Amish Macaroni Salad

According a teenager eating this Amish Macaroni Salad for the first time, it is “the best thing I have ever eaten.” I am not sure everyone would agree as I know some people do not appreciate the sweetness of the dressing. However, I think many people would at least agree that they love Amish Macaroni Salad.

I am very picky about macaroni salad. I tend not to eat it in any restaurant or purchase it anywhere.  There are a few Amish Country restaurants where I do always add their macaroni to my plate at the salad bar. Their macaroni salad is different (I think better) than other restaurant macaroni salads.  So, when I decided to make Amish  macaroni salad at home I started by making couple of adaptations to the recipe used by one of my favorite Amish restaurants. Why? First, their recipe made A LOT of macaroni salad. I did not need to make so much. Second, I thought combining their recipe with elements of  the my other favorite macaroni salad would be interesting. Finally, I think I have a problem leaving well enough alone. 🙂 Thankfully, people really seemed to like the results of my tinkering.

This recipe is very flexible. You do not need to use the vegetables listed in the recipe. You should use whatever vegetables that you like. The only consistently used vegetables I notice in Amish macaroni salads seem to be celery, onion, and peppers. Everything else seems to vary with whoever makes it.

Amish Macaroni Salad
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    For The Dressing
  • 1 c. salad dressing (Miracle Whip, etc.)
  • 1/2 c. sweet and sour salad dressing*
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. prepared yellow mustard
    For The Salad
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni or other pasta
  • salt
  • water
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 med. onion, small diced
  • 2 or 3 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped (red, green, yellow, etc)
  • 5 oz. frozen peas, ran under water to thaw OR blanched fresh peas**
  • sweet salad cubes, to taste**


  1. In a small bowl combine salad dressing, sweet and sour dressing, sugar, mustard, and sour cream. Taste and adjust as needed.
  2. Cook macaroni in salted water for a minute or so past the package directions for al dente pasta . The pasta needs to be firm yet tender. It will firm up as it sits in the refrigerator.
  3. Rinse pasta under cold running water to cool it down and get rid of some of the gluten. The pasta will absorb some of the dressing if it has not been cooled completely, so just run under the cold water to stop the cooking. The pasta should be slightly warm. not hot.
  4. In a large bowl, add the pasta, celery, onion, carrots, bell pepper, peas**, and salad cubes**
  5. Mix in 1/2 to 2/3 of the dressing until all of the ingredients are coated.
  6. Place the salad and the leftover dressing in the refrigerator until you are about ready to serve.
  7. Add some or all of the remaining dressing to the pasta salad, as needed, prior to serving.


* You can purchase an Amish or Dutch sweet and sour dressing in many stores, Bob Evan's Colonial dressing is similar, and Marzetti makes an sweet and sour with celery seeds that may be similar. HOWEVER, the homemade sweet and sour dressing found on A Simple Home Cook is what I have always used for this recipe. It can be made well in advance, used on other salads, and stored in the refrigerator. The outcome using commercially bottled dressings is unknown.

**Ingredients are optional. You can include more or less in this recipe. Boiled eggs, shredded radishes, blanched broccoli, and many others could be used.


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