Perfect Potato Salad Article -
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Perfect Potato Salad

A picnic, barbeque, or potluck is just not complete without a big bowl of potato salad.

Potato salads come in one of two categories: creamy or vinegar-based. Once you understand a few basics, you'll be ready to create your own famous recipe!

Creamy potato salads almost always have a mayonnaise-based dressing but can also include sour cream, yogurt, and creamy-style salad dressings. Creamy potato salads are served cold.

Vinegar-based potato salads (frequently called German-style potato salad) are dressed with a mixture of cider vinegar, vegetable oil, and sugar. This style of salad is often served warm.

Pick a Potato

Don't overlook the most essential part of your potato salad: the spuds!

Among the best varieties for potato salad are Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, and red potatoes. Their high moisture content will give them a more pleasant texture when cold, and their waxier flesh holds up better to chopping and to tossing with dressing than drier, more mealy potatoes, like Russets.

If you wish to add a little extra color and texture to your salad, leave the skins on. Just be sure to scrub them thoroughly before you begin; "gritty" is one texture that nobody likes! Once you've either scrubbed or peeled your potatoes, cut them into bite-size chunks, place them in a pot, and cover them with water. Bring them to a boil, then generously salt the water. Reduce the heat if necessary to keep the pot at a gentle boil.

Depending on your definition of "bite-size," the potatoes will take between 8 and 15 minutes to cook. As soon as they're tender enough to bite through easily, drain them. Remember that the potatoes will continue cooking a little bit even after they've been drained.

If you're making a hot potato salad to be served immediately, have your dressing ready and standing by. Otherwise, spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet in a single layer to cool. This is a good time to add some seasonings, since potatoes are at their most absorbent when they're still hot. Add salt, pepper, dried herbs, and a sprinkle of your favorite vinegar.

When the potatoes are no longer steaming, transfer them to the refrigerator to chill.

Mixing the Salad

While your potatoes cool, mix the rest of the salad ingredients together.

Some people prefer the simple route, with just a few additions; others like as many extras as they can pack into the bowl while still leaving room for the taters!

Whether you're making creamy or vinegary potato salad, some favorite choices for seasoning the dressing are cider vinegar, lemon juice, pickle juice, horseradish, paprika, hot pepper sauce, dried and fresh herbs, and any variety of prepared mustard from plain yellow to stone-ground or Dijon-style to extra spicy.

Dill, chives, and parsley are especially good partners with potato salad, but some other potato-friendly herbs are sage, tarragon, basil, thyme, and rosemary.

Apart from herbs and spices, there are many other delicious additions:

  • Tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, bell peppers of any color, pickles, capers, chiles, peas, celery, red onions, green onions, shallots, olives, fennel, pimentos, watercress, and artichoke hearts
  • Crumbled cheeses including Gorgonzola, blue cheese, smoked cheddar, or feta
  • Toasted nuts and seeds, especially sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, or pecans
  • Tidbits of cooked or cured meats like salami, ham, prosciutto, smoked salmon, shrimp, chicken, or bacon
  • And, of course, hard-cooked eggs

Once you've chosen your ingredients, mix everything together well, and take a taste. Need more salt? Vinegar? Spice? Adjust seasonings before you start tossing the dressing with the potatoes; the less you stir, the prettier your salad will look. And remember, the potatoes are much blander than the dressing; a spoonful of strong-tasting dressing may be just right once it's mixed with the potatoes. Also, the flavors will intensify with time. If you can manage it, make your potato salad a day ahead to achieve optimum flavor.

