Instant Pot Amish Macaroni Salad
Easy-to-make Instant Amish Macaroni Salad is a classic side dish with macaroni in a creamy dressing with vinegar for brightness. Perfect for a BBQ, tailgate, or potluck.
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This is a fast and reliable crowd-pleasing side dish that happily pairs well with other classic summer entrees. It’s easy to make with ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
This dish pairs perfectly with summer favorites like Instant Pot Hamburgers, Pressure Cooker BBQ Back Back ribs and Make-Ahead BBQ Chicken Legs.
Update: We’ve updated this post with a how-to video, new tips and photos so you can be the star of every get-together with your famous (and so easy) Amish macaroni salad.
How to Make Amish Macaroni Salad in an Instant Pot
This Instant Pot Amish Macaroni Salad recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
Just like I do with my quick potato salad, I cook the pasta and hard-boiled eggs at the same time for this pasta salad. To nail perfectly-set (not chalky) eggs and al dente pasta, it’s best to use small shell macaroni. Larger pasta, like elbow macaroni, takes longer to cook and your eggs might go too far.
Crunch in this salad comes from chopped celery and red onion. For extra color, you can also add diced carrots. And if you’re not a fan of raw red onion, you can easily omit it or swap it for sweet or green onion instead.
What is Amish Macaroni Salad?
This recipe was first inspired by one of our long-time email subscribers, Mike. After he tried my quick pressure cooker potato salad, he requested an Amish macaroni salad to complete the pair of his two favorite summer dishes. Now, I make this salad every summer for picnics and parties and it’s always a hit.
The ingredient that separates this macaroni salad from your classic pasta salad is vinegar.
The dressing is creamy and savory, thanks to mayonnaise and yellow mustard. But it gets a brightness from white vinegar that’s totally delicious. Sometimes this dish is also called German macaroni salad.
Make-Ahead Pasta Salad
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. In fact, it tastes even better the next day! The pasta should chill for a few hours to soak up the savory and sweet dressing flavors. Then serve it up cold for lunch or dinner.
The pasta can be stored for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.
More Favorite Summer Side Dishes
If you’re planning a summer party for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or just a sunny saturday afternoon, here are some other favorite BBQ recipes to add to your menu:
- Devilled Eggs with Bacon & BBQ Sauce are another delicious and summery way to serve easy pressure cooker eggs.
- Instant Pot Baked Beans are smoky, sweet, savory and so easy to make in a pressure cooker.
- Corn on the Cob is an all-American classic for a reason! And it’s never been more fool-proof than when you make it in an Instant Pot.
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Instant Pot Amish Macaroni Salad
Instant Pot Amish Macaroni Salad is a creamy pasta side dish recipe with crunchy veggies and a vinegar and mayo dressing.
- 1 1⁄2 cups uncooked small shell macaroni
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1⁄2 cup chopped celery
- 1⁄4 cup chopped onion
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the macaroni, whole eggs, water, and salt to the pressure cooking pot. Lock lid in place, select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time.
When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place them in ice cold water. Drain macaroni in a colander. When eggs are cool, peel and dice them.
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and sugar. Stir in the macaroni, celery, onion, and diced eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Chill several hours or overnight before serving.
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As mentioned in a previous comment we thought the dressing for this salad was too sweet. I made the macaroni salad again yesterday and made the dressing without sugar and we loved the salad. In fact I doubled the recipe (including doubling of the eggs) for two of us and it’s almost all gone! Every time I pass the refrigerator I take the salad out and spoon out a a few spoonfuls.
This recipe is kind of a blank canvas because of the ingredients one can add. Yesterday I used green onions instead of the red onion I used previously. I also added a chopped red bell pepper which, in addition to the celery, provides a beautiful red crunch. Being a lover of olives, I sliced some Greek black olives and green olives with pimento and added those. Those add a nice bit of salt in the bites of the salad. Looks like I’ll have to make more salad soon as I don’t think what we have left will last the day. While I’m not headed to a picnic or pot luck any time soon. this salad would be a great one to bring. I’d not made a macaroni salad in ages and really enjoyed this.
Hey Sigrid, I don’t do the sauce in recipe. I use Hidden Vally Ranch coleslaw sauce which comes the same as their dressing.
