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Classic Potato Salad

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!

Potato salad in a white bowl.

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 potato salad 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.

Potato Salad Recipe (Quick Tutorial Video)

It’s easy to make this potato salad recipe, but it always helps to watch a quick step-by-step tutorial video. Give it a watch!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Place the potatoes in the fridge. See my tip below on why you need to cool your potatoes completely before making the salad.
  4. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. In a large bowl combine the celery, spring onions, radishes, mayonnaise and dill.
  5. Mix in potatoes and eggs. Once the potatoes and eggs have cooled, add them to your mayonnaise mixture and combine until fully coated.
  6. 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!

How to make potato salad with ingredients in a bowl.

Potato salad in a white bowl.

Best Types of Potatoes for Potato Salad

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.

Potato salad in a white bowl with a spoon.

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

Potato salad in a white bowl on a table with flatware next to it.
5 from 6 votes

The BEST Potato Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
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A classic potato salad recipe just like my mom used to make. It's easy to make, flavorful, creamy and  crunchy - that's why it's the best! Watch the video above and learn how to make it!

Ingredients

  • 7 red or white new potatoes, Yukon Gold also works
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 6 radishes, grated
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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 and slowly add the eggs. Cook the eggs for 12 – 14 minutes, then place in an ice water bath to immediately stop their cooking. For more tips, read my post on how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs
  • 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.
  • While your potatoes and eggs are cooling, prepare the celery, radishes, green onion and dill. Add the ingredients to a large bowl along with the mayonnaise.
  • Once your potatoes and eggs are fully cooled, peel the eggs and cube both the potatoes and eggs into 1-inch sized pieces. Add to your mixing bowl with the mayonnaise and vegetables. Stir gently until well combined. 
  • Serve the potato salad immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days. 

Lisa's Tips

  • To make this salad even healthier, I use my homemade mayonnaise recipe (as I can control the quality of oil and make sure there's no unnecessary ingredients).
  • This is my favorite skimmer for making hard boiled eggs as it's large and wide.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 211mg, Potassium: 550mg, Fiber: 3g, Vitamin A: 4.2%, Vitamin C: 18.2%, Calcium: 5.6%, Iron: 24.7%
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Potato Salad, How to Make Potato Salad, Potato Salad, potato salad recipe
©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.
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Recipe originally posted May 2015, but updated to include new information, photos and video. 

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32 comments on “Classic Potato Salad”

  1. I’m not a fan of celery, what substitute do you recommend? 

    Can’t wait to try it…looks delicious! 

  2. Radishes are full of water and so the potato salad will not keep well and will become watery.  I add radishes when I serve it in an amount to be consumed at that sitting.   I sometimes have also added some Italian dressing to the cubed potatoes while they cooling to boost the flavorand not added dill then.

    • I’ve made it for 20 years and have never had it go watery. :) I don’t think there’s enough radish in the recipe to cause any issues. But you can certainly add it to each plate individually as well.

  3. Love this recipe- thank you!!

  4. Our family has a similar recipe but we add a few (claussen) pickles cut relatively small. They add an awesome crunch dimension plus flavor. Just remember to cut the salt a bit if you’re going to try this!

  5. Can I add shrimp or lobster to this potato salad?

  6. I love your recipes and web site. I am wondering why you don’t have any vinegar or another acid to add great flavor and cut through the mayo? I thinks it’s also good for you right? Could I add some red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar?

    Thank you!

    Kristen Berry

  7. I love potato salad! Looks so delicious and would make such a great addition to any BBQ party!

  8. I love a good classic potato salad. Will let you know how it turns out. Making this for a gathering at my friends.

  9. This truly looks like one of the most delicious potato salads I’ve ever seen!! Must try the recipe!

  10. Every barbecue needs this!

  11. Nothing screams summer here like a good potato salad! This looks fantastic!

  12. I am sorry. I meant the video in YouTube has the wrong link

  13. Hi. Amazing recipe. Will surely try.

    I just wanted to point that the link in the video (for the recipe) takes you to a different recipe for salsa and not the potato salad.

  14. Hi Lisa – is the nutrition info listed for 10 servings? I’m planning on making this to go with some chicken, but if it’s that much per serving I might only need a half batch. Thanks!

    • Hi Lynn – yes, that’s per serving (with 10 servings). I did just notice a small error on the back-end though and fixed it, so the calorie count is slightly less. :)

  15. Questions: 1)Did you peel the potatoes before you boiled them? I couldn’t tell from the pictures and didn’t see it in the instructions. If I were to use red, I may not peel them. 2) If we don’t make our own mayo, is there one that you recommend? I’m from the South and usually use Duke’s Mayo because it doesn’t have any sugar and is pretty “clean”. Can’t wait to try! Looks yummy!

    • Hi Gaye – Because I used red potatoes in this recipe I didn’t peel them. You could also use “new potatoes” as well, but same thing, I wouldn’t peel them. I’ve never heard of Duke’s but when I’m in a pinch I usually use mayo from a brand called Primal Kitchen.

  16. Absolutely Delicious! Amazing recipe and taste absolutely fantastic!

    Rating: 5