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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad


This recipe comes Cook's Country (sister publication to Cook's Illustrated) June/July 2009. The salad dressing is creamy, with just the right balance of acidity from vinegar. The carrots, scallions and celery gives the salad a nice crunch. I reduced the recipe by half, which made about eight servings. I have adjust those amounts accordingly, so double it if you want to feed a crowd. To see how I made this, please click on the recipe source to my food blog, "A Feast for the Eyes".

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Rate this recipe 3.8/5 (175 Votes)


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (8-ounces)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 scallion, sliced thin
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine


Servings 8
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 60mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Note: Don't be tempted to use low-fat milk or mayonnaise, as the dressing will become too watered down.


Whisk 3/4 cups milk, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in bowl.

Cook pasta:

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pot.

Add vinegar* and toss until absorbed. Transfer to bowl. Cool pasta 10 minutes, then stir in dressing until pasta is well coated. Cool completely.

*I added half the amount of vinegar, and I'm glad that I did. I felt that the acidity was just right, and didn't want the vinegar to overpower the salad. You can always add back more vinegar if that is your preference.


Add scallions, carrot, celery, remaining milk, and remaining mayonnaise to pot with pasta mixture and stir to combine.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to serving bowl and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Serve.


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