recipe for hawaiian mac salad

Discover the Authentic Recipe for Mouth-Watering Hawaiian Mac Salad

Macaroni Salad, also known as Hawaiian Mac Salad, is a classic side dish that originated in Hawaii during the 19th century. With its creamy texture and unique blend of flavors, this salad has become a staple in Hawaiian cuisine and a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The authentic recipe for Hawaiian Mac Salad has been passed down through generations, and it continues to be a beloved dish in Hawaiian households and restaurants.

The history of Hawaiian Mac Salad dates back to the sugar plantation era in Hawaii. During this time, immigrant laborers from various countries, such as Japan, China, and the Philippines, brought their culinary traditions with them. These diverse influences combined to create a melting pot of flavors in Hawaiian cuisine, and one such creation was the Mac Salad.

What sets Hawaiian Mac Salad apart from other pasta salads is its unique dressing. Made with a simple combination of mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, and a touch of mustard, this creamy dressing perfectly coats the macaroni, giving it a rich and tangy flavor. The salad is typically garnished with finely chopped onions and grated carrots, adding a refreshing crunch to each bite.

While the ingredients in Hawaiian Mac Salad are simple and readily available, it is the technique that makes all the difference. The macaroni is cooked until tender but still firm, then rinsed in cold water to remove excess starch and prevent it from becoming mushy. This step ensures that the pasta retains its texture and holds up well in the salad.

One interesting fact about Hawaiian Mac Salad is that it is traditionally served as a side dish with a plate lunch, a popular Hawaiian meal consisting of a protein (such as teriyaki chicken or kalua pork), white rice, and salad. The combination of flavors and textures in this meal is what makes it so satisfying and comforting.

Whether you are enjoying a plate lunch in Hawaii or trying to recreate the flavors of the islands at home, discovering the authentic recipe for Hawaiian Mac Salad is a must. With its simple yet delicious dressing and perfectly cooked macaroni, this dish is sure to impress your family and friends. So why not embark on a culinary adventure and savor the mouth-watering flavors of Hawaiian cuisine?

What is the Authentic Recipe for Mouth-Watering Hawaiian Mac Salad?

In this article, we will explore the culinary wonders of Hawaiian Mac Salad and reveal the secret behind its mouth-watering taste. Hawaiian Mac Salad is a beloved dish that originated in Hawaii and has become a staple in local cuisine. This creamy and delicious salad is made with macaroni noodles, a variety of fresh vegetables, and a tangy dressing that perfectly complements the flavors. Join us in the next part as we delve into the step-by-step process of creating the authentic recipe for this delectable Hawaiian delight.

The Authentic Recipe for Mouth-Watering Hawaiian Mac Salad

Hawaiian Mac Salad is a beloved side dish that perfectly complements any Hawaiian meal. This creamy and tangy salad features elbow macaroni, vegetables, and a rich dressing. If you’re craving the authentic taste of this island favorite, look no further. We’ve got the perfect recipe right here for you.


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool it down.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard until well combined.
  3. Add the cooked macaroni to the bowl and mix well with the dressing.
  4. Add the shredded carrots, chopped onions, celery, and scallions to the bowl. Mix everything together until the vegetables are evenly distributed.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Give it a final gentle stir.
  6. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  7. Before serving, give the salad a quick stir and adjust the seasoning if needed.

And there you have it! The authentic recipe for mouth-watering Hawaiian Mac Salad. This classic Hawaiian side dish will transport you to the islands with its creamy and flavorful combination of ingredients.

According to a survey conducted by a popular food website, Hawaiian Mac Salad is ranked as the third most popular Hawaiian dish among tourists visiting the beautiful islands of Hawaii. With its irresistible taste and simplicity, it’s no wonder this salad has become an all-time favorite.

Discover the Authentic Recipe for Mouth-Watering Hawaiian Mac Salad FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I substitute mayonnaise with a different ingredient in the Hawaiian Mac Salad?

No, mayonnaise is a vital ingredient in the traditional Hawaiian Mac Salad recipe, and substituting it may affect the taste and texture of the dish.

2. Can I use any type of macaroni for the salad?

It is recommended to use elbow macaroni as it is the most common and traditional choice for Hawaiian Mac Salad. However, you can use other small-sized pasta shapes if desired.

3. How long can I store and refrigerate the macaroni salad?

The macaroni salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to keep it properly covered or in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

4. Can I add additional ingredients to the salad?

Absolutely! While the authentic recipe includes macaroni, mayonnaise, carrots, onions, and celery, you can add variations such as chopped ham, peas, or pickles to suit your personal taste.

5. Is the Hawaiian Mac Salad suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, the traditional Hawaiian Mac Salad recipe does not include any meat or fish. However, always refer to the specific recipe you are using as variations may include non-vegetarian ingredients.

6. How can I ensure my macaroni is perfectly cooked?

Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions, usually until al dente. To ensure it is perfectly cooked, taste a few noodles for doneness before draining the pasta.

7. Can I make the salad in advance for a picnic or gathering?

Yes, making the salad a few hours or even a day in advance allows the flavors to meld together. Just make sure to refrigerate it until ready to serve.

8. Can I use a low-fat mayonnaise as a healthier alternative?

Yes, you can use low-fat mayonnaise if you prefer a healthier version. However, keep in mind that it may slightly impact the taste and creaminess of the macaroni salad.

9. Can I use pre-shredded carrots instead of grating them?

Yes, if you want to save time, using pre-shredded carrots is a convenient option. However, fresh grated carrots tend to provide a crunchier texture to the salad.

10. Can I double the recipe to serve a larger crowd?

Absolutely! Scaling up the recipe to serve a larger crowd is possible. Just make sure to adjust the ingredient quantities accordingly.


In conclusion, Hawaiian mac salad is a delectable side dish that perfectly complements any Hawaiian meal. This authentic recipe emphasizes the use of elbow macaroni, which provides the ideal texture and consistency for the salad. The key to achieving the mouth-watering flavor of this dish lies in the carefully selected ingredients, such as sweet pickle relish, grated carrots, and finely diced onions. The addition of mayonnaise and milk creates a rich and creamy dressing that brings all the flavors together.

Throughout this article, we have explored the step-by-step process of preparing the perfect Hawaiian mac salad. From boiling the macaroni until al dente to incorporating the ingredients in the right proportions, each element is crucial in achieving the authentic taste. The article has also highlighted the importance of allowing the salad to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours, as this enhances the flavors and allows the dressing to fully infuse the macaroni.

By following the instructions provided, anyone can recreate this mouth-watering Hawaiian mac salad at home. Whether it is for a family gathering, barbecue, or potluck, this salad is guaranteed to be a hit. So why not treat your taste buds to a burst of Hawaiian flavors and enjoy the creamy, tangy, and crunchy combination that this salad offers? Give it a try and transport yourself to the beautiful islands of Hawaii with every bite.

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