This Ham Pasta Salad is loaded with pineapple and veggies. It is a refreshing play on my favorite Hawaiian Pizza flavors (which is not actually Hawaiian at all)!

A quick and easy homemade pineapple dressing is tossed with pasta, ham, and bell peppers for a uniquely delicious side dish!

It’s potluck perfect and makes a great side dish or light meal.

plated Ham and Pineapple Pasta Salad

A Fresh and Flavorful Pasta Salad

If you are looking for a pasta salad that’s a little bit different, this ham pasta salad is it!

  • Pasta – Use any medium shaped pasta, farfalle, shells, and rotini are favorites.
  • Add Ins: In this easy recipe, ham and pineapple are the stars, inspired by flavors on a Hawaiian pizza. Red peppers add crunch and color while green onions add flavor.
  • The dressing is a quick creamy pineapple dressing and it’s so good that I always double it for salads (it’s excellent over strawberry spinach salad too).

This recipe is not a Hawaiian dish, and it is not Hawaiian pasta salad like a Macaroni Salad found on a typical Hawaiian Plate Lunch. In a Hawaiian plate lunch, generally, macaroni salad is a tangy combination of mayo & macaroni, sometimes with a few other ingredients. You can find a great Hawaiian macaroni salad here.  

ingredients to make Ham and Pineapple Pasta Salad

The Pineapple Dressing

You can use almost any dressing on pasta salad. This recipe includes a fresh and zesty pineapple dressing. Making homemade dressing is very quick and easy, and the flavor is much better than store-bought dressing.

  • Mayonnaise and sour cream are the creamy base
  • Pineapple (and a bit of cider vinegar) add tang and freshness
  • Dijon and garlic powder add flavor while honey balances out the dressing.

Other Dressing Options

I recommend the homemade dressing, it’s quick and easy! If you’d like to use a bottled dressing for this pasta salad, I would suggest honey mustard dressing, coleslaw dressing, or poppy seed dressing. Something with a bit of sweetness will pair well.

ingredients in a bowl with a bowl of dressing beside it to make Ham and Pineapple Pasta Salad

Tips for Pasta Salads

  • Don’t overcook the pasta, it will soften as it soaks up the dressing.
  • Add extra dressing, as some will be absorbed by the pasta.
  • Pasta salad is best made at least a couple of hours ahead of time so the flavors have a chance to blend.
  • Season the salad generously.
Ham and Pineapple Pasta Salad in a glass bowl

Perfect Pasta Salads

Did your family love this Ham & Pineapple Pasta Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

plated Ham and Pineapple Pasta Salad
4.97 from 96 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Ham & Pineapple Pasta Salad

Ham and pineapple Pasta Salad is a quick and easy side dish. Homemade pineapple dressing is tossed with pasta, ham, and bell peppers for a uniquely delicious salad!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
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  • 8 ounces rotini or bow tie pasta
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits (14 ounces) with juice reserved for dressing
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced


  • ½ cup mayonnaise or dressing
  • cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & black pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and run it under cold water to cool.
  • In a bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta, ham, pineapple, bell pepper, green onion, and dressing. Gently toss to combine.
  • Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 2 hours before serving.


Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Stir before serving again. 
Customize the salad by adding your favorite ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, additional bell peppers, or cucumbers.
Don’t overcook the pasta, it will soften as it soaks up the dressing. Add extra dressing, as some will be absorbed by the pasta.
4.97 from 96 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 241 | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 26.9mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
plated Ham & Pineapple Pasta Salad with writing
Ham & Pineapple Pasta Salad with writing
bowl of Ham & Pineapple Pasta Salad with a title
ingredients to make Ham & Pineapple Pasta Salad in a bowl and plated dish with a title



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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.97 from 96 votes (70 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’m confused. I made this today, and I have barely 2 hours for it to chill before supper time. (I meant to make it earlier in the day, but lost track of time, and I suspect it will taste better tomorrow for our leftovers.)

    My confusion is that I just read the NOTES, and the last note says, “Add extra dressing, as some will be absorbed by the pasta.” So … are you saying that for 8 oz pasta I should have made more dressing than this recipe calls for? If so, why didn’t you just up the ingredients in the dressing recipe above to make the perfect amount??

    1. Hi Lola, this recipe does make the perfect amount of dressing for the pasta salad. However, the longer it sits in the fridge the more the pasta will soak up the dressing. You can store this pasta in the fridge for up to 5 days, so if you store it for the full 5 days you may need to refresh it with some additional dressing. I hope that clears that up!

  2. I made this for a Hawaiian themed party 8 years ago in 2015. I, and everyone at the party, absolutely loved it. I saved it to Pinterest and I’ve told everybody about it over the years and passed on the recipe, but I hadn’t made it again until today. Let me tell you, it’s just as good as I remember. This is such a delicious recipe and a refreshing summer pasta salad. Thanks so much, I’ll be keeping it in my rotation from now on.5 stars

  3. I made this on 11 Jun 2023, exactly as written, family agrees, absolutely delicious salad! The dressing is perfect for this. Thank you, Holly, for another great recipe.5 stars

  4. i made it using a bag of cheese tortellini instead of plain pasta, so I could serve it as a light, easy meal. I added a bit of ground ginger and some red pepper flakes, only because the dressing was lacking a bit of flavor to me. (JMHO) It was AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!5 stars

  5. I’m an activity director at a senior Retirement living community. We put on a fun cooking show once a month. The seniors loved this. Everyone wanted the recipe.

  6. My family LOVES this recipe!! We had a Hawaiian themed party and everyone just loved it! Thank you so much for a great recipe5 stars

  7. This is one of my all-time favorite salads, and I dropped by just to say “thanks” for sharing it with us.5 stars

  8. I love this recipe! I’ve used it countless times, and what I love is how versatile it is – you can add more or less of things, bring in different flavours like bacon rather than ham, use different vinegars or mayos for different tastes – it’s just amazing.
    It’s our summer staple, and a BBQ favourite. Thank you so much for sharing this, it’s been a game changer!!!5 stars

  9. I love this salad. I’ve made it several times. The dressing has a different taste that is delicious and addicting to say the least. I always double the dressing and usually make it the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator. I would highly recommend this recipe. It’s really a refreshing pasta salad.5 stars

  10. I made this recipe exactly per instructions without any changes. When I first tasted it immediately after I made it, I found it to be quite bland. I refrigerated it overnight thinking that perhaps the flavors would improve. Sadly, it did not. To doctor it up I added about a half cup more pineapple, some ground ginger (about a tablespoon), some onion powder, and some pink Himalayan salt to taste. This made it much better. I still think it needs something more, so I am going to fry up some bacon. We shall see. Still a good basic recipe.2 stars

    1. Miss K, after reading your review, makes me wonder if substituting
      Miracle Whip would “jazz ” it up a bit?

  11. I’ve made this Hawaiian pasta salad quite a bit it’s one of my family’s favorites <3 Thank you for sharing such great recipes5 stars