Jun. 21, 2009 3:40 pm
I found this info very helpful.
Jun. 22, 2009 1:14 am
Fantastic, just what i needed.Thanks
Jun. 23, 2009 5:08 pm
when I make potato salad I bake the potatoes in the microwave instead of boiling them and then cut them into them up after they cool down.
Jun. 25, 2009 9:10 am
i'm glad i read this artictle because i found more things i can put in my potato salad
Jun. 27, 2009 1:18 pm
why does my potato salad get watery after a day? I always steam my potatoes so they don't absorb water, this makes me crazy!!!
Jun. 28, 2009 10:33 am
Jun. 28, 2009 10:44 am
Jun. 30, 2009 9:06 pm
I would love your potato salad recipe!
Jul. 1, 2009 11:48 am
very helpful, and i also usually make a batch of macaroni salad along with potato salad...same dressing. Italian dressing mixed with mayo makes a good base for dressing on red potatoes.
Jul. 8, 2009 6:37 pm
Thank you for sharing your recipe with us. I'll will certainly try to use this recipe for my next guests.
Jul. 8, 2009 7:14 pm
Thank you for the potato primer. I was looking for information on cooking the spuds to perfection for the salad. OK, here I go, wish me luck.
Gourmet GUY 
Jul. 9, 2009 6:45 am
I always bake my potatoes whole and unpeeled in a loosely covered pan. Never boil except for mashed. This concentrates the flavor of the potato and allows the marinade or sauce that is added to be absorbed by the potato cubes - rather than excess water leaching out of the potato and diluting the dressing.
Jul. 16, 2009 11:44 am
Does anyone use Miracle Whip instead of Mayo or would that throw off the flavors? I never have mayo on hand, so I've never made potato salad, but I was asked to take some to a gathering this weekend so I'm trying to get some ideas on what's best.
Jul. 18, 2009 8:27 am
I most always use Miracle Whip, I think it's just what you are used to. Alot of people prefer mayo, but MW has a little zip that my family likes!
Jul. 19, 2009 6:35 am
i used this recipe for my outdoor party in june 09, it is now the talk of town
Jul. 27, 2009 5:54 am
That zip is what we're used to also! Thanks Sheryl.
Aug. 5, 2009 1:33 am
Great aeticle. I hate when potato salad contains overcooked potatoes. I sometimes turn the heat off after boiling has gone one for about 10 minutes. However, the cooking process takes longer and you have to keep checking until you have the doneness you want.
Aug. 6, 2009 6:24 am
Why do my cooked potatoes go blackish while cooling in the fridge?
Aug. 11, 2009 6:07 pm
I use red skinned potatoes ,and make sure i do not over cook them.Instead of mayonaise or miracle whip ,iuse plain yogurt with finely chopped celery ,red onion pimentos a bit parsley pinch of salt and pinch of black pepper.
Aug. 13, 2009 8:48 am
After reading all the posts and gleaning all the knowledge I can, one thing sticks out in my mind. I love bacon with my pot. salad, and not putting it in until the end to keep it cruncy is a great idea.
Aug. 15, 2009 11:45 pm
I boil my potatoes and sometimes they get mushy when I'm putting all the ingredients together. A hint my sis gave me is to cook my potatoes the night before and cool in the refrigerator. The next day when you mix your other ingredients, your potatoes are nice and firm.
Aug. 18, 2009 4:11 pm
Thanks, very helpful & informative. Just what I needed.
Aug. 22, 2009 6:48 am
Very helpful, Thanks!
Sep. 2, 2009 3:18 pm
Thanks for this very helpful information. I usually make a potato salad with Miracle Whip & mustard adding boiled eggs, pimentos,dill relish & S/P. For my macaroni salad I use Miracle Whip, diced ham & cubed yellow cheese with S/P.
Sep. 17, 2009 9:13 am
recipe for potato salad MYP
Sep. 18, 2009 9:30 am
Excellent information,thanks.Linda
Sep. 27, 2009 5:17 am
I cheat a bit - boil my taters and eggs together, and drain, cover with cold water (keeps taters from becomming dark and stops cooking process) - sometimes will proceed with recipe, other times put taters & eggs in cold water in the fridge until ready to finish recipe. When camping, I cheat further - using canned diced pototoes - recipe turns out very well and a bit less effort!
Donna Jean 
Oct. 5, 2009 3:13 pm
My husband likes to add a little bit of Ranch dressing and is generous with the dill weed. I like to add celery seed to the water when I'm boiling the spuds. When I drain the spuds I lose some of the seed, but that's okay. I just wanted the flavor.
Paula Stewart 
Oct. 22, 2009 12:21 pm
When I make potato salad I also bake the potatos in the microwave. The potatos stay firm and soak up the dressing very well. I also add apple Cider to the potatos while they are still warm and before other ingrediences and dressing.
Nov. 6, 2009 6:36 pm
For my potato salad,i always peel cut and dice my potatos then boil,watch closely don't over cook drain let cool completely. never had mushy potato salad.Thanks for all the differant variations,will definitely try some of them.
Nov. 9, 2009 6:09 pm
My daughter is anaphylactic to eggs and nuts so I use veggienaise (an egg-free maynaise). So, for those of you with allergies or vegans, this is what you need. Also, a little pickle juice (instead of bland vinegar) and mustard w/the veggienaise added w/ several diff. veggies makes a wonderful potato salad.
Nov. 13, 2009 2:18 pm
I make mashed potato salad. I have had so many raves over it. Just mash your potatoes like you would for eating, except put salad mixings in it. I use Marzetti's Cole Slaw Dressing instead of Mayo or Miracle Whip. Some times, when I get ready to serve it, I crush Potato Chips on top. If you make it a bit on the thin side, it can be used as a dip for chips or whatever. I use the Cole Slaw Dressing for my Macaroni salad as well.
Nov. 19, 2009 1:08 am
These comments have really educated me on the many varieties of potato salads. I really appreciate all the information given. Wonderful tips, many of which I plan to try. I usually make potato salad to go with my Thanksgiving dinner. There's nothing better that chicken or turkey dressing with potato salad the morning after Thanksgiving. I just gotta have it lol!!
Nov. 20, 2009 2:53 am
I always use a little lemon juice sprinkled on the hot potatoes. This seems to add not a strong flavor but just the right amount of zing and it also keeps the potatoes really nice and white. I also make hot and cold potato salad. For the hot, use green onions and finely chopped crisp bacon. I sprinkle grated cheese on top of the heated bowl of salad just before serving. It is good hot and just as good if you refrigerate it and serve it cold. My family like it hot for the first serving and second day, cold. I use the lemon juice on both kinds of salad. Hot or cold.
