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Food Truck Hawaiian Mac Salad

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Hawaiian Mac Salad is a classic side dish often served at Hawaiian plate lunches. This creamy and flavorful salad combines macaroni pasta with a rich dressing and fresh vegetables, making it the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats, fish, or just about any meal. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making Food Truck Hawaiian Mac Salad, provide helpful cooking notes, and offer variations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.

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Ingredients

For the Dressing:

  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the Salad:

  • 1 lb dried elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 carrots, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely diced

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Dressing

  1. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the half and half, mayonnaise, finely grated yellow onion, granulated sugar, salt, and black pepper until smooth and well combined.
    • Set the dressing aside.

Step 2: Cook the Macaroni

  1. Boil the Macaroni:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    • Add the elbow macaroni and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
    • Drain the macaroni and return it to the pot.
  2. Add Vinegar:
    • While the macaroni is still hot, stir in the apple cider vinegar.
    • Let the macaroni cool slightly, absorbing the vinegar.

Step 3: Assemble the Salad

  1. Mix the Salad:
    • Add the cooled macaroni to the bowl with the dressing.
    • Add the finely grated carrots and finely diced celery.
  2. Combine Ingredients:
    • Gently stir the ingredients together until the macaroni is evenly coated with the dressing and the vegetables are well distributed.

Step 4: Chill and Serve

  1. Chill the Salad:
    • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, to allow the flavors to meld together.
  2. Serve:
    • Serve the Hawaiian Mac Salad chilled, as a side dish with your favorite main courses.

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Dressing Consistency: The dressing will thicken as it chills in the refrigerator. If it becomes too thick, you can add a little more half and half to reach your desired consistency.
  • Mixing: Be gentle when mixing the macaroni with the dressing to avoid breaking the pasta.

Variations:

  • Tuna Mac Salad:
    • Add a can of drained and flaked tuna to the salad for added protein and flavor.
  • Vegetarian Mac Salad:
    • Add more vegetables like diced bell peppers, peas, or sweet corn for a more colorful and nutritious salad.
  • Spicy Mac Salad:
    • Add a finely diced jalapeño or a few dashes of hot sauce to the dressing for a spicy kick.
  • Herbed Mac Salad:
    • Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs like parsley, dill, or chives for an extra burst of flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, you can use other small pasta shapes like shells, rotini, or cavatappi if you prefer.

2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover Hawaiian Mac Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

3. Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, this salad is best made ahead of time and allowed to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight to let the flavors meld together.

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4. What can I serve with Hawaiian Mac Salad?

Hawaiian Mac Salad pairs well with grilled meats, fish, barbecue dishes, or as part of a Hawaiian plate lunch with rice and a protein like Kalua pork or teriyaki chicken.

5. Can I reduce the amount of mayonnaise?

Yes, if you prefer a lighter salad, you can reduce the amount of mayonnaise and increase the amount of half and half or add Greek yogurt for extra creaminess.

Food Truck Hawaiian Mac Salad is a creamy and flavorful side dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its rich dressing and fresh vegetables, this salad is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Whether you’re serving it at a picnic, barbecue, or as part of a Hawaiian plate lunch, this recipe is easy to follow and full of delicious flavor. Give this Hawaiian Mac Salad recipe a try and enjoy a taste of the islands. Happy cooking!