If you have been looking for a true, authentic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad look no further. Believe me, I have tried many a “mac salad” in Hawaii and this is the real deal.Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is one of my biggest guilty pleasures. I lived in Hawaii a little over 10 years ago and became very familiar with true, authentic Hawaiian “Mac Salad”. I literally lived across the street from an L&L Hawaiian BBQ restaurant and found myself wandering over there way more often than I should have for their delicious plate lunch– always with mac salad and rice on the side (I love getting a little rice and mac salad together in one bite.. oh so good).
This past weekend I had a flashback to my Hawaii days when we ordered food from Honolulu Grill in St. George, UT. Everything we had there was delicious and seriously the most authentic Hawaiian food I have had since leaving Hawaii. The macaroni salad, especially, hit home and suddenly made me wonder why we haven’t gotten a good Hawaiian mac salad recipe here on Favorite Family Recipes yet!
Authentic Hawaiian Mac Salad is ridiculously simple. It is a no-frills mac salad yet so creamy and flavorful. I had a friend in Hawaii who was also a caterer who explained to me long ago that true Hawaiian macaroni salad is pretty much just macaroni, carrot, mayo and salt and pepper. Yeah there are a few other add-in’s like celery, extra onion, potatoes, fresh crab, or relish that you can add, but the basic recipe is my favorite. Once you start getting into adding ham or pineapple you are getting way off course… pineapple and ham have no business being in a Hawaiian mac salad. EVER.
This recipe may seem a little mayo-heavy.. it’s true. That is what makes it so stinking good. If you are really concerned about the mayo-ness you can substitute out Greek Yogurt in whatever amounts you would like (half mayo-half yogurt.. etc..). You will get a likeness of mac salad but I am telling you–it won’t be quite the same. In Hawaii it’s all about the mayo. As far as the BRAND of mayo– it’s has got to be Best Foods. Period. No other mayo will taste right.
If you make this ahead of time and it seems a little dried out, add some mayo mixed with a little milk until you get the right consistency back. Fold it in with a large rubber spatula so you don’t tear the macaroni noodles.