Sweet and Tangy Amish Macaroni Salad Recipe | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Friday, April 7, 2023

Sweet and Tangy Amish Macaroni Salad Recipe

This delicious recipe for creamy Amish Macaroni Salad is a great side dish recipe for your spring picnics, summer BBQs, and  all your potlucks! Sweet and tangy, with just the right amount of crunch, this Amish Macaroni Salad recipe will become your GO TO macaroni salad recipe!

Amish Macaroni Salad by Renee's Kitchen Adventures in a white bowl garnished with two halves of grape tomatoes

scroll down for printable recipe image

My husband and I have completely different views on whether potato salad or macaroni salad make the best side salads for summer parties. I will almost always gravitate to potato salad first. I've got lots of potato salad recipes on this blog.

My husband, on the other hand, will always choose macaroni salad over potato salad when given a choice! This recipe for Amish Macaroni Salad is his very favorite. I've been able to perfect it over the years and this is the recipe I make whenever I serve macaroni salad. This recipe for Amish Macaroni Salad does make a lot. It's an easy macaroni salad for a crowd that will have everyone asking for the recioe. 

This macaroni salad is all the things! It's enrobed in a sweet creamy dressing, yet it's still got a tang to it. It's got the perfect combination of crunch to soft ratio. It's the one pasta salad recipe I will pass up potato salad for. It's pretty much the perfect side dish for all your family gatherings and is one of my favorite recipes.

Amish Macaroni Salad by Renee's Kitchen Adventures close up serving in a white bowl with larger bowl in background

What makes this recipe the best Amish Macaroni Salad?

This recipe for Amish Macaroni Salad might be a tad different from other macaroni salad recipes you've made. Sure, it has all the usual ingredients you'd find in regular macaroni salad: celery salt, vinegar, mustard, and mayonnaise. 

However, this recipe is special because there is a secret ingredient in the sweet dressing. The brine liquid from Bread and Butter Pickle Chips is ued in the dressing. Pickle juice from sweet and tangy Bread and Butter pickles gives the dressing delicious flavor boost and helps to loosen up the dressing so it coats every single piece of elbow macaroni. Seriously, it's a game changer. You must give it a try. 

Pickle juice is not a typical ingredient in macaroni salad, and I have no idea if traditional Amish use it, but I love adding it! It adds so much flavor and helps to loosen up the dressing quite well.

Amish Country Recipes

Here in Ohio, I live a stone's throw, so to speak, from Amish country. They are a simple people with lots of great recipes that have been passed down through the years. 

I have many Amish Cookbooks I've picked up over the years. I am a huge fan of the "Amish way of Cooking." Simple, hearty, and delicious homemade fare. (If you like Amish recipes, you might also enjoy my recipe for Amish Ham Loaf.)

Salads are an important part of the Amish tradition. This macaroni salad recipe is my version of the many Amish recipes I've tried in those cookbooks. 

Homemade Macaroni Salad vs. Store Bought Macaroni Salad

Yes, you can purchase premade Amish macaroni salad in your local deli. And I'm not saying it's bad, but this homemade macaroni salad is SO MUCH BETTER! 

It's easy to make and it doesn't involve ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, citric acid, guar gum, ascorbic acid, artificial colors, or modified corn starch that you find in Walmart's amish macaroni salad. That's right, all those processed Amish macaroni salad products contain ingredients that Amish cooks wouldn't think of using in their recipes! 

This recipe does involve a bit of planning if you are adding hard-boiled eggs. However, you can skip that step and make it without hard boiled eggs and it will still be delish! I've made it both with and without eggs and I like it both ways. 

Amish Macaroni Salad by Renee's Kitchen Adventures prepped and ready to mix in a big bowl

Tips for making the best Macaroni Salad

  • Follow the directions on the box of elbow macaroni to cook the pasta to al dente. Make sure you season the water well with salt. It's the only time you will have a chance to get salt into the pasta itself! 
  • Rinse the pasta well with cold water. This will not only cool the pasta off, but will also help keep the pasta from sticking together while you are whipping up the dressing. 
  • Do give the macaroni salad time to chill (at least 2 to 3 hours).
  • Do stir the macaroni salad before serving to redistribute the dressing. 
  • This is one of those recipes that actually tastes better the next day, so give it time to let the flavors meld.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can I use Miracle Whip in place of the Mayonnaise in this sweet macaroni salad?

