Hawaiian Mac Salad

Hawaiian Mac Salad is an essential component for a traditional Hawaiian “plate lunch,” consisting of rice, mac salad, and a meat dish like lau lau, or huli huli chicken. In other words, it’s a must-try if you’re a foodie in Hawaii.

Macaroni (or “mac”) salad was the undisputed star of our first Hawaiian vacation. Despite its humble appearance, Hawaiian mac salad is not a gloopy, undifferentiated mayonnaise-y slop like what you may encounter on the mainland.

With the addition of chunky potatoes, this side dish gains a lot of texture and body, a perfect addition to any meal. It’s not merely a side dish thanks to its delicate vinegary sweetness.

Macaroni salad, in a nutshell, is the perfect complement to any lunch.

This is our take on a Hawaiian mac salad recipe for anyone else who has returned from a trip to Hawaii and is pining for a taste of their holiday.


  • 12 ounces of elbow macaroni
  • 3 medium peeled russet potatoes; cut into large chunks
  • 1 small onion; grated
  • 2 cups of mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Put the macaroni in one pot and the potatoes in another and boil them both simultaneously. Macaroni should be cooked until it is completely tender, but not necessarily al dente.
  2. Have the potatoes ready to pierce with a fork. You should coarsely mash the potatoes in a separate bowl. It needs to have a reasonable balance between chunky and smooth textures.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, milk, cider vinegar, and sugar for the dressing and stir to combine.
  4. Mix the boiling macaroni with the peas, carrots, and shredded onion in a large bowl. The dressing should be poured in. Combine in depth. Prepare the mashed potatoes and add them now. You can use as much salt as you like.
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