How to make the Best Potato Salad Recipe – Made with hard-boiled eggs, dill pickles, onions, and celery in a creamy mayo dressing, it’s the perfect side dish for all your summer BBQs, potlucks, and cookouts. This easy recipe is extra flavorful and so delicious!
Potato salad is an American classic. I mean, no summer is truly complete without at least one outdoor food-focused gathering that includes old-fashioned potato salad – right? Yes, I am right. With this in mind, I’m sharing this classic potato salad recipe with you guys today. It’s super easy to make – anyone can do it!
How to Make the Best Potato Salad
My favorite potato salad is pretty simple. Made with tender, boiled potatoes, a couple of simple veggies, and extra mayo dressing, I consider it the best and hope you do too.
The recipe starts by combining the ingredients for the mayo-based dressing and mixing it with the “simple veggies” – here, we’re adding diced onion, celery, and pickles. Next, we boil the potatoes until tender, drain them, and season them with a little splash of vinegar. Then cool for about 10 minutes before combining them (and the hard-boiled eggs) with the mayo dressing.
So easy, yes? Let’s learn more about it below.
Potato Salad Ingredients
To make this easy potato salad, you’ll need the following:
- Mayonnaise (or a combination of mayo, Greek yogurt, Miracle whip, or sour cream)
- Yellow mustard (or Dijon mustard or a combination)
- Dried dill
- Salt and black pepper
- Pickles (sweet pickles, dill pickles, or even pickle relish)
- Onion (yellow, white, or green onion)
- Potatoes (see below)
- Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- Hard-boiled eggs
What are the Best Potatoes for Potato Salad
When making potato salad, it’s best to use potatoes that hold their shape well and don’t fall apart when boiled. Read more about the different types of potatoes.
- Yukon Gold: These potatoes have a buttery texture and a slightly sweet flavor. They hold their shape well when boiled and have a creamy consistency that works well with a mayonnaise-based dressing.
- Red Potatoes: These potatoes are popular due to their vibrant color and firm texture. They have a slightly sweet flavor and hold their shape well when boiled.
- Fingerling Potatoes: These potatoes are long and thin, with a waxy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. They hold their shape well when boiled and add a unique texture to potato salad.
- New Potatoes: These are young potatoes harvested before reaching full maturity. They have thin skin and a creamy texture. They also have a slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with a mayonnaise-based dressing.
Can I Use Russet Potatoes to Make Potato Salad?
Russet potatoes are high in starch and tend to fall apart when boiled, which can result in a mushy salad. However, you can still use them with a few modifications.
To prevent them from falling apart, it’s important not to overcook them. Boil them until they are tender but firm (al dente), and then immediately drain and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. You can also try cutting the potatoes into larger chunks to help them hold their shape.
Learn more: Waxy vs. Starchy Potatoes: Which One to Use?
How to Cook Potatoes for Potato Salad
The easiest way to cook potatoes for potato salad is to boil them – although steaming is another great option. Here are a couple of helpful tips for boiling potatoes:
- Cut the potatoes so that they are the same size – This ensures that all potato chunks cook at the same rate.
- Start the potatoes in cold water – For even cooking, cover the potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer.
- Or, cook the potatoes whole with the skin on – Cooking the potatoes whole will take longer, but if this is how you’ve always cooked your potatoes for potato salad, don’t let me sway you.
How Long to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad?
Cooking time will vary depending on the size and type of potatoes used, but the 1-inch chunks of potatoes used in this recipe took approximately 15 minutes to boil.
How Long Does Potato Salad Last
In general, homemade potato salad can last for 3-5 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Keep in mind that potato salad and other perishable foods, especially those containing mayonnaise and other dairy products (i.e., coleslaw, egg salad, or macaroni salad), should not be left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. If the temperature is greater than 90°F (32°C), the time should be reduced to one hour.
Can I Freeze Potato Salad
While it’s possible, I don’t recommend it. When thawed, the potatoes can become mealy and lose their original texture. Additionally, mayonnaise-based dressings can separate and become watery when frozen and thawed, resulting in a less flavorful potato salad.
- Add a splash of vinegar to the warm potatoes for better flavor: The vinegar is often added to the mayo dressing, but adding it directly to the steamy potatoes adds an independent, flavorful, tangy layer.
- Allow the potatoes to cool before mixing them with the mayo dressing: Potatoes will continue to sweat moisture as they cool. This moisture will ultimately end up in your salad.
- Modify with yummy additions: Feel free to add other ingredients, such as bacon, red bell peppers, fresh dill, chives or other fresh herbs, green onion, or crushed red pepper. You can even add a little sour cream or miracle whip (about a half cup) to the dressing.
- Refrigerate before serving: Allow at least 30 minutes to an hour for the flavors to meld (blend) together. Even better, prepare it the night before and let it refrigerate overnight.
Recipes to Serve with Potato Salad
Headed to a BBQ or cookout? This potato salad is a great place to start. For more, try serving it with-
- Pulled Pork
- Easy Grilled Veggie Skewers
- Carne Asada
- Citrus Chicken Marinade Recipe
- The Best Greek Chicken Marinade
- Salmon Sliders with Garlic Lemon Aioli
- Crab Salad Recipe
- German Potato Salad
If you try making this Potato Salad Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Easy Creamy Potato Salad Recipe
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon salt - plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ cup pickles - diced
- ½ cup celery - diced
- ½ cup yellow onion, red onion, or green onion - diced
- 3 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes - or Russet Potatoes (see notes), peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar - or white vinegar
- 3 hard-boiled eggs - peeled and diced
- Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large bowl. Add the pickles, celery, and onion, mixing well to combine. Set aside.
- Add the pickles, celery, and onion, mixing well. Set aside.
- Peel the potatoes, if desired, and cut them into ½ inch chunks (see notes). Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cook the potatoes for 10-12 minutes or until fork tender (if you are using Russet potatoes, avoid over-cooking your potatoes).
- Drain the potatoes in a large colander and gently mix them with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Set the potatoes aside to cool for approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Finally, transfer the eggs and potatoes to the prepared mayo dressing. Mix well until everything is evenly coated.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer the bowl to the refrigerator for at least 30-60 minutes. This will allow the flavors to blend and the mayo dressing to permeate the cooked potatoes.
- Garnish with freshly minced parsley and ground black pepper if desired.
- Waxy potatoes (Yukon gold or red potatoes) are most commonly used to make potato salad. They are less starchy and thus less “fluffy” than Russet potatoes, allowing them to hold their shape even after cooking. Waxy potatoes also absorb less water as they boil, helping to prevent a soggy, watery salad.
- I peeled and chopped my potatoes before boiling them. Feel free to boil your potatoes whole with the skin on, if preferred.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)