I'm a huge real mayonnaise fan. I will almost alwasy choose real mayonnaise when a recipe calls for mayo. This macaroni salad is no exception.. With that said, for best results, I recommend real mayonnaise for this recipe. If you swap it for Miracle Whip, the taste and texture will be off. 

Can I freeze macaroni salad?

It's not recommended to freeze any sort of creamy macaroni salad, such as this Amish macaroni salad. 

Pinterest Comment for Amish Macaroni Salad by Renee's Kitchen Adventures
Macaroni Salad, Amish Macaroni Salad
Yield: 20 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Amish Macaroni Salad

Amish Macaroni Salad

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 2 HourTotal time: 2 H & 15 M
A warm weather staple, this delicious Amish Macaroni Salad recipe will become your go to recipe for macaroni salad! Sweet and tangy, with just the right amount of crunch. It makes a great side dish to just about anything and it makes a wonderful pot luck dish too!


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente, according to package directions
  • 2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup liquid brine from the jar of bread and butter style pickles
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBSP yellow mustard
  • 1 cup chopped bread and butter pickles
  • 3 ribs of celery, thinly sliced (about a cup)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 large raw carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 - 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper (optional)


  1. Once cooked according to package directions, drain elbow macaroni and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, pickle brine, apple cider vinegar, celery salt, and yellow mustard until combined. Taste for salt and pepper, and season as desired. The dressing should be thin and pourable. You can adjust the thickness with a TBSP or so more of cider vinegar, if needed. it may seem like a lot of dressing, but the pasta does absorb some of it and you don't want dry macaroni salad. (At least I don't like dry macaroni salad!)
  3. Stir cooked macaroni, chopped pickles, celery, onion, carrot, hard boiled eggs, and red pepper (if using) into tangy dressing.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, to let flavors blend. Stir before serving.


I like macaroni salad to have plenty of dressing. so this recipe provides enough for it to be absorbed into the pasta and still be a loose salad. Feel free to adjust the amounts of mayo, pickle juice, and vinegar to your liking. Pickle juice is not a typical ingredient in macaroni salad, and I have no idea if traditional Amish use it, but I love adding it! It adds so much flavor and helps to loosen up the dressing quite well.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

26.79 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

6.13 g

Carbs (grams)

15.60 g

Fiber (grams)

1.08 g

Net carbs

14.52 g

Sugar (grams)

4.31 g

Protein (grams)

4.49 g

Sodium (milligrams)

410.13 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

49.20 mg

Nutritional Information is an estimate.

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  1. What are bread and butter pickles?

    1. They are a sweeter type of pickle with very mild dill flavor.

  2. Hello. I don’t like sweet pickles. Would dill be ok?

    1. Yes you can use whatever pickles you have. It may change the flavor up a bit, but it will work fine. Hope this helps!

  3. I make a sweet macaroni salad similar to this I use miracle whip /sweet gherkins chunks plus the juice /chunks of sharp cheese / chunks of sandwich ham / and anything I happen to have on hand such as / pepperoni/ onions/ sweet peppers / as little or as much as you want YUM

  4. I just made this salad for a gathering of snowbirds tomorrow on our patio since we are soon leaving for “up north.” It’s chilling now but both hubby and I tasted it and it is awesome!! This will be my “go to” Amish macaroni salad from now on! Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Hi there! First off, I love that you and I have snowbird in common! I'm working my way to being able to enjoy SWFL longer each year. Secondly, thank you so much for leaving a review and I'm so happy you enjoyed this recipe as much as my family does. Safe travels!

  5. Hi Renee! Just wanted to thank you for this delicious recipe.. I never leave comments on recipes because I always add or subtract ingredients. Took this to a family function and they all loved it!!! I will definitely look at all your other recipes..

    1. Hi Tammy! Thank you so much for leaving a review! I'm so happy you and your family enjoyed this recipe. It's a keeper!

  6. I use sweet relish instead of pickles. Same concept. I never knew the exact name of the macaroni salad. All my 50 years of making this dish, I always had the best reviews. I can honestly say that when I do make it, there is never any leftover for the next day, it is a winner for sure!

    1. Hello and thanks for your review. I agree, it's a great way to make macaroni salad.

  7. Made this for Memorial Day weekend. It’s really good! I am saving this recipe as my new favorite macaroni salad recipe. My picky husband loves it. Thanks!

    1. Hello and thanks so much for your review. I'm so happy you and your husband enjoyed this recipe. I've got a picky one too, and this is one of his favorite things I make.


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