Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

4.70 from 13 votes

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When it comes to comfort food with a tropical twist, Hawaiian Macaroni Salad takes center stage. This creamy and satisfying dish has captured the hearts and taste buds of people all around the world, and for good reason. From backyard barbecues to potluck parties, this unique concoction has become a beloved favorite, earning its place as a staple on Hawaiian menus and beyond.

The creamy texture of this macaroni salad is a major draw. Mayo acts as the primary binding agent, coating every noodle and ingredient in its luscious embrace. It’s comfort food at its finest.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad in a white serving bowl
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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

You will love the balanced flavor of this salad. The grated carrots add a slight crunch and a touch of natural sweetness, perfectly balancing the rich creaminess of the mayo. It’s a harmonious symphony of flavors that keeps your taste buds dancing.

While Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is often associated with Hawaiian plate lunches, it’s also incredibly versatile. You can serve it as a side dish at barbecues, picnics, or potlucks, or even enjoy it as a light lunch on its own.

raw ingredients of hawaiian macaroni salad recipe in a clear mixing bowl


  • Elbow macaroni 
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Red onions 
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sugar 
  • Ground mustard
  • Cream
  • Apple cider vinegar

Keep scrolling to find a full, printable recipe with a detailed ingredient list.

Recipe Instructions

  1. Cook pasta as directed on the box. Drain and let it cool completely. You can rinse it with cold water or add a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. While pasta cools, shred carrots, dice celery, and onions. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, salt, ground mustard, black pepper, cream, and apple cider vinegar until well combined.
  4. Place cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add carrots, celery, and onions. Mix together.
  5. Drizzle the mayo mixture over the pasta and mix to coat. You might not use it all; keep extra mayo mixture on the side.
  6. Refrigerate the macaroni salad for 30 minutes to 2 hours to enhance flavors.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
raw ingredients of hawaiian macaroni salad recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hawaiian Macaroni Salad?

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a creamy and flavorful pasta dish that originated in Hawaii. It’s made with elbow macaroni, mayo, and a combination of grated carrots, diced celery, and onions. The ingredients are mixed together to create a unique and delightful flavor profile.

Why is pasta cooled before making the salad?

Cooling the pasta before making the salad helps prevent the ingredients from wilting due to the heat. It also ensures that the mayo-based dressing doesn’t turn runny when mixed with warm pasta.

How do I prevent pasta from sticking together?

You can either rinse the cooked pasta with cold water or toss it with a bit of olive oil. Both methods help prevent the pasta from clumping together.

Can I make the mayo mixture ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the mayo mixture ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the salad. Just give it a good stir before drizzling it over the pasta.

close up of Hawaiian Macaroni Salad in a clear mixing bowl

More Recipes

If you’ve tried this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad recipe or any other recipe on Bless This Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad in a white serving bowl
4.70 from 13 votes

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a creamy and satisfying dish, marrying tender macaroni with a rich mayo-based dressing, and a medley of grated carrots, diced celery, and onions for a delightful flavor explosion.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 8


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, (16 ounces)
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced red onions, (you can use sweet onions as well)
  • 2 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, (you can use light brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • Cook the pasta according to the direction on the box.
  • Drained and set aside until completely cooled. *NOTE* I like to drain the water and rinse with cold water so the pasta doesn’t stick together, this is a personal choice. Or you may want to add a little bit of olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together.
  • While the pasta is cooling off, shred the carrots, dice the celery, and dice the onions. Set aside.
  • In a medium size bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, salt, ground mustard, black pepper, cream, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk all the ingredients together until they are combined. It will look like you have a seasoned mayonnaise.
  • Place the cooled, cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the carrots, celery, and onions.
  • Mix to combine.
  • Drizzle the mayonnaise mixture and mix to coat the pasta.
  • *NOTE* You may not use all the mayonnaise mixture. Because we all like different amounts of mayonnaise, I drizzle enough to cover the pasta and I put the extra in a bowl on the table so everyone can add as they desire.
  • Place the macaroni salad in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Cooling off the pasta allows it to cool and the flavors to combine.
  • Serve and Enjoy!


  • Serve this Hawaiian macaroni salad with hamburgers, sandwiches, fried chicken, BBQ chicken.
  • Storage: In the fridge for up to 4 days


Serving: 1 of 8 servings, Calories: 724kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 56g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 32g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 752mg, Potassium: 197mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1520IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg
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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a culinary gem that offers a taste of comfort and the tropics in every creamy, flavorful bite, making it a beloved choice for gatherings and everyday meals alike.

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