While we love and turn to classic, tried and true recipes all the time, we also love coming up with new and exciting ways to reinvent some of said classics…like macaroni salad. While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with the old-fashioned version, there are plenty of ways it can be updated, and we went with a tropical version here: Hawaiian macaroni salad.
There are still elements of the version we all know and love, but incorporated several new ingredients that take this classic side dish to a whole new level. First up, you’re going to give your cooked noodles a little apple cider vinegar soak; it smells…assertive at first, but this adds a little zing to the noodles and sets the base for the dish, ensuring it’s the flavor-filled and delicious. Then it’s just a matter of tossing in the chunks of sweet pineapple, bites of ham, fresh carrots and green onion.
While the main ingredients in the salad already convey some island vibes, it’s the dressing that ties everything together, with pineapple juice and pineapple yogurt to seal the deal and make this macaroni salad great. There’s a salty-sweet balance happening here between the ham and the pineapple which we’re loving, plus we love how this dish makes us think of summer and warm weather, even if it really doesn’t feel like it outside yet. Trust us, you’ll like this just as much as we do!
20 minutes to prepare serves 6-8
- 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, juices reserved
- 1 (8 oz.) package diced ham, patted dry with paper towel
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 (6 oz.) container pineapple yogurt
- Once you’ve cooked macaroni and it’s cooling, stir in apple cider vinegar and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together pineapple juice and sugar, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then mix in mayonnaise and yogurt.
- In a large bowl, add macaroni, pineapple chunks, diced ham, carrots and green onion.
- Add dressing and toss together until combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 20 minutes to 2 hours. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Cincy Shopper