Ah, it is summer, which means "potato salad". Lots of potato salad. Summer is here, which means it's the perfect time for backyard BBQs, picnics, and potlucks with family and friends. And what better way to impress your guests than with a delicious and unique potato salad? If you're a fan of the Amish-style potato salad recipe, then you're in luck because we've put together a list of 10 delicious variations to try at your next gathering.
🥗 The "Wet Salad" Challenge
I once worked with Kroger on developing an Amish-style potato salad and one of the challenges was just coming up with a formulation that was different enough, yet familiar enough. What I mean by that is basically that everyone has their own potato salad recipe, so you needed to appeal to familiar but be just different to get people to try and buy it. Tough balance. Some potato salads are very "mustardy", others not so much, they are more mayonnaisey, others are sweeter, some not so much. I don't know which I like best...my mother-in-law makes an awesome potato salad, I'm not sure that she really follows a recipe. I think my grandmother's potato salad remains my all time favorite.
In grocery stores jargon, the potato salads go by the name "wet salads," which they use as an all-encompassing term that include slaw, mac salad, three bean, and basically any non-lettuce salad.
🧺 When Is An Amish Potato Salad Served If You Are Amish?
I have seen potato salad on the table at many Amish gatherings, including:
- Church gatherings: Amish communities hold church services every other Sunday. After the service, there is often a potluck lunch where people bring dishes to share. Potato salad is a popular dish to bring to these gatherings.
- Picnic lunches: The Amish enjoy going on picnics, especially in the summer. Potato salad is a great dish to pack for a picnic because it is easy to transport and can be eaten cold.
- Family gatherings: The Amish often have large family gatherings, such as weddings, barn raisings, and funerals. Potato salad is a popular dish to serve at these gatherings because it is a hearty and filling dish that can feed a large crowd.
- Breakfast: Yes, I have seen potato salad on breakfast tables too!
🥔 What is an Amish Potato Salad Recipe?
So, what is an Amish potato salad anyway? Grocery stores love slapping the Amish label on stuff, but what does it mean? Amish cooks are like everyone else, it's not there's one "Amish recipe" everyone follows. Everyone has their own recipe, their own favorite variation or tweak.
But as a general rule an Amish style potato salad is a classic dish that is often served at potlucks and picnics. It is made with potatoes (of course!), often hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Some recipes may also include celery, onion, or carrots.
Amish style potato salad is typically made with Yukon Gold potatoes, which have a creamy texture and a slightly sweet flavor. The potatoes are boiled until they are tender, then they are cooled and diced. The eggs are also boiled until they are hard, then they are peeled and chopped. The mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper are whisked together to make the dressing. The potatoes, eggs, and dressing are then combined and mixed until they are well-coated. The potato salad is then chilled before serving.
Still, this is just a general description, there shredded salads, mustardy salads,bacony salads, I've got you covered below!
🍲 Five Amish Potato Salad Recipes
Here are 5 recipes, 3 of them are Amish, 1 is Brethren, and the other is my Grandma's, hopefully one of these will entice you enough to try!
Classic Amish Potato Salad: You won't find huge variations in these recipes. The addition of the cornstarch makes this potato salad a bit thicker in consistency, it has a little less sugar than some Amish recipes. But this is typical. You'll find slight variations and tweaks from kitchen to kitchen, each family claiming their recipe is the best. But this classic Amish potato salad is hard to go wrong with!
Chunky Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Salad: Pennsylvania Dutch food is a regional cuisine that originated in the 17th and 18th centuries, when German and Swiss immigrants settled in the area that is now Pennsylvania. Those immigrants included - but were not limited to - the Amish. This is why you have a more varied cuisine characterized but held together by its use of simple, hearty ingredients, such as potatoes, corn, cabbage, and meat. Many Pennsylvania Dutch dishes are also made with sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage dish that is a staple of German cuisine. I love this chunky Pennsylvania Dutch Potato salad, especially if you like big hunks of potato in your salad!
Sweet Amish Potato Salad: Yes, a fun tip for this one because I think it connects the flavor dots slightly better, use brown sugar in place of white sugar in this recipe. This is a classic recipe that comes out of the "sweets" and "sours" Amish flavor tradition. I love this Sweet Amish Potato Salad with its sugary but not overpowering profile.
Brethren "Wow" Shredded Potato Salad: The German Baptist Brethren believe in adult baptism by immersion, and they practice a simple lifestyle that emphasizes simplicity, plainness, and non-resistance. The German Baptist Brethren were founded in 1708 by Alexander Mack, a German Mennonite. The German Baptist Brethren share many similarities to the Amish and Mennonites, but they do come from a different religious tradition. That said, their culinary culture is similar: plain, comforting...this Wow" Shredded Potato Salad features shredded potatoes which allows for a more melded flavor pattern, this one is good! Scroll down for the full recipe!
Grandma Mary's Six-Spoon Potato Salad - Okay, I fully cop that this isn't an Amish recipe. But I love it so much that it is too good not to share. This is my Grandma's recipe, supposedly she used six spoons formulating every batch so she could taste and re-taste, I think she probably used more spoons than that. I love Grandma Mary's Six-Spoon Potato Salad!
🙋 Amish Potato Salad FAQ
"Amish potato salad" is as an art, an abstract, almost a state of mind. There are so many variations that this question is tough to answer, but most of the recipes are united by being simple, fresh, with a hint of sweet, sour, and sometimes bacon.
Bacon is primarily a feature found in Pennsylvania Amish potato salads, where Pennsylvania Dutch cooking has its biggest influence. Any Amish potato recipe can be tweaked to include some crumbled, cooked bacon!
I have seen both used. Miracle Whip will give you a sweeter salad, most Amish use regular mayo, though!
🖨️ Full Recipe - Shredded Potato Salad
"Wow" Shredded Potato Salad
- 6 pounds of potatoes peeled and shredded
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped fine
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 3 boiled eggs, shredded
- 3 big sweet pickles, shredded
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup sweet pickle juice
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Cook the shredded potatoes until tender.
- Stir in celery, onion, eggs, and pickles in a big bowl.
- In a separate large bowl mix all the dressing ingredients until completely combined.
- Pour over the potatoes and mix until completely and evenly coated.