Go Back Email Link
+ servings
Overhead shot of blue dish filled with Macaroni Salad on right of image. Left is a furled yellow napkin on which lays a wooden spoon

Macaroni Salad: A Hawaiian Inspiration

Creamy mayo and vinegar dressing coat these plump macaroni. Begin a few hours in advance for maximum flavor.
Course Accompaniments
Cuisine Hawaiian
Keyword macaroni
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
chill time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 52 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 659kcal


Mayo-Vinegar Dressing

  • 4 cups mayonnaise separated
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Macaroni Salad

  • 16 ounces large elbow macaroni
  • 5 green onions trimmed and finely minced (plus more to garnish)
  • 2 large carrots peeled and shredded


Prepare the Macaroni Salad Dressing

  • In a large bowl, stir together 2 1/2 cups of mayonnaise, the apple cider vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and white pepper until smooth. Store the remaining mayonnaise in the refrigerator until ready to use.
    Refrigerate until ready to use. This dressing may be made 24 hours ahead. 

Cook the Macaroni

  • In a large stock pot, bring a gallon of water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once the water begins to boil, season it with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt.
    Stir in the macaroni and cook for 11 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Once the cooking time has elapsed, drain the pasta in a colander and give it a quick rinse under cold running water to slow down the cooking process. Allow the pasta to cool for a 5 minutes.

Mix the Macaroni Salad

  • Stir the lukewarm pasta, carrots, and green onions into the mayonnaise dressing. Stir in any additional stir-ins from below now, as well.
    After mixing, cover the bowl and refrigerate it for 1- 1 1/2 hours (or a few hours if possible). 
  • After the macaroni salad has chilled completely, and just prior to serving it, fold the remaining mayonnaise into the salad.
    Give the salad a taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Sprinkle a generous pinch of thinly sliced green onions over the salad to garnish.
  • Serve the salad in generous scoops.
    Keep any leftovers covered and refrigerated for 3 days.


Optional Stir-Ins:
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked ham (or other cooked protein) chopped
  • 3 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet peas, boiled and chilled
Because it does have a mayonnaise-based dressing, the macaroni salad should be kept refrigerated or stored on ice. Keep it out of direct sunlight if you're serving it at an outdoor function.


Calories: 659kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 736mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2103IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg