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Healthier Hawaiian Macaroni Salad (Gluten-Free)

Hawaiian macaroni salad is an easy pasta salad made with brown rice elbow macaroni, onions, carrots and a creamy salad dressing.

close up of hawaiian macaroni salad in a steel bowl with spoon

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian macaroni salad is a healthier version of the traditional recipe many of us grew up with. It’s made with brown rice pasta noodles, avocado mayonnaise and can be made dairy-free by using oat milk.

It’s a delicious healthy side dish you can serve at potlucks, picnics or barbecues. This easy salad can be made in under 20 minutes.

>> Need more inspiration? Grab my Easy Healthy Meals Success Kit! Includes 12 healthy eating guides, done-for-you meal plans, and recipes.

ingredients on counter: jar of apple cider vinegar, milk, mayonnaise, bag of rice pasta, dried minced onion, celery, green onion, yellow onion and 3 carrots

Hawaiian Macaron Salad Recipe Shopping List

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious pasta salad:

  • 16 oz Brown Rice Elbow Macaroni – This type of pasta is gluten-free. You can also use traditional elbow macaroni. > Buy Brown Rice Elbow Macaroni Here.
  • 1 cup Grated Carrots – I used one large carrot, grated on a cheese grater.
  • ½ cup Chopped Yellow Onion – Should be diced small for the recipe.
  • 6 Green Onions – Should be chopped small. You can use a pair of kitchen scissors to slice them small – it makes things so much easier! > Buy Kitchen Scissors Here.
  • 2 Celery Ribs – Chopped small.
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar – This is tossed with the salad ingredients before adding the dressing. This is NOT apple cider juice. > Buy Apple Cider Vinegar Here.

Salad Dressing:

  • 2 cups Mayonnaise – You can upgrade this salad by using a healthier mayonnaise. I used avocado mayonnaise which is paleo and made with avocado oil. > Buy Avocado Mayonnaise Here.
  • ¼ cup Milk – You can use any kind of milk. Non dairy milk such as almond milk, coconut milk and oat milk will all work. I used organic 2% milk.
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar – This is my go-to sweetener for most recipes. You can also use regular brown sugar or sugar-free lakanto monkfruit sweetener for this recipe. > Buy Coconut Sugar Here.
  • 2 tsp Dried Minced OnionBuy Dried Minced Onion Here.
  • Salt and Pepper – I used ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp ground pepper in the dressing. Feel free to add more or less if desired. > Buy Sea Salt Here.

HEALTHY KITCHEN LIST – Get the full kitchen shopping list here including how to stock your pantry, fill your fridge, and what equipment you need to use in the kitchen.

Looking down at macaroni salad in steel bowl with wood spoons and kitchen towel beside it.

Recipe Cost = $7

The brown rice elbow macaroni cost me $3, and other ingredients about $4. So this salad cost me about $0.70 per serving (these prices will vary depending on where you live).

>> Grocery Shopping Tips: Here are my 7 ways to save money on your grocery bill.

Kitchen Equipment Used

Here’s the equipment I used to make this stir fry recipe:

>> Need more inspiration? Grab my Easy Healthy Meals Success KitA highly successful meal system filled to the brim with healthy eating resources that will teach you how to make easy healthy meals throughout the week, plan your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and so much more!

close up of hawaiian macaroni salad with pasta, carrots and green onion in a creamy dressing.

How To Make Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Here’s an overview of how to make the recipe with full instructions at the bottom of this post.

  1. Prep – Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then drain and rinse. Chop and shred the vegetables.
  2. Make Salad Dressing – Mix together mayonnaise, milk, sweetener, dried minced onion, salt and pepper.
  3. Assemble – Add cooked elbow macaroni, grated carrots, chopped onion, green onion, and chopped celery to a large bowl. Drizzle apple cider vinegar overtop and stir it in. Pour the salad dressing on top and toss everything together.
  4. Chill – Cover the salad and let it chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours before serving. Give it a quick stir just before serving.

How To Store The Pasta Salad

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

>> Need more inspiration? Grab my Easy Healthy Meals Success Kit! This kit includes 12 healthy eating guides, including meal plans and recipes done for you!

Spoon holding the macaroni salad

More Salad Recipes

  • Bacon Ranch Potato Salad – a delicious healthier version using paleo salad dressing.
  • Ranch Taco Chicken Salad – Delicious vegetables, cooked chicken, black beans, cheddar cheese and crunchy tortilla chips.
  • BLT Pasta Salad – A healthier version of the classic, using greek yogurt, mayonnaise and fresh parsley as the salad dressing.
  • Beet Bacon and Feta Salad – Drizzled with a delicious balsamic rosemary salad dressing and feta cheese.

Did you love this Hawaiian macaroni salad? Be sure to leave a rating below!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Print Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • 16 oz brown rice elbow macaroni - equal to 1lb
  • 1 cup grated carrots - (about 1 large carrot)
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 6 green onions - chopped small
  • 2 celery ribs - chopped small
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar



  • Cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and rinse.
  • While macaroni is cooking, mix together the dressing: Add 2 cups mayonnaise, ¼ cup milk (dairy or non-dairy), 1 Tbsp coconut sugar (or other sweetener), dried minced onion, salt and pepper to a bowl. Mix together and set aside.
  • Add cooked macaroni, grated carrots, chopped onion, green onions, and celery ribs to a bowl. Drizzle the apple cider vinegar overtop and mix together.
  • Drizzle the dressing over top and toss salad together.
  • Cover the salad and let chill in the fridge for minimum 4 hours.
  • Give a quick stir just before serving.
Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 30g | Sodium: 280mg | Sugar: 3g

Please note these nutritional values provided above are just an estimate. Actual numbers will vary based on brands and ingredients you choose, and your preferred portion sizes.

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