salad. This is totally authentic to Hawaii, but not the classic lunch plate side dish I am recreating.
  • Make sure not to leave out the grated onion, it really does add an authentic flavor to this Hawaiin pasta salad.
  • I add red bell pepper for color and crunch, you can certainly leave this out.
  • Some people like celery for crunch, try what works for you.
  • Some Hawaiians like to do half potatoes and half macaroni too, it’s an easy way to make a salad that people who love potato salad would love too.

What to Serve with This HAWAIIN Pasta Salad

Looking for some great recipes to go along with this Hawaiian macaroni salad? I do have a Hawaiian Garlic Chicken coming to the blog soon which is the classic main protein on Hawaiian Lunch Plates, but here are some more recipes to pair this Hawaiian pasta salad with:

spoonful of hawaiian macaroni salad

Tools used to make this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad:

  • Mayonnaise: This is the classic mayonnaise used in authentic recipes if you can source it go for this brand!
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: This brand is the most even and mellow flavored and perfect for the macaroni salad.
  • Grater: Grating onion can be tricky, this grater is the safest I’ve found yet that isn’t my mandoline. The thing I love about it is the guard. I HATED grating things before.
  • Kosher Salt: I think there is often confusion when I list Kosher salt in the ingredients. I get emails saying food came out salty. Kosher salt is different than table salt, with a bigger granule and less salty flavor.


Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish to your favorite summer grilled foods or teriyaki recipes.
Yield 10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Hawaiian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound cooked macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 carrot , finely grated
  • 1/2 yellow onion , finely grated and water squeezed out
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced finely
  • 1/2 green bell pepper , diced finely
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Add the apple cider vinegar to the pasta while still hot and toss.
  • Let cool to room temperature.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Let chill in the refrigerator for as long as possible (at least two hours, but preferably overnight).


Calories: 320kcal


We love this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, tastes just like the ones you get with your lunch plate!
This Hawaiian Macaroni Salad tastes just like L&L BBQ! Perfect for summer!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

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

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Like many areas here on the main land each island in Hawaii has a version of this salad. On the big island where I go several times a year mac with potato is very popular. I also found several restaurants like to add a bit of their national meat SPAM, like the red pepper chopped very finely. But this is an excellent side salad and since introducing it here in western NC we are asked to bring it to pot lucks all the time.

  2. Sabrina many years ago in Lake Tahoe we were guests at a BBQ. The hostess had made a macaroni salad that was so wonderful. She would not share. The only thing I know for sure is that there was avocado in it. So long ago – it may have had a green color to it. Any ideas for me or could one add avocado to this one? Thanks Erica

    1. Oooh, that sounds amazing! I’m not sure how else to add it but you could probably cut up chunks and mix it in. Good luck!

  3. Oh my gosh, way way way too much onion. I tried it, followed everything to a T, and it just tastes like onion. So so disappointed.

    1. Use 1 pound of dry pasta for this recipe. I just wanted it to be clear that it needs to be cooked according to the package directions before adding all the other ingredients. Sorry if that was confusing.

  4. Thank GOODNESS pasta salad season is back! This twist on the original looks absolutely delish- such a fun way to switch things up!

  5. This would be a great way to mix it up from the traditional macaroni salad at our summer BBQs…definitely want to try it!