Traditional Amish Recipes
The Amish are famous for being a people who exist outside of time. Unwilling to allow modern technology to interfere with their commitment to family and community, they famously forgo the use of cars, electricity and many other modern conveniences.
Considering how distracted the average person is in the 21st century, we think they may be on to something. An Amish parent never has to tell an adolescent boy to put down his smartphone and come to the dinner table. Neither do they have to eat their meal hurriedly in order to catch the latest episode of the latest network thriller or the start of a big Sunday night football game.
In fact, living in the digital age may be more of a problem than many of us realize.
According to a recent story on NPR, the average teenager spends 9 hours a day in front of a screen. In addition, 2 out of 3 students say they use technology and media to multitask while doing their homework. Those at Common Sense Media, which conducted the study, note that taking time away from media is a good idea. It seems the Amish might be on to something.
Taking Time to Connect Through Good Food
At AmishOutletStore.com, we think the dinner table is a wonderful place to start reclaiming the act of breaking bread. We, like the Amish, don’t believe sharing a meal is just about getting enough calories to get through the day. It is much more important than that. We believe this is a time for family to come together, share their joys and their heartaches, and build a solidarity that is the foundation for a good and healthy life.
So to help you channel your inner Amish approach to family living, we’ve collected some of our favorite Amish recipes. These foods have been passed down from generation to generation. They were designed to sustain a hardworking lifestyle, a life spent working with your hands on the farm or in the wood shop. They are made with simple, natural ingredients, taken fresh from the field or the dairy.
They are perfectly paired with an evening spent free from the smartphone or the TV. So, while we’re not asking you to throw your digital devices away, consider being Amish for an evening. Plan out a meal and prepare it together. These recipes are simple, so feel free to include children in the preparation. Help them understand that sometimes the most fun can be found when they aren’t playing a video game. We think the whole family will find your experiment in Amish living quite rewarding.
Amish Beef and Noodles Recipe
For those who live in either Pennsylvania or the Midwest, you might recognize this dish without realizing it is of Amish origin. Hearty and simple, beef and noodles is universally described as a comfort food by those who grew up eating it. While there are a number of family-loved Amish recipes for beef and noodles, this one is a particular favorite of ours.
2 pounds of beef boneless chuck roast
5 minced garlic cloves
1 chopped large onion
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
Homemade beef broth — you can replace with store-bought broth if desired
Homemade noodles — you can replace with store-bought egg noodles if desired
Fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Step 1: Start by cutting the chuck roast into bite-size chunks. Season with salt and pepper. We suggest being generous with the seasoning.
Step 2: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the beef and sear until good and brown on all sides. Remove the beef and using the same oil and juice from the beef, sauté the onion until translucent. Next add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaves.
Step 3: Next, return the beef to the pan along with 4 to 5 cups of homemade beef broth. Make sure to scrape any of the cooked drippings from the bottom of the pan. That’s where the good flavor is! Let the broth come to a gentle boil, cover, and then let it simmer for three hours. Make sure to stir occasionally, and don’t let the mixture boil over.
Step 4: Once the beef is tender, add your noodles. If too much broth has boiled away, add some more so there is plenty of liquid to cook the noodles. But don’t add too much — just enough to submerge all the noodles. You want the sauce to thicken as the noodles are cooked. When the noodles are done, so is the dish.
Amish Chicken Casserole
Much like beef and noodles, this recipe is a staple of family meals throughout Amish Country. Made from simple ingredients, it is perfect for a big family with plenty of hungry mouths to feed. Like most casseroles, most of the cooking time is spent in the oven, so it is also a great meal for a busy family. If you are a family on the go looking for a meal that can help you slow down, this old Amish recipe for chicken is perfect for you.
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into cubes
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
2 cups homemade chicken broth — you can replace with store-bought chicken broth if desired
8 ounces homemade egg noodles — you can replace with store-bought egg noodles if desired
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
A generous pinch of rubbed sage
Salt and pepper, to taste
Step 1: Cook the noodles in boiling water until tender
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and cook the mushrooms in a large skillet until brown.
Step 3: Stir in flour and gently blend with a fork. Next add the milk, chicken broth and seasonings, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens.
Step 4: Combine the sauce, noodles and chicken in a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Amish Friendship Bread
This recipe perfectly symbolizes the Amish emphasis on community. The first part of the recipe, known as the “starter,” is designed to be shared with a friend. Just imagine, if you share your starter with a friend who then makes the same recipe, sharing their starter with another friend and so on, pretty soon you will indirectly have a hand in an untold number of family meals. This recipe is a wonderful reminder that we’re all connected, one way or another. Plus it is simply one of our favorite Amish recipes for bread.
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
3 cups sugar
3 cups milk
3 cups flour
1 cup of oil
2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1⁄2 cup of whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon of salt
1⁄2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 1⁄2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 box instant vanilla pudding, about 5 ounces
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup dried fruit (optional)
1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed with 1⁄2 cup sugar
You first begin by making the “starter”
Step 1: Dissolve the yeast in the water and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Then, put a cup of sugar, flour and milk in a large plastic or glass bowl, while also stirring in the water and yeast mixture. Mix thoroughly so flour does not clump together. DO NOT USE A METAL BOWL.
