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Best Ever Potato Salad

By Kate Rowe, June 21, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Kate Rowe
This week in our series tracking down the “Best Ever” classic summer dishes (see Best Ever Pasta Salad and Best Ever Baked Beans) we’re focusing on potato salad. Ever wonder why potato salad is ubiquitous at summer gatherings? It can be made ahead of time, it travels well, it’s inexpensive to make, it’s easy to prepare a large batch for a crowd, and it goes well with all manner of grilled foods. So if the invitations to summer get-togethers are starting to roll in, what better time to make sure you know how to whip up a top-notch potato salad? Our recipe for The Best Basic Potato Salad is a great approach. One of our website visitors gives it the thumbs up. Jojoguerr wrote:
“I made this recipe yesterday and everyone in the family loved it. The great thing about it, besides the flavor, is that it is so easy to prepare. I recommend it!”
Here’s why we’re big fans of this basic potato salad:
  • Sour cream and mayonnaise combine to make a tangy, creamy base that goes well with potatoes.
  • Fresh herbs are a welcome addition to any salad. Try a mix of basil, parsley, thyme and/or dill.
  • Celery and onion add crunch and flavor, and lemon juice contributes brightness.
  • This recipe is ready for your own special twist. Once you’ve learned to make this one, try a few inspired touches--maybe curry powder, chopped hard-cooked eggs, black olives or roasted red peppers? For a mayo-and-mustard version, omit the lemon juice and add 2 tablespoons mustard and 1/3 cup chopped pickles.
We want to know: what’s your best ever recipe for potato salad? Share your recipes and suggestions for what makes a great potato salad in the comments below. Let’s see who has the best idea! Happy summer cooking!
Category: Food & Recipes




Rose says ...
I have experimented with most of these suggestions, and have enjoyed them. I recently tried adding a can of drained chunk light tuna, and I was amazed at how much it added umphfff.
06/22/2010 2:13:34 PM CDT
Don Odiorne says ...
This is a terrific recipe for potato salad. Here are some additional ones to check out: http://www.idahopotato.com/potato_salads?gclid=CLTw6MPltKICFRYBiQodhjpq7g
06/22/2010 5:57:50 PM CDT
OneFlewOver says ...
favorite additions: chopped hard boiled eggs and crispy bacon (cut well-chilled slab crosswise into 1" squares, toss into hot pan, stir constantly and drain often for evenly cooked well-done but not burnt bits; fold into paper towels to cool and hide from snatchers); add Silver Spring Beer 'n Brat horseradish mustard to taste to along with your mayo and/or sour cream. This recipe rocks for breakfast too!
06/23/2010 12:18:16 AM CDT
Erika - In Erika's Kitchen says ...
I'm trying this recipe next time - the last time I tried potato salad I overdressed it and no one ate it. Thanks for the great tips!
06/23/2010 10:08:37 AM CDT
chambleechick says ...
I always grate a little radish into my potato salad for a little kick
06/23/2010 11:50:26 AM CDT
Suzanne says ...
I make a potato salad with boiled potatoes that have been coated with olive oil with fresh herbs, salt and pepper thrown in. You can serve it cold or luke warm. It's delicious.
06/23/2010 1:35:22 PM CDT
Karen Ross says ...
Much like my favorite, but I add the greens of green onions, dill pickles diced, and pickle juice to the dressing.
06/23/2010 2:02:02 PM CDT
Marina says ...
Eating mine right now! org Red potatoes 365 light mayo 365 mustard finely diced by hand (not food processor) org celery, org red onion, org green onion 365 sweet relish salt, pepper, paprika, dry mustard, dash of season all YUM!!
06/23/2010 2:07:09 PM CDT
cooking4carnivores says ...
Summer means certain things in the South - muggy nights with lightin' bugs glittering the yard, hydrangeas and azaleas dotting the landscape with bursts of color, and lots of excuses to get together with all your friends and family to eat. And, there are certain things you can expect to see on the disposable dixie plates (who has time to dishes in this pretty weather) of any southerner this time of year - fried green tomatoes, blackberry cobbler, or fresh corn soaked in butter. But, at every get together you will find one thing - potato salad. i like mine with lots of dill! and sour cream instead of mayo or mustard. recipe here - http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2009/05/southern-summer-staple.html
06/23/2010 2:48:19 PM CDT
Nancybbc says ...
This is a fabulous recipe; however, I always use small red potatoes, boil them 20 min. or until done, and add fresh oregano, or dried if I don't have any fresh.
