Amish Pasta Salad — A family-favorite classic pasta salad recipe with al dente pasta, bell peppers, celery, red onions, and hard-boiled eggs tossed in a creamy tangy-sweet dressing! Perfect for picnics, potlucks, backyard parties, and events! Everyone will go back for a second helping of this comforting side salad!
Amish Pasta Salad Recipe
I’m sure the first thing many of you are wondering is why is this called Amish pasta salad? Since I am not Amish, I really don’t know.
But this creamy pasta salad is not my creation. In fact, there are a couple million other versions of it if you Google it. Although I have read that this type of pasta salad is common in Amish country such as Pennsylvania or Ohio.
What I do know is that it’s an egg pasta salad made with a variety of vegetables including bell peppers, celery, onion, and relish to add a bit of crunchy texture to an otherwise very creamy pasta salad.
That’s because the dressing for this pasta salad is mayonnaise-based along with sugar, vinegar, and more. So it’s actually a creamy tangy-sweet dressing which is always a crowd favorite.
There are hard-boiled eggs in this traditional Amish pasta salad recipe and egg yolks always bump up the creamy factor of any dish.
Whether you’re looking for a way to use up extra hard-boiled eggs post Easter or just a great pasta salad for your next barbecue, graduation party, summer get-together, or potluck, this one is a keeper!
Ingredients in Amish Pasta Salad and Dressing
To make the Amish macaroni salad, you’ll want to have on hand these very common and easy to find fridge and pantry ingredients:
- Bell pepper
- Red onion
- Hard-boiled eggs
For the creamy pasta salad dressing , you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
- Granulated sugar
- Dijon mustard
- Apple cider vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Sweet pickle relish
- Celery seed
How to Make Amish Pasta Salad
Making this family favorite Amish pasta salad is a snap! If you’ve never used eggs in pasta salad before, you’re in for a treat!
Simply follow these straightforward steps:
- Boil the pasta according to package directions.
- Chop all the vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, place them in a bowl, and then add the cooked pasta.
- Whisk together the pasta salad dressing and pour it over everything in the bowl.
- Toss very well to combine and serve immediately or chilled.
Can I Use Other Pasta Shapes in Amish Pasta Salad?
Yes, you can absolutely use other small-shaped pasta. I used bow tie pasta.
However, small elbow macaroni is very common in this recipe and it’s sometimes referred to as Amish Macaroni Salad. Using small shells, wheels, or another favorite shape is just fine.
Is it Possible to Omit or Change the Vegetables?
Yes, it is. However, the vegetables I used are the ones classically or commonly found in Amish pasta salad so I personally wouldn’t remove them — even the celery since I know some people don’t like it, but it adds a great crunch!
If you want to add extra veggies, shredded carrots, peas, diced English cucumbers, or even garbanzo beans could mesh nicely.
Should I Use Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise?
Miracle Whip will give you more tang. I am a huge Miracle Whip fan so I would always opt for Miracle Whip over mayo but that is personal preference.
However, you need to use a creamy salad dressing — i.e. one or the other. You cannot skip it.
When it comes to mayo, I always use Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise.
I’ve never tried using either light mayo or lite Miracle Whip. It may or may not create a bit runnier of a dressing and won’t have quite the creamy factor.
If you’re not a mayo nor Miracle Whip person, this probably isn’t the pasta salad recipe for you.
Do I Need to Use Sugar in the Dressing for Amish Pasta Salad?
I know there are people who are always looking for a way to reduce the sugar in their diet.
However, this is not a place where I would skip the mere one-quarter cup of sugar in a pasta salad recipe that feeds a decent-sized group. So yes, you need to use sugar.
Can This Recipe Be Made in Advance?
Absolutely! After you make up a batch of Amish macaroni salad you can either serve it right away. Or cover and chill it in the fridge. I prefer pasta salads to be served chilled although it’s up to you.
For those of you wanting to make this in advance, you can feel free to make it the night before or an event such as a picnic or backyard get-together.
The pasta tends to soak up the dressing so don’t be surprised if it looks slightly drier after being in the fridge overnight.
Tips for the Best Amish Pasta Salad
This recipe for Amish pasta salad makes a big bowlful so make sure you start with a very large bowl so you can toss everything very well and not worry about it spilling over the sides as you toss.
When you cook the pasta, make sure it’s not overcooked and is just cooked to al dente.
After cooking the pasta, I rinse the pasta with cold water for a minute to cool it down because if you add freshly cooked super hot pasta to the vegetables, it will wilt them.
Another thing that benefits from rinsing is red onions. If you’re sensitive to the bite in onions like I am, rinsing them under cold water briefly and then drying them with a paper towel takes out a big portion of their harsh bite.
Apple cider vinegar really is preferred to white vinegar for the pasta salad dressing.
If you like your pasta salad slightly less dressed and a bit drier, as I mentioned, it will tend to dry out in the fridge overnight as the pasta absorbs some of the dressing.
Furthermore, you can reduce the mayo or Miracle Whip to 1 1/2 cups rather than 2 full cups.
For the hard-boiled eggs, I like to rough dice the eggs I mix into the salad but then garnish the pasta salad with a few whole slices.
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- 16 ounces small-shaped pasta, cooked according to package directions, rinsed with cold water, drained well (such as bowtie, elbow macaroni, small shells, etc.)
- 3 stalks celery, diced small
- 1 cup red bell pepper, diced small
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced small
- 4 to 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, coarsely diced; plus a few whole slices reserved for garnishing
- 2 cups Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, rinse under cold water for a minute or two to chill it slightly since hot pasta will wilt the vegetables. Drain it well and add it to a very large mixing bowl. Tip - While pasta is cooking, chop the vegetables.
- Add the celery, bell pepper, red onion, and diced eggs* (See Notes) to the large bowl and toss well to combine; set aside.
- To a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise or Miracle Whip** (See Notes), sugar, Dijon, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and whisk to combine until sugar has dissolved.
- Add the relish, garlic, celery seed, and whisk to incorporate.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables and toss and stir well to combine.
- Garnish with a few whole slices of egg before serving. You can either serve immediately, or cover, refrigerate, and serve chilled.
*Eggs: I like using 6 hard-boiled eggs because I love finding the bits of diced egg in the pasta salad, plus the whole slices as garnishes, and find that 4 isn't enough for me, although it's personal preference.
**Miracle Whip will give you more tang. I am a huge Miracle Whip fan so I would always opt for Miracle Whip over mayo but that is personal preference. Use mayo if preferred.
If you want a drier or less dressed pasta salad from the outset, use 1 1/2 cups mayo or Miracle Whip rather than the 2 full cups I call for.
Make ahead: Pasta salad may be made the night before of an event to save time. Note that the pasta will likely continue to absorb the dressing as time passes and so may be a little bit drier the longer time passes.
Storage: Pasta salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 555mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 3g
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