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Potato Salad: the best-ever recipe for a beloved Southern side dish

Total time: 40 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist
small waxy potatoes, quartered
5 pounds
2 cups
cold sweet pickle relish
1 cup
Yellow Mustard
2 tbsp
Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp
celery seeds
1 tbsp
1/2 tsp
hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
4 to 5
celery stalks, diced
sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup
Fresh dill, chopped
1 tbsp
kosher salt and pepper to taste

If you're planning on hosting any picnics, barbecues, or potlucks this summer, you'll definitely want to make this easy creamy potato salad. Made with tender boiled potatoes, crunchy chopped celery, and hard-boiled eggs coated in a creamy mayonnaise-mustard-relish dressing, potato salad is a classic, hearty side dish that everyone will love.

It's a much-loved recipe from the American South that's just as tasty as German potato salad recipes. Potato salad is a mouthwatering, healthy side dish you can serve with just about anything. It's perfect for large gatherings where you need to feed a crowd – but don't be surprised if your potato salad disappears quickly!

What Are the Best Potatoes for Making Potato Salad?

Small, waxy thin-skinned potatoes are the gold standard for potato salads. This is thanks to the fact they hold their shape even after being boiled. Look for Yukon Gold, red potatoes, fingerling potatoes, or new potatoes (aka baby potatoes).


Potato Salad Ingredients

To make this gorgeous potato salad, you'll need several key ingredients.

First, you'll need small waxy potatoes. New potatoes, Yukon, or red potatoes all work well. Aim for about 0.4 pounds of potatoes per person.

Because it's one of the main ingredients, make sure you use good-quality mayonnaise. In the South, Duke's is a popular brand, but feel free to use your favorite.

Mustard, sweet pickle relish and apple cider vinegar will give the dressing a pleasant tanginess.

Dill, paprika, celery seeds, salt, and pepper are used to season and flavor the dressing.

For extra crunch, you'll mix in some chopped celery and sweet onions.

Finally, hard-boiled eggs help bulk up the salad, adding plenty of protein and flavor.

How to Make the Best Potato Salad

Making this delicious potato salad couldn't be easier, even if it's your first time. Start by gathering and prepping your ingredients. Now let's dive in!

Cooking the Potatoes for the Salad

To cook the potatoes, put them into a large pot and fill it with cold water. Season the water generously with salt, then bring it to a boil over high heat. Let the potatoes cook in boiling water for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until they're fork-tender.

Making the Potato Salad Dressing

While the potatoes are cooking, grab a bowl and whisk the mayonnaise, relish, mustard, apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, paprika, salt, and pepper until smooth. Set it off to the side.

Assembling the Potato Salad

Take your tender potatoes and drain off the water. Leave them for a few minutes, then peel the potatoes. You won't need the peels, so discard them. Cut the potatoes into small chunks, then put them in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and carefully stir to combine.

Once coated, mix the chopped dill, celery, eggs, and onion into the bowl. Season with extra salt and pepper, then garnish with a bit more dill and paprika. Cover the bowl in cling film and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours before serving. The longer you leave your potato salad, the tastier it will be!


Tips for Making the Best Potato Salad

Don't forget to salt the water when cooking the potatoes. It adds flavor without making the potatoes salty.

It's okay if the potatoes are a little mushy when they come out. Don't worry if they break apart when you're mixing them with the dressing.

Let the potatoes cool for a few minutes before peeling them, so you don't burn your hands.

To avoid a watery potato salad, cooking the potatoes in cold water that's been brought to a boil is key. Be sure to let them stand for a few minutes after they drain. Also, make sure you properly measure the other ingredients. Too much mayo or vinegar will result in a watery potato salad.

Making your potato salad a day or two in advance gives the flavors time to meld together, which means your potato salad will be even tastier than if you simply made it, chilled it, then served it.

What to Serve with Potato Salad

This fantastic potato salad is a perfect side dish to serve at parties, picnics, barbecues, and potlucks – any time you need to feed a big group. Serve it with hot dogs, grilled sausages, burgers, BBQ ribs, grilled veggies, corn on the cob, baked beans, and cornbread.

It's brilliant with steak, chicken, and pork, too! Serve this creamy potato salad with your favorite barbecue dishes – it's a match made in heaven!

Easy Creamy Potato Salad Variations

This recipe is naturally gluten and dairy-free, and you can make a vegan-friendly version by leaving out the hard-boiled eggs and swapping vegan mayo for regular mayonnaise.

For a smokier flavor, use smoked paprika instead of regular paprika. Crumble in some crispy cooked bacon for crunch and extra savory flavor.

Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, chives, and basil will help brighten up your potato salad, while some chopped peppers bring spice to the dish.

Chopped green onions or celery are great for some crunch. Cheese or sour cream would make welcome additions, too!

How to Store Potato Salad

Transfer your potato salad to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to one week.

Can You Freeze Potato Salad?

Unfortunately, this creamy potato salad doesn't freeze well. Freezing it would ruin the texture, and no one wants that! However, you can make it a few days in advance.

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Put the potatoes into a large pot. Fill with cold water and some salt, then bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water boils, cook the potatoes for 13 to 15 minutes, until tender.

Pour mayonnaise in a large bowl.

Add the relish.

Stir in the mustard.

Pour the apple cider vinegar.

Add paprika, celery seeds, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Mix and set aside.

Drain the potatoes. Discard the peels, and cut the potatoes into chunks about 1/2-inch in size.

Transfer the potatoes to a bowl, then pour in the dressing.

Gently stir to coat, then mix in the chopped celery.

Add onion.

Stir in the chopped hard-boiled eggs.

Add the dill. Adjust for salt and pepper, and garnish with additional dill and paprika.

Cover the bowl in cling film and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.


Make your potato salad up to three days in advance.

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