Macaroni Salad from L&L Hawaiian BBQ

READY IN: 27mins
Recipe by Andtototoo

This simple macaroni salad recipe is served at the L&L Hawaiian BBQ chain. This recipe is from their cookbook by Eddie Flores, Jr.

Top Review by neatorc

This is very close to the L&L salad. I'd recommend cutting it in half unless you're making this for a party. Even starting with 1/2 lb of dry macaroni, there's enough for 6-8 servings. (Remember, the traditional Hawaiian plate lunch calls for 1 scoop of macaroni and 2 scoops of rice!)<br/><br/>You want a medium shred on the carrot. Too fine and it gets wet and turns everything orange. Too course and it's overly crunchy and distracting. Also, it's closer to the restaurant version with about half the amount of carrot than the recipe indicates, about 1/4 cup per 1 cup of dry macaroni. The amount of onion is also too much and cutting it in half is better. Sweet onion is best if you can get it, otherwise yellow will do. Shredding the onion isn't necessary, but it needs to be prepared even finer than minced so that it's almost a paste. It doesn't need to be rinsed or dried.<br/><br/>I STRONGLY disagree with the comment that says tuna is in the restaurant salad. Maybe the original recipe published by Eddie Flores, Jr. had it, but I've also never seen it in the salad from any L&L. Even if I'm wrong and the restaurant version still has tuna, it's undetectable and certainly not 1 small can per 1 lb of dry macaroni, which means it can be left out entirely. Prepare it both ways and you'll see the version without tuna is more like the restaurant than the one with tuna.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot or dutch oven.
  2. Add the dried elbow pasta and boil for 12 minutes or until cooked.
  3. Drain water and cool the pasta thoroughly.
  4. Combine all remaining ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour.
  5. [Notes: I always add salt to the pot of water so that the pasta is well seasoned. The onion in the macaroni salad at L & L Hawaiian BBQ is very small, more like minced. After dicing your onion, be sure and rinse it in cold running water to remove any bitterness. I never measure out the mayonnaise, just add enough until I am satisfied. The cookbook recommends using Best Foods or Hellman's mayonnaise. I often add 2-3 Tablespoons of milk right before serving to make sure that the pasta is moist enough. The original recipe adds one small can of oil based tuna (drained), but I haven't seen it added to the salad when I have ordered it. Some reviewers are commenting that the recipe is too salty and that the salt should be reduced, so please keep that in mind. I think that I just add to taste, but the 2 teaspoons is what is in the original recipe in the cookbook.].
  6. UPDATE May 2014: I checked with my local L&L Hawaiian BBQ and they do NOT put tuna in their macaroni salad, it is totally vegetarian.

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