Sweet, tangy, creamy and crunchy all rolled into a delicious side dish for your next BBQ.
In Hawaii, where macaroni salad is a staple, it’s been a long known secret that you intentionally overcook the pasta to make it “fat”. It helps it really soak up the sauce, and keep the pasta moist and delicious. It is the method that is used to make this macaroni salad that I find so intriguing and will use for any macaroni/pasta salad containing mayonnaise in the future. It goes against everything we have ever learned about cooking pasta. What happens here though is pretty neat. 

The overcooked pasta is now like a “sponge” and it first soaks up the vinegar then soaks up the first application of dressing and has now magically filled up with all of these flavors and is no longer mushy. Then a smaller second dressing is added to make it creamy. You know how if you make macaroni salad ahead of time you quite often have to add more mayonnaise before serving? Not if you do it this way. 

Next time I will be adding a ham steak that has been trimmed and cubed small.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad 

2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery rib, chopped fine
1 small can crushed pineapple, super well drained

Make Dressing
  • Whisk 1-1/2 cups milk, 1 cup mayonnaise, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper in a bowl.
Cook Pasta
  • Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in large pot. 
  • Add 1 tablespoon of 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 a bowl. 
  • Cool pasta 10 minutes.
  • Stir in dressing until pasta is well coated. Cool completely.
Make Salad
  • Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup milk and remaining 1 cup mayonnaise until well blended.
  • Add scallions, carrot, celery, pineapple pieces and mayonnaise mixture to the pasta mixture and stir to combine. 
  • Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serve. 
Source: Adapted from Cook’s Country, June 2009 & Tide & Thyme