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Hawaiian macaroni salad in a decorative glass bowl

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a staple in a Hawaiian plate lunch. This classic side dish features elbow macaroni smothered in a mayonnaise dressing with grated carrot and onion. It's the perfect tangy and creamy counterpart to any meal.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Resting Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Hawaiian
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Calories 443 kcal


  • 8 ounces dry elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 carrot peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion (it will be liquidy)
  • 1 1/4 cups Best Foods or Hellman’s mayonnaise (I use Light Hellman's--same great taste, less calories!)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni according to package directions (see notes). Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the apple cider vinegar over the top, add the carrot and onion, stir, and let it cool slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, and sugar. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the macaroni, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Gently stir before serving, and if needed thin it out with a teaspoon or two of milk or a little more mayo.

Notes & Nutrition

The locals tend to overcook the pasta until it’s soft and fat. I prefer to cook until tender but not really overcooked. This is a matter of personal preference.
Servings 6.0 * calories 443 * Total Fat 34 g * Saturated Fat 5 g * Monounsaturated Fat 8 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 20 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 17 mg * Sodium 306 mg * Potassium 112 mg * Total Carbohydrate 30 g * Dietary Fiber 2 g * Sugars 2 g * Protein 5 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*