06/23/2010 5:30:56 PM CDT
Georgia Cruz says ...
My best potato salad is made with a dressing blend of Best Foods mayo, some sour cream, bit of honey, bit of Ranch salad dressing, mix all together and add to hot, cooked diced potato's. Next, add peeled celery slices, pickle relish, black olives, cooked and peeled diced carrots, chopped hard-boiled aggs, a few thin-sliced red radish, a few sliced green olives, and a dash of paprika for topping. Make sure the potato salad is creamy and not dry by adding more mayonaise if necesssary.
06/23/2010 6:30:33 PM CDT
Lisa Neasbitt says ...
David's Potato Salad 1.Fry 1 lb of thick sliced bacon. Drain. Crumble. Reserve grease. 2.Boil 2-3 lbs of small red potatoes, skin on, with 4 whole eggs. Drain. Cool. 3.Mix together about 1 cup of mayo, the reserved bacon grease, a small amount of apple cider vinegar, some pickle juice from bread and butter pickles, and a tiny amount of mustard (any kind) or ground mustard seed if desired. 4.Peel and chop eggs, add to mixture. 5.Add crumbled bacon. 6.Add fresh chopped dill. 7.Chop bread and butter pickles and purple and green tops from green onion. Add to salad. 8.Add sliced black olives. 9.Cut up potatoes in desired size and add to mixture. Add fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste. 10.Toss and eat warm. Very good the second day cold. I have won many bbq contests in Texas with this potato salad! I never measure anything, I just add for the taste of the people that will eat it, for example if no one cares for black olives, I add green olives; dill for bread and butter pickles, etc. I fry the purple onion in the bacon grease if I am someplace I can do this. Sometimes I add lemon or lime zest if I have it on hand. I add small cherry tomatoes from my dads garden if they have come in. I have even been known to throw in leftover roasted corn, a cucumber I had on hand, or some roasted leftover zuchinni. I top with whole fresh dill sprigs.
06/23/2010 8:10:18 PM CDT
Beth Lewis says ...
I haven't tried this potato salad but I make a monster one myself. I use miracle whip, sour cream, dill weed, rosemary,garlic powder, fresh ground pepper. Mix together ahead of time and let the flavors marry. Cook red skin potatoes and eggs,mix together and add either black olives and/or tomatoes on top. I have been making this potato salad for 20 years now and have passed the recipe down to many, many people. When we have pot lucks that is the first thing people want me to make. Goes great with any kind of meat, not just as a picnic side or bbq side.
06/25/2010 5:46:17 AM CDT
Andree says ...
My favourite recipe comes from Josee Di Stasio who has her own cooking show in Montreal and has published 2 cookbooks so far (http://www.amazon.ca/di-stasio-Josee-Di-Stasio/dp/0973835591/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277758994&sr=1-1) She is obsessed with aragula (rocket) and made me love it. Her warm potato salad is truly amazing and my last version of it was astounding. The kind of potato you will use for your potato salad will always make a huge difference with the end result and although I usually choose small red potatoes (cooked whole and still a bit firm), which are quite tricky to cook for a salad (they can get pretty mushy if you don't watch your cooking time), I used fingerling potatoes last time and this improved my recipe by another notch. Here is the original recipe - note that I never quite measure anything so you must follow your instincts or go to taste: * 1 1/4 lbs small potatoes (approx.; I would favour fingerling) * 1 tsp lemon zest (I put 2 to 3 times that) * 1 tbs lemon juice (I add this item last, to taste) * 1 tbs Meaux mustard (also known as old-fashioned; NEVER EVER use regular yellow mustard for this as you would spoil your salad and add a little less if you use Dijon mustard but do favour Meaux mustard if you can) * salt & pepper (lots of fresh ground pepper as it goes oh so well on potatoes! And if you haven't yet converted to fleur de sel or sea salt, this would be a great opportunity to switch! Table salt has been banned from my house for years) * 1/4 cup olive oil (to desired texture & taste; remember that extra virgin olive oil is good for you!) * 1 bunch of chives, dill or green onion chopped (I put chives AND dill) * Chopped radish or fennel for crunch (I favour fennel for it's amazing taste and I put a whole bulb) * 1 bunch of watercress or aragula (rocket) to be used as a "bed" for your salad (although I love watercress, I've never used it in this salad and I love aragula so much I mix a lot of it in the salad. Favour baby aragula if you can, otherwise chop it in bite size if you want to mix it in. Mix all ingredients as soon as the potatoes are cooked. Put them shortly in cold water if ever you need to cut the potatoes first (you should always cook your potatoes whole so favour smaller potatoes) Serve warm as it is at its best, but cold is very good as well Enjoy!
