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Potato salad is a staple at picnics, barbecues, and family gatherings. Its creamy texture, combined with the subtle flavors of mustard and celery salt, makes it a crowd-pleaser. Here’s the best way to make a classic potato salad, which potatoes to use, and some tips and tricks to ensure your potato salad is the best it can be.

Best potatoes for to use in this salad

Yukon Gold Potatoes

  • Texture: Yukon Gold potatoes have a creamy texture that holds up well after cooking.
  • Best For: Classic creamy potato salads where the texture and flavor of the potatoes are the stars.

Russet Potatoes

  • Texture: Russet potatoes are starchy and tend to break down more easily, which can make the salad creamier.
  • Best For: Smooth, creamy potato salads where you want the potatoes to blend into the dressing. Be cautious as they can become mushy if overcooked.

White Potatoes

  • Texture: White potatoes have a slightly creamy yet firm texture.
  • Best For: Versatile for both creamy and vinegar-based potato salads.

Tips and Tricks

  • Start with Cold Water: Always place potatoes in cold water before bringing them to a boil. This ensures even cooking and prevents the outside from becoming mushy while the inside remains undercooked.
  • Don’t Overcook the Potatoes: Keep an eye on the potatoes while boiling. Overcooked potatoes can fall apart and turn your salad into a mash.
  • Cool the Potatoes Properly: Letting the potatoes cool slightly before adding the dressing is crucial. Hot potatoes can cause the mayonnaise to separate and become oily.
  • Season Generously: Potatoes can be bland on their own, so don’t be afraid to season generously. Celery salt and garlic add depth of flavor, while salt and pepper enhance the overall taste.
  • Let it Sit: Potato salad tastes best when it has had time to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. This resting period allows the flavors to meld and intensify.
  • Customize Your Salad: Feel free to add other ingredients to your potato salad. Some popular additions include:
    • Pickles or Relish: For a tangy crunch.
    • Celery: Adds a fresh, crisp texture.
    • Onions: Red onions or scallions provide a sharp, zesty flavor.
    • Herbs: Fresh dill or parsley can add a burst of freshness.

Why This Potato Salad Recipe Works

This classic potato salad recipe stands out for its balance of creamy and tangy flavors, combined with the perfect potato texture. The use of garlic and celery salt adds depth, while the mustard provides a subtle tang that cuts through the richness of the mayonnaise. The hard-boiled eggs add protein and a different texture, making each bite more interesting.

Serving Suggestions

Potato salad is a versatile side dish that pairs well with various mains. Here are a few ideas:

  • Barbecue: Serve it alongside grilled meats like burgers, ribs, or chicken.
  • Picnics: It’s an excellent side for sandwiches and cold cuts.
  • Family Dinners: Serve with meals like Brown Stewed Chicken and Rice.
Potato Salad-1-2

Get the Recipe Classic Potato Salad


  • 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 tbsp pickle relish
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt + 1 tsp for boiling
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chopped dill
  • paprika for garnishing


  • Prepare the Potatoes
    Peeling and Cubing: Peel the potatoes and cut them into ½ inch cubes. Uniformity in size ensures even cooking.
    Boiling: Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as mushy potatoes can ruin the texture of your salad.
    Draining and Cooling: Strain the potatoes and place them in a bowl. Add the crushed garlic and stir gently. Allow the potatoes to cool for about 15 minutes before adding the mayo mixture. Cooling is crucial to prevent the mayonnaise from melting and becoming greasy.
  • Prepare the Dressing
    In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yellow mustard, pickle relish, celery salt, salt and black pepper. Mix until smooth.
  • Combine Ingredients
    Chop the Eggs: Peel and finely chop the hard-boiled eggs.
    Mix: Add the chopped eggs, scallion, dill and the mayo mixture to the potatoes. Stir gently to coat the potatoes without breaking them apart.
    Season: Taste and add regular salt as needed. Remember, it's easier to add more salt later than to fix an overly salty dish.
  • Finishing Touches
    Sprinkle paprika over the top for a touch of color and a hint of flavor. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. This chilling time allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste.
Author: Jehan Powell