Nov. 20, 2009 8:47 am
I cut my potatoes into large bite size, then boil gently with plenty of salt. Drain, put back in pot on low stove to dry. While warm, add oil, vinegar, celery, onion. Allow to cool, then chill. Then add other goodies (seeds, bacon, etc.). Toss w/mayo. Great flavor, but you don't need an abundance of mayonnaise. Use also for macaroni salad but add a bit of sugar and lemon juice.
Nov. 24, 2009 7:23 pm
I love reading everyone's potato salad receipes. Mine has a splash of bacon grease,along w/crispy bacon, eggs, diced celery, red onions/red-skinned potatoes and a mixture of half Miracle Whip/half Hellmann's mayo. I salt and pepper to taste, eat it hot, or let cool and enjoy it the same day or marinated overnite, is even better, if you can stand to wait that long!! Everyone loves my American Potato Salad!! Enjoy
Dec. 3, 2009 12:06 pm
I have my own rec. for tator salad, i learnt from my dad and g'ma there personal ways. and then added my own, and you got the best family rec. there is on earth... my secret, is for every 10 tators use 1 to 1 1/2 cup mayo, about a 3/4 cup yellow mustard and add the rest with milk. to make it about 2 cups. mix well and there is ur dressing. i also use johnny's seasoning and pepper, instead of just salt, and bread and butter pickles, and a tad of pickle juice.
Dec. 21, 2009 8:07 pm
Gee Thanks just what I need to know before having to make a very large portion of potato salad for xmas!
Jan. 2, 2010 7:40 pm
I make almost the same types of salads, but like someone else said, my salad tends to get watery. I thought maybe it is the vegs that I use sometimes...I like fresh cucumber in the salad, onion, eggs, celery, shredded carrots (for color),and sometimes I add green and red peppers chopped finely. I have begun to drain the cut vegs on paper towel to try and eliminate the wateriness later on. I also use half mayo and half salad dressing.
Carina A. 
Jan. 22, 2010 10:40 am
I added apples and egg whites after boiling them. Great taste and crunchyness.
Jan. 27, 2010 10:49 am
Ya got to stop freeking people out. Hommade mayo is really as safe as bought. We use all those acidy things that keep it all "Safe". Also only 1 in 2000 egs has salminila. The best thing a person can do to avoid problems is keep your hands and everything else clean when preparing it! I am very offended when I go to a meal happening and my spud salad gets plunked into ice before I get through the door and everything else can sit around for hours without a care.
Jan. 30, 2010 6:37 am
After removing the last sweet pickle, I have about 1 1/2 quarts of pickle juice left. I know I can use it to make a type of pickled beets, and I've used it in some vinaigrettes. Does anyone have more ideas so I can justify saving all of it? ;)
Feb. 6, 2010 9:25 am
I always put 8oz. of cream cheese in my potato salad
Feb. 12, 2010 7:37 pm
BQMOTHER...I wish I lived next door to you! I'm always trying to bum other's sweet pickle juice since I use mine up making both potato salad and pasta salads. My husband's favorite dressing is mayo, pickle juice, cider vinegar, salt, pepper. I mix the celery and onions in the dressing and then mix it all in with the spuds and a lot of hard-boiled eggs...the more eggs the better. Everyone likes my salads!
Feb. 26, 2010 8:38 pm
Mar. 6, 2010 12:18 am
how much mayo for 2 russets
Mar. 6, 2010 6:26 am
I ALWAYS use miricle whip as a base. Also I mix the dressing in while the potatoes are hot they absorb more of the flavor and you get more than chunks of potato in sauce. I also [very] low boil potatoes whole and slow. Red have the best texture.
Mar. 19, 2010 9:14 pm
has anyone ever added chopped radishes to there potato salad? it is something my mom always did so i do and my family all love it. also use hellmans and sour cream along with mustard eggs and green onions and sometimes will add bacon bits used for tossed salads very good and plenty of compliments.
Mar. 27, 2010 6:44 am
Yep I sure do, I put in radishes sometimes with cucumber (spoon out the seeds and dice fine) with eggs,celery,onions,green pepper (all diced). Then I mix the Mayo with sour cream and toss.
Apr. 1, 2010 9:25 pm
I like to add a small diced apple to my Potato Salad. (BQMother: Save your pickle juice and use it to add flavour to the water when and if you boil veges.)
Apr. 7, 2010 9:29 am
When I make my rue, I always use 1/2 Mayo, 1/2 Sour Cream and then add Durkee's Dressing to taste, which gives it a fabulous flavor. You can then add onions, celery, eggs... whatever you want.
Apr. 11, 2010 3:11 pm
TY so much- this info was really helpful and useful to me!AND I made the best potato salad ever today because of it! My husband and kids thank you too, lol.
Apr. 17, 2010 11:10 am
I only make cold potato salads and add 1 tin drained whole kernel corn in it and it is sooo delicious but would like to try a hot potato salad some time. The Feta cheese sounds so interesting though but never tried it in a Potato Salad. Should it be used when making hot or cold potato salads? Anyone ever tried it?
Mary Christ 
Apr. 20, 2010 6:28 am
This is so much fun, I love reading everyone's suggestions. I do think that potato salad is one of those things that everyone has their favorite, I got a lot of new ideas that I am going to try, thanks. My mom said the key to good potato salad is to salt and pepper them when they are hot; she was absolutely right, I have forgotten to do this and it was sorely missed.
Apr. 20, 2010 6:41 pm
My mother-in-law makes her potato salad like a mix between German and Creamy. When the potatoes are still hot, she lets them soak up some "juice" that is made from oil and vinegar and spices-kind of like a strong vinaigrette. Then, she lets the potatoes cool and adds a creamy dressing. It is really good and keeps those russet potatoes from drying out!
May 10, 2010 10:37 am
I've had many different styles of potato salad and came up with a variation that folks seem to love. I bake my potatoes, with skins, in oven til fork tender. Then as they cool I peel, cut up in bite sized pieces and pour generous amount of catalina dressing on the cut potatoes. I marinate over night, then add my veges (celery, onion, carrots, green pepper, etc) and mix Old Bay seasoning in with my Miracle whip dressing and add a touch of dijon mustard for snap. This is delicious!
May 19, 2010 4:58 am
