Amish Macaroni Salad


Amish Macaroni Salad made with mustard and paprika

Photos updated 5/22/13

When I was in Ireland, I learned that the first thing people think of when I tell them I’m from Pennsylvania is the Amish. Even when I was at Kate Voegele’s concert, her opening act was amazed that she saw Amish people. Now, Pittsburgh’s side of the state isn’t really Amish country; it’s more towards the Lancaster area. However, I have seen Pennsylvania Dutch (dress just like the Amish but believe in technology) near where I went to school and at the zoo on the carousel. If there is one thing I’m glad they invented, it’s their macaroni salad. Amish macaroni salad? What is that, you ask. I have grown up eating this from the Wal Mart deli. Yes, I said Wal Mart deli. I have no clue if it’s only our WMs or if all WMs sell it, but their macaroni salad is based off of an Amish recipe. What makes this so amazing? Mustard. I hate mayonnaise and although I can tolerate it in tuna salad, potato salad, etc., I cannot just simply put it on a sandwich like my dad does.

Amish Macaroni Salad is a twist on the classic macaroni salad with mustard, paprika, and a little bit of sugar.

This macaroni salad still has mayo, but because it’s combined with mustard, vinegar, and sugar, I can still have the creaminess without the taste. I am tempted to make homemade mayo, just to see if I like it because we buy Miracle Whip, which isn’t -exactly- the same as regular mayo. After doing some Google research, it sounds like the two are different in taste. Any thoughts? The sugar in the dressing makes it sweet, so some people thought it was the right amount while others said I should cut back next time.

Amish Macaroni Salad is a twist on the classic macaroni salad with mustard, paprika, and a little bit of sugar.

Yields 8

Amish Macaroni Salad
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1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 - 1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped (roughly half of a small pepper)
1/2 cup carrot, peeled and grated (roughly 1 carrot)
1/4 cup onion, chopped (roughly half of a small onion)
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped


  1. Cook the macaroni as directed. Drain and cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, and paprika (to taste).
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the macaroni, green pepper, carrot, onion, and egg. Add the dressing. Dust with paprika on top, if desired. Cover and chill at least 2 hours (overnight is best).


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  1. I'm not a mayo fan either, especially not miracle whip. I find it too tangy. I think Hellman`s is a little better, but still.. mayo freaks me out almost in the same way that shortening does! I think I might not mind it as much with the mustard though.

  2. Carla, I know we have many things in common, including being really good looking and loving football… but I am so happy I found a fellow anti-mayo fan. Thank you for being normal, and not giving in to the weird white goop.

    I love having mustard in the salads. Down here, they put it in the potato salad too, which gives it a nice zing. You should try that too.

  3. MMmm. Sounds absolutely yummy! I love the PA Dutch, I was out at the farmer's market in Princeton this morning. I actually picked up their mac salad for lunch tomorrow. :)

  4. 1.) The mayo vs miracle whip thing-miracle whip is actually sweeter than mayo. I don't like miracle whip on most things, I prefer mayo. I prefer the sweetness to be in my desserts. 8-)

    2.) The kitchen lighting is so dim there, you should take more pix in YOUR room! ;)


    • Dianna says:

      Just a heads-up for those of you who have Miracle Whip in your frig, but no mayo. To give your dish a “mayo” taste, add lemon juice! Do it by taste! I’m single, so unless I make for a get-together, I make small amounts at a time – so can’t tell you how much lemon juice!

  5. Katrina says:

    Mayo and Miracle Whip are VERY different. I hate Micracle Whip, it almost makes me heave. But I can tolerate mayo. It's not my favorite thing (that would be chocolate ;), but I like mayo in salads and even a little smear on a sammie. I always buy light mayo, can't tell a difference, but save on a lot of fat. (Fat free isn't so good.)
    Nice salad.

  6. I love me some good mac salad!
    So funny story for you. I set up my twitter account so I can tweet from my cell phone. Thought I had it fixed so I would get my twitter replys on my phone. But I dont get anything except your tweets. On vacation, the only time my phone rang was when you tweeted. I think I also got one direct message for you too. Not sure how to fix it but I'm up to date with your tweets! LOL :)

  7. Alwayzbakin says:

    That looks yummy! I'm always looking for a good mac salad recipe.

  8. Even though I abhor mac salad of any kind, the family loves it – and this looks just right for their tastes. Thanks for the link from the mustard recipe!

  9. I find these simple macaroni salads addictive, and even though I grew up on Miracle Whip, I’m now strictly a homemade mayo girl!

  10. Delicious!!!!!!

  11. One word – Veganaise. Delicious, without the heavy fat. Or, make your own soy-based mayo from an online recipe.

  12. Carmen says:

    I tried it, and while it was okay, I’m still a fan of Hawaiian mac salad.

  13. Nice recipe. Thank you. Have a Great Weekend!

  14. cheryl illinois says:

    This is EXACTLY how my Mom and all of my family has made macaroni salad for generations EXCEPT they also put chopped celery in it. My Mom thought there was no other mayonaise except Hellmans and often just ate a mayo sandwich. I also grew up in Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh and am of German ancestry so my guess is this is an authentic Pa. Dutch (German) recipe.

  15. John Paul says:

    I live in Mississippi and I also happen to LOVE our Wal-Mart’s Macaroni Salad. I think ours is made differently than y’all’s bc ours has celery no paprika and no onion or mustard. I’m sadly like addicted to it. Also, mayo vs Miracle Whip. I grew up on MW and love that tangy kick it has. I can eat plain mayo if it isnt cold or on a plain unhot sandwich. YUCK lol.

  16. Deborah says:

    Macaroni salad has always been made with Hellmans Mayonnaise in my family. I add sour cream. Also celery and onions and olives and hard boiled eggs chopped. Adding red and green chopped peppers are good too.Green onions add more color and flavor -actually whatever I have on hand is what goes in——- make your salad the day before you want to serve it. Just give it a nice mix up again just before presenting-

  17. Maenwyn Rati says:

    for those who don’t like mayo, google a recipe for cooked salad dressing. Usually
    There is a addition of extra flour to make thicker salad dressing.
    YOU control the ingredients and can come up with your own
    recipe. I use it like mayo.

  18. Candace Waits says:

    I have never liked pasta salads, but was asked to prepare one for a baby shower. I made the Amish macaroni salad – WOW! It was awesome! I did not add the eggs, added chopped ham instead and smoked gouda cheese and sun dried tomatoes. Just fixed it again for lunches. Big fan!

  19. This is such a Great Basic Recipe, you can change or add almost anything to your liking (even adjust the seasonings)! If I didn’t have time to hard boil eggs, I’ve added tuna or ham instead, for the protein. You can throw in almost any chopped veggie as well…enJOY!

  20. I love mayo and Miracle Whip is NOT mayo. I absolutely cannot tolerate mustard in/on ANYthing, sooo I’m gonna try this with Hellman’s and no mustard :-)

    • You are welcome to make it according to your tastes, but I will warn you that mustard is what makes this Amish macaroni salad and not regular macaroni salad. You may need to adjust the recipe to make up for one of the missing main ingredients.

      • I will, one day, make this as per your recipe, for friends and my “old bachelor” neighbors, but considering the added sugar and mustard, I think I’ll take a taste, Just because, but won’t be eating it. I’ll stick to mine – mac – eggs – onions, Hellman’s, celery salt, and just a touch of tiny diced dill pickles. It’s ALWAYS a success with friends and family and I can eat it too. Sometimes I add olives if I have them.

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