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Hawaiian Potato Salad (Potato Mac Mashup)

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Hawaiian potato salad is like the classic picnic side dish that decided to take a tropical vacation. This isn’t your typical potato salad; it’s packed with tender potatoes, macaroni noodles, tangy pickles, and a touch of ham or Spam for that island flair. Forget the bland versions of the past; this vibrant twist will bring a fresh, lively flavor to your BBQ spread.

A bowl filled with Hawaiian potato salad with macaroni.

Potato Mac Salad

This potato mac salad is here to shake up your side dish game with a double dose of carbs. Tender potatoes, creamy macaroni, and a tangy dressing come together in a mix that’s way more interesting than your average potato salad. It’s an upgrade from the usual and perfect for when you want all the carbs and none of the boring.

Here Is Why This Recipe Works

Unique Twist: Combines classic potato salad recipe with tropical flavors like ham or Spam, plus a surprising addition of macaroni noodles for extra heartiness.

Make-Ahead Friendly: This salad tastes even better the next day, making it a great option for prepping ahead of time.

Versatile Side: Ideal for BBQs, picnics, or any gathering, it pairs well with a variety of main dishes, adding a flavorful boost to your meal.

A bowl filled with Hawaiian potato macaroni salad next to a wooden spoon.

The Ingredients

  • Meat: Ham or Spam
  • Produce: Russet potatoes, green onions, white or yellow onion, fresh dill
  • Pantry: Elbow macaroni, salt, ground pepper, pickles
  • Condiments: Mayonnaise, prepared mustard
  • Other: Hard-boiled eggs


  • Substitute the ham with cooked bacon or diced turkey.
  • Swap the russets for Yukon Gold or red potatoes for a slightly different texture.
  • Use relish instead of whole pickles (either sweet or dill will work here).
  • Replace the mayo with Greek yogurt or a blend of half mayo and half sour cream for a lighter option.
  • Substitute fresh dill with dried dill (use about 1 teaspoon).
Ingredients for a Hawaiian potato salad in a large bowl.

Recipe Variations

Potato Mac Salad with Pineapple: Add 1 cup of small pineapple chunks and omit the pickles. Use pineapple juice and a tablespoon of sugar in the dressing.

Spicy Variation: Add 1-2 finely chopped jalapeños or a few dashes of hot sauce to the dressing for a spicy kick. Stir in some pepper Jack cheese.

Hawaiian Island Mix with Peas and Carrots: Add 1 carrot, finely shredded, and a cup of frozen (thawed) peas. Toss in some shredded cheddar cheese.

If you like this recipe, try our Japanese potato salad.

Helpful Tips

Want to make sure the recipe turns out perfectly every time? Here are some tips and tricks to help you along the way.

  • Salt the Water Well. Give your potatoes and macaroni a head start in the flavor department by salting the boiling water generously. Think ocean water—don’t be shy!
  • Don’t Overcook the Macaroni. Follow the package directions and cook the pasta al dente to prevent it from becoming mushy in the salad.
  • Allow the potatoes and macaroni to cool completely before mixing.
  • This salad tastes better the next day, so make it ahead of time to let the flavors meld together.
A spoon scooping some potato mac salad from a bowl.

Storing Leftovers

  • After preparing the salad, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container.
  • Fridge: Store the salad in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • Avoid Freezing: I do not recommend freezing potato salad, as the potatoes will develop a strange texture and mayonnaise-based dressing can become watery when thawed.

When ready to serve, give the salad a good stir to recombine any dressing that may have settled at the bottom. Sometimes the dressing can absorb into the potatoes. If it seems a bit dry, you can add a little more mayonnaise or a splash of pickle juice.

Ready to wow your guests with a side dish that’s anything but ordinary? This Hawaiian potato salad is easy to make and perfect for any gathering. Whether you’re hosting a BBQ, a picnic, or just craving something different, this salad will be a hit. Plus, it’s even better the next day, making it a fantastic make-ahead option.

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A bowl filled with Hawaiian potato salad with macaroni.

Hawaiian Potato Salad (Potato Mac Salad)

This Potato Mac Salad isn't your grandma's side dish. Combining tender potatoes and creamy macaroni, it's the salad mash-up you didn't know you needed. Ideal for impressing at potlucks, picnics, or whenever you need to step up your side dish game.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 347kcal


  • 1-½ pounds Russet potatoes peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • plenty of salt to boil the potatoes
  • ½ pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs reserve two yolks for the dressing
  • 1 cup finely diced ham or spam
  • 3 large pickles chopped
  • 3 green onions chopped


  • ½ white or yellow onion
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 egg yolks from the boiled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper


Cook the Potatoes and Macaroni

  • Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add a generous amount of salt to the water and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until fork-tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potato chunks.
  • Scoop the chunks of potatoes out with a skimmer or sieve and keep the water in the pot so you can cook the macaroni. Make sure the water is drained from the potatoes and place them in a large bowl to cool.
  • Bring the water in the pot back up to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions (usually 8 to 12 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Place the macaroni in the bowl with the potatoes.

Prepare the Eggs and Mix Ins

  • Peel the hard-boiled eggs and remove the yolks from two of them, placing them in a bowl for the dressing.
  • Chop the remaining egg whites and whole eggs, then add them to the bowl with the potatoes and macaroni. Toss in the ham, pickles, and green onions.

Prepare the Dressing:

  • Grate the onion into the bowl with the egg yolks, ensuring that the onion juices and grated onion fall into the bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork.
  • Add the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, dill, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.

Combine the Ingredients:

  • Pour the dressing over the salad and gently mix until all the ingredients are well coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend. For best results, make it a day ahead.


  • This salad tastes even better the next day, so feel free to prepare it in advance. If the dressing soaks into the potatoes, you can stir in a bit more mayo before serving.
  • Make sure to salt the potato and macaroni cooking water generously for the best flavor.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 730mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg

Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 27th of June 2024

This looks like a wonderfully comforting and delicious summer meal.

Dahn Boquist

Friday 28th of June 2024

thanks Angie!

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