HAWAIIAN-STYLE DELI PASTA SALAD — This super simple pasta salad, with a slightly sweet and creamy dressing, is always the first thing to go at potlucks and backyard barbecues. This is a must-make summer recipe!
Don’t be fooled by the short ingredients and simple instructions, this classic Hawaiian-Style Deli Pasta Salad is always the first thing to go, no matter where I serve it.
If you’ve ever picked up on of those tubs of weird looking but insanely good pasta salads from your supermarket deli, you have a pretty good idea of how this tastes.
It’s also a staple of Hawaiian cuisine, but knowing there are hundreds of variations on almost any regional dish, I’m calling it “Hawaiians-style” in case it’s not exactly your version of Hawaiian pasta salad.
Whatever you call it, it’s a tried-and-true, favorite recipe that seems to show up at any potluck or backyard barbecue–and for good reason. It’s pretty irresistible.
I love a pasta salad choc full of all kinds of mix-ins, but honestly, this pasta salad, with just a few ingredients, is my all-time favorite.
Besides the macaroni and a sweet and creamy dressing, the only other ingredients are grated onions, carrots and in my version, some sliced green onions.
The green onions aren’t necessarily traditional, but this salad is just so beige…..I had to do something to add a little pop of color.
And yes, I think you really do need to use plain old elbow macaroni here. At least if you want that authentic deli salad texture, taste and appearance.
You can make this salad ahead of time, but you might want to reserve some dressing to stir in at the last minute so the pasta isn’t too dry. This is definitely a pasta salad that should be extra creamy.
Next time you need to feed a crowd, or bring something to a potluck or party, give this Hawaiian-Style Deli Pasta Salad. It’s always, ALWAYS a hit!
Be sure to save this Hawaiian-Style Deli Pasta Salad recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
Use a big pot: Cook pasta in a large pot–big enough to hold 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
Salt: Generously season your cooking water with salt. A few teaspoons per quart of water is a good place to start. Although a little more or less is fine, depending on your preference.
Don’t overcook: Boil your pasta to until it is al dente, which means it’s cooked, but still a bit chewy. You’ll want to test your pasta for flavor and texture every 20 seconds or so during the last few minutes of cooking.
If you’ll continue cooking the pasta in a sauce, or baking it in the oven, remove the pot from the heat a few minutes before it’s done to prevent overcooking.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Hawaiian-Style Deli Pasta Salad
- Elbow macaroni
- Produce: onions, carrots, green onions
- Rice vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup grated yellow onion
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk, optional
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Add grated onions to pot just before pasta is finished. Drain pasta and onions and rinse with cold water.
- Add the drained pasta to a large bowl, along with the carrots and green onions.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper. Add milk, if needed, to reach desired consistency.
- Gently combined the mayonnaise mixture with the pasta until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If needed, add more mayonnaise or dressing, and re-season with salt and pepper before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 320mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g
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