Easy Potato Salad Recipe

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings 8 servings

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Simple, flavourful, and well-balanced, this Easy Potato Salad Recipe is made with red potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and a tangy, savory mayonnaise dressing. Perfect for making ahead!

overhead image of potato salad in large white serving bowl
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A Simple Potato Salad Recipe Everyone Will Love

I know that everyone has their own variation on potato salad, and what makes a potato salad authentic differs for everyone.

Some people add celery (no thanks!), while others go for dill pickles or chopped onions to get a crunchy texture. I’ve known people to add pickle juice, bacon bits, creme fraiche, and that’s just for starters!

And you can absolutely do that if that’s your thing. 😉

But I wanted to show you a plain and simple recipe that you can take and make your own as you wish. No bells and whistles, unless you want to put them in there. Because we’re not big fans of recipe rules around here!

Pair it with Grilled Chicken Thighs, Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs, or Grilled Pork Tenderloin for a delicious summer feast!

What You’ll Need

A basic blend of waxy red potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and mayonnaise sauce gives this recipe loads of flavour, without having to prep a ton of special ingredients.

  • Potatoes: For potato salad, it’s best to use a waxy potato like fingerlings or red potatoes. Wash/scrub the potatoes, and finely dice.
  • Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs add a protein boost to the potato salad! Peel the eggs, and finely chop them.
  • Mayonnaise: You’ll need a cup or so of your favorite mayonnaise. Keto mayonnaise works fine here, or for a sweeter potato salad, you can use jarred “salad dressing” (such as Miracle Whip). Salad cream is also a good option.
  • Chives: Finely chopped fresh chives add a zesty suggestion of onion or garlic flavor, but more on the mild side.
  • Milk: A little bit of milk thins the sauce to the right consistency. You can use dairy-free milk, if you prefer.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Just a splash adds a nice, tangy note to the potato salad, and cuts the richness.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Ground Mustard: Ground mustard adds a classic mustard note to the potato salad without making it too sour. You could also use prepared mustard.
  • Paprika: For garnish, and a hint of earthy sweetness.
ingredients needed for potato salad

How to Make This Easy Potato Salad

To make potato salad, you do need a little bit of time up front to cook the potatoes and boil the eggs, and allow them to cool slightly, so be sure to plan ahead! (On the other hand, this is a great recipe to make ahead—more on that later!) You will also need to plan for a couple of hours of chill time afterwards.

  1. Boil the Potatoes. Bring large pot of water to boil, and season it with salt. Add the diced potatoes, and let them boil for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, and transfer to a large bowl to cool in the refrigerator.
  2. Make the Mayonnaise Dressing. Whisk together the mayonnaise, chives, milk, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and mustard. If the dressing seems too thick, you can add a little bit more milk, a tablespoon at a time, to get a thinner dressing. It should be about the consistency of pancake batter.
  3. Combine the Potatoes, Dressing, and Hard-Boiled Eggs. Add the eggs to the cooled potatoes, and pour the dressing over the top. Stir well to combine.
  4. Chill. Garnish the potato salad with a sprinkling of paprika and extra chives, as desired. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Helpful Tips

To make this simple recipe even better, try one or more of these easy tips for success. Each one is guaranteed to make your life easier, and your potato salad mouthwatering!

  • Choose the Right Potatoes. You want to choose good potatoes for boiling, ones that are going to cook up nice and creamy. I also prefer potatoes with smooth, thin skins, so I don’t have to peel them. Red potatoes, fingerlings, or little yellow potatoes are all good options. Russet potatoes are more likely to dissolve or break down during the cooking process. I also prefer to choose something with a smooth, thin skin as I refuse to peel potatoes!
  • Add the Eggs: you can definitely skip the hard-boiled eggs if you prefer, but I think they add a little variety and some extra creaminess to the salad. Plus, protein!
  • Cook your Potatoes in the Instant Pot, or try this easy Instant Pot Potato Salad. I know not everyone has an Instant Pot, but it’s seriously so easy to cook potatoes in there, and no watching the pot or boiling over. Simply add your diced potatoes to the Instant Pot with 1 ½ cups of water or chicken broth, and cook on Manual high for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.
  • Buy Pre-Cooked, Pre-Peeled Hard-Boiled Eggs. Friends, these things are so awesome in a pinch. I actually hate making hard-boiled eggs, and will often buy these when I need a quick potato salad.
  • Shell Your Eggs and Bake. If you don’t want to buy hard-boiled eggs, you can simple crack the eggs into silicone muffins cups or a small silicone pan, and bake until done. No need to stir! You want that nice yellow yolk intact after baking.
close up image of spoon stuck in potato salad

Variation Ideas

So how can you mix this recipe up? Mostly by mixing things in! Here are some of my favourite easy mix-ins for creating a customized potato salad recipe:

  • Crispy bacon bits
  • Chopped dill pickles
  • Sweet pickle relish or piccalilli
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Blanched or raw broccoli florets (not too large, and go for crisp—not soft)
  • Diced red or green bell pepper
  • A splash of barbecue sauce, or even sriracha (if you like things spicy!)
  • Celery seeds (or chopped celery, if you like it)
  • Dijon mustard instead of ground mustard
  • Fresh chopped dill (my favorite!)
overhead image of potato salad in a white bowl with a spoon

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this classic potato salad on its own as a light lunch, or pair it with just about any main dish for a full meal. Here are some of my favourite main dishes to serve with potato salad:

  • Chicken: Cold shredded chicken and cold potato salad make a refreshing meal for a warm day, while for cooler weather, I like to make this crispy Oven-Fried Chicken. Don’t want to turn on the oven? Try this classic grilled BBQ Chicken.
  • Hamburgers: Another classic pairing, burgers and potato salad go perfectly together! Try this recipe for Air Fryer Burgers for a perfectly juicy, well-seasoned result, or grill up some Chicken Burgers if you’re looking for something lighter.
  • Honey Ham: Sweet glazed slices of Honey Baked Ham are always welcome, and are a delectable contrast to cool, creamy potato salad.

How to Store Leftover Potato Salad

Leftover potato salad should be refrigerated within two hours of serving, to avoid bacterial growth. Just pack the potato salad into airtight food storage containers, or zip-top bags, and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Potato salad doesn’t freeze well.

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Easy Potato Salad Recipe

4.94 from 15 votes
Simple, flavourful, and well-balanced, this Easy Potato Salad Recipe is made with red potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and a tangy, savory mayonnaise dressing. Perfect for making ahead!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Cuisine American
Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 8 servings
Calories 333cal

Ingredients

  • 6 medium red potatoes finely diced
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Paprika