Incredible Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish! It is a delicious macaroni pasta salad with ham, pineapple, shredded carrots, and green onions, and a tangy dressing.

When I see a dish with elbow noodles in it, I know it is going to be decadent comfort food! Try these amazing recipes for yourself, Macaroni and Cheese, Salad, and Goulash!

A wooden bowl with hawaiian macaroni salad in it.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe

Isn’t it crazy to think that summer is halfway over! It is kind of a sad thought! I have been loving the sun and all of the fun activities that come with summer. Especially the BBQs and potlucks! I always love a good pasta salad when you go to a potluck. And this Hawaiian macaroni salad is truly incredible and unique! The ingredients are simple but come together so well. The ham and pineapple give this salad a Hawaiian feel and add such delicious flavor. This Hawaiian macaroni salad doesn’t need a lot added to it because the ham and pineapple are the stars of the show.

But let’s just talk about the one amazing thing that sets this Hawaiian macaroni salad apart from the others. The sweet and tangy pineapple dressing. It is so phenomenal and gives the salad such great flavor. It will set your macaroni salad apart from all of the rest and it is sure to be a huge hit! Serve this up at your next dinner and watch them all get taken to a bit of paradise! Try it today!

What You Need For Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Bursting with flavor, this is a refreshing Hawaiian macaroni salad! For all ingredient measurements, follow the recipe card below.

  • Dry elbow macaroni: prepared according to package directions and rinsed in cold water
  • Pineapple chunks: 20 ounces, drained (reserve ½ cup liquid for dressing)
  • Ham: cubed and cooked
  • Carrot: shredded, use the finest holes of a cheese grater.
  • Green onion:Sliced thinly.

Pineapple Dressing

A zesty and delicious dressing that will help add flavor and creaminess to the Hawaiian macaroni salad. You will love the combination this adds!

  • Pineapple juice reserved: If needed you can use pineapple juice from a carton or bottle too.
  • Light mayonnaise: Can use full fat if you prefer.
  • Greek yogurt: Be sure to use plain greek yogurt and it can be low or nonfat as well.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Adds a bit of tang and sharpness that pairs well with the sweet.
  • Sugar: This takes the edge off of the apple cider vinegar and gives just a touch of sweetness.
  • Salt and pepper: Add to taste

How to Make Hawaiian Salad

This Hawaiian macaroni salad is the perfect side dish for any potluck or BBQ! It is a family favorite and always a classic, MUST have pasta salad at any get together.

  1. Combine: In a large bowl, combine macaroni, pineapple chunks, ham, carrots, and green onion in a bowl. set aside.
  2. MIx: In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, greek yogurt, cider vinegar, and sugar. Pour over pasta and stir to coat. Enjoy!
Ingredients for the Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Tips and Variations for Macaroni Salad

The sweet pineapple is the perfect match for the savory salty ham, your whole family is going to love this! Follow these tips and variations for making the best Hawaiian macaroni salad!

  • Noodles: Be sure to cook your noodles al dente, it keeps the noodles firm enough to hold up to the ingredients, but soft enough to love.
  • Rinse: Make sure to rinse the noodles in cold water when done cooking to stop them from cooking any longer. They will get mushy if you don’t.
  • Types of Noodles: Don’t worry if you do not have elbow macaroni, this salad can be made with a variety of noodles successfully. Try shell, rotini or even bowtie pasta. I would not, however, recommend spaghetti or long thin noodles for this salad.
  • Ham: If you are really in a hurry you can buy already cubed ham at the store. It is cheaper however to buy a small ham and chop it yourself. Then you can use the leftovers to mix in your eggs for breakfast or make ham fried rice.
  • Pineapple: I like to cut my chunks in half to make them a bit smaller and easeir to eat. If you can find tidbit pineapple, they are smaller than chunks.
  • Add ins: You can add more flavor and texture by adding in, bacon, celery, peas, or peppers.
  • Refidgerate: I like to make this at least 2 hours in advance and let the flavors meld together. This will keep in the fridge for 3 days and it will get better with time!

What to serve with Hawaiian Salad

This may not be super authentic, most hawaiian macaroni salad will not contain ham or pineapple, but this is still insanely delicious. It is a great addition to any meal. You can also serve as a main dish salad, since it has the ham in it. You can pair it with a side of watermelon, a nice rice and some rolls for a light lunch. Whatever you do, make this Hawaiian macaroni salad, you and your loved ones will be so glad you did!

Scooping a bite of the macaroni salad with a fork.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

5 from 2 votes
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is the perfect side dish! It is a delicious macaroni pasta salad with ham, pineapple, shredded carrots, and green onions, and a tangy dressing.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 pound dry elbow macaroni prepared according to package directions and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 can pineapple chunks 20 ounces, drained (reserve ½ cup liquid for dressing)
  • 2 cups ham cubed cooked
  • 1/2 cup carrot shredded
  • 1/4 cup green onion

Pineapple Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice reserved
  • 1 and 1/2 cups light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine macaroni, pineapple chunks, ham, carrots, and green onion in a bowl. set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the pineapple juice, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, cider vinegar, and sugar. Pour over pasta and stir to coat. Enjoy!

