Amish Macaroni Salad Recipe
Tangy, creamy Amish Macaroni Salad is the best side dish for every meal. Simply to prepare with pantry ingredients, this easy salad is always the first to vanish.
Summer parties were slim this year but that didn’t stop us from firing up the grill and enjoying all our favorite BBQ dishes along with the required sides.
Everything from potato salad and Cole slaw to the best macaroni salad in the world. I like to pile my plate high with side dishes next to my teeny portion of protein.
And just when the summer starts to wind down, I’ll find ways to repurpose those favorite summer side dishes to work with meals all year long. This Amish Macaroni Salad is no exception and it’s one we make at least twice a month.
AMISH MACARONI SALAD
I lived in Amish country for a number of years and love the macaroni salad they sell at the local grocery stores. Little did I know, my friends in Philly lovingly refer to it as Amish Macaroni Salad.
This macaroni salad is made with a light and creamy dressing that is whipped up from a heavy base of Miracle Whip salad dressing. Some people say that you can’t replace the Miracle Whip with mayonnaise but I’ve done it and my family hasn’t even noticed.
So you CAN use it interchangeably in a pinch but do try to get your hands on Miracle Whip if you can just to experience the real thing.
The dressing also includes pickle relish….sweet pickle relish is the key here and it’s what made me love Amish Macaroni Salad in the first.
The last thing you must not skip is the hard boiled egg. I already LOVE eggs in my potato salad but the egg in this macaroni salad recipe is absolutely genius and not to be missed.
The texture of the egg is very much like the macaroni but the yolk is the key…it adds a nice creaminess to the whole salad that’s just fantastic.
Altogether, you’re treated to a sweet, tangy, creamy macaroni salad that’s going to be a family favorite for sure!
HOW TO MAKE MACARONI SALAD
Macaroni salad is really easy to make, it’s more in the technique and quality of ingredients that make the difference of the flavor or textures.
Cook the elbow pasta until al dente or firm to the bite.
Toss the macaroni, egg, onion, bell pepper and celery in a large bowl to combine.
Whisk the salad dressing (or mayonnaise), pickle relish, mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed until thoroughly combined.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
Cover and chill for 1 hour before serving.
I love that you can prepare this salad up to 24 hours in advance and it just keeps getting better. The pasta absorbs the flavors of the dressing so every bite is perfectly balanced.
If you can’t find pickle relish, you can finely chop bread and butter pickles with excellent results. For added flavor, I even add a tablespoon or two of the pickle brine to the dressing. It’s not a bad thing at all.
You wouldn’t think there are too many things that could go wrong with macaroni salad but these tips will ensure salad perfection every single time.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. You want to cook until al dente or until it still has some bite to it so the dressing will be absorbed by the macaroni. Overcooking the elbow pasta will make your salad mushy.
- Allow the macaroni to cool slightly, but not entirely, before tossing the other ingredients. Hot pasta will cause the vegetables to wilt and lose their crispness releasing water into the salad making it watery.
- Don’t try to mix everything in just one bowl. You want the dressing ingredients to be well incorporated before adding them into the salad and tossing to coat so each bite is absolutely perfect.
HOW TO SERVE
We love to serve Amish Macaroni Salad alongside our favorite grilled meats like these tender ribs and also BIG, FAT burgers!
It’s pretty versatile, as far as salads go, so it works well with Roasted Chicken and grilled steaks, too.
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Get the Recipe: Amish Macaroni Salad
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 3 large hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 cup diced onion
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 2 cups creamy salad dressing, e.g. Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon celery seed
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Add elbow macaroni and cook for 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain, and set aside to cool. (do not rinse!)
- In a large bowl, combine macaroni, eggs, onion, celery and red bell pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the salad dressing, pickle relish, mustard, white sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Garnish with sliced hard cooked egg and smoked paprika, if desired.
51 Comments on “Amish Macaroni Salad Recipe”
Turned out better than the Amish macaroni salad from the supermarket, and so much less expensive. I like eggs so added one extra. I didn’t have the apple cider vinegar so I substituted some lemon juice and used a couple packets of Splenda instead of sugar because my husband is diabetic. Next time I might add some radishes for an extra tang. Great recipe, thanks!
Love the idea of adding radishes! I’m definitely going to try that. I’m so happy you liked it!
