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An overhead picture of the finished Hawaiian Macaroni Salad recipe in a serving bowl.
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5 from 5 votes

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Copycat Recipe

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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Cooling Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Hawaiian
Keyword: macaroni, pasta salad
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 460kcal
Cost: $5.43


  • large pot
  • Medium bowl
  • Colander
  • large bowl
  • whisk
  • mixing spoon
  • measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • cutting board
  • chef's knife
  • box grater



  • 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


  • 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.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 472mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2031IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1mg