This Hawaiian macaroni salad is one of our favorite dinner side dishes of all time. It is cool and creamy, the perfect side for BBQ and Asian food.
Next to the Oregon State University campus is a little Hawaiian restaurant called Local Boyz. The food they do is wonderful. Beef ribs with crunchy edges in a sweet and savory sauce, juicy pulled chicken and flavorful steak strips all served up with big scoops of white rice and Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.
It’s a tiny place, always bursting with students and locals. We often have to get our food to go because we can’t find a table. My memories there are mostly with my husband. It’s the restaurant where Jonathan taught me to use chop sticks long before we started dating.
Now we live 500 miles away from Local Boyz, as do many people I know who have great college memories of it. We have tried other Hawaiian type grills but nobody has food as good. The mac salad is never anything like what Local Boyz served. Since I can’t drive 500 miles for lunch I simply had to figure out how to make it.
What Makes The BEST Hawaiian Macaroni Salad?
Jonathan and I worked together over many, many, many batches to find the perfect balance of milk, mayonnaise, garlic and pepper.
The final result is astounding! We make a lot of Korean BBQ around here and this is the perfect side dish. I also take it to cookouts on a regular basis and somebody is always asking for the recipe.
Is This Hawaiian Macaroni Salad BETTER Than What You Find In HI?
Guys – you know a recipe is special if you get home from Hawaii and you have to make a batch because your kids were disappointed in what they had on the Island!
What are you waiting for? RUN don’t walk to the kitchen and make a batch of this to go with your next meal!
This is one of my more popular posts. You might also enjoy my popular post for 4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Frosting.
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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- 2 3/4 cups macaroni noodles uncooked
- 2 1/2 cups mayo can use light mayo
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- ¾ cup sweet onion minced
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender, 10-13 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine all the other ingredients.
- When pasta is tender, run it under cold water until cool. Drain it well, tossing a few times to get all the water out of the elbows.
- Add pasta to the mayonnaise mixture and toss until pasta is thoroughly coated.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours.
- The pasta will have absorbed some of the mayonnaise and will look strange. Stir and it will look creamy again. Taste for salt and adjust if desired.