Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Tropical Bliss on Your Plate: Crafting the Perfect Hawaiian Macaroni Salad”

Transport yourself to the sun-soaked beaches of Hawaii with our delightful and easy family recipe for Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. This tropical twist on a classic dish brings together the goodness of pineapple, the savory notes of ham, and a medley of flavors that dance on your palate. Join us as we embark on a culinary journey to create a dish that’s not just a meal but a tropical celebration on your plate.


For the Hawaiian Macaroni Salad:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, juices reserved
  • 1 (8 oz.) package diced ham, patted dry with paper towel
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced

For the Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 (6 oz.) container pineapple yogurt


  1. Macaroni Prelude:
    • Once the macaroni is cooked and cooling, stir in apple cider vinegar, allowing the pasta to soak up the delightful tang. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Dressing Symphony:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the reserved pineapple juice and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Incorporate the mayonnaise and pineapple yogurt, creating a luscious dressing that will be the heartbeat of our Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.
  3. Tropical Ensemble:
    • In a large bowl, bring together the cooled macaroni, pineapple chunks, diced ham, shredded carrots, and thinly sliced green onions. This colorful ensemble sets the stage for a tropical feast.
  4. Marriage of Flavors:
    • Pour the dressing over the macaroni mixture, tossing everything together until each ingredient is coated in the creamy goodness. The marriage of flavors begins, creating a symphony of tastes that captures the essence of Hawaiian cuisine.
  5. Chill and Infuse:
    • Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to 2 hours. This step not only enhances the flavors but also allows the salad to soak in the tropical essence, creating a refreshing experience with every bite.
  6. Serve and Savor:
    • Whether enjoyed immediately or served at a family gathering, your Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is ready to steal the spotlight. The vibrant colors and tantalizing aromas set the stage for a culinary escape to the Hawaiian islands.

Cook Notes

  • Vinegar Magic:
    • The addition of apple cider vinegar to the macaroni not only imparts a subtle tang but also helps the pasta absorb flavors more effectively.
  • Diced Ham Tip:
    • Patting the diced ham dry with a paper towel ensures that excess moisture is removed, preventing it from diluting the creamy dressing.
  • Carrot Crunch:
    • Shredded carrots not only add a pop of color but also bring a delightful crunch to each bite. Adjust the quantity based on your preference.

Variations for Culinary Creativity

  1. Tropical Fruit Extravaganza:
    • Expand the fruit medley by adding diced mango or papaya for an extra burst of sweetness and tropical flair.
  2. Bacon Bliss:
    • Elevate the savory notes by incorporating crispy bacon bits into the salad, providing a delightful contrast to the sweetness of pineapple.
  3. Coconut Paradise:
    • Sprinkle shredded coconut over the salad for a touch of tropical paradise, adding a subtle nuttiness to the mix.
  4. Spicy Pineapple Kick:
    • Infuse a hint of heat by adding diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce for those who crave a spicy twist.

Keto and Low-Carb Adaptations

Keto Version:

  • Cauliflower Substitution: Replace the macaroni with cauliflower florets to create a keto-friendly alternative with a similar texture.
  • Sugar Substitute: Opt for a keto-approved sweetener instead of sugar in the dressing.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Zucchini Ribbon Twist: Create zucchini ribbons using a vegetable peeler as a low-carb replacement for macaroni.
  • Greek Yogurt Upgrade: Increase the proportion of Greek yogurt in the dressing for a lower-carb option.

As you savor the tropical medley of flavors in your Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, let the vibrant colors and harmonious tastes transport you to the sandy shores of Hawaii. This easy family recipe isn’t just a dish; it’s a culinary escape, a celebration of family, and a testament to the joy that a well-crafted meal brings. So, whether enjoyed on a lazy Sunday afternoon or shared at a festive gathering, let the Hawaiian Macaroni Salad be a source of tropical bliss in your culinary repertoire

Unlocking the Essence: A Deeper Dive into Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Mastery

The Heart of Hawaii in Every Bite: Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is more than just a dish; it’s a cultural experience on your plate. Originating from the melting pot of flavors in Hawaii, this salad captures the essence of the islands with its unique combination of ingredients. The sweetness of pineapple, the savory touch of ham, and the crunch of fresh vegetables create a symphony of tastes that mirrors the diverse influences of Hawaiian cuisine.

Crafting the Perfect Macaroni: Cooking the macaroni just right is the first step to achieving macaroni salad perfection. The addition of apple cider vinegar not only imparts a subtle tang but also serves as a nod to the traditional Hawaiian poke bowls, where the rice is seasoned with a similar vinegar-based dressing.

The Dressing Dance: The dressing is the soul of this salad, bringing together flavors that dance on your taste buds. The use of pineapple juice in the dressing not only adds sweetness but also ensures that no part of the pineapple goes to waste. It’s a sustainable and delicious approach to cooking.

The Tropical Ensemble: The choice of ingredients in this salad is deliberate, aiming to create a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. The diced ham, patted dry to remove excess moisture, adds a savory element that complements the sweetness of the pineapple. The shredded carrots contribute a refreshing crunch, while the green onions provide a mild, oniony bite.

Chilling to Perfection: Allowing the salad to chill is a crucial step that allows the flavors to meld and intensify. It’s during this time that the macaroni soaks up the dressing, transforming each bite into a tropical celebration. The anticipation builds as the salad infuses with the essence of Hawaii.

Serving Sunshine on a Plate: Whether you’re serving this salad at a family picnic or a festive luau, its vibrant colors and refreshing flavors make it a star. The combination of macaroni, pineapple, ham, and vegetables creates a visually appealing dish that captures the spirit of the islands. It’s sunshine on a plate, ready to brighten any occasion.

Cooking with Aloha: In Hawaii, cooking is not just a task; it’s an expression of aloha, the spirit of love and compassion. As you craft this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, infuse each step with aloha. It’s the secret ingredient that makes every dish, no matter how simple, a culinary masterpiece.

Variations for Every Palate: For those looking to put a personal spin on this Hawaiian classic, there are endless possibilities. The Tropical Fruit Extravaganza adds a burst of additional sweetness, while Bacon Bliss introduces a savory element that contrasts with the pineapple. Coconut Paradise and Spicy Pineapple Kick offer exotic twists that cater to various taste preferences.

Keto and Low-Carb Adaptations: Embracing a keto or low-carb lifestyle doesn’t mean missing out on the tropical delight of Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. From cauliflower substitutions to zucchini ribbon twists, there are creative ways to enjoy this dish while adhering to dietary goals. The essence of Hawaii remains, even in these adapted versions.

A Taste of Aloha As you take the first forkful of your homemade Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, savor not just the flavors but the essence of aloha that permeates each bite. It’s a taste of Hawaii, a reminder of the islands’ warmth and hospitality. Share this dish with friends and family, and let the spirit of aloha fill your home. From our kitchen to yours, may your Hawaiian Macaroni Salad be a source of joy, connection, and the pure delight that comes from a well-crafted meal. Aloha and Bon Appétit!

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