My potato salad is a southwest version. I add minced jalapeno's, chopped cilantro and coriander, If you like mexican food you'll love this type of salad.
May 21, 2010 3:39 pm
BonnieM: This is the first time I have seen Catalina dressing used since my Mother and Aunt Gert used their homemade French(red)dressing on the warm potatoes.Lots of fond memories and tastes. The dressing gets a pretty pink hue and always used Miracle Whip. There should be some great summer picnics with great salads. ENJOY!
May 31, 2010 2:25 pm
OMG! I always ended up with more of a "mashed potato" salad... mix the sauce first!!! Duh! Thanks for that info!!!!
Jun. 1, 2010 10:43 am
There are alot of great ideas here! Try this sometime. My suggestion is to use rice vinegar,miracle whip,a drip of sesame seed oil,bit of mustard and honey w/cucumber,celery,green onion and shredded carrot added to your cooked,cooled/cubed red potatoes w/skins. of course s & p Before serving add crunchies on top(like crispy noodles or onions) This is a twist to the same ole thing. Fun!
Jun. 2, 2010 7:44 pm
This is great advice - my only complaint is I couldn't figure out how to add this to my recipe box and I'm afraid i'll never find it again. Help! I'm a newbie!
Jane DB 
Jun. 9, 2010 3:22 pm
My Dad was famous for his potato salad and I learned all his secrets. Boil the potatoes whole in lots of salted water. Peel or not - I like the peels and I use yukon golds. We make huge batches. To five lbs. of potatoes, I use a dozen eggs, a whole package of celery, lots of mayo and some dill weed. Cut up the potatoes and then cover with the mayo until, the potatoes cool. Don't mix while the potatoes are warm or you'll get potato mush. When the potatoes are cool, peel the eggs and slice them. It's easier to peel them if you plunge them in very cold water when they are hot and keeping renewing the cold water as it warms. I quarter the eggs vertically and then slice one horizontally. Slice the celery in fairly large slices - about 1/8 ". Stir in the eggs and celery, salt and fresh-ground pepper - both coarsely ground. Add more mayo if you need it. Bit enough for a party or a large family. My Dad made his in a old washtub and kept it in the 2nd fridge in the garage. It's
Jane DB 
Jun. 9, 2010 3:25 pm
My husband's family makes an Italian potato salad Boil potatoes in water with salt and whole garlic cloves. Drain the potatoes and cut up. Add lightly cooked green beans. Dress with olive oil and a good-tasting vinegar, salt and pepper. It's the only kind of vinegary potato salad I like
Jun. 19, 2010 5:15 pm
I always use salad dressing as opposed to mayo because of the tartness. My potato salad is always a rave. Capers and radishes are a;so a charm.
Jun. 22, 2010 7:13 pm
You didn't mention radishes...I put them in and also celery seed instead of watery celery...
Jun. 24, 2010 8:40 pm
This is a very informative page.I read a lot of ideas. My only one to add is to put 5-6 slices of bite sized pepperoni and salami in with the bacon.Fry everything until it is crispy and browned.Sprinkle on top with some shredded cheddar.
Jun. 24, 2010 8:41 pm
This is for Potato salad or Macaroni Salad.
Jul. 3, 2010 2:39 pm
I am so thankful for all the tips, especially the one to make a day ahead for optimal flavor.
Jul. 5, 2010 1:50 pm
We add celery, green olives with pimentos chopped finely, radishes sliced, cucumbers, grated onion and cooked eggs finely chopped. Then mix your seasonings to your mayo before adding to the potatoes. Make sure it has a nice zing to it.
Jul. 8, 2010 10:35 am
This was really helpful! I tried my first experiment recipe (with soem of my favorite ingredients) and it turned out delicious. I chopped and diced the potatoes and boiled them in salted water and then drained when just cooked. while still warm I sprinkled lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper to 'marianate' the potatoes while i prepared the rest of the ingredients. This is what I added, it was REAL HIT! boiled Chicken (from whole chicken) Boiled eggs Corn, thinly sliced celery and cucumber (with seeds spooned out) Shredded Parmasan For the dressing I used mayo, squeezed lemon, olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper, tarragon and paprika.
Jul. 10, 2010 5:55 pm
This is wonderful, I had no idea that there was much more to add to potatoe salad, I do how ever always add some very crumbly bacon to mine.
Jul. 17, 2010 4:32 pm
It is so important to mix the seasonings when the potatoes are warm, although it is hard to skin and cut them up while they are hot. I use a little oil and vinegar, salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of sugar to mix with the warm cut up potatoes and let that soak in before adding the mayonaise. For Kerriporter - one thing that will make your potato salad watery is if someone has tasted the potato salad and then put the fork that they used to put into the potato salad again. If I see my potate salad get watery I know that someone has been eating out of the bowl. The saliva breaks down the salad as it does when you eat it. For the Miracle Whip person - it is not the same- use real Mayonaise.
Jul. 24, 2010 12:09 pm
I love to leave the skins on red potatoes in a salad, but so often the skins just slide off. What am I doing wrong? I'm careful not to overcook.
Jul. 29, 2010 11:54 am
My mother always used Miracle Whip and so do I. I like the tartiness of it. Why use mayo and then put in mustard and vinegar(isn't that defeating the purpose of using mayo?)
Aug. 1, 2010 9:01 pm
I had no idea making potato salad was so indepth. I have been making it for years for the family from an old recipe from my Aunt in Nova Scotia. No complaints.
Aug. 11, 2010 2:05 pm
I use both Mayo & Miracle Whip. For every 3 tablespoons of mayo I use one of miracle whip. It gives a nice zest to the salad.
Aug. 18, 2010 9:59 am
I have a "key" for boiling perfect potatoes for potato salad; it's (10-10-10). First scrub your red potatoes good and put into a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil; boil for 10 minutes; then remove from the burner and let set for 10 minutes. Then drain off water, remove the skins from potatoes and place on a plate for 10 minutes before putting into refrig. Don't cover them in the refrig. until they're completely cooled. Great tip and works every time.
Sep. 5, 2010 8:30 am
