This perfect Potato Salad is a famous family recipe. It’s simple, packed with flavor, and our most requested side for parties!
a famous family recipe
Another BBQ Side Dish we LOVE is Potato Salad, and the recipe we love best is one my mom came up with years ago. It’s creamy, delicious and easy to make.
What makes this potato salad recipe so special? We love how creamy and flavorful it is. The mixture of mayonnaise, a hint of yellow mustard, and the secret ingredient (pickle juice), make it so delicious.
How to Make Potato Salad
This homemade Potato Salad is very simple to throw together. It does take time to boil the eggs and potatoes, but they are easy steps that require little work. Once you have those cooked, the rest is easy!
POTATOES. Boil, drain and let the potatoes cool. Peel off skins and cube potatoes. It’s okay if they are soft or fall apart. Place in a large bowl.
- Note: I boil the potatoes whole. This is why it takes the russet potatoes about 40 minutes to cook. Smaller potatoes may need less time. You can tell if your potatoes are cooked when you can easily push a fork through the center.
EGGS. While potatoes are cooking, fill a medium pot with enough water to cover eggs and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Gently lower the eggs into the water using a strainer ladle. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, transfer eggs to an ice bath for 5 minutes, then peel and set aside.
CHOP. Cube eggs and add to bowl. Cut olives and desired number of pickles (we used 3) into small pieces and add those with the pickle juice to your bowl.
MIX. Add mayonnaise and mustard. Mix well (add more or less mayonnaise depending on what you like). Stir in salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
We like to make this the day before and let it refrigerate for 18 – 24 hours, but this step is not required.
Skip the mayo. If you’re not a fan of mayo, sub it out for sour cream or Greek yogurt. It will have a slightly different flavor, but is still delicious!
I love the classic ingredients in this potato salad. The simple flavors pair well with any of these favorite mix ins:
- Veggies: onions, sweet pickle relish, chopped celery stalks
- Fresh herbs: parsley, chives, basil, dill
- Paprika or thyme
- Bacon bits
- Dijon mustard
- Splash of vinegar or lemon juice
Boiling potatoes. If you’re new to boiling whole potatoes, the following tips can help you get the best results for this delicious salad:
- The potatoes. Choose potatoes that are brown and free of bruises, soft spots, and sprouts. Scrub with water.
- Boil whole. It may seem easier to peel and cube the potatoes before you boil them, but they will become too watery and crumbly. For the best texture, boil the potatoes whole.
- Cold water. I like to place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil (this takes about 10-15 minutes), then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered (25-30 minutes). This will help ensure an even cook throughout.
- Salt. Add extra flavor by salting the water.
- Cool the potatoes. Cool the potatoes faster and make them easier to peel by taking them out of the hot pot and placing them in a bowl of ice water.
Boiling eggs with potatoes. Did you know you can boil eggs and potatoes together? Place the potatoes on the bottom of the pot and the eggs on top. Be sure they are both completely covered with water.
Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat. Let the eggs cook for another 6-7 minutes before removing them from the water. The potatoes will continue to boil until tender.
Best potatoes for potato salad. Different types of potatoes create different texture. If you want them to stay firm and hold shape, use waxy potatoes like Yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes.
If you want the potatoes to slightly mash when you mix, use starchy potatoes like Russets (which is what we typically use).
Making it for a crowd
I’ve found that about ½-1 potato per person (depending on how large your potatoes are) is a pretty good estimate for servings. This recipe uses 10-12 potatoes, and usually serves 12-15 people.
- 12 People – 1 batch
- 24-25 people – 2 batches
- 36-40 people – 3 batches
- 50 people – 4 batches
Make ahead of time. I think it’s even better a day after it’s made, once the flavors have time to combine.
STORE in an airtight container in the fridge until it’s time to serve. Afterwards, keep it refrigerated for up to one week.
If you’re a fan of Potato Salad, you will definitely want to give this a try. It’s perfect any time of year, but is especially wonderful any time you BBQ! Best of all, it saves really well and is a great leftover – if there are any that is!
For more summer Salad recipes, check out:
Potato Salad Recipe
- 10-12 potatoes or one 5-pound bag
- 6-7 eggs
- 1 (2.25-ounce) can black olives diced
- 3-4 baby dill pickles diced
- ¼ cup pickle juice
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- paprika, chopped celery, bacon bits or Dijon mustard
- Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Boil potatoes for 40–45 minutes or until tender (a fork should easily pierce a potato).
- While potatoes are cooking, Fill a medium pot with enough water to cover eggs and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Gently lower eggs into the water using a strainer ladle. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, transfer eggs to an ice bath for 5 minutes, then peel and set aside.
- Let potatoes cool, then peel off skins and cube potatoes into ¾-inch pieces. It is okay if they are soft or fall apart. Place in a large bowl.
- Cube eggs and add to bowl.
- Add olives, diced pickles and pickle juice and mix.
- Add mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper and mix well (add more or less mayonnaise depending on what you like).
- Stir in any other desired mix-ins and refrigerate until ready to serve.
*NOTE: For a great tutorial on how to boil eggs go HERE.