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Potato Mac Salad

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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

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

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.

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

  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!

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 Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 436Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 335mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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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.

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