This is exactly what my how grandma made macroni salad. It’s the best!
I’m so glad to hear that! I try not to mess with a classic too much.
A good Mac salad but next time I am going to use half of the sugar. Everyone is different, but we found it a bit sweet.
Thank you for your comment! We do like a sweet Mac salad so definitely pull back on the sugar if you prefer otherwise.
Please end me the recipe for the Amish Macaroni salad.
The recipe is at the bottom of the article. There’s a print recipe button, too, if you would like to print a copy.
My mother gone now, and I are Norristown and we still make this salad. Once in awhile add lettuce. Love it!
Ooo, you’re near me! We never added lettuce but will definitely try that sometime.
Excellent for fried chicken dinner & any grilling
So glad you liked it! Thank you for your comment!
I use equal parts sugar and cider vinegar and add a little more sugar if needed. Miracle whip is already sweeter than mayo.
Thanks for your tip.
I’m with you; I tend to prefer Miracle Whip over Mayonnaise. I just love the more tart flavor of Miracle Whip. It brings a nice sharpness to the dish.
This macaroni salad is absolutely perfect. A great side dish to any potluck or picnic! Easy to make and loved by everyone! <3
Really good. I also cut the sugar. All I had was white vinegar at home. I started tasting it and didn’t want to stop. This recipe would also work for potato salad.
Thank you so much!
Best salad ever!! I won’t make another macaroni salad from now on!
Yay! I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for your comment!
I needed a side dish to take to a friend’s house for a bbq and the bowl was CLEAN when we left! So good, thank you!
You’re very welcome! I’m so happy it was a hit at the party!
This recipe has been in my family for generations the only difference in ours is we use a little more mustard in ours and every time i take it to a cook out or a pot luck theres never any left and i always get complements just a little note if you dont have vinegar pickle juice works great
So glad you love it! Thank you for your comment!
I’d not added relish before nor hard boiled eggs. Loved the additions of both!
Yes! I love both and so….why not?!?! 🙂
Would love to find something else this dressing would be good on.
We use it on potato salad, too!
My husband has his “famous mac salad” that he makes by eye…..when I saw this recipe it has all the same ingredients so I figure I’ll give e it a shot and see what happens
Oh wow! I hope he enjoys this one just as much!
This recipe is super easy and my family loved it.
Thank you so much!
Its delicious and fulfilling
Thank you so much!
I just prepared your recipe and OMG it’s fantastic thank you I love to cook and I’m always open for suggestions of something different love it thanks again
Thank you so much!
This is by far the BEST MACARONI SALAD I’ve ever had!!! My husband loves it & he never has cared for macaroni/pasta salad of any kind!! We’re already on our 4th bowl in 2 weeks!!!! This stuff is addicting it’s so delicious!!! We can’t stay out of it!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe WE LOVE IT!!! ♥️
I’m so glad you loved it!
Oh so good my favorite
Loved it, turned out perfect. Taking it nextdoor as I’m headed to a cookout. Only change I made was adding sliced black olives since we all like them, in everything! Recipe is a sure keeper, thanks!
Thank you so much! I’m so glad you loved it!
I’ve been searching for an Amish macaroni salad recipe that is similar to the macaroni salad at Shady Maple Buffet and Smorgasbord in Blue Ball, PA. This looks like it could be close!
Do you boil an extra egg for garnish or use one of the three eggs listed in the recipe!? Thank you
Hi! Yes, I boil an extra egg for the garnish because we like a lot of egg in it. This is totally inspired by Shady Maple so I hope you agree it’s just as good as their’s!
Love this recipe…. I replaced the celery with chopped cucumber and also added chopped tomatoes.
Great tips! Thanks so much!
The salad turned out great! The only changed I did I used a quarter cup of sugar and added garlic powder.
Thank you so much! So happy you liked it!
Nice recipe but the secret to our Pennsylvania Mac salad is a 16 ounce jar of salad olives and hellmans mayo. Some mustard also. Pickle juice and pickle relish and sugar is not cool. You have great recipes. But, give this try folks. You’ll love it.
They’re nice additions but I’m curious where in Pennsylvania you’re from because I grew up in Amish country and this is exactly how everyone I know makes it.
I always like sweet pickle relish in my pasta salad and potato salad. Was so happy to see this because I had forgotten the amount I use. Thank you
Thank you! It’s our favorite.