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In Hawaii the plate lunch is their most popular dish. Yes, the poke bowl is a close competitor, but every road side stand, food truck, and hole-in-the-wall restaurant offers a plate lunch. Classically your ‘plate’ will include a protein, then they add two scoops of white rice and a generous serving of Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. It’s a carb lovers dream!

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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is very basic, but that’s what makes it so good. Elbow macaroni, finely shredded carrot, a little shredded white onion, and thinly sliced green onion all tossed in a mayonnaise dressing. This salad is creamy, simple and satisfying! The dressing is where the flavor builds by combining mayonnaise with milk, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt & pepper. It’s ever so slightly sweet with a gentle tang. It’s just really good macaroni salad that pairs perfectly with our Kalua Pork Meatball Sliders!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Libby with Lemony Thyme
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is simple and satisfying with a delicious mayonnaise dressing. You can easily double this recipe.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 4


For the Salad Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Macaroni Salad

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup carrot finely grated
  • 1 Tablespoon onion grated
  • 2 scallion thinly sliced


For the Salad Dressing

  • Whisk together dressing ingredients. Makes 2 cups.

For the Macaroni Salad

  • Prepare the pasta accoring to package instructions, drain and allow to cool to room temperature. Toss cooked macaroni with shredded carrot, onion, and green onion. Pour 1 1/2 cups of dressing over pasta mixture and stir to fully coat. Reserve 1/2 cup of dressing to add just before serving as pasta will absorb some as it sits.

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