Thanks for all the great comments, will have to try some of the suggestions. Instead of pickle relish I like to use Claussens Sweet Butter Chips pickles that I then chop up. We are a house divided on the Miracle Whip/ mayo front...I suppose that it really IS all about what you have grown up with...and since I grew up with mayo...and I am the cook...mayo wins here. To me it is not just a flavor thing, but a TEXTURE thing too. Oh, and we always add bacon grease to the salad too; not healthy, but good.
Sep. 23, 2010 3:26 pm
I didn't know that Russet were not the best potatoes--good to know which to use for moisture. Love all the possible variations.
Sep. 27, 2010 2:13 pm
I always use Russet potatoes and cook them in the microwave.Once cool enough to handle,I take off the skins and chop them into bite size pieces and put into a large bowl, salt and pepper them,and set them aside.Then I make the dressing:In a medium bowl,I put mayo,yellow mustard,fine grated yellow onion(I scrape the onion juice from the cutting board into the mixture).Then I add finely chopped celery and chopped boiled eggs.I mix it up well and put it into the fridge for a few hours,stirring it a few times.Then I add it to the potatoes,mix well and taste it to see if it could use more salt and pepper.The grated onion seems to give it a nice flavor without being too strong,and microwaving the potatoes somehow gives the salad a mellow almost nutty flavor.My family loves it this way.
Oct. 3, 2010 10:09 am
After the potatoes and eggs are cooked, I always remove the yokes, and mash with mayo, dill relish, seasonings and a dab of mustard. This makes the 'dressing' for the potato salad!
Chef Chandra 
Oct. 7, 2010 10:24 pm
Down here in Louisiana we do lots of crab and crawfish boils with potatoes, corn, whole onions and whole garlic. I used the left overs minus the corn for potato salad the next day by adding some mayo and celery. Wow! What a hit!!!
Oct. 14, 2010 3:31 pm
OnyxMoon, Next time we have a crab/crawdad boil I will add extra potatoes to use for potato salad! The taters from the boils taste soo good because they pick up the flavors from everything in the pot. I can just imagine how good that would make a tater salad!! Lucy, my whole family boils our potatoes whole with the skin on and we've never had a problem with mushy or soggy potatoes no matter what type of potato we use. Nice to know others used the same technique for perfect boiled taters~
Oct. 16, 2010 11:16 am
The first time I had tasted patato salad was many years ago in USA and I loved it ever since. That salad had mayo, selery, onions and green peppers. I've been making that salad for years and everybody loved. I always boil my patatoes after I cut them, in very little water, just enough for the boiling. I think this way you don't wash away useful vitamins. After they are ready, I drain the very little water that has been left and immediately I pour extra virgin olive oil over and give a gentle mix. This way the patatoes absorb the oil well. Then after they cool down a little I add the rest of ingredients.I don't like mayo any more, olive oil is so much healthier and better tasting. Thank you for your article,I found it very helpful with many good ideas.
Oct. 22, 2010 11:57 am
One day I was feeling lazy, but wanted to make some potato salad. Too make a long story short - I opened a few cans of diced potatoes. I was half expecting it to not be so good. I was pleasantly surprised that it was great! I didn't tell my husband what I did, so when I tell him after the meal was over he said he thought it tasted different. I think he didn't notice anything LOL! For the dressing I use Miracle Whip, a splash of cider vinegar, and a good sprinkle of sugar. Mix that up & add a splash of milk & a teaspoon or two of celery seed. Just like Mom used to make.
Oct. 22, 2010 11:59 am
Rats! I forgot to say the boiled eggs! Sheesh! I put as many chopped up eggs as the number of potatoes I use - about 8 or so usually.
Oct. 26, 2010 9:57 am
Thank you for all the info--Didn't know what kind of potatos were the best to use.
Dec. 3, 2010 2:03 pm
murdock please send me your potato salad recipe ..... many thanks to you all for your suggestions and help ... MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!!! FROM MARIE IN CANADA
Dec. 23, 2010 10:16 pm
Thank you! It gave me ideas to change my recipe around a little. This was very helpful.
Jan. 29, 2011 4:22 pm
Your Potato Salad" becoming "watery" in a short time after you've used and/or stored it could possibly be from "too much dressing" put in to the recipe. Potatoes and the other ingredients have a great way of absorbing moisture. Depends on what you use for the dressing.
Jan. 29, 2011 4:27 pm
Jo Mama: Your "Red Potato" skins might be coming off much easier then with the Russet or Idaho. The skins are much "thinner" and don't hold to the meat of the potato as well.
Mar. 6, 2011 1:44 pm
I have been told I should patent my potatoe salad...I use new potatoes, eggs, radishes, green onions and celery seed to taste..also always both Hellmans and Miracle whip...
elisa a 
Mar. 21, 2011 11:27 am
looking forward to trying these tips soon.
Mar. 21, 2011 3:50 pm
add a little white vinegar to your water while your potatoes are cooking, they will be almost impossible too over cook.
Carrie Fox 
Apr. 4, 2011 7:35 am
Please if you have the answer send it along- what causes potato salad to get watery after a day? I use a mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream, some vinegar and initially the salad is good; the next day there is liquid in the bottom of the bowl? Thanks
Julie M. 
May 5, 2011 5:26 am
Ladies, you haven't lived until you try Marzetti's Slaw Dressing for your potato and macaroni salads. It is perfectly seasoned, so all you have to add are the eggs and veggies. I tasted this at a shower 50 years ago, and have used nothing else since! I have to make a whole lot of it because everybody wants to take some home. Try it. You won't be sorry.
May 16, 2011 6:35 am
To Carrie Fox: It depends on what type of potatoes your using and how long you cook them. Potatoes are very easy to overcook. Most people don't realize when they do it. A post above mentioned chilling the potatoes under cold water to stop the cooking process. It's a good idea. Although many people cook them whole, depending on the size, it's better to at least quarter them. More than 1-2" thick and you'll get overcooked exterior and undercooked interior. You'll usually see a line in the potato when you cut it. I like to make my salad with both russets and reds. I also use 3 types of onions(red, vidalia, and white), which I lightly saute before adding to the salad. Watch how much vinegar you add also. If you put too much, the potatoes won't be able to absorb it all and it will separate once the salad sits. Sour cream naturally separates also, check out the container after it's set a couple a days without being handled. Overall, your looking at a lot of liquid being mixed with a plant th
