Amish Macaroni Salad – Delicious Pasta Side Dish
Amish Macaroni Salad is a delicious pasta side dish and almost a must for pot luck dinners. This easy Amish Recipe is more than the sum of its parts!
Not only is it expected at pot luck dinners but it’s also a welcome addition to picnics and backyard barbecues.
Now I think every household probably has a recipe for pasta salad. Most include some veggies with the pasta and usually a mayonnaise-based dressing of some sort.
What’s different about Amish Macaroni Salad?
Macaroni salad comes in many forms. There are many, many recipes for macaroni salad. A lot of those recipes are nothing more than limp macaroni swimming in a runny sauce.
The best recipes use firm macaroni cooked well and mated with crunchy veggies. Done correctly Amish Macaroni salad is in this category! Along with perfectly cooked pasta, it has crunch from diced onions, peppers, and sometimes grated carrot and adds creaminess from hard-boiled eggs.
What makes this delicious pasta side dish stand out, however, is the dressing! It’s the dressing that makes Amish pasta salad different and so great!
The Salad Dressing
Amish Macaroni Salad Dressing is a sweet and sour dressing that is so typical of the Amish and reflects their German heritage.
I like this version, which takes the edge off of the chopped veggies with the addition of sugar. For contrast there is a splash of vinegar which adds the sour to the sweet and sour flavor.
Even though this recipe makes a much sweeter salad than regular pasta salad, you can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking.
In addition to the sugar this recipe calls for salad dressing instead of mayonnaise. Salad dressing has added sugar and mayonnaise doesn’t.
Now you can certainly use mayonnaise to cut down on some of the sweetness if you like but I prefer the salad dressing.
Salad Dressing Ingredients
The ingredients list for this dressing is not very long but it’s really strong on flavor. It’s always best to taste as you go along. Add just a little, taste and if it’s not right add some more. I always do this with a new recipe!
- 1 cup salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
- 3⁄4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
How To Make Amish Macaroni Salad
Making Amish Macaroni Salad is not difficult at all. In fact, it’s super easy!
Just dice up the veggies and throw together the dressing ingredients while the pasta cooks. When the pasta is al dente everything is ready to assemble.
The salad does need some time to chill so be sure to account for that time in your meal planning. Chilling before serving will let the flavors develop and the pasta will soak up some of the dressing.
You need to refrigerate for at least an hour but to be honest 24 hours is much, much better.
Amish Macaroni Salad Recipe
The best pasta salad I've ever had!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Marinade 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 23 minutes
Calories 325 kcal
uncooked elbow macaroni
peeled and grated (optional)
celery rib finely diced
chopped green bell pepper
For the dressing:
apple cider vinegar
dill pickle relish
Place a large pot of water over heat and bring to a boil. Add the 8 ounces of macaroni and salt to taste. Cook according to the package directions until the macaroni is al dente. This will take from 7 to 8 minutes. Do not overcook the macaroni!
Drain the pasta. Rinse thoroughly with cold tap water. This will cool the pasta down and stop the cooking. It will also remove any starch residue and prevent it from sticking together.
While the pasta is cooking whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, pickle relish, celery seed, seasoned salt, and paprika. Taste for seasoning.
Place the cooked macaroni in a large bowl and mix in the dressing, onion, green pepper, chopped eggs, and grated carrot.
If desired add a dusting of additional paprika on top. It will make the dish more attractive and we do eat with our eyes first!
Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or if you have planned far enough ahead 24 hours is much better.
Can You Freeze Amish Macaroni Salad
So can you freeze macaroni salad? I confess I’ve never tried it before, but I have frozen macaroni dishes before. Baked mac and cheese comes to mind. That worked out fairly well. A little watery when thawed and reheated but ok.
Now most macaroni salad recipes usually make a lot. Since I cook for one the recipe listed here has actually been cut in half. There’s only so much macaroni salad I can eat in a week. I do give my neighbor some each time I make it however.
Things To Consider About Freezing Macaroni Salad
Like I said I do freeze pasta dishes sometimes and the baked mac and cheese work out fairly well. But it only has three ingredients: Macaroni, cheese, and eggs!
Consider the ingredients in this Amish Macaroni Salad recipe.
First off it has a lot of mayonnaise in it. Have you ever seen frozen mayonnaise available commercially? I haven’t and there’s a reason. Mayonnaise is made mostly of eggs and oil. When it’s frozen those items will separate when thawed! Not Good in macaroni salad.
Next is the eggs. I’ve never seen frozen hard-boiled eggs commercially either. When hard-boiled are frozen and thawed the whites turn to rubber. Also not good.
Then we come to the veggies. The celery, onion, and peppers. You can buy these frozen. I buy the Cajun seasoning blend and Mirepoix all the time. I’ve even frozen homegrown jalapeno. But these veggies are high water content. When thawed they turn mushy. Once frozen they are only good for cooking. They still add their flavor but they have no texture.
Bottom line: I’ve never frozen Amish Macaroni Salad and I’m never going to try!
If you’re adventurous and want to give it a go then I hope it works out for you. But I really do think you’ll be disappointed with the results.
As for me I’ll only have freshly made Amish Macaroni Salad!
Chunky Blue Cheese Salad Dressing From Scratch.
Homemade blue cheese dressing is a regular at my house. The store-bought stuff just doesn’t cut it when compared to the homemade!
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