Step 2: Lay plastic wrap on top and leave on the counter. Using a wooden spoon, mix only once every day for 17 days.
Step 3: Skip the 18th day.
Step 4: Stir on the 19th through 21st days
Step 5: Stir in 1 cup each of sugar, milk and flour on the 22nd day.
Step 6: On the 23rd through 26th days, stir.
Step 7: On the 27th day add 1 more cup each of sugar, milk, and flour, and stir.
Now give away 2 cups of your starter to friends, along with this recipe. Use 1 cup in your bread, and begin the process of making the starter over with the remaining cup. Remember, do not refrigerate and do not use a metal bowl or spoon.
Continue on for the bread recipe.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the eggs, vanilla and oil into one cup of starter mix.
Step 2: In a another bowl, mix together the baking powder, salt, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, sugar, nuts and pudding mix.
Step 3: Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
Step 4: Put the dough into two greased 9×5 loaf pans dotted with a blend of sugar, cinnamon and flour.
Step 5: Bake at 325 degrees for an hour.
Amish Chicken Corn Soup
This is another delightful and warming recipe, perfect for a cold evening or if a child is sick at home. Hearty without being too heavy, it can serve as a first course or as a whole meal, depending on the serving size. So if you are looking for a number of Amish recipes for chicken, this one can work hand-in-hand with the casserole recipe included above.
2 pounds chicken, cut up
5 cups of water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups corn
Salt and pepper
1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
Step 1: Simmer chicken in boiling water. Remove bones and skin, and then strain the stock.
Step 2: Return chicken and stock to the pot and add onions, celery and corn. Simmer until vegetables are tender.
Step 3: Mix flour with eggs and milk. Rub mixture with a fork until the mixture crumbles. Add these crumbs to the soup, cooking for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish the soup with parsley to serve.
Shoo Fly Pie
Made from molasses, this pie is named after the sweet filling’s tendency to attract unwanted insects, thus requiring “shooing.” If ever there was a signature dessert within Amish Country, it is this. It is a distinct treat among the Amish and a staple among tourists visiting Amish country. But it is also a simple pie to make, so we think it’s a perfect complement to any family meal. Its flavors are especially appropriate during the autumn and winter months, so maybe try it as an alternative to traditional pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving.
This recipe calls for alternate layers of molasses mixture and crumb mixture, so make sure to keep the corresponding ingredients separate.
3⁄4 cup molasses, dark
3⁄4 cup water, brought to a boil
1⁄2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1⁄4 cup of butter OR shortening
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1 pastry dough, about 9 inches
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put the baking soda into the hot water and pour in the molasses.
Step 2: Mix flour and sugar and then add in the butter or shortening, rubbing to produce crumbs.
Step 3: Lay the pastry dough on a pie tin. Pour a third of the molasses mixture over the crust. Follow with a layer made of a third of the crumb mix. Keep alternating the layers, ensuring that the last layer is a crumb one.
Step 4: Bake for 35 minutes.
Cooking is Just One Part of the Amish Lifestyle
Hopefully you find these old Amish recipes to be as heartwarming and fulfilling as we do. We have found they’ve become wonderful additions to our treasured times spent with family and loved ones. They are the perfect reminder that sometimes, the best way to find joy is to slow down and take time to be thankful for the people who matter most.
But a few good recipes aren’t the end of the Amish lifestyle. Our hope is once you get a taste for Amish cooking, you’ll also come to realize that simple furniture made with the commitment to quality and craftsmanship, the hallmark of the Amish community, can be an integral part of your home and family as well.
Whether you are looking to replace your dining room table, dining room chairs, expand your dining storage, or even transform your entire dining room with a brand new dining room set, Amish furniture is the perfect complement to traditional Amish food recipes. Just like their food, the Amish furniture tradition is marked by quality materials made with care and a nod to the old ways.
If you want to help you family reconnect, slow down, and improve their quality of life, consider the Amish lifestyle. We’re not saying you should shut off your electricity or sell your car. But instead of driving to go out to eat, think about sharing a meal that you prepared together.
And maybe try unplugging the TV, just for one night. You’d be surprised how little you miss these so-called “essentials” of modern living. Because in the end, it’s the people in our lives that matter. Our husbands, our wives and our children are the ones who bring us real joy.
And remember, the Amish lifestyle isn’t hard. It’s just the opposite. It just takes a little bit of time and a little bit of planning. But simple ingredients prepared with love and served around a simple table express a richness that cannot be equaled.
If you want to continue to receive insights into living the Amish way, feel free to sign up for our newsletter. In it you will find tips for Amish living along with ways to save money on high-quality Amish furniture. So remember to keep checking back at AmishOutletStore.com for the latest news from our company and Amish country.