Homemade Potato Salad

This perfect Potato Salad is a famous family recipe. It’s simple, packed with flavor, and our most requested side for parties!

Homemade Potato Salad is a popular side dish during summer—it’s party perfect. Macaroni Salad and Pistachio Salad are also BBQ and potluck favorites!

White bowl filled with Potato Salad.

a famous family recipe

Sometimes, there’s just nothing better than delicious meat (like Pulled pork or Steak) with sides like Baked Beans and Coleslaw for a family BBQ!

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.

We really think it’s the BEST Potato Salad, and it’s the perfect side dish recipe for any BBQ or summer gathering!

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!

Potato chopped in cubes for potato salad recipe.

Variations

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
Sliced hard boiled eggs for potato salad.

Ingredient Tips

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).

Adding ingredients for potato salad recipe to a blue bowl.

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

storing info

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!

Finished close up of a bowl of homemade potato salad.

For more summer Salad recipes, check out:

Potato Salad Recipe

5 from 20 votes
This perfect Potato Salad is a famous family recipe. It's simple, packed with flavor, and our most requested side for parties!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 290 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 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

Mix-ins

  • paprika, chopped celery, bacon bits or Dijon mustard

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Make Ahead: This salad is best made ahead. We like to make this the day before and let it refrigerate for 18–24 hours, but this is not required.
Different types of potatoes create different textures: If you want them to stay firm and hold their shape, use waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or red potatoes. If you want the potatoes to slightly mash when you mix the salad, use starchy potatoes like russets (this is what I prefer).

*NOTE: For a great tutorial on how to boil eggs go HERE.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Hands down greatest potato salad recipe out there! My husbands family always brings the store bought kind to our family gatherings :/ I think I’ll be volunteering from now own, to bring the potato salad! Really great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Best potato salad hands down! It’s the only one I’ve ever used. Don’t even bother trying other recipes.

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks for including seRving size. I have a Hard time Figuring out POTATO:person ratioS. This will be super helpful in making your recipe. Love the idea of adding pickles & pickle juice! Can’t wait to try it.

  4. My grandmother was raised in Hawaii. She makes this potato salad but instead of mustard and pickles, she puts in a can of grated spam. I couldn’t believe that someone actually knew how to make my Grammie’s potato salad!

  5. Do you use sweet pickle juice or the dill pickle juice? You did not stAte what kind specIfically. Thank you.

  6. Your recipe calls for pickle juice but doesn’t say when to add it. I assume with the Mayo and mustard?

    My mother-in-law’s potato salad is divine and mine never measures up. She told me one time that pickle juice was her secret ingredient. I’m going to give your recipe a try and hope it is similar to what my MIL does. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, pickle juice is the secret recipe here! It makes the potato salad so yummy. And yes, you would add it when you add the mayo and mustard. 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

  7. Hi, I always make this with no pickles or pickle juice. Add red onions celery optional. Also I found that the red potatoes make a better potato salad. No mustard either. Just mayo. This is the way I was raised to make it. Sometimes my great aunt would add canned shrimp to it. Especially if it was for a special occasion.
    Just thought I would throw this out for a different twist.
    Thank you for the recipe shares. Pinned the Cole slaw recipe.

  8. 5 stars
    Have you ever tried cutting up an apple and putting in the potato salad. It gives it a little different flavor and crunch. A friend of mine makes it that way, although she won’t give me her recipe.

    1. I can’t say that I have ever tried that before. Sounds very exciting!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. 5 stars
    This tasted so amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing this super easy to make potato salad recipe! Fam really loves it! Will surely have this again! Highly recommended!

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you for such a delicious potato salad. I have never understood SWEET potato salad! This is delicious!! I did cut down the Mayo a bit and used sour cream yum!! This is how potato salad is supposed to taste….not like a sweet desert.

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the salad. It’s the only potato salad recipe I enjoy! 🙂

  11. Tried this, it was horrible. Black olives in potato salad. Maybe if you put enough hot sauce on it l it it might be edible.

  12. This is just like my grandma would make it. Add diced celery and small cubes of white cheddar cheese and you’ll be surprised how well it works with all the other flavors. I also add diced red onion.

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