May 16, 2011 2:10 pm
I go another route and roast diced red potatoes in a gill seasoning to cook them. It goes well with a "baked potato" potato salad. I add scallions, bacon, and smoked cheddar.
May 16, 2011 2:33 pm
I've eaten a lot of German Salad in my life and I've never had one that used vegetable oil and didn't have crumbled bacon. I'm sure this way is better for you but bacon and bacon grease add a whole big flavor I'm afraid I would miss.
May 17, 2011 2:00 am
I like when my potatoes break up a bit so I first pierce the skin and then boil them whole until they fall off a knife when inserted. some of them break in the boiling water. rinse in ice cold water, then peel and gently cube. they're the last thing to go in with the dressing and when carefully mixed. it has a nice array of chunks, squares and thickly creamed.
May 18, 2011 6:32 am
I never thought about baking my potatoes. I'm going to try this next time I make it. Thanks for all the tips. I LOVE THIS SITE!!!!!!
May 22, 2011 5:41 am
May 24, 2011 7:26 am
i always boil my taters w/ skin on, peel after cooled, gives them a different flavor. a great alternative is whole canned potatoes,just bring to boil then cool and cut to desired size
May 24, 2011 7:28 am
and i also use miracle whip, no mayonnaise in this house :)
May 27, 2011 5:38 pm
I have enjoyed all the wonderful information, with all the different type of ingd. that can be used in potatoe salad can't wait to try something new this Holiday weekend . Thank You
Jun. 3, 2011 10:15 pm
very helpful suggestions
Jun. 5, 2011 8:50 am
Just the tips I was looking for! What would I do without allrecipes?! I love this place!
Jun. 10, 2011 2:27 pm
wow! there are so many ideas here I can't wait to try them!!
Jun. 19, 2011 5:03 am
I loved reading all the variations! Thought I would share mine too!! I use hellmans mayo, a little cider vinegar, yellow mustard, sugar, salt pepper. Mix all this together. I don't ever measure anything when I cook. I mix to taste. I then add the cooked, cooled potato chunks, eggs diced, bacon crumbled, chopped green onions and celery! That is it!! Making the night before is best! Slice eggs place decoratively on top and sprinkle with paprika!! This is a hit every time I make it and my family begs for me to make it for all summer cook-out gatherings!! Enjoy!!
Jun. 22, 2011 9:49 pm
Though I grew up with the traditional miracle whip, a little mustard, eggs, sweet pickles recipe which I always loved, a friend recently gave me a delicious potato salad recipe that has quickly become my favorite! (and tastes nothing like the one I grew up with)(sorry mom). This new recipe has Yukon Gold potatoes, mayo, gorgonzola cheese, green onions, fresh parsley, and crumbled bacon. Wow!!! It tastes delicious warm or cold! It tastes a bit like a loaded baked potato. I love it!
Jun. 25, 2011 8:31 pm
I'm having problems preparing potatoes for potatoe salad. I've always boiled my potatoes (I use new potatoes)so they can be easily pricked with a fork. When done, I drain them and place them in the "frig" for awhile to cool. Then I peel and dice them into a bowl and add the rest of my favorite ingredients. Lately the center portion is quite wet; in fact today, the whole potatoe seemed damp. Can some one give me some hints as to what's wrong?
Jun. 29, 2011 11:54 am
I am looking for a recipe for a yellow & sweet tasting potato salad that I remember @ fish fries when we were younger. The ladies that always made it have passed & didn't leave a recipe that I know about. Help anyone?
Jun. 29, 2011 5:31 pm
This information was very helpful. I haven't made potato salad in years.I now have to make it for 40 guest. I loved all the different ideas.
Cathy B. 
Jun. 30, 2011 4:30 pm
Does anyone know if I use light mayo/miracle whip, will my salad come out okay?
Jul. 1, 2011 4:40 pm
I use "Hellmann's Light" all the time. Works for me!
Jul. 3, 2011 1:06 am
I have been retired for 20 years, so as a cook, I also retired. so instead of doing everything from scratch, I cheat a lot. I always used canned potatoes for my potato salad. I also like to add canned green beans & dill to all the regular things like celery & onion & eggs.
linda woodley 
Jul. 7, 2011 6:39 am
i see most recipes calls for salt. i found out that salt makes the potao salad runny. so i wonder why so many call for salt. it breaks down the mayo. just letting people know what i have found out. i tried to find out why my potao salad would get runny, by the next day, watery.
Jul. 14, 2011 11:31 am
Does anyone know how far in advance I can cook the potaoes? I have a party on Sunday, was thinking of cooking the potatoes Friday. I would add the dressing the day of.
Jul. 17, 2011 4:00 pm
Adding a little wine vinegar or in my case, Dill pickle juice, to the WARM POTATOES makes all the difference. Also salting the diced veggies(onion,celery in a colander for 20 minutes pulls out some of their liquid and keeps the salad drier.
Jul. 20, 2011 3:20 pm
I have also had luck adding flavored mustard and hot sauce for a kick.
Jul. 28, 2011 3:02 am
I really disagree with much of what you have said. You have missed the most important piece about making potato salad, whether it is hot or cold. You must add some acid, either vinegar, lemon juice, vermouth, etc. and salt and pepper while the potatoes are warm, and then whatever the dressing is immediately afterwards. The potatoes do not absorb flavor once they have cooled and the dressing just sits on the potatoes and the potatoes themselves have no flavor. This is typically why grocery store potato salad is so awful, as they dress the potatoes when they are cold.
Jul. 28, 2011 2:29 pm
A really neat appetizer for the summer is to take baby redskins, cut them in half and cook till done. Slice off a small piece so they sit flat, scoop out the inside and mix with your favorite salad ingredients. Then refill the shells. Mini-potato salads that are one-two bites. A bit of work, but a nice presentation. I also do a potato salad with balsamic/olive oil, blue cheese crumbles and chopped bacon. It gets raves!
Jul. 28, 2011 4:44 pm
If you want a different taste to your potatoe salad use sour cream with chives and bacon cooked/crumbled, miracle whip can also be used with half sour's a creamy salad and people go crazy over both!
Aug. 18, 2011 5:56 pm
I don't put vinegar in my potato salad but I do use Zesty Italian Dressing about 2 tablespoons for 5 large potatoes along with Miracle Whip and probably more eggs than I should. Always a hit wherever I take it.
Sep. 1, 2011 3:37 pm
My friend taught me how to make potato salad for a crowd with this recipe that is incredibly simple but so good -- I always get rave reviews for this potato salad. 10 lb bag of potatoes -- any kind 1 doz eggs 1 large sweet onion 1 green pepper 1 cup yellow mustard 2 jars mayonnaise(30 oz each) 3-4 tbsp celery seed 2-3 tbsp salt 1-2 tbsp pepper 1/4 c apple cider vinegar paprika parsley Wash potatoes and place in 2 large pots. Add 6 eggs to each pot. Add enough water to pots to cover potatoes and eggs. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender/al dente. While potatoes and eggs are cooking, cut onion and green pepper into quarters and place in food processor. Process onion and green pepper until very finely chopped -- almost liquified. Drain hot water from pots and fill with cold water. Rub skins off potatoes and peel eggs. Place peeled potatoes and eggs in a huge bowl(about 1.5 gallon).Pour in onion/green pepper mixture,add mustard, salt&pep
Sep. 4, 2011 12:47 pm
Most importantly, mince the celery and onions before or while boiling the potatoes. Then drain and dump the hot potatoes onto the celery and onions to soften them and release onion flavor. MUST ADD CELERY SEED!
Sep. 25, 2011 10:25 am
I am so happy that I found this!! I have been making it for about 50 years and this adds a whole world....
Oct. 22, 2011 2:54 pm
If you want some zest, add horseradish sauce to taste.
Oct. 24, 2011 4:39 pm
I hope Dixie1954 will come back and post her "healthy" Potato salad recipe. She turns her nose up at Mayo, MW, eggs etc. I'd like to see what ingredients she uses to prepare a healthy potato salad.
Oct. 27, 2011 1:01 pm
There Are Very Many Good Ingredients.I Like The Way You Have Layed It Out. Nicely Done Michelina
Nov. 5, 2011 10:07 am
I have found so many great ideas here! I never thought of putting the hot potatoes on a baking sheet and letting them cool! I also never mixed the ingredients and then added them to the cut up potatoes, simple, yet never thought of it!
Nov. 23, 2011 7:48 am
My wife was from WV and during the first year of our marriage,she introduced me to, what she called West Virginia Potato Salad. It is made from mashed potato's and is served warm. Recipe: 6-8 Large Potato's COOKED & MASHED 1 Cup Sugar/1 Med.Jar Sweet Pickles(diced)/5 Boiled Eggs/3 stalks Celery Chopped/Diced/1 Med. Onion Diced/1-1/2 Cups Miracle Whip/1 Cup Yellow Mustard/ MIX ALL TOGETHER - I did notice that she would add a little more mustard if she felt the taste wasn't quite right. She passed away in 1991 and I make this recipe for thanksgiving for my children
Dec. 24, 2011 4:38 am
As with other posts, my potato salad gets runny by the next day (I always make a large batch). I read somewhere the reason is tasting as we make it. Seems our saliva stays on the spoon we use over and over, tasting until the salad is just right. I was pretty dubious about this, but nothing else has worked, so tried washing and drying the spoon between each taste. The potato salad was as good the last day as it was the first...I'm a believer now!
Dec. 24, 2011 4:49 am
BTW, as I was reading older posts on this recipe, it was HERE! Thanks JIMMY I, Jul. 17, 2010 4:32 pm. for your comments on watery potato salad. No more runny potato salad in our house!
Jan. 3, 2012 3:39 pm
My potato salad is loved by many! I scrub, (peel if using russet-any other potato I leave skin on), chunky cube 'em, place in a pot of cold water, add a few eggs and bring it up to a boil. I stab at the potato chunks til the knife cuts through. Drain. Add more REAL mayo than I do yellow mustard, sweet relish, diced pimento, cracked pepper, paprika, salt, special blend of seasoning, toss it all, mash the eggs with a fork then sprinkle a little sugar and toss again- voila! :D
Jan. 13, 2012 5:46 pm
I always add radishes and celery seed instead of celery
Feb. 3, 2012 11:28 am
I started making my Mom's potato salad, and ended by combining several of my favorite elements of other peoples salad with hers-I think I have a winning combination:) I boil 10 large red scrubbed UNPEELED potatoes ( a 97 year old woman told me DON'T pierce the potatoes!!) Start in cold water-no salt boiling uncovered for 10 minutes-cover -remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain and cover with COLD water while you chop 2 stalks of celery 5-6 radishes, half a vidalia onion, 2 green onions, 2 dill pickles, and 2 bread and butter pickles; and 12 hard boiled eggs-peeled of course. Remove the potatoes from the water and rub the skins off and chop. The dressing is 3 parts Hellman's, 1 part any mustard you like (I like stone ground and yellow mixed), bread and butter pickle juice, and dill pickle juice--about 2tbls. each, and about a tbls. of sugar. Mix the dressing well- you will need at least 2 1/2 cups to cover all the salad. Now comes the 97 year olds' advice--place a layer of
Apr. 2, 2012 2:25 pm
i make potato salad with mashed potatos.Mash without milk let cool and add your eggs,grated carrot.radishes, celery, green onions. chopped dill pickles salt and pepper to your taste and sprinkle with paprika
May 13, 2012 5:22 pm
Here's a tip you might not know -- to chop shelled hard boiled eggs finely, use a pastry blender (hand held type of course :) I don't like big chunks of hard cooked egg-white in my potato salads or in egg salad sandwiches, so this way works well. Slice eggs in half first, then use pastry blender.
May 14, 2012 4:36 am
like Arthur replied I am shocked that a student able to earn $9035 in four weeks on the internet. have you seen this web link
May 15, 2012 4:26 pm
The instructions above are sooooooooooo not necessary! My mother's potato salad recipe,in my opinon, is the best! Yukon gold potatoes or red. Boil (1 potato for each person being served with skin on along with 2-3 eggs. Potatoes should boil about 15-20 minutes or until a knife can be inserted and there's no sensation of crunch (you can feel this when you insert a knife in a potato that hasn't cooked long enough). Remove the pot from the store and run cold water over the potatoes to until they are no longer able to warm the water. Let sit for about 30 minutes. The skins will come off easily. Half the potatoes and lenght wise and then half them lenthwise in the opposite side (you will have 4 wedges). Cut into chunks according you your preference. I prefer my chunks a little on the large side. Add salt, pepper and diced green pepper, onion, and celery (again, the quanitites are according to preference - some people are minimalist when it comes to potato salad!). Celery seed is only necess
