Amish Macaroni Salad
Tangy, creamy Amish Macaroni Salad recipe 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.
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.
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.
What is 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 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.
Tips for the Best Macaroni Salad
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.
What to Serve with Macaroni Salad
More Easy Side Salad Ideas
Get the Recipe: Amish Macaroni Salad Recipe
- 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.