Authentic Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe – Make at Home

Discover the Secret Ingredient in Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe – Perfect Creamy and Tangy Delight for Any Occasion!

The Traditional Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe is a delicious dish that is creamy, tangy, and perfect for any occasion. This recipe has a secret ingredient that sets it apart from other macaroni salads and you won’t believe how easy it is to make. Are you curious to know what the secret ingredient is?

The Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a popular dish in Hawaii that has been loved for generations, and it’s not hard to see why. This dish is a combination of creamy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavors that meld together to deliver a burst of flavors in every bite.

This salad supposedly originated in the 1940s, when macaroni salad started being served as a side dish in the barbeques of Hawaii. The macaroni was mixed with a simple mayonnaise-based dressing and served with grilled meats, chicken, and fish.

Over time, different versions of the macaroni salad emerged, with people adding vegetables, herbs, and even fruits to enhance the flavor and texture of the dish. However, the Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is undoubtedly the most beloved version of them all, with its unique and rich flavor profile.

This salad is infused with apple cider vinegar, which gives it a slightly tangy and sour taste, making it stand out from other macaroni salads. It also has shredded carrots, thinly sliced celery, and grated onions, providing a delightful crunch and earthy flavor to every bite.

To top it all off, the dressing for this salad is made from a combination of whole milk, Best Foods mayonnaise, brown sugar, lemon juice, black pepper, and other seasonings, providing a creamy and sweet flavor to balance out the tanginess of the apple cider vinegar.

Whether you’re having a barbeque, a potluck, or a simple family dinner, the Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is sure to be a hit for everyone who tries it. So next time you’re craving a unique and tasty macaroni salad, give this recipe a try, and you’ll be glad you did.

Ask the Chef: Pro Tips for making Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Cook Macaroni Al Dente

Make sure to cook the macaroni al dente, which means that it is cooked through yet still firm. Overcooked macaroni will become mushy and won’t hold up as well when mixed with the dressing.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Add Tartness

Adding apple cider vinegar to the cooked macaroni helps to add a nice tangy flavor to the salad. It also helps the macaroni to absorb more flavor from the dressing.

Chill the Salad Before Serving

Allow the salad to sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or longer before serving. This gives the flavors more time to meld together and will result in a tastier salad.

Adjust the Seasoning to Your Taste

The amount of salt, pepper, and other seasonings can vary depending on your personal preference. Taste the dressing after whisking it together and adjust seasoning as needed.

Grate or Minced Onion

When adding onion to the salad, it is best to grate or mince it finely. This helps to disperse the flavor throughout the salad and prevents large chunks of onion from overpowering other ingredients.

Add Veggies According to Your Preference

You can add more veggies like diced bell pepper, chopped scallions, or even pieces of crispy bacon according to your liking.

Store Leftovers Properly

Leftover macaroni salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can last up to 3 days. Mix it well before serving.

How Many Calories are in Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad?

Nutrition Facts

10 Servings per Recipe

Calories: 550

  • Total Fat: 41g
    • Saturated Fat: 7g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 33g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg
  • Sodium: 620mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 36g
    • Dietary Fiber: 2g
    • Total Sugars: 7g
    • Added Sugars: 3g
  • Protein: 9g

What Drinks Pair Best with Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad?

Wine pairing: A Chardonnay would pair well with this creamy macaroni salad, given its full body, rich texture and buttery notes.

Beer pairing: A great beer pairing for this flavorful macaroni salad is a light lager or pilsner, such as a German-style pilsner or Czech pilsner. These beers have a crisp and clean taste that complements the creamy dressing and the fresh vegetables in the salad.

Cocktail pairing: This isn’t a recipe for a cocktail, but Tradition Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is commonly paired with tropical cocktails like Mai Tai or Blue Hawaii.

How to Make Ono Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups Best Foods mayonnaise
  • 1 tblsp brown sugar
  • 1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 bunch celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, grated or minced


  1. Cook elbow macaroni according to package instructions, then drain water and rinse macaroni under cold water to cool.
  2. After rinsing, add apple cider vinegar to the cooled macaroni and mix well. Leave to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together whole milk, Best Foods mayonnaise, brown sugar, fresh lemon juice, black pepper, kosher salt, dry mustard, and garlic powder to make the dressing.
  4. Combine macaroni, shredded carrots, thinly sliced celery, grated sweet onion, and dressing in a large bowl. Mix well to ensure all ingredients are coated with the dressing.
  5. Allow the salad to sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or longer before serving.
  6. Once chilled and ready to serve, mix the macaroni salad one last time before scooping onto plates or bowls.

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