Home » Blog » Potato Mac Salad

Potato Mac Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Sharing is caring!

Potato mac salad is a Hawaiian plate lunch necessity. Tangy, creamy, and the ultimate chilled side dish that pairs perfectly with so many main dishes. A must try recipe.

potato mac salad

If you’re from Hawai’i or ever been to Hawai’i then you should know that the Hawaiian plate lunch is king. Every mom and pop eatery to big restaurants serve up to go plates packed with all the local favorites. 

A main entree like kālua pig, shoyu chicken, laulau, chicken katsu, or loco moco, along side 2 scoops sticky white rice, and a scoop of potato mac salad.

Now potato mac salad is not a true traditional Hawaiian dish, but has become a very popular local food here in Hawai’i. Every superhero needs a sidekick and every main dish needs a great side. Hawaiian potato mac salad is just that.

Now everyone and their grandma has different variations of potato salad, but this is mine. You’ll need…

potato mac salad ingredients

Ingredients

(Full recipe instructions and ingredient amount are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post)

  • Potatoes. I like to use Russet potatoes. You can also use Yukon gold or red potatoes as well.
  • Elbow macaroni. This shape of macaroni helps hold the creamy base. You can use any other small pasta if you’d like.                   
  • Apple cider vinegar. This gives the dish a little tang.                   
  • Mayonnaise. Be sure to use a good brand, afterall this is the main base of this recipe.I like to use Best Foods Mayonnaise. This gives the dish it’s creamy texture and flavor as well as keeps it moist.       
  • Milk. I use cow’s milk, however you can swap it out with your milk of choice. This is used to help thin the mayonnaise.                   
  • Granulated sugar. This helps balance out the tand and acidity from the vinegar.
  • Salt and pepper                   
  • Carrot. Adds a little touch of sweet and crunch.                   
  • Onion. I like to use sweet Maui onions
  • Hard boiled eggs. If you don’t care for eggs you can leave this out.

Optional add ins

Other great options that will add more layers of flavor

  • Tuna
  • Fresh crab
  • Imitation crab
  • Peas
  • Celery
potato mac salad

Tips for the best Hawaiian potato salad

  • Drain the water well from the potatoes and the macaroni noodles. No one wants watery potato salad afterall.
  • Add the vinegar to the potatoes while they are still warm. This allows the potatoes to absorb the tangy flavor better.
  • Add the mayo dressing in batches. You can always add more may if the salad seems dry.
  • Allow potato macaroni salad to chill in the refrigerator. This will allow the dressing to set and be less watery.

How to store potato mac salad?

Once the potatoes have cooled, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

How long will it last?

This Hawaiian potato macaroni salad will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Be sure to keep chilled prior to eating.

Can you freeze potato salad?

Potato mac salad does not freeze well. The mayonnaise in this dish will separate which will change the flavor and texture of the dish. I would not recommend freezing.

potato mac salad

Other great side dishes to try

How to make potato mac salad?

  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Heat a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and a splash of oil to the water. Add the potatoes and boil for 5 minutes. Then add the elbow macaroni and continue to boil until potatoes are fork tender and the macaroni is al dente.
  3. Drain the potatoes and noodles. Toss with apple cider vinegar and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl add mayonnaise, milk, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  5. Then add the mayonnaise mixture to the macaroni noodles and stir to combine.
  6. Add in carrots, onion, and eggs. Gently stir until well combined.
  7. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight until cooled.
  8. Serve cold and ENJOY!
potato mac salad

Potato Mac Salad

Relle Lum
Potato mac salad is a Hawaiian plate lunch necessity. Tangy, creamy, and the ultimate chilled side dish that pairs perfectly with so many main dishes. A must try recipe.
4.50 from 30 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Additional Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Sides
Cuisine Local
Servings 6 servings
Calories 436 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 small potatoes
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 3 hard boiled eggs roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Peel and cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes.
  • Heat a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and a splash of oil to the water. Add the potatoes and boil for 5 minutes. Then add the elbow macaroni and continue to boil until potatoes are fork tender and the macaroni is al dente.
  • Drain the potatoes and noodles. Toss with apple cider vinegar and set aside.
  • In a large bowl add mayonnaise, milk, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  • Then add the mayonnaise mixture to the macaroni noodles and stir to combine.
  • Add in carrots, onion, and eggs. Gently stir until well combined.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight until cooled.
  • Serve cold and ENJOY!

Notes

*Be sure to drain the potatoes and noodles well so you don’t end up with runny salad.
*Toss the potatoes and noodles with the apple cider vinegar while still warm. This help absorb the tangy flavor.
*Allow to chill covered in the refrigerator prior to serving. This will allow the mixture to set.
*If the potato salad seems dry you can add a little more mayonnaise.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 436kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 8gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 335mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5g
Keyword hawaiian potato mac salad, hawaiian potato salad, hawaiian side dishes, keeping it relle, potato mac salad, potato salad, side dishes, sides
Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag @keeping.it.relle on Instagram so I can see all your delicious creations and Let me know how it was!

© Relle Lum for Keeping It Relle. Please do not copy and paste or screenshot recipes online or on social media. I’d love it if you share a link with a photo instead. Mahalo!

Tried this recipe? Tag me on social. I’d love to see and share it.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keeping.it.relle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keepingitrelle
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/keepingitrelle
Tried and love this recipe? Please give it a rating.
Pin for later.

potato mac salad

By on September 30th, 2021

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

More posts by this author.

13 thoughts on “Potato Mac Salad”

  1. Not sure if you will see this but I’m watching your video on making this and came across the part where the onion vapor makes you tear up and I have to say, I’m not sure if you’ve tried it, but chilling my onion before cutting or grating helps. Probably because it’s the release of the vapor that makes us tear and when it’s chilled you get less of that released. Thought I’d share because it hasn’t failed me yet 🙂

    Reply
  2. Relle is the BOMB!!! Best rendition of potato mac I have ever had… and I ate at a slew of local food wagons on Oahu…sistah, your potato mac is Ultra Ono!!!

    Reply
  3. 4 stars
    This is a good recipe. I do things a little different. I cook the pasta till its fat. I don’t like the taste of vinegar so I use pickle relish instead. In addition, I add some dried shrimp that has been minced, sugar, grated onion, and salt to the relish and stir all of that into the potatoes and macaroni. The grated onion really makes a difference. I do add celery for crunch, and peas for sweetness and color. Olives work too, for people who don’t like peas. To make this a complete meal for me, I add a protein, tuna, crab, or shrimp. It should be chilled at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend. Store it in a zip bag with all the air squeezed out or if you have it in a bowl, make sure the plastic wrap is pressed against the exposed surface of the macaroni to keep it from drying out.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating