Favorite Potato Salad

This recipe is that classic, down-home American salad, from the mustard to the dill pickle. Here are all the tricks to how to make potato salad.

Favorite Potato Salad

Looking for a classic, all-American potato salad for entertaining this summer? This potato salad recipe is all about the grill, flip flops, and hot summer evenings sipping frosé. It’s like the one you had at picnics growing up, or a better-tasting version of the one at your grocery store deli. Basically, it’s as classic as can be! I love all sorts of creative potato salads, like French potato salad and herb potato salad with Greek yogurt…but there’s something to about the classic that really hits it home for me! There are a few “secrets” to getting this classic flavor: here’s all about how to make potato salad.

Related: Dairy-Free Recipes | Creamy Coleslaw | Seasoned Potato Wedges

How to make potato salad

How to make potato salad

There are a few secrets to making the classic salad that tastes like a million bucks, from the mustard to the dill pickle. Here’s how to make potato salad:

  1. Choose your potatoes. If you want the most classic potato salad texture, go for Yukon gold. This variety has a lovely soft texture and easily soaks up the sauce. Or, if you’re a fan of red skinned potatoes, you can use them and leave the skin on for a color contrast.
  2. Place the potatoes in a pot with cold water and boil. The best way to get an even cook time when boiling potatoes is to place them a pot of cold water and bring it to a boil. It will take about 10 minutes to boil the water, then boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix the warm potatoes with vinegar and salt. Here’s the important part: mix the warm potatoes with vinegar and salt and let them sit for 10 minutes. This is what helps to “set” the tangy flavor into the potatoes.
  4. Stir in the mayo, mustard, pickles, scallions and celery. The best classic potato salad? It has sauce of mayo and mustard, and minced dill pickles, scallions and celery for some crunch. Here we’ve used just enough mayo to get it creamy, but much less than the standard recipe.

Put all these principles into action, and you’ve got one tasty, classic potato salad that’s begging for barbecues and potlucks.

How long to boil potatoes for potato salad

How long to boil potatoes for potato salad

It’s a hard question, because of the way we do it. We’ve tried all sorts of methods for boiling, but we’ve found to be most consistent is to place the diced potatoes into a pot with cold water, then bring it to a boil. The other side of the coin would be dropping the potatoes into a pot of boiling water. Doing it that way gets a less even boil, and there’s a risk for splashing boiling water.

Using the “potatoes in cold water” method, you’ll place the potatoes in the water and bring it to a boil. Then you’ll boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes. If you’re looking at just the boil time, the answer to the question of how long to boil potatoes for potato salad is 10 minutes. But if you factor in the time it takes to bring the cold water with the potatoes to boiling, that takes about 10 minutes in itself. So the overall time is about 20 minutes, depending on your stovetop and how much water you add.

Can you freeze potato salad?

Because it’s made with mayo, freezing potato salad is not recommended. Mayo doesn’t freeze well and can separate after freezing, and the potatoes can become discolored. Celery also doesn’t freeze well. The best way to extend the life of potato salad is keeping it in the refrigerator.

How long does potato salad last?

Potato salad can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days. If you’re leaving it out at a potluck or a buffet table, it’s recommended to only leave out for 2 hours. Then pop it into a sealed container and store refrigerated.

Can you freeze potato salad? How long does potato salad last?

Looking for easy potluck recipes?

Outside of this classic potato salad, here are a few more easy potluck recipes:

Looking for more salad recipes?

And here are a few more of our favorite salads:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free. For vegan and plant-based, use vegan mayo.

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How to make potato salad

How to Make Potato Salad


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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x

Description

This recipe is that classic, down-home American salad, from the mustard to the dill pickle. Here are all the tricks to how to make potato salad.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold or red potatoes, about 6 medium large
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 large celery stalks (about 1 1/4 cup sliced)
  • 5 green onions (about 1/2 cup sliced)
  • 1/2 cup minced dill pickles (about 2 large spears)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (vegan mayo, if desired)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Dice the potatoes, keeping the skins on. Place them in a large saucepan filled with cold water. Bring it to a boil and cook for 10 minutes until tender when pricked with a fork. Drain and rinse the potatoes under cold water. If using Yukon gold potatoes, slip off the skins with your fingers (you can leave on the skin for red-skinned potatoes). 
  2. Place the potatoes into a bowl and sprinkle with the white wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Gently mix and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice the celery stalks in half lengthwise, then thinly slice them. Thinly slice the green onions. Mince the dill pickles.
  4. In the bowl with the potatoes, mix in the mayonnaise, mustard, celery, green onions, pickles, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Potato Salad, How to make potato salad, How long to boil potatoes for potato salad, Can you freeze potato salad, How long does potato salad last

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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