The Country Cook: Hawaiian-Style Potato Macaroni Salad

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hawaiian-Style Potato Macaroni Salad

And no - it doesn't have pineapple in it! Ha! I had a friend, Leilani, who made it her goal to educate folks on all things Hawai'i. She was a military brat, like myself, and was born and raised there. She would always half-joke about our (and by "our" - I mean us mainlanders) use of pineapple. "Mainlanders think that just cause you put pineapple in something, it automatically becomes 'Hawaiian'." So, of course, we had to constantly joke with her. She'd come into the break room and ask what we were eating and it became a competition on who could come up with the best (and by 'best'- I mean horrifyingly gross) use of pineapple in a made-up dish. 

Example conversation:

Leilani - "So what did you bring? That smells good."
Me - "Hawaiian Mashed Potatoes. How about you?"

It became our schtick and thankfully she always had a good dose of blonde jokes in her back pocket just for the occasion. Leilani was nothing if not prepared with an amazing sense of humor. 
She would tell me about her favorite meal of Teriyaki Burgers (which, ironically enough, do have pineapple on them) with a side of Hawaiian-Style Macaroni Salad. She made it for me once and the dressing tasted so much like a cole slaw dressing to me. Hers was such a simple salad of macaroni, mayonnaise-based dressing, sliced carrots & celery with a hint of onion. Simple but perfect. 
So using that recipe as inspiration, I created this recipe. I've had friends tell me that at some Hawaiian barbecue joints, they add potatoes to the mac salad. So that is just what I did here. I'm using my favorite Little Potato Company creamer potatoes. They go perfectly with this dish since they are easy to dice and are super tasty. And to make it even easier, I am using a pre-made cole slaw dressing AND we are going to boil the potatoes and noodles together to save time and dirty dishes. Boom! This is so good y'all - no pineapple needed! 
1.5 lbs. Little Potato Co. Baby Boomer creamer potatoes
1 cup macaroni, uncooked
2 Eggland's Best hard-cooked peeled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 (15 oz.) bottle coleslaw dressing
sliced green onions, for garnish 
You can usually find the hard-cooked peeled eggs over in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the other eggs. Typically they are on a top shelf. 

Cut up your little potatoes into halves (or quarters - depending on how big they are.) You basically want a 1-inch size chunk of potato. 
Put them into a large pot of water over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle boil. 
Once the water starts boiling, add in macaroni. Stir well. 
Make sure to stir the potatoes and macaroni occasionally while cooking so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the noodles are tender, drain the potatoes and noodles and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes or so. 
Once they're cooled off, add potatoes and noodles to a large bowl. Mix in chopped hard-cooked eggs, sliced carrots and coleslaw dressing. 
Stir well. You can serve right away. 
Or, cover with plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge until ready to serve!


For a full Hawaiian meal experience, give this Huli Huli Chicken a try! 

I am a proud ambassador for The Little Potato Company. All opinions are my own. 


  1. Yum! This looks like a perfect side, you don't have to decide between the pasta salad and the potato salad! I love the Hawaiian mashed potato idea too... genius!;-)

    1. Haha! We came up with some funny ideas. Pineapple Spaghetti and Ham, Beas & Diced Pineapple. All in fun!

  2. When I saw the headline, I thought, "Macaroni salad with pineapples!" Well, I just love potatoes, and I love pasta. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven. I cannot wait to try this recipe!

    1. Ha! I have not been to the Hawaiian islands yet but I am thankful to have friends that have lived there and have educated me on a lot of the food culture. Food tells a story of every place which I love to learn about!

  3. What happened to your friend Leilani?

  4. Donna, I would LOVE to reconnect with her! The last I heard, she got married to a sailor and moved back to Hawai'i!

  5. i like all the recipes , too many favorites to pick just one ..


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