Old Fashioned Lancaster County Macaroni Salad

A few weeks ago, our good friends Greg and Cauleen traveled back east to visit family in Lancaster, PA. They brought us back some great foodie souvenirs including the cookbook from which I prepared the above macaroni salad and an array of Kitchen Kettle Village goodies.

Kitchen Kettle website tells me that they’ve been preserving the bounty of Lancaster County PA for over 50 years and offer an assortment of jams, jellies, sauces, relishes and baked goods including a Shoofly pie that they’ll ship to your doorstep if you’d like. They also have a recipe section for their products, so I’ll be anxious to see what I can whip up with that jar of  pineapple jalapeno jam.

Cauleen will notice that there are three jars missing. What went quick was the Chow Chow, the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam and those tiny little sweet Pickled Beets. So far everything has been delicious, a great and flavorful product line.

Also in the cache was a Lancaster County Cookbook. The book is a collection of recipes submitted by residents of Lancaster County many of whom are  famous for their Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. You’ll find Pepper Cabbage, Chicken Pot Pie, Creamed Celery, Apple Dumplings, Whoopie Pies, Funnel Cakes, and Shoofly Pie. Overflowing with old-time, traditional recipes, this book is right up my alley. A simple paperback no nonsense cookbook, the only glossy photos you’ll find are a collection showing us the villages and people of Lancaster County.  Complete with essays about the area, it’s a great addition to my cookbook collection.

Recipe for old fashioned pasta salad

Recipe for old fashioned pasta salad

One of the first recipes that caught my eye was a macaroni salad recipe. Something about it reminded me the old-fashioned recipe my mom used to serve up when I was a kid. It turned out to be incredibly flavorful. Creamy with mayonnaise, tangy and sweet from the mustard, sugar combination, adding in evaporated milk, the mixture was perfect for the al dente pasta to soak up for a creamy end result texture. And with the crunch of celery, carrot and onion, this pasta salad is packed with flavor.

I found it interesting that the recipe called for “dressing”. Growing up in Kansas and following any recipe, the word dressing always meant Miracle Whip. I actually grew up calling Miracle Whip “dressing”. We used it in ham salad sandwiches, in potato salads and cole slaw. The sweeter flavor seemed to compliment all of those dishes. With the sugar content in this recipe, I was afraid Miracle Whip would make it too sweet, so used half Miracle Whip and half Best Foods Mayo. Let’s take a look.

A simple recipe to put together, you can see ingredient measurements in the above recipe photo and procedure is easy:

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain, rinse and cool. Stir celery, carrot and onion into macaroni.
  2. Dice whites of eggs into salad.
  3. To prepare dressing mash egg yolks with mustard and blend well. Add sugar, salad dressing, milk, vinegar and salt to egg and mustard mixture. Pour over macaroni and vegetables.  Mixture will appear soupy.  Chill well before serving.

The salad was a perfect flavor-bold and perfect-partner to a piece of spicy barbecue sauce slathered grilled chicken.

Lancaster County Macaroni Salad…It’s What’s for a Summer Side Dish.

On this day..

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  1. Russ says

    There were a lot of Dutch near my hometown. It was always a contest between the Mennonites and them over who cooked the best.

    • says

      Growing up a stone’s throw away from Yodor, and my mom being Dutch, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m voting for the Dutch. :-)

  2. says

    looks irresistably hearty..
    chanced upon your space while blog hopping..
    amazing space you have…very interesting posts..
    Am your happy subscriber now..;)
    do stop by mine sometime..

    Tasty Appetite

  3. says

    You sure have some nice friends to bring back goodies for you from their trip Lea Ann. Your macaroni salad sounds perfect with the BBQ chicken as you suggested. Hope you had a great Independence Day.

    • says

      Sam, I kept their little dog while they were in PA. Even though she was no work or bother at all, they brought me these things as a thank you.

  4. says

    I love cookbooks like this Lea Ann; similar to the church cookbooks I’ve got in my collection. Nothing pretentious; really just good old fashioned barbecue, picnic, pot luck type food.

    LOVE the story about Miracle Whip…it could have been mine. I’m from Missouri; maybe it’s a Midwestern thing?

  5. Vickie says

    Macaroni salad and barbecue chicken is such a great combo – like summer on a plate! This recipe sounds really good, too with the mustard and sweet. This sort of salad is such a great thing to keep in the fridge for a quick side. Love your photos, too – really colorful.

  6. says

    I adore cookbooks like this Lea Ann. My mother used to make a delicious macaroni salad…I’ll have to look it up and compare. I haven’t made one in ages. My, this brought back some happy picnic memories from Michigan days!

  7. says

    Love this, Lea Ann. My mom used to make macaroni salad and it was always one of my summertime favorites. She used to put mashed egg yolks into thousand island dressing and we thought it was great. I bet that fig jam is delicious.

  8. says

    Pennsylvania Dutch cooking is stick to your ribs, comfort food. I love it. I have not made macaroni salad in years. I am thinking that the next bbq, I need to offer to bring a side dish.

    Awesome post.


  9. says

    I can imagine so many things that you can do with the pepper jam. I know Southern Living had a great pork chops w/ pepper jelly recipe that was excellent.

  10. says

    There is nothing better than friends sharing gifts! Especially food gifts. My aunt used to make macaroni salad. I haven’t seen it in years! This is fun. I’ll have to recreate those happy memories of her salad.

      • Annette says

        I am from Lancaster, and I grew up on macaroni salad, pot pie, potatoe salad, chow chow, knep, ham loafs and so on. I have lived all over the USA and I never tire of these foods,. Whenever I was invited to a picnic somewhere I always brought red beet eggs, whoopie pies, etc and people always loved them. When my ex who was military had bake sales for the base I always had requests, my items sold out everytime because they were unique to the guys. This looks the right color and consistency minus the elbow part. I was just thinking about one fellow from Chicago when he was invited for dinner would always ask, are you making that pot pie stuff, he loved it. My Mother bought him a local cookbook at the farmers market so he could have a sample of Pa recipes.

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