This is a creamy, tangy, and sweet Hawaiian macaroni salad I like to bring to family gatherings. This is a humble salad with simple flavors and a sunny glow that’s always a crowd pleaser!
Who doesn’t like a creamy macaroni salad!
Tangy, creamy, and with a satisfying crunch, it makes a delicious side to fried chicken (I must confess to having a weakness for KFC’s macaroni salad!) and a great dish to bring to a potluck or barbecue. It’s one of those dishes that never disappoints – aside from the fact that they can be very high in calories and fat.
But that’s something you won’t have to worry about with this recipe!
My Hawaiian macaroni salad is a “skinny” version that you can enjoy eating without feeling guilty because it’s lower in calories and contains less of the bad kind of fat (saturated).
I use a combination of 2% Greek yogurt, 2% milk, and a mayonnaise made with healthy fats.
The result is surprisingly just as creamy as a classic Hawaiian macaroni salad, plus, you get a boost of probiotics, calcium and vitamin B from the Greek yogurt!
All good things to keep your bones strong and your body functioning well.
The recipe is very simple and as kid friendly as it can be.
Ingredients for Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Elbow macaroni: You can use regular or whole wheat elbow macaroni. Or if you cannot find elbow macaroni, pasta shells or tubular pasta also work.
- Carrot: One shredded carrot to add sweetness, crunchiness, and a pop of color.
- Scallions: I like to add plenty of scallions to brighten up the taste and give it a refreshing crunch.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider gives the salad its irresistible tanginess. You can also use plain rice vinegar for this recipe.
- Mayonnaise: You can technically use any type of mayonnaise to make this recipe but I personally prefer using a heart healthy one such as Hellman’s Olive Oil mayonnaise. Primal Kitchen also has a delicious one made with avocado oil.
- Greek yogurt: Use plain 2% yogurt such as Faje. I don’t recommend going completely fat-free as this may take away the creaminess of the sauce.
- Milk: You can use fat free milk, 2% milk, or unsweetened oat milk.
- Honey: The honey adds sweetness a hint of floral. My favorite type is raw honey.
- Salt and pepper: A little salt and pepper to balance the taste of the salad. Add to your liking.
How to Make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Gather all of your ingredients for this recipe.
- Start by bringing a pot of water to boil and cooking your elbow macaroni by following the instructions on the box. I recommend al dente texture.
- Drain the macaroni and rinse under cold water until the noodles are room temperature. Drain again, well.
- Transfer the macaroni to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well until the ingredients are combined and each macaroni is coated evenly.
- Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until chilled. Enjoy!
What to Serve with this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
The sweet and tangy flavors of this salad make it the ideal side dish to grilled foods, burgers, and sandwiches. Some of my favorites are:
- Vegan barbecue “pulled pork” sandwich
- Grilled chicken with sweet and hot sauce
- Grilled corn on the comb with creamy tomatillo sauce
- Japanese egg sandwich (tamago sando)
- Japanese milk bread (shokupan)
Did you like this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
The perfect summer salad to bring to your next cookout.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6–8 people 1x
- Category: Salads
- Method: Tossing
- Cuisine: American
- 1/2 pound dry elbow macaroni
- 1 small carrot (shredded)
- 5 stalks scallions (finely chopped)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise made with healthy fats such as olive oil, or avocado oil. I like Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayo, or Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo.
- 1/2 cup 2% greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup 2% milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- Cook elbow macaroni until al dente, according to directions on the package. Drain and rinse under cold water until the macaroni is room temperature. Drain well.
- Put all the ingredients for the Hawaiian macaroni salad in a bowl and stir until all the ingredients are mixed and macaroni is evenly coated.
- Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve cold.
This Hawaiian macaroni salad will keep in the fridge, stored in an airtight storage container, for about 1 week.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 246
- Sugar: 6.5 g
- Sodium: 573.7 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 36.2 g
- Fiber: 1.9 g
- Protein: 7.3 g
- Cholesterol: 5.7 mg
Keywords: recipe, appetizer, side dish, barbecue, pot luck
I added two chopped imitation crab sticks, celery (as suggested in an earlier post), & just a splish of chile piquín-infused vinegar, which adds an itty-bitty bit of heat. Thanks, Carolyn & Hawai’i, for another great summer dish.
Thank you Francoise! 🙂
My Macaroni Salad isn’t exactly health-ful, but us folks from Hawaii love our Mac Salad served on the side of just about everything. Try it with some Brown Gravy poured over it too 😉
I like to add finely chopped Celery; maybe a can of drained Tuna or if I’m feeling flush, some cooked Shrimp. Oh, and sliced Black Olives are Ono too… MMM!
And my I say that adding Pineapple to a dish doesn’t make it “Hawaiian”. Actually, Pineapple originates from South America, just sayin’
This is super yummy. Hawaiian macaroni salad can be one of my downfalls! So a healthy recipe had to be tried. Now… I didn’t use light mayo, but used less of regular mayo and more yogurt. And I’m not sure if using wheat macaroni changes noodle-to-stuff ration, but I made more noodles, as it turned out a little more creamy than I preferred. I also added some shredded chicken… because I like chicken in my macaroni salad. That all said, the flavors are super good. the apple cider vinegar-honey-olive oil combo is delicious. The scallions and carrots add a lovely crunchy texture to it, too.
I have to admit I was wrong, when I saw the word Hawaiian, I thought to myself, well this is not something I will be able to eat, it will have pineapple in it (deathly allergic to it).
But I went ahead and read the ingredients list and to my surprise no pineapple! 🙂
So I made it, and it was sooo good, so thank you.
The word Hawaiian can definitely be misleading :)! Thank you Tobius, I’m glad you liked it!