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Cool and creamy this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is heaped on a white plate in front of a large pink hibiscus flower.
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4.32 from 29 votes

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian macaroni salad is one of our favorite dinner side dishes. It is indulgent, creamy and comforting. This authentic side dish from Hawaii is excellent for summer BBQs, and any Asian meal.  It is a Hawaiian plate-lunch classic and has excellent flavor and texture compared to the classic American pasta salad - SO delicious!  (This recipe makes about 8 cups)
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 318kcal
Author: Mirlandra


  • 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.


If the salad gets dry:  This recipe is intended to sit and soak but if it gets a little bit too dry you adjust easily.  Whisk together 2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise and 2 Tablespoons of milk.  Use a rubber spatula to gently fold / stir the mixture into the salad.  Repeat this process if needed.  
Flavor Quality Control:  This salad gets stronger every day it sits. The garlic and onion flavors can develop a lot! It is really good for about three days and then can start to get too strong to enjoy.


Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 447mg | Potassium: 77mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.4mg