The best potato salad recipe! This is our favorite classic potato salad with eggs, celery, onion, pickles and a creamy dressing.
Are you on the search for the best potato salad recipe? Potato salad is one of my favorite picnic foods, especially for spring and summer holidays like Memorial Day and 4th of July. Serve me a good potato salad and I will eat seconds and thirds. I've researched and tested a few methods for making the classic version and this is best of the best!
Every picnic and potluck needs potato salad, and I'm hugely disappointed if it's missing from the table. Many times I end up making it just so I know it will be part of the spread, and this recipe is hard to beat!
🧾 Grocery List
We use gold potatoes with a delicious creamy mayonnaise and mustard dressing.
Ingredients for potato salad recipe:
- Gold potatoes (2 lb)
- Eggs (4 large boiled)
- Sweet onion (half)
- Celery (2 stalks)
- Dill pickle (2 spears)
- Mayonnaise (1 cup)
- Mustard (2 teaspoons)
- Apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons)
- Celery seed (find in spice aisle)
- Salt & pepper
If you want to make the salad pretty in the bowl, grab some fresh dill and paprika for garnish. Totally optional.
Click here for full recipe ingredients and instructions.
🥔 Ingredient Substitutions
I love the recipe as written, but you can definitely make changes how you see fit for your own taste buds. Consider the following variations.
- Onion - I like sweet onions, but you can definitely use green onions or red onions instead.
- Vinegar - My heart belongs to cider vinegar, but red wine vinegar and white vinegar works, too!
- Mustard - For potato salad, yellow mustard is the classic American choice and lends to a prettier color, but if you are set on using Dijon mustard, go for it!
- Pickles - I prefer dill pickles, but you can use sweet. Some recipes call for relish, and you can use it here, but I like the crunch from the pickles.
- Mayonnaise - Some swear by mayo, others prefer Miracle Whip. I'm a mayo girl but you can definitely use Miracle Whip!
👩🏽🍳 How to Make Potato Salad From Scratch
There is a little bit of prep to making potato salad from scratch, like chopping ingredients and boiling potatoes, but even so this comes together very simply. I recommend preparing boiled eggs a day ahead so they are ready to be peeled and chopped. Maybe even go ahead and chop the celery, onions and pickles while the eggs are boiling so they're ready the day you make the potato salad, too!
Steps to make potato salad:
- Boil potatoes in large pot of water.
- Peel and cube potatoes.
- Mix warm potatoes with vinegar with salt and pepper.
- Chill 20 minutes.
- Combine mayonnaise, mustard, celery seed.
- Stir in celery, onions and pickles.
- Fold in potatoes and eggs.
- Serve immediately or chill several hours.
Click here for the full recipe ingredients and instructions.
Another time saver is to complete some of the steps while waiting for the potatoes to boil. Peel and chop the eggs at this time, and the other ingredients if you didn't previously.
💬 Your Questions Answered
What kind of potatoes are best?
The best potatoes are gold potatoes. Some will tell you red potatoes are best because they hold their shape better, but I like a little bit of "mash" in my potato salad. Do not use Russet potatoes unless that's your only choice, as they will be too mushy. New or baby potatoes don't do well in this recipe, either.
Should I cut potatoes before boiling them?
No. Do not peel or cut your potatoes before boiling or you may end up with waterlogged potatoes. You do not want watery potato salad, which is why I keep my potatoes sealed in their skins while boiling then peel and cut them after they've cooled a few minutes. The peel easily removes with just your fingers.
How far in advance can I make this?
This is best when it is made at least one day before -- and even better on day two! You can serve this potato salad right away, but I recommend allowing it to chill several hours first. It will last in the fridge for up to 1 week, but it tastes so good I doubt it'll last that long!
📋 Best Tips for Potato Salad
- Add vinegar mixture while potatoes are still warm. Instead of mixing the vinegar with the mayo dressing, I like to add the vinegar mixture to the potatoes while they are still warm and let it chill 20 minutes to enhance the zing. It's a noticeable difference that is worth the extra minor step.
- Rinse your knife periodically with warm water while cutting the boiled potatoes. This will reduce the amount of starch and be easier to continue cutting with less mashed taters.
- Let potatoes cool before adding the dressing. If you add the mayonnaise dressing to the potatoes while they are still warm, the mayo will become liquidy. This is yet another reason to not skip the 20 minute chilling step mentioned above!
- Make ahead. You can eat the potato salad right away, but the flavor is best the next day.
🥗 Other Picnic Salad Recipes
If you love this potato salad then you should check out these other salad recipes!
This recipe was originally published May 2020 and updated with optimized photos in March 2021.
Best Potato Salad Recipe
- 2 lb gold potatoes , scrubbed
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt , more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper , more to taste
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 stalks celery , diced
- 1/2 sweet onion , diced
- 2 spears dill pickle , finely chopped
- 4 large hard-boiled eggs , peeled and chopped
- fresh chopped dill
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, continue to cook until just fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain; slightly cool about 5-10 minutes. Peel the potatoes (optional) and cut into cubes. Place into a medium bowl; set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the warm cubed potatoes and gently mix. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard and celery seed. Stir in the celery, onions, and pickles until evenly coated. Add the cooled potatoes and the eggs; gently mix. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Optional: Garnish with dill and paprika.
- This potato salad can be eaten right away, but for best results, cover and refrigerate one day before serving. Keep covered in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Nutritional values are an estimate only based on the ingredients and brands I use.