May 18, 2012 1:30 pm
There are so many delicious ways to make potato salad! I just had to pipe in for a sec. to say I have used "Rice" instead of the potatoes! Use cold, firm, leftover white rice and mixed in the dressing gently. Celery, slivered carrot, sweet relish, mayo, mustard and eggs.. The original recipe was in an old "Taste of HOme" recipe magazine... Try it sometime! :)
May 20, 2012 11:45 am
I just submitted it here with some of my own changes if you want to try it look on my page.
May 20, 2012 5:44 pm
in the south we use mayo instead of mustard with a bit of onion and sweet pickle relish.
Jun. 14, 2012 1:39 pm
Getting the potatoes done exactly right is much more challenging at 7,000 ft. More like 40 minutes of boiling time (for whole potatoes). My mother, who was NOT much of a cook, made great potato salad. She added hard-boiled eggs, raw onions, celery, crunched bacon, and a goodly amount of bacon grease, and miracle whip and a touch of yellow mustard. I'm going to try the idea of cutting the potato into smaller size pieces to start with (and hope my mother forgives me). Thanks for all the fun ideas.
Jun. 18, 2012 10:20 am
I boil potatoes whole, peel when cooled and cut into cubes. I add a little bit of sweet pickle cubes, a bit of the pickle juice, hard cooked eggs, mayo (I prefer Hellman's real mayo), with a tablespoon or so of yellow spicy mustard mixed in along with the pickle juice. It is fantastic!!!
Jul. 21, 2012 9:25 am
I didn't read all the comments - there are 100s of them, but one thing I didn't see that I learned a long time ago is to steam your potatoes - not boil them - (similare to the post to bake them to reduce water content). I live in the south and it's way too hot to turn on the over in the summer!
Jul. 21, 2012 9:27 am
Also, instead of dill, add a little bit of chopped jalepeno or green chilis and cilantro for a change - goes great with bar-b-que!
Jul. 23, 2012 4:27 pm
Here is my mom's recipe. Loved by all. Peel and boil potatos whole. Let cool completely or overnight. Cut in bite sized pieces when cold. Add CAINS mayo until moist. Also add KENS italian salad dressing until satisfied with flavor. Add Viniger, about 4 tbls. Salt and Pepper, Add chopped celery, chopped onions and eggs. With this combination the potatos burst with flavor.
Aug. 3, 2012 1:08 am
Love 'tater salad, no matter how made. Grew up on this stuff. Use mayo (I prefer) or MW (wife choice) but sometimes dressing will turn runny after 2nd day (if big batch can last that long!). Any comments on cause of this? Thought it might have been reaction to chopped green onions, but doesn't always happen. Thanks.
Aug. 3, 2012 11:37 am
Great informative article. A lot of people make this more complicated than it needs to be.The only thing I found odd was that I've always used Mustard and Mayo to make potato salad and didn't realize that most people use one condiment or the other.
Aug. 3, 2012 11:47 am
My potato salad is very basic. I use red potatoes, hard boiled eggs, chopped celery, chopped olives, chopped red onion, salt, pepper and mayo. NO mustard or vinegar or whatever.
Aug. 3, 2012 11:55 am
OHOH i forgot the chopped up radishes. Don't overdo all the extras.
Dec. 24, 2012 9:51 am
Very helpful!I wish that I had read this article before I attempted to make ps using Russett potatoes. They turned to mush!
Mar. 21, 2013 10:50 pm
heres my yummy recipe..... first off all i use russet potatoes and they come out amazing.....i start off using ice cold water with lots of salt and malt vinegar i cut the potatoes into 4 slices and let them sit in the water for hours...... then i bring to a soon as its boiling...i simmer...while cooking i cut up sweet onions mix with salt let wilt...drain potatoes cut up while still hot pour lemon juice on them....vinegar....mix with onions....then make the dressing....mayo (store brand), salt n pepper, yellow mustard, sour cream, tarragon, oregano, scallions, water, white vinegar, celery. refrigerate ...... enjoy
May 17, 2013 4:33 pm
Potato salad is a favorite of my husband's and other family members. I have one potato salad recipe that, for whatever reason, has rave reviews year after year. I don't know why, but for whatever reason everyone LOVES it. I don't do anything special, but I do have an order of what ingredient goes in first. If anyone wishes to have it, let me know and I'll send it.
May 24, 2013 1:55 pm
One thing I always do after my potatoes are cooked and drained is sprinkle them with bottled italian dressing. I do this while they are still warm. Gives the potato salad an extra good flavor after all the rest is added.
megan kalu 
Jul. 13, 2013 10:21 am
I added "Potato Salad Tips" on here for pre-preparation for potatoes. My g/mother's quick tip. Boil potatoes in 1/2 c. salted water for 25-30 minutes with skins on, strain and let them dry and cool for 15 min., put them in freezer bags and that's it. When you're ready to use, leave out for 15 min. to thaw, then easy peel (or leave peels on), cut, & make your potato salad. The secret is the salt. It keeps in the freshness and you don't get that discoloration by leaving & freezing with skins on. They stay fresh for 3 months.
Jul. 19, 2013 12:15 pm
Great tips. I just wanted to suggest one of my mom's ingredients when making the dressing was instead of vinegar, she would use the same amount of sweet pickle juice. Her salads were always delicious and the hit of the party and could be used also with macaroni salad too!
Jul. 22, 2013 6:22 pm
Loved this , Gave me all the info I needed to create ! : )
Jul. 24, 2014 4:28 pm
My spouse loves my potato salad. Once the potatoes are boiled and cooled, I mix with whipped dressing, salt, pepper, green onions and onion tops, radishes and red peppers. I use the same ingredients for macaroni salad as well. Once in the bowl then I sprinkle the top with a little bit of paprika.
Oct. 10, 2014 12:42 pm
the culprit that turns potato salad (or other similar dishes) watery is the use of mayo, sour cream or any bottled dressings, etc labeled "lite", light, low-fat, no fat. As to using mustard AND mayo, I find that a touch of mustard tweaks the flavor a bit but does not give a "mustardy" flavor.
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