06/28/2010 4:54:51 PM CDT
Don Odiorne says ...
Nice picture and recipe for potato salad. Here are some more suggestions: http://idahopotato.com/potato_salads?gclid=CJS3x_SKxKICFQMTawodllvB3A
06/28/2010 8:41:08 PM CDT
Marilyn says ...
I would add celery and radishes but yours sounds great. i also like the suggestion of bacon. But it's the herbs that make it wonderful.
06/29/2010 8:41:48 PM CDT
Nancy says ...
I saute the diced onions, celery, carrots and red peppers together and then add it to the potato salad.
06/30/2010 9:31:18 AM CDT
Ellen says ...
My best potato salad recipe is to cook red skinned potatoes whole, until tender. Cool them slightly, then peel off the skins. (I'd leave them on, but my son hates the skins) Then I break them apart in a bowl, add a little sugar, salt, pepper, and a squirt of mustard, then bind it up with mayo, just enough to hold it together. Chill then serve. I never have left over.
06/30/2010 10:47:05 AM CDT
Nicole says ...
I never liked potato salad because I have always hated raw celery and onions, and I'm not a big fan of mustard on my potatoes, either. It seemed every potato salad I ever tried had all of these in it. So I whipped up my own version recently for a family gathering- boiled and slightly smashed new potatoes with sour cream, chives, chopped bacon, garlic, butter, salt and pepper. Everyone loved it and the bowl was empty in no time! My "baked potato salad" will be one of my summer staples from now on.
06/30/2010 12:48:05 PM CDT
Juliette Miranda says ...
I dislike mushy potatoes in my potato salad, so I solved this by roasting the potatoes first, along with a head of garlic. Once cooled, I toss the potatoes with the roasted garlic and a combo of mayo and whole grain mustard. I sprinkle fresh parsley on top for some color. Super tasty!
06/30/2010 1:03:04 PM CDT
seanymph says ...
This one has oil and vinegar and is great for picnics because you dont have to worry about mayo spoilage. It was my Mother in laws recipe. http://mermaidstreasures.blogspot.com/2007/08/italian-potato-salad.html
06/30/2010 1:16:06 PM CDT
Lynn says ...
This is similar to your above suggestions. I got this from a popular southern magazine last summer: Herbed Potato Salad Prep: 15 min., Cook: 25 min., Cool: 30 min., Chill: 1 hr. Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup, not including garnishes) 2 pounds red potatoes, cubed 1 (14-oz.) can fat-free chicken broth 1 garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon salt Garnishes: fresh dill sprig, chopped toasted pecans Bring first 3 ingredients and 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool 30 minutes. Whisk together yogurt and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Gently fold potatoes into yogurt mixture. Cover and chill 1 to 12 hours. Garnish, if desired. Nutritional Information Calories: 274 Fat: 10.4g (sat 1.6g,mono 5.3g,poly 1.3g) Protein: 7.7g Carbohydrate: 40.7g Fiber: 3.9g Cholesterol: 3.3mg Iron: 1.9mg Sodium: 702mg Calcium: 71mg
06/30/2010 2:03:35 PM CDT
Lynn says ...
Another great recipe: Cajun Potato Salad 3 lbs. red potatoes 1 – 1 ½ cups mayonnaise 3 – 4 T Creole or spicy brown mustard 6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped 1 c bacon bits (fresh or bac-o’s) Liquid crab boil to taste Wash and cut potatoes. In a large pot add potatoes, water to cover, salt, and liquid crab boil. (The more you add the spicier it will be.) Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, cover and let soak for at least one hour. Drain and add remaining ingredients. Serve warm or cold. Note: I am not a fan of boiled eggs, so I substitute chopped celery for eggs.
06/30/2010 2:15:20 PM CDT
Cristina says ...
My favorite is with either Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes (not mixed),cooked until done and then cooled until warm and sprinkled with red-wine vinegar, salt and pepper, lots of fresh finely chopped French Tarragon and drizzled with Spanish olive oil.I sometimes add bacon bits for fun and serve at room temp.
06/30/2010 6:35:33 PM CDT
Laura says ...
The most important key to excellent, creamy potato salad is to make sure a vinegar-based dressing is added to and gently stirred into the diced potatoes while still hot or very warm. After the marinade has had at least ten minutes on the potatoes, stir in the hard boiled eggs and then the rest of the ingredients.
07/01/2010 7:36:50 AM CDT