The recipe prices will vary based on fluctuating grocery costs. Please use what is posted as a guide.
This Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Copycat recipe tastes just like the macaroni salad you get on the plate lunches you get all over the Hawaiian Islands.
It costs $5.43 to make twelve servings of this Macaroni Salad. That works out to be just $0.45 per serving.
Try our Banana Pancakes, Coconut Syrup, Garlic Shrimp, and Coconut Shrimp recipes for more Hawaiian-inspired recipes.
Hawaiian Style Macaroni Salad
On our recent trip to Hawaii, we could not get enough of the lunch plates that all came with a serving of Macaroni Salad. It is the perfect side dish for most entrees.
We enjoyed it with shrimp and BBQ pork. Luckily, Jill already created a Copycat recipe for Hawaiian Style Macaroni Salad for us to share with you.
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a filling and flavorful side dish that is relatively simple to make and easy on a budget. The iconic lunch plate salad is cool, creamy, and tangy, with overcooked noodles to soak up all the mayo.
Our version of Macaroni Hawaiian Salad will be the perfect addition to any summer BBQ, potluck, or family gathering.
Ingredients & Estimated Cost:
- 2 cups half-and-half – $1.00
- 2 cups mayonnaise – $1.28
- 1 ½ Tablespoons yellow onion – $0.06
- 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar – $0.04
- 2 teaspoons pepper – $0.10
- 1 teaspoon salt – $0.01
- 1 pound elbow macaroni – $1.58
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar – $0.15
- 5 green onions – $0.50
- 2 large celery ribs – $0.36
- 1 cup carrots – $0.35
To learn more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained.
How To Make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- First, add the half-and-half, mayonnaise, grated onion, dark brown sugar, salt, and pepper to a large bowl.
- Whisk until smooth and then set the bowl in the fridge until needed.
- Next, cook the macaroni, following the package instructions, plus five more minutes of cook time. Drain the macaroni in a colander and then place the pasta back in the pot.
- Then, stir in the apple cider vinegar and cover the pot with a lid to cool for twenty minutes.
- Stir in half of the dressing and cover with the lid again to cool for another twenty minutes.
- Add the remaining dressing, green onions, celery, and carrots to the pot and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Finally, allow the pasta to cool to room temperature for thirty minutes. Transfer the salad to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.
***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe directions below.
SERVE: As with most recipes with dairy products, you shouldn’t leave this macaroni salad out for longer than 2 hours.
STORE: Store the macaroni salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
FREEZE: Place the assembled macaroni salad in the freezer in an airtight container. When you are ready to use it, put it in the fridge the day before you want to eat it to defrost.
It is believed that Hawaiian Macaroni Salad became a staple on lunch plates in the early 1930s because of how affordable it was to make. It is still popular today and can easily be found on food trucks and restaurants on most lunch plates. The salad goes with most entrees and is a filling and satisfying side dish, so it makes sense to continue to include it on local lunch plates.
A Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is typically made of overcooked noodles, mayo, carrots, and celery. A few other ingredients help season the dish, but most recipes include those few essential ingredients.
Serve it alongside Hamburgers, Grilled Pork Chops, Instant Pot Pulled Pork, and even Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts.
Get Kids Involved
Ages 2-3: As you grate the carrots, have your little one count the number of carrots it takes to get to one cup of grated carrots. They can then pour the grated carrots into the Macaroni Salad.
Ages 4-5: Your child can assist you by adding the prepped ingredients to the pot and mixing them together. Ask your child to count the number of ingredients they add to the pot as they mix them in.
Ages 6-8: Ask your child to pre-measure the ingredients. They can whisk the dressing together and help with adding all ingredients to the pasta at the designated time.
Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe.
Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!
Making copycat recipes at home is a great way to save on your grocery and eating-out budget. It is typically the case that it costs less to make a bigger portion of the dish at home than to buy it when you eat out.
More Copycat Recipes
- Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo
- Chick-Fil-A Sauce
- Cracker Barrel Broccoli Cheddar Chicken
- Panera Mac and Cheese
- Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
- General Tso Chicken
- Panda Express Orange Chicken
- Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Panda Express Chow Mein
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Copycat Recipe
- large pot
- Medium bowl
- large bowl
- mixing spoon
- measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- cutting board
- chef's knife
- box grater
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 ½ Tablespoon grated yellow onion
- 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
FOR THE MACARONI:
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 green onions white and green parts sliced thin
- 2 large celery ribs chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup grated carrots
- In a medium bowl whisk together the half-and-half, mayonnaise, grated onion, dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of pepper until smooth.
- Refrigerate until needed.
- Cook the macaroni as per the package instructions, except add 5 minutes to the cooking time on the package instructions (you want the macaroni to be very soft and plump so it absorbs the dressing better).
- Drain the macaroni into a colander and then dump it back into the pot.
- Add in the apple cider vinegar and stir until the pasta absorbs the vinegar.
- Cover the pot with a lid and cool for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Add half of the dressing and stir to combine.
- Then, cover the lid and cool for another 20 minutes.
- Add the remaining dressing, green onions, celery, and carrots to the pot and stir to combine, and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Cool completely to room temperature, for about 30 more minutes.
- Transfer the macaroni salad to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
This recipe takes me back to Hawaii! I made this for a cookout, and everyone loved it! So creamy and delicious!
Such a tasty macaroni salad! Now I just need to go to Hawaii!
Shadi Hasanzadenemati says
I was looking for a recipe like this, thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to try it soon!
I love this recipe! Tasty, easy and affordable! Perfect side dish for a bbq!
Thank you so much for the recipe. I took it to a picnic this past weekend and it was a hit! I had no leftovers to bring home. This will be my go to recipe from now on.