Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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.


Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish to your favorite summer grilled foods or teriyaki recipes.
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Hawaiian
Keyword Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, sweet and tangy macaroni salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 320 kcal
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


  1. Add the apple cider vinegar to the pasta while still hot and toss.
  2. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Let chill in the refrigerator for as long as possible (at least two hours, but preferably overnight).
Nutrition Facts
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 320
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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.

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.


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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

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

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