Amish Macaroni Salad vs Original: Subtle Differences in Dressing and Ingredients

Amish Macaroni Salad vs Original Macaroni Salad

Amish Macaroni Salad vs Original: Subtle Differences in Dressing and Ingredients

If you’re headed to a potluck, barbecue, or other large gathering, macaroni salad is bound to be one of the side dishes. If you grab macaroni salad from the store, you might just reach for the first one on the shelf, but did you know there are different types of macaroni salad? When you compare Amish macaroni salad vs. original, you’ll notice some subtle differences.

The main difference between Amish macaroni salad and the original macaroni salad is the dressing. Amish macaroni salad has a tangier dressing that includes mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar, while original macaroni salad has a sweeter dressing and may have different vegetables.

Let’s take a look at the main differences between these two types of macaroni salad and which one you should bring as a side dish to your next picnic or barbecue.

Yummy Homemade Macaroni Salad with Tomato Onion Celery and Parsley
There are many variations of macaroni salad, including Amish macaroni salad and original.

©Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Amish Macaroni Salad vs Original: What Is the Difference?

Macaroni salad, in all its forms, is popular across the country. Although it may be a staple in some homes, it’s usually a popular food to bring to a potluck, barbecue, or family picnic. If you’ve ever made macaroni salad at home or purchased it at the store, you might have wondered about the different types.

Amish macaroni salad and original are mainly different due to their dressings. While both types of macaroni salad have a mayonnaise-based dressing, the dressing for Amish macaroni salad is a bit tangier. Typically, the dressing for Amish macaroni salad includes vinegar as well as mustard. Some recipes include white vinegar, while others include apple cider vinegar. The addition of mustard in the dressing also gives it more of an acidic flavor.

On the other hand, classic or original macaroni salad has a creamier dressing that usually includes sugar and leaves out the mustard. While original macaroni salad is popular across the country, you’re more likely to find Amish macaroni salad in the Midwest

What is Amish Macaroni Salad?

To make macaroni salad, you usually start by combining cooked elbow macaroni with a pasta salad dressing. Each type of macaroni salad includes other ingredients, such as vegetables or eggs. Even though Amish macaroni salad is likely the most well-known type, there is some confusion online about what goes in Amish macaroni salad and what goes in original macaroni salad.

When you search for different recipes, some claim Amish macaroni salad includes real mayo while original macaroni salad uses Miracle Whip. You’ll also find recipes stating the opposite and claiming that Amish macaroni salad includes Miracle Whip.

The general consensus seems to be that Amish macaroni salad is more flavorful than the original kind and includes real mayonnaise. The ingredients in Amish macaroni salad generally include:

  • Cooked macaroni noodles
  • Dressing
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Celery 
  • Red onions
  • Relish

Some versions of Amish macaroni salad will also include carrots or other vegetables. You can always change up any Amish macaroni salad recipe and include additional vegetables or remove any you don’t want.

No matter what you choose to include, don’t forget to add seasonings as well. Other than salt and pepper, some recipes call for other seasonings, such as paprika or celery seed.

Nutritional Values of Amish Macaroni Salad vs. Original

Amish Macaroni Salad vs Original Macaroni Salad Nutritional Facts

What is Original Macaroni Salad?

Macaroni salad is one of the most popular side dishes, even outside of the Midwest. However, the recipe for original macaroni salad is slightly different from Amish macaroni salad. 

Typically, original macaroni salad has a dressing with a more subtle flavor and includes fewer ingredients than Amish macaroni salad. When you look up recipes for original or classic macaroni salad, there are many recipes that seem to be adapted from the Amish recipe.

In this case, many of the ingredients are the same, especially when it comes to the dressing. One of the things you may not see is the addition of hard-boiled eggs. There are so many variations of macaroni salad recipes that it’s difficult to say what exactly original macaroni salad includes. However, a classic recipe for macaroni salad is going to have a subtle, creamy, and sweet dressing that’s made from either Miracle Whip or real mayonnaise.

Additionally, it will include vegetables such as onions or carrots. Sometimes, peppers or celery are added as well. You’re unlikely to see hard-boiled eggs in a recipe for original macaroni salad.

Which is Healthier: Amish Macaroni Salad or Original?

Both Amish macaroni salad and original are great side dishes for burgers, hot dogs, ribs, or other similar meals. Although they may be delicious, they’re not exactly the healthiest side dishes.

For one cup of macaroni salad, both have over 300 calories and almost 30 grams of carbs. While there are vitamins and minerals in the vegetables, there also may be a lot of fat and sugar in the dressing.

If you’re at a birthday party, picnic, or barbecue and want to enjoy some macaroni salad, try to eat only a small portion and fill your plate with some other vegetables or fruit. If you’re making macaroni salad at home, there are some ways to make it healthier. Although it certainly won’t taste the same as a traditional recipe, you can make macaroni salad a more nutritious side dish by:

  • Adding more vegetables
  • Swapping the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Using whole wheat or lentil pasta

Macaroni salad can be a delicious way to enjoy elbow macaroni, but if you’re making Amish macaroni or original macaroni salad, keep the nutritional values in mind when you’re filling your plate.

summer barbecue recipes
Macaroni salad goes perfectly with all your favorite barbecue or picnic foods.


What Can You Serve With Macaroni Salad?

No matter which recipe for macaroni salad you use, you may be wondering what you should serve with it. Macaroni salad is the type of side dish that goes perfectly with your summer picnics and barbecues. However, it’s delicious to enjoy any time of year.

Whether you’re making it for a fun gathering or adding it to your dinner menu at home, here are some of the best main courses to serve with macaroni salad:

  • Pulled pork
  • Ribs
  • Burgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Fried chicken

Macaroni salad can range from sweet to tangy, so keep your specific recipe in mind when choosing your main course. There are limitless options when it comes to entrees to serve alongside your macaroni salad. 

Additionally, if you’re throwing a party or a picnic, you’re likely going to have some other side dishes to serve as well. Some of the best side dishes that go along with macaroni salad are baked beans, potato salad, or corn on the cob.

Deciding Between Amish Macaroni Salad vs. Original Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is one of those dishes that is a fan favorite at potluck and barbecues. However, not all macaroni salad is created equal. Let's do a recap of the subtle differences between Amish macaroni salad and the original:

  • Original macaroni salad generally has few ingredients. But Amish macaroni salad includes various ingredients, including eggs and carrots.
  • While their nutritional profile is nearly the same, the original macaroni salad has slightly more calories than the Amish version.
  • The biggest difference is the taste: Amish macaroni salad is tangier than original macaroni salad due to the addition of mustard.

If you’re looking for a recipe for macaroni salad, you may wonder which type is more likely to be a crowd-pleaser. Although Amish macaroni salad and original both use the same type of noodles and have a similar dressing, they have some differences.

While Amish macaroni salad usually has a tangier, stronger flavored dressing, original macaroni salad is more likely to be subtle, creamier, and sweeter. They both may contain vegetables like carrots, celery, or onion. However, Amish macaroni salad usually contains hard-boiled eggs as well.

Which one will be more popular in a gathering or potluck will likely depend on where you live. While they both can be delicious, Amish macaroni salad is more typical in the Midwest. If you’re unsure if the people there will like the tangier flavor of Amish macaroni salad, you might stick to the classic recipe.

Macaroni Salad Recipes

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Easy Macaroni Salad

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  • Author: Moms Who Think



1 package shell macaroni (cooked)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
2 hard cooked eggs, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook macaroni according to package directions, rinse well.

Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl.

Add drained macaroni and toss well, coating evenly. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Amish Recipes

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