This Hawaiian Macaroni Salad recipe is the type of side dish you will want for BBQs all summer long. This macaroni salad comes together in less than 20 minutes and is made so flavorful with simple pantry ingredients. The secret: shellbow noodles! They tuck-in little pockets of flavor in every noodle for the perfect bite.
Save this recipe for your next cookout!
A huge thank you to DeLallo for being a sponsor of The College Housewife and supplying us with all of our pasta favorites!
During our extra time at home these last few months I have taken a fun new approach to dinner at home with theme nights! We’ve done everything from Mexican Fajita nights to Hawaiian nights.
I recently got my hands on a copy of Alana Kysars ‘Aloha kitchen‘ and it totally inspired me to have a few tropical dinner nights at home. One recipe that we seem to be making on repeat is Hawaiian Macaroni Salad! I love that this easy side salad comes together with simple pantry staples and leaves me feeling like we’ve just had a great cookout.
The base of the recipe is really simple, but feel free to jazz it up with different mix-ins like green onions, pineapple chunks, and ham!
Why this macaroni salad is the BEST!
- This macaroni salad is the type of side dish recipe that you will make for summer BBQs on repeat. It pairs perfectly with things like grilled chicken, bbq ribs, and my personal favorite, my grilled pineapple salmon. Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is known for being served with the classic Hawaiian plate lunch so it really goes great with any grilled protein!
- The flavor profile of this macaroni salad is extremely creamy and bold from the mayonnaise and grated onions.
- My favorite ingredient in the salad though… these DeLallo Shellbows. Shellbows are the most unique blend of shell and macaroni noodles that are honestly what my childhood dreams are made of. They have this ‘pocket’ in the noodle that soaks up 100% more flavor than a regular noodle. These are an ingredient MUST for the recipe!
Ingredients for Hawaiian Macaroni Salad:
- DeLallo Shelbow Noodles– Truthfully the best part of the salad! These shellbow noodles have small pockets that burst extra flavor in every bite!
- yellow onion– Grated onion is one of the secret ingredients. By grating the onions you release SO much more flavor than just chopping them, plus it’s easier!
- carrots– Basically a classic ingredient in any mac salad!
- mayonnaise– Don’t skimp on the mayo! It makes everything super creamy.
- sweet pickle relish– For a bit of sweetness!
- apple cider vinegar– I love the bite this adds to the recipe without being overpowering!
- freshly ground black pepper– Lots of it! Be sure to taste test for pepper along the way!
- green onions– For topping right before the salad is served!
- ham, optional- If you’re a meat-lover, this is the mix in for you!
- pineapple, optional- For more tropical flavor add in some fresh pineapple!
Use this handy store locator to see where you can find shellbows in your nearest grocery store!
How to make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Bring a large stockpot with water to a rolling boil. Add a few tablespoons of kosher salt and boil shellbows for 10-12 minutes or until al dente.
- Drain macaroni noodles and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl combine cooked noodles, grated onion, carrots, 2 ½ cups of mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and pepper to taste.
- Cover the bowl and chill for 30 minutes
- Before serving, stir in remaining ½ cup of mayonnaise, and optional ham cubes or pineapple chunks.
- Taste test for salt and pepper and top with green onions.
- Serve chilled.
Let’s talk Mixins!
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad with Pineapple: If you’re a fan of pineapple and ham pizza I think little chunks of fresh pineapple are a great mix in for you. They give a little burst of juicy sweetness in every bite and make the whole salad feel a bit more tropical.
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad with Ham: Adding ham cubes to the macaroni salad makes it super hearty and a bit more savory! I like to dice up small ham chunks and fold them in if I know I’ve got meat lovers coming over.
Try this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad with…
If you make this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe be sure to give it a 5-Star Review and tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!
I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife communityPrint
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 Servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: Hawaiian
1 lb (16oz) DeLallo Shelbows
½ yellow onion, grated
2 carrots, grated
2 ½ cups mayonnaise
⅓ cup sweet pickle relish
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped ham cubes, optional
¾ cup chopped pineapple pieces, optional
- Bring a large stock pot with water to a rolling boil. Add a few tablespoons of kosher salt and boil shellbows for 10-12 minutes or until al dente.
- Drain macaroni noodles and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine cooked noodles, grated onion, carrots, 2 cups of mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and chill for 30 minutes.
- Before serving, stir in remaining ½ cup of mayonnaise, and optional ham cubes or pineapple chunks. Taste test for salt and pepper and top with green onions.
- Serve chilled.
Keywords: side dish, bbq, tropical
Aloha From Hawaii, to better control the strong taste of the onion- after grading or dicing onions put the onions in a bowl add 1 teaspoon of salt and let stand for 3 minutes. Put the onions in a sieve do a quick rinse, drain well. Finish with putting onions on a paper towel and squeeze remaining water an add to your salad when ready.
Hi Daniel! Thanks so much for this easy tip, I’ll give it a try next time 🙂
Could this be made ahead of time? How long would it last in the fridge?
Hi Mary Kate! Yes, this could be made the morning of. I haven’t made it the night before yet but we eat it as leftovers all the time and it tastes great. The onion flavor is just a bit more developed.
Loves me some noodle salad please.