Notes

Updated on July 7, 2021
Originally Posted on July 16, 2015

Nutrition

Serves: 6

Calories340kcal (17%)Carbohydrates49g (16%)Protein17g (34%)Fat9g (14%)Saturated Fat3g (15%)Cholesterol29mg (10%)Sodium569mg (24%)Potassium418mg (12%)Fiber3g (12%)Sugar19g (21%)Vitamin A1871IU (37%)Vitamin C12mg (15%)Calcium45mg (5%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword hawaiian macaroni salad, macaroni salad, macaroni salad recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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Comments

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    1. I was wondering also If the black specs were pepper since the recipe does not state anywhere to season with salt and pepper. After making it, I searched online to see if I should season my salad. I guess I will try it. Don’t want it too salty though, the ham is probably salty enough.

    1. Haha! The funny thing is my sister in law introduced me to fried rice and uses spam! It tasted amazing! So I say go for the spam! 🙂

    2. Brooklyn: If you like spam.

      Take a can of spam and mash it up, add relish, and mayonnaise to taste. Great for sandwiches.

  1. This is now a family favorite. Thanks!
    The pineapple juice is the right amount because after it chills for a couple of hours the dressing becomes absorbed by the macaroni so try the recipe before paying attention to the above comment then decide.

    1. I agree this would taste great with spam as its Hawaiian inspired. Thanks for the tip about the pineapple juice! I poured the whole 1/2C and thought it was too much at first too. Will definitely make again 🙂

    1. sweet pickle juice is a great substitute for vinegar in potato and macaroni salads… also in sweet salad dressings like on spinach salad!!!

  2. just a note in ingredients it says to save pineapple juice and then in dressing instructions it doesn’t say to add it into the mix 🙂

  3. I want to take to a potluck, would i keep it cold, and then take it. Itwill be sitting out at least 2 hrs in the shade. any suggestion. I want tomake this bad.

  4. I had a recipe that I came up with years ago…. I didn’t write it down 🙁 and can’t remember everything I put i it! This seems close! I also added mandarin oranges and cooked shrimp instead of ham.

  5. Turned out pretty well. Next time I would add at least half a cup more of ham and maybe hold the green onions unless I happened to have some around. I would also cut each of the pineapple chunks in half or in thirds as I thought they were a bit too big. As others have said, the half cup of pineapple juice is NOT too much.

  6. Am I crazy, or is the recipe missing “pineapple juice” in the second step? The one where you mix together all of the dressing ingredients?

    1. The dressing ingredients will have the 1/2 cup of pineapple juice that you saved from the second step. Let me know if you have any other questions I can help with! Thanks so much! XOXO

  7. I was a little nervous while making this as the dressing is on the runnier side. It is only simple ingredients but it tastes sooo good and it’s not all the way chilled yet! I never rinse my noodles but let them cool in the colander for at least 5 minutes stirring often. Then I add them to the rest of the ingredients warm. I find it makes the pasta absorb the flavors of the dressing more. Thanks for this great recipe! It’s a keeper!

  8. This stuff is awesome!! I’m eating a bowl of it as I write this comment! 🙂 I was a bit worried when the dressing was so liquidy- but don’t cut the pineapple juice. It absorbs into the pasta, so I suggest making ahead of time. I made mine last night to serve today. Thanks for a great recipe.

  9. The Hawaiian Salad was delicious. I doubled the recipe. While making it I thought of other spins on it. Next time may buy a whole pineapple and slice it and grill it, then cut up and add to salad. Maybe add some Baby Swiss cheese also. Yum!

  10. So yummy! I added a 1/2 cup each of frozen corn and peas to the colander before pouring in the pasta, and 1/4 t. pepper after I tasted it. I also don’t rinse my pasta after cooking it, so the dressing stuck to it nicely! Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    We really enjoyed this salad. We had a “Luau” in the middle of winter, and this sweet and tangy salad went so well with BBQ pork and baked Hawaiian beans! I was making the dressing (YUM!) when I realized I was out of yogurt, so I subbed sour cream. I added about a teaspoon of salt to the dressing and some black pepper. This recipe will be filed for future use. Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    Made it according to the directions.
    Ate it according to the directions.
    Delish as is!
    Loved the comments on adding additional ingredients.
    Adding cilantro & mandrin oranges certainly pushes this in a northern Thai direction, but who cares, it’s all good groceries!

  13. This sounds good, but I have to tell you. Your measurements are so hard to follow with the decimal points.
    I have to keep going online to convert every measurement. And then it isn’t always accurate.
    Wish you would switch to cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons. It would be so much easier to make your recipes.

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