Are you trying to find the best Hawaiian side dishes?
We’ve rounded up 21 Hawaiian food ideas that are sure to inspire you.
The only question is which Hawaiian side dish recipe you will choose to make first?
Traditional Hawaiian entrees are famous worldwide, including poi, laulau, kalua pig, poke, Lomi salmon, and haupia.
But when one gets the opportunity to participate in a luau or wants to bring those authentic Hawaiian flavors to a meal, it may be daunting to determine what to serve and how to prepare it.
Polynesians, Europeans, and Chinese influenced Hawaiian culture.
This influence was the inspiration behind pulling together this list of sides, including the infamous Pineapple Rice or delicious Poke Bowl.
On the big island, ingredients in a plentiful supply are sweet potatoes, taro, pineapples, and coconuts, not to mention the fresh fish, pork, and chicken.
And yes, for those of you wondering, Spam is a popular food in Hawaii and is considered a staple and traditional ingredient.
Whether you are preparing a complete luau, simply wanting a Hawaiian side dish for dinner, or want to do something special with that fresh pineapple you just picked up, I hope the recipes here, like the meaty goodness of #21, will inspire you!
Keep in mind that some of these are authentic while others are simply “Hawaiian-inspired,” but both seem equally qualifying in my eyes.
1. Delicious Hawaiian Dip
Fun Hawaiian food ideas include making a dip Hawaiian style!
Ingredients include cream cheese, sour cream, crushed pineapple, cheddar cheese, ham, bacon, and green onion.
Serve with crackers or veggies for a decidedly tropical taste!
Hawaiian luau food is a collection of proteins, veggies, salads, pieces of bread, and dessert selections.
This coleslaw is tropical with pineapple, cabbage, carrots, sesame seeds, cilantro, and a ginger-soy lime vinaigrette!
Want a little more pasta in your Hawaiian tropical dishes?
This one has macaroni, mayo, milk, apple cider vinegar, onion, and carrots, though the mix-in options abound, from pineapple chunks to diced celery or even crab.
Best chilled overnight!
If you are wondering what goes with Hawaiian chicken, the answer could be Hawaiian pineapple fried rice!
This recipe has eggs, Spam, pineapple, carrots, corn, green beans with rice, and soy sauce.
This luau rice is one of the best side dishes for Hawaiian chicken.
It is somewhat different from the one above since it has onion, ginger, garlic, ham, coconut, chicken powder, white pepper, pineapple, macadamia nuts, and green onions!
Gloriously tropical as well!
This recipe is one of those “inspired” Hawaiian vegetable side dishes that are tropical, refreshing, and addicting!
This salad is tangy, tasty, and terrific with corn, avocados, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and a lime and olive oil-based dressing!
If you have folks over often, it is a great idea to have some shelf-stable food options in your pantry.
Hawaiian food ideas can be as simple as mixing some fruits, mini marshmallows, sour cream, and orange gelatin for a salad that can make you feel like you are taking a mini-vacation!
While not truly Hawaiian, this mango black bean salad has tropical notes of Hawaiian vegetable side dishes with no cooking required!
The mango mirrors pineapple, and the lime pulls the whole salad together!
SO refreshingly tangy!
10. Pineapple Rice
Pineapple rice is an excellent answer to what goes with Hawaiian chicken!
The focus of this dish is the rice!
The pineapple gives the tropical vibe, the butter the savory vibe, with the red chili flakes and lime give it the spicy vibe!
A little of everything all in one place!
This tropical dish of Hawaiian meatballs prepared in a slow cooker is Hawaiian flavor inspired.
The sauce is phenomenal with BBQ sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, grated ginger, and garlic!
Slow-cooked for three to six hours gives the whole house an invigorating tropical smell!
Roasted vegetables make the perfect side dishes for Hawaiian chicken.
This recipe encourages you to select from a long list of veggie options to begin.
The goal is to mix different colored veggies for a beautiful dish, and the sauce gives it the Hawaiian flavor!
Hawaiian side dishes that come in the form of a salad are always a welcome treat!
This one has a unique dressing, instructions on frying up fresh wonton chips, and of course, the salad ingredients of romaine, celery, scallions, cucumbers, and chicken bites.
Do you love the idea of keeping the chips and dressing separate and serving as a “bar” so leftovers do not get soggy.
In Hawaiian luau food, you will often come across Huli Huli sauce.
This recipe adds it to the cauliflower and even provides a recipe to make your own.
Excellent instructions as well as substitutions and variations provided!
Fantastic Hawaiian side dish!
Take the freshest of shrimp, toss it in a flour and paprika mix, add a garlic butter sauce, and you have just created one of the most amazing Hawaiian side dishes, or entree for that matter!
There are fantastic pictures that show the step-by-step process too!
Serving this salsa INSIDE a hollowed-out half of pineapple is ridiculously adorable and most definitely a creative conversation piece! Instructions included!
As with many Hawaiian food ideas, there are two parts to this recipe!
A blended part and a chopped add-ins part! It is beautiful and delicious!
What goes with Hawaiian chicken?
A sweet potato?
How about a Hawaiian stuffed sweet potato?
Bake them up.
Then scoop out the potatoes and mash while mixing pineapple, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
Refill the sweet potato skins with the mash and top with cheese and Canadian bacon.
If you want spicier side dishes for Hawaiian chicken, this is your recipe!
You’ll cook the rice with the sauce, which allows the flavors to fully incorporate into the rice differently than just a mix-in after cooking.
The jalapeno and red chili flakes are hard at work here, so go easy or fully enjoy, whatever your preference!
Hawaiian luau food often includes some form of poke, diced raw fish, typically salmon or ahi (yellowfin tuna).
It originated as a practical way to prepare raw fish before refrigeration and is still very popular today!
This recipe is from Roy’s Restaurant on the island of Maui!
That’s pretty authentic if you ask me!
20. Coconut Rice
Tropical dishes, and Hawaiian side dishes, tend to have rice associated as the prominent side dish.
Several popped up on our list here!
This one has the unique ingredient of coconut milk along with toasted almonds, lime juice, and zest, scallions, and cilantro!
Light and Lovely.
Everyone loves a great grilled burger.
Give it Hawaiian-inspired flavors, and it becomes an experience!
Our world is much more flavorful with Hawaiian food ideas like this recipe which includes a homemade teriyaki sauce mixed right into the patties and topped with grilled pineapple and red onions upon serving!
The bottom line
Whether you are fresh off a trip from Hawaii or simply preparing a Hawaiian menu for fun, Hawaiian side dishes are an outstanding way to follow through with theming or recreating beautiful memories!
What To Serve With Hawaiian Meals: 21 BEST Sides
Check out these 21 Hawaiian Side Dishes that make good use of Hawaiian local ingredients
- Delicious Hawaiian Dip
- Hawaiian Coleslaw Recipe
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Hawaiian Pineapple Fried Rice
- Hawaiian Luau Rice
- Grilled Corn Avocado Salad
- Pineapple Coleslaw
- Hawaiian Fruit Salad
- Easy Mango Black Bean Salad
- Pineapple Rice
- CrockPot Hawaiian Meatballs
- Hawaiian Roasted Vegetables
- Yummy Hawaiian Chicken Salad
- Vegan Huli Huli Cauliflower Bites
- Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp
- Hawaiian Salsa
- Hawaiian Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Jalapeno Pineapple Rice
- How to Make Poke at Home in Just 5 Minutes!
- Coconut Rice
- Teriyaki Burgers with Grilled Pineapple
- Choose one or more options from our list of recipes for Hawaiian side dishes here.
- Create your new favorite dish.
- Pat yourself on the back for making food at home!
- Share and comment! Did you make any tweaks so it’s all your own?