Classic Potato Salad
Updated Feb 02, 2024
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.
Potato salad is the ultimate summer salad recipe. It’s simultaneously creamy, crunchy and fresh (which is why we always go back for seconds).
This easy, classic potato salad recipe is just like my mom used to make. In fact it’s her recipe, that I’ve lovingly adopted and have been making for more than 20 years. Believe me when I say, it’s the BEST potato salad recipe you’ll ever taste!
There’s nothing like potato salad to conjure up happy childhood memories of sunny summer days. It’s the quintessential recipe for outdoor parties, potlucks and barbecues and perfect to serve alongside heartier mains like my Barbecue Ribs with Spiced Rum Pineapple Sauce, Beef Brisket and Honey Mustard Chicken.
Many people have a family favorite recipe that’s been passed down generation after generation and that’s wonderful. But let me tell you why I think my mom’s recipe is the best.
First, it’s not mushy. Many potato salad recipes actually resemble mashed potatoes. But that’s a little too soft for my liking. I think potato salad should have texture, crunch and a chunky consistency.
Second, it’s not watery. It’s creamy without being soupy. And that’s because there’s the right amount of dressing for the right type of potatoes.
Lastly, it’s not a bowl of monochromatic beige and yellow. This potato salad recipe is a delicious combination of red potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, celery, radishes, spring onions, dill and mayonnaise. Loads of color and tons of fabulous flavor.
How to Make Potato Salad (Step-by-Step)
Now that you know why I think this is the best potato salad recipe, let me tell how easy it is to make:
- Boil the potatoes. After boiling the potatoes for 20 minutes, puncture with a fork to make sure they’re done. If you over cook the potatoes, they will make your salad mushy.
- Boil the eggs. To ensure the eggs are hard-boiled through, you’ll cook them for 12-14 minutes. Read my post on how to cook perfect hard boiled eggs. Place them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. When they are cool enough to touch, peel off the shells.
- Place the potatoes in the fridge. See my tip below on why you need to cool your potatoes completely before making the salad.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. In a large bowl combine the celery, spring onions, radishes, mayonnaise and dill.
- Mix in potatoes and eggs. Once the potatoes and eggs have cooled, add them to your mayonnaise mixture and combine until fully coated.
- Salt and pepper to taste!
PRO TIP: Make sure your potatoes and hard-boiled eggs are fully cooled before making potato salad. It’s important to place your potatoes in the refrigerator after you have cooked and drained them from the water. This will help stop the cooking process. Also, the hot potatoes will melt the mayonnaise if you mix them together too quickly. And nobody wants hot melted potato salad!
Which Potatoes To Use
This potato salad calls for red or white new potatoes. But you could also use Yukon Gold potatoes. I used red potatoes because I just love the color that comes through in the mixture. These types of potatoes are creamy, lower in starch and hold together well after cooking. And the skin is so soft that you don’t have to peel them.
Do not use russet potatoes, as they are more starchy and will fall apart in your salad. Save those russet potatoes for my Carne Asada Fries.
Should You Cut Potatoes Before or After Boiling?
I prefer to boil my potatoes whole, then chill in the fridge and cut them after they’ve cooled. It’s easy to slice through the potatoes and I feel they’re slightly less waterlogged this way.
If you prefer to slice and cube your potatoes first, just remember to reduce the boil time to about 12-15 minutes.
Can You Make Potato Salad the Day Before?
Yes! It’s an excellent idea to make potato salad the day before. Or what I do, at a minimum, is prepare the potatoes and hard-boiled eggs the day before, that way everything is ready to be mixed the day of a party. Saves time too!
How Many Days Does Potato Salad Last?
As long as your potato salad wasn’t sitting out during a party or BBQ for hours then it should last 3-4 days in the fridge.
More Delicious Sides to Serve at a Party
- Chicken Salad
- Chimichurri Potato Salad or German Potato Salad
- Egg Salad or Avocado Egg Salad
- Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad
- Berry Spinach Salad
- Easy Cucumber Salad
- Greek Salad
The BEST Potato Salad Recipe
- Boil the potatoes. Fill a large pot with water. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Salt the water, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until a fork inserts easily with a little resistance.
- Make hard boiled eggs. Fill another pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low (so that there's no bubbles breaking the surface) and use a skimmer to gently add the eggs. Cook the eggs for 12 to 14 minutes, then place in an ice water bath to immediately stop their cooking.
- Cool and chill. Once the potatoes have finished cooking, drain the water. Fill the pot with cold water to cool the potatoes down, then drain again. Place both the eggs and potatoes in the refrigerator to cool completely.
- Dice the potatoes and eggs. Once your potatoes and eggs are fully cooled, peel the eggs, and then dice both the potatoes and eggs into 1-inch sized pieces.
- Stir it all together. Add the diced potatoes and eggs to a large mixing bowl along with the mayonnaise, celery, radishes, green onion, dill, salt, and pepper. Stir gently until well combined. Serve the potato salad immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
Recipe originally posted May 2015, but updated to include new information, photos and video.