Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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I’m so not a winter person – give me the beach and hot summer days anytime! The kids and I are spending as much time as we can outside right now, soaking up the sun, so easy prep-ahead meals like this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad are perfect for keeping in the fridge and enjoying cold – maybe while spread out on a picnic blanket in the backyard or as an easy side salad at a summer barbecue.

This Hawaiian macaroni salad is delicious - sweet and creamy, and the perfect summer salad for barbecues or picnics. Just throw all of the ingredients into a bowl and you're done!

We didn’t see much of Hawaii past the beaches and hotel when I was a kid, but I’ve been longing to go back as an adult and experience all of the wonderful hidden food gems the Island is known for. Mom & pop joints and food trucks are where I’m going to head to really experience Hawaiian food culture – but for now, this salad is tiding me over.

This easy cold pasta salad recipe is fresh and slightly sweet, thanks to a hit of pineapple juice. Even when left to marinade overnight the vegetables stay crunchy – providing a great contrast to the soft, perfectly cooked noodles.

Of course, you can use any pasta to make this salad, and you can swap out the vegetables I’ve suggested here for ones your crew is more likely to eat. I added some leftover ham from our Honey-caramel ham recipe because that just seemed more authentically Hawaiian to me – well, maybe not as authentic as Spam but I’m not that brave! Chicken or even tofu would work well, too.

My kids devoured this salad and our pink pasta salad version at Ella’s Sleeping Beauty party was a hit with our grown-up guests, too!

How to make hawaiian macaroni salad - an easy summer salad recipe

How to Make Hawaiian Pasta Salad

First, gather your ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked pasta, prepared according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1-2 cup cubed cooked ham
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside while you whisk together the pineapple dressing.

Step by step pictures for an easy Hawaiian macaroni salad recipe

Pineapple Dressing:

Taste and adjust as necessary – adding more juice, sugar, or vinegar to hit that perfect balance of tart, sweet & creamy.
Step by step pictures for an easy Hawaiian macaroni salad recipe
Pour the dressing over the pasta and stir until completely coated.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Here is your free printable recipe:

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked pasta, prepared according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1-2 cup cubed cooked ham
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Pineapple Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice or liquid from can, optional
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons plain greek yogurt, optional
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine macaroni, pineapple, ham, carrots, and cucumber in a bowl.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the mayonnaise, greek yogurt, cider vinegar, and sugar. Taste and adjust as necessary.
  3. Pour the dressing over the pasta, and stir to coat.
  4. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.

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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad for an easy summer lunch

Check out our other delicious salad recipes for more healthy options, like our mayo-free Caesar salad and our Sunshine bowl with quinoa and a poached egg on top!

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