My Quest For Zippy’s Macaroni Salad

I have been trying to get the correct proportions of a recipe from a restaurant in Hawaii. Zippy’s is an institution on Oahu to be specific; they have many menu items at their fast food take-out locations as well as casual diners. One side dish that has been long coveted is their Macaroni Salad. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, yeah, so what?

Why don’t you try a Google search of Zippy’s Mac Salad and see how many hits you’ll get from us forlorn Islanders who have moved away to the Mainland.

I have been searching the internet for years trying to unearth the recipe, only to find others doing the same. At one spot, I found a letter that was sent to the Zippy’s Customer Service Manager, and the response was just a list of the ingredients, along with an invitation to the recipient to “experiment with it”.

Well, guess what I did, and I got it!

I meshed together different recipes, suggestions and some back and forth with other folks from Hawaii. The frugal homesick island gal that I am, I didn’t want to waste anything. So I made my first batch with a quarter of what I felt would make a full recipe. Seeing as my husband despises mayonnaise, I didn’t want to be eating Macaroni Salad for the next 5 days; though I do love my Mac Salad, not that much. You can try this smaller version or increase the quantities appropriately to your crowd.


1/4 lb. Elbow Macaroni, cooked past al dente, so that they are fat and soft

1/2 C. Best Foods Mayonnaise (or Hellmann’s if you’re in the East, no substitution)

1/2 Tbsp. prepared Mustard (I used Dijon ’cause that’s what I had in the ‘fridge)

1 Tbsp. White Onion, finely grated, juice and pulp (I used a microplane)

2 Tbsp. Carrot, finely grated

2 Tbsp. Celery, finely diced

Salt and Pepper to taste (I used about 1/8 tsp of each)

Combine all ingredients but the Macaroni in a large mixing bowl.

Prepare the pasta as directed on the package. Test the pasta to make sure that it is past al dente, nice and soft but not falling apart. Drain well. While still warm, toss gently with the dressing and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy this with your favorite Hawaiian BBQ, steamed white rice or a tossed green salad and you’re now a local my friend!  We call that a plate lunch in Hawaii.  Gotta’ have my two scoops rice, mac salad and some kind of meat.  It could be Beef, Pork, Chicken, Fish or for the vegetarians, Grilled Tofu.



6 thoughts on “My Quest For Zippy’s Macaroni Salad

  1. auntiedoni July 18, 2013 at 8:05 am Reply

    Reblogged this on My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert and commented:

    This bears repeating… ALOHA!

  2. Gwen Hilbus August 28, 2013 at 1:11 am Reply

    Thanks so much. We love ZIPPY’S Mac salad and asked the only two people in Waimea, Hi. For the recipe. They both answered, “I never eat Mac salad, you know watching my cholesterol. “

    • auntiedoni August 28, 2013 at 5:51 am Reply

      Mahalo (thank you) Gwen Hilbus, I hope that you will try this recipe and that it will make you think of Hawaii. A Hui Hou

  3. […] LauLau, 2 scoop rice, some of DH’s Hash, Macaroni Salad and in the little dishes, Haupia and LomiLomi […]

  4. […] Pork if you please. It comes in your choice of Beef, Chicken or Fish. Along with, Lomi Salmon or Mac Salad (remember the Zippy’s Macaroni Salad? YUM!), Pipikaula (Hawaiian Beef Jerky, delish, moist and […]

  5. […] in the day, I had made Zippy’s Macaroni Salad, Quick Cucumber Kim Chee and a fresh pot of steamed White Rice … or as we would say in […]

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