This is the first recipe from Barbara’s website we didn’t care for. We thought the dressing was too sweet. That’s too sweet for OUR taste. It might be perfect for yours. However I’d suggest adding less than 1/3 cup of sugar to start with. If you want the full amount after tasting the salad with less than 1/3 C. of sugar by all means add it.
This looks great and I’m definitely going to try it but I’m not a fan of mustard. My question is can you taste the mustard and if cutting it back to 1 TB instead of 2, will it really alter the taste?
I don’t think it has a strong mustard taste, but if you’re concerned, I think cutting it back to 1 tablespoon sounds reasonable.
A good IP Mac Salad has been in my mind lately so I did a P search which would have taken most of my day sifting through recipes. I finally got that light bulb moment, check Barbara’s site. Bingo, you never let your readers down! Thank you! I’ve made this about a dozen times and never a miss. However, wanted to expand because it’s the best. So, one time I added chopped pineapple, which led me to adding diced cooked ham (after release to warm), which led me to white albacore tuna in water (2 cans drained.) Guess I should have have been briefer, but with this easy, yum recipe the possibilities are endless! Hooray for Barbara! (No, I’ve never met or spoken with her!)
That’s so nice – thanks Ryan! What a fun way to change it up.
I have the PPCXL everything I’ve done uses 1 cup water.
Is the 21/4 cups water just for instant pot or because of the corn on cob & pasta? Even when I do a lot of hard boiled eggs at one time I only use 1 cup water. I m new to this and everyone has recipes for instant pot and all buttons and settings are different for the PPCXL. I’ve been really confused thinking I should’ve gone with the Instant Pot.
Hi Nicki – when you’re cooking pasta you need to cover it completely with water, so you’ll use more than you would otherwise.
Should the eggs be room temperature? Also could I use rice vinegar?
Hi Joan – no, the eggs should be refrigerated eggs. I haven’t tried rice vinegar, but I think it would work well.
How many oz of pasta is this? I’m trying to figure out what the measurements would be for a 16 oz bag of pasta.
Hi Laura – about 4 cups of pasta in a 16 ounce bag.
I made this recipe this weekend to go with burgers and hot dogs and it was a hit! I’d never heard of Amish Macaroni Salad or heard of putting eggs in macaroni salad. My mom and daughter at first thought it was potato salad – they’re both pretty picky and both loved it, so I’ll definitely be making this again! Thanks for another great recipe, Barb!
Can I leave out the celery without messing up the recipe?
Hi Michelle – sure, change it up to suit how you like it.
Have never made mac salad, but was searching for a recipe just a few days ago, gave up & decided to just pick up from the grocery store deli, eh. Then totally forgot, boo! And look what shows up in my inbox, whoa! I just made & OMGosh, best mac salad ever! I didn’t have the small shells, so used large ones and also cut the recipe in half, except I used two eggs. I had no idea if I needed to compensate for the larger shells, so just went with the recipe times as written. Perfect & so easy! Thanks for another favorite Barbara & adding an unexpected treat to my Memorial Day cookout! And thanks to Mike, for suggesting.
In Hawai’i, a common salad with a “plate lunch” is a blend of potato/macaroni (not just one or the other). I may try to add some potato chunks to this. So I don’t have to experiment too much, could you suggest a pressure cooking time that would work for both the pasta and the potato? Or do you think that wouldn’t be possible?
Also, to clarify the recipe, you might want to list it as “prepared mustard” so folks don’t consider powdered mustard…
Hi Tonya – I use a 4 minute cook time for my potato salad https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/quick-potato-salad-in-the-pressure-cooker/ If you want to add potatoes, I would use the 5 minutes in this recipe and cut the potatoes just a little bit larger. Let me know how it goes.
OMGosh, this sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing. Not in a million years would it have occurred to me to add potatoes.?
Yes–mac potato salad is definitely the “thing” to have with Hawaiian plate lunch. I’m gonna try this, too, and see if I can feel that I’m back in Hawai’i….
I son’t make pasta salad often. I had an Amish Macaroni Salad for the first time last summer. It was delicious! Great to hear that can be made in the pressure cooker. I love cooking the eggs at the same time too-just like with your potato salad, it’s such a time saver. This will be a great addition to summer meals.
