A Spicy Perspective

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe with Potatoes

Hawaiian Style Potato Macaroni Salad – A Hawaiian plate lunch special! Creamy macaroni salad with tender chunks of potato, sweet peas, and carrots mixed in.

hawaiian macaroni salad

Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe

Creamy comforting Hawaiian Style Potato Macaroni Salad, the perfect side dish to add a little aloha to your table!

One thing I always look forward to when we vacation in Hawaii is the potato salad.

Yes, I love the fresh fish and poke, the towering shaved ice, and the fruit smoothies. Yet it’s the hearty comfort foods you find on a traditional Hawaiian plate lunch that really get me excited.

I think it’s because some of these dishes are so unexpected in a tropical environment… Like Hawaiian Style Potato Macaroni Salad.

pasta and potatoes

Combining Dishes the Hawaiian Style  

At Hawaiian delis, you will find potato salad and you will find macaroni salad. Yet most commonly, you find a potato-macaroni combo salad with all the best attributes of both!

With Hawaiian Style Potato Macaroni Salad you get the tender bits of potato, so soft they break down into the dressing. Then you get firm, yet silky, macaroni pasta holding little pockets of dressing in each tube.

pasta, potatoes and peas

Macaroni Salad Ingredients 

(For full measurements check the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

  • Russet PotatoesPeeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces.
  • Dried Macaroni NoodlesOr your favorite small pasta for pasta salads.
  • Shredded Onion – Shaved to add zesty flavor, without a firm texture. 
  • Shredded Carrot Shredded carrots add texture and a touch of sweetness to the flavor profile.
  • Frozen Peas – A special ingredient for this Hawaiian dish, adds color and sweetness.
  • Chopped ScallionsBrings in a pop of color and more perky flavor.
  • Mayonnaise This is what binds the whole dish together. You can use full-fat or low-fat mayonnaise in this recipe.  
  • Sweet Pickle Relish Adds an additional touch of sweetness to this savory dish.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar To balance the heavy and sweet components with a bit of acidity. 
  • Yellow MustardThis provides color and depth to the flavor profile.
  • Ground AllspiceAdds a touch of exotic flavors.
  • Salt and Pepper – Always. 

The surprise ingredients you don’t often find in either potato salad or pasta salad recipes, are peas and carrots!

The sweetness of the peas and carrots, along with a touch of allspice, brings all the ingredients together into a salty-sweet side dish that makes you want to pull up a bowl and face-plant.

Pasta salad

How To Make Potato Salad

Making Hawaiian Style Potato Macaroni Salad is no more difficult than making regular potato salad.

  1. Boil the potatoes for 5 minutes, then stir in the macaroni noodles, so the potatoes and macaroni finish cooking at the same time. (This is a great time trick that also allows you to use less pots and pans for an easier cleanup!) 
  2. Then toss in shredded onions, carrots, sweet peas, scallions, and a quick homemade dressing. 
  3. Mix it all together until it’s combined, and then refrigerate before consuming.

If you love making potato salad or macaroni salad for spring picnics and backyard parties, give this Hawaiian Style Potato Macaroni Salad a try.

It has all the appeal of classic southern sides, with a touch of Hawaiian charm!

Creamy sauce

Frequently Asked Questions: 

How long does potato salad keep? 

This recipe can last in an airtight container in the fridge for about four to five days. Packed tightly in a very well-sealed container, it could even last up to a week. This is also a dish that you can make the day before for a party or an event, to take with you the next day. 

How do you know when potato salad goes bad? 

Bacteria can grow pretty rapidly when salads like this are left out. So if the dish has been sitting out at room temperature for longer than 4 hours, I would be safe and discard it. Otherwise you might risk getting food poisoning. 

It’s best to set out smaller portions, leaving the main container in the refrigerator. Then refill the serving bowl as needed.

Why is my macaroni potato salad watery? 

Both potato salad and macaroni salads tighten as they sit. If you find your salad is watery, one of the issues could be the type of potato you used. (Pick a starchy potato for this recipe, like Russets.) After draining the potatoes, if they still seem watery, place the waterless potatoes back on the stove for a few minutes to steam away any excess moisture. 

Why allspice, and can you really taste it in the finished product?

Allspice adds a touch of exotic flavor. It is an ingredient often used in Polynesian, Caribbean, and other tropical cuisines. If you are nervous about the flavor, you could add half the allspice, then add more later if you think it needs more.

macaroni salad recipe

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Hawaiian Style Potato Macaroni Salad Recipe
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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad with Potatoes + VIDEO

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes
Hawaiian Style Potato Macaroni Salad – A Hawaiian plate lunch special! Creamy macaroni salad with tender chunks of potato, sweet peas, and carrots mixed in.
Servings: 16



  • Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large stock pot. Fill the pot with cold water until it is one inch over the top of the potatoes. Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt. Then set the timer and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir in the macaroni noodles and continue boiling for 6-8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish including juices, apple cider vinegar, mustard, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Stir until smooth. Then use a grater to shred the onions and carrot.
  • Drain the potatoes and macaroni in a colander and place in a large salad bowl. Add in the onion, carrots, peas, and scallions. Pour the dressing over the top and mix until well combined.
  • Cover the potato macaroni salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. If you have time to make it ahead, it tastes even better on day two! Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.



NOTES: This salad is sometimes made with unpeeled new potatoes for a slightly different texture. Follow the instruction as is, yet leave the potato skins on when you chop them.


Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 268kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 398mg, Potassium: 488mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 1015IU, Vitamin C: 13.3mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1.5mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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27 comments on “Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe with Potatoes”

  1. Thanks for the Hawaiian macaroni salad recipe.

  2. This is absolutely delicious! I love that it’s such a crowd pleaser for the whole family

  3. Love that this salad has both potatoes and macaroni.  The relish in the dressing is so good!

  4. I love this flavor combo and the hawaiian nature of it! Pasta and potatoes are a great combination!

  5. I just wanted to comment. I was born and raised on Oahu…58 years old. I have tasted many variations of potato/mac salad. From both restaurants and local cooks. I always add relish to my salad. I’ve tasted it that way tons of times. I made some potato/mac salad today and would’ve added peas if I had some on hand.. My sister will sometimes add chopped imitation crab meat and it tastes great. Sometimes she puts thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers that are halved. My point is everyone has their own variations and it’s just a matter of personal preference. Thank you for sharing your style of potato/mac salad.

  6. I haven’t made this exact recipe yet but I have two very similar Hawaiian Mac salad recipes that I pull from to make the one I typically do. Neither of them call for relish but I do add peas and shredded carrots and allspice. so delicious! One thing with the onions that one of the recipe stresses: when you grate the onion make sure you add both the onion AND the onion juice! Also, I add the vinegar to the hot potatoes and macaroni after I drain and let it sit for about 10- 15 minutes.

  7. This is the third potatoe mac recipe I’ve tried and this one is the keeper. I didn’t change anything and it was perfect. I was so hesitant on adding the relish and the allspice but so glad I did!!!

  8. Made this as directed with yellow potatoes and did half the recipe as the full one would have been way to much for just two of us. Turned out excellent!! Will definitely make it again!

  9. Such a great potato/macaroni salad dish! great flavors and textures!

  10. As a local to Hawaii born and raised I too agree with Hawaiian girl about the peas or relish… nor have I ate at a restaurant or even a drive in owned by locals that sells such a “Hawaiian potato salad” with those ingredients…

  11. I haven’t eaten potato macaroni salad in years.  Talked to my brother today and he said he was making it as a side for his Christmas dinner.  I got jealous, so that means I’m going to be making it very soon.

  12. I loved the mixed flavor of potato with macaroni. Even without having all the ingredients, the salad turned out to be terribly yummy and EASY! Thank you!

  13. Best pototo mac salad ever!!!! Love it, recommend it and will make again. 

  14. Loved it! Added a touch of sugar to lesson the vinegar bite for the kids. And added 6 chopped up hard boiled eggs! 

  15. I’m not sure why this is called Hawaiian Style.  The true Hawaiian style done by locals do not use peas in their salad nor do they use relish.

    • Hi Hawaiian girl.  I just read an article from the Hawai’i Magazine as well as cookbook Kau Kau: the culture and cuisine of Hawaii.  The add ones are indeed peas and pickle relish as suggestions!  

      I’m so excited to try this recipe! Thank you.  Will rate as soon as I do!  Going to make Hasselbach potatoes today

  16. This recipe has intrigued me. Can’t wait to make it this weekend, however I am concerned about the allspice.

    Why allspice and can you really taste it in the finished product ? This makes a lot and I would hate to have to throw it in the garbage.

    I am new to our website but it is very impressive. thank you, Bobbi

  17. Love the flavor in this potato macaroni salad! Yum!

  18. What a fun new take on potato salad! Can’t wait to give it a try!!

  19. Seriously a good one to share at barbecues!

  20. I’m so excited to try this! We have a Hawaiian resturant that we order take out from and I always ask for 2 scoops of this with my plate lunch because it’s so good. 

  21. Love this twist on a classic macaroni salad!

  22. This pasta salad is delicious! You can’t beat the combo of potatoes and pasta!

  23. Pingback: Hawaiian Tako Poke - A Spicy Perspective

  24. Sommer,
    As a Hawaiian raised on this combination salad, standard with every lunch wagon bento, to a higher level!
    Mahalo for your recipes – You inspire me to continue tweaking recipes I love along with those I put together for my own pleasure and feeding friends. Sure glad I found your site.

  25. Is there any way to do the Hawaiian Potato Macaroni Salad in the microwave or slow cooker? If so, would you please share?

    Thank you!