Definitely easier when you cook them together. Enjoy!
This macaroni salad has become my husband’s 2nd favorite side dish, closely following stuffing! 🙂 I’ve made it so many times, with whatever ingredients I have on hand, never straying too far from this recipe. It’s always a hit! I scoop some of the salad out for an elderly friend whenever I make it. The first time I gave her some, she at it all in 1 sitting, late on a Sunday night. This is woman who still cooks and practices moderation in her eating. That night, she said she was a “piggy”. 🙂
Such a cute comment – thanks for sharing Julie!
Oh my – how I love a good macaroni salad and cannot wait to try this!!
Made it 2 days ago for my little boy’s birthday party. It seemed a quick way to expand the menu without taking a lot of time, time I didn’t have to spare!
It was a big hit: I added the julienned carrots, chopped celery and red onion and they added a lot of flavor and texture.
I dumbly added 2 tbsp of mustard POWDER (a la IP Mac n cheese) thinking, “Gee, that’s a lot..” but even with my mistake the Mac salad was still great, just a bit spicy.
Great addition to a picnic menu and takes 5 minutes to make.
Thanks for sharing Jenny. I’m sure I’d like a spiced up version too.
My family’s macaroni salad is almost exactly the same recipe. I’ve been wanting to make it in my pressure cooker ever since you posted your potato salad recipe, but I’ve always been leery of pasta, ever since my first attempt at rotini, which wasn’t what you’d call a success. Thank you!
Every time one of my friends scoffs at pressure cookers, I tell them about your potato salad and your carnitas. They always end up buying an Instant Pot! Honestly, I think it’s the potato salad that convinces them, it’s truly one of those eye-opening techniques that makes everyone sit up and pay attention. And if they’re still not convinced, I invite them over for cheesecake. Gets them every time!
Thanks for sharing Sandy! I love that you’re spreading the pressure cooker joy with your friends. 🙂 <3
I bet this would definitely be a hit! Thanks for the shout-out for my recipe.
My husband absolutely loves your potato salad recipe. In fact, I’m going to make him another batch to welcome him home from his fishing trip. Can’t wait to try this macaroni salad. Sounds great!
Previous question of could the recipe be doubled was not answered. Would it be possible, and should the time be adjusted?
Hi Barbara – I haven’t tried doubling the recipe, but I think you could easily double it with no changes. Let me know if you try it. See additional information below.
I doubled all the ingredients with the same time. It did perfect. I think next time I would add a Tbs. of butter to help with the foaming. I diced some dill pickle instead of the dill juice and substituted half the mustard with Dijon and added some grated carrot.. it is delicious!
Thanks for sharing your changes Barbara! Glad it was a hit 🙂
For this recipe, how many serving are made? Can the recipe be doubled?
Also, in the pressure cooker quick potato salad (it’s great – have done it several times), the eggs cook in 4 minutes, with a quick release – this recipe calls for 5 minutes, natural for 5, then quick. Is this OK, i.e. the eggs will not be over cooked? Many thanks!
Hi Ray – it makes 8 – 10 servings. I haven’t tried it, but you should be able to double the recipe with no problem.
So nice to hear you love the potato salad recipe. The eggs do cook more quickly resting upon the pile of potatoes in the potato salad recipe. A 5 minute cook time with a 5 minute natural release is perfect for the eggs in this recipe. Doubling the recipe, the pot will take longer to come to pressure so perhaps a slightly shorter natural release time may be necessary but I wouldn’t change it the first time you make it. But slightly overcooked than undercooked with hardboiled eggs.
Great recipe – thanks so much for sharing it. I didn’t have yellow mustard so instead used Grey Poupon -and it came out very tasty. Also my electric pressure cooker is a XL Power Pro and I used the Rice/Risotto icon and then adjusted the cooking time to 5 minutes. Thanks again for sharing.
Thanks Kathi – so nice to hear you loved it too. Thanks for sharing your changes.
Would love to have the potatoes salad tecept
Hi Donna – here’s a link to the potato salad recipe. It’s great – enjoy! https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/quick-potato-salad-in-the-pressure-cooker/
I love a good mac salad – can’t wait to try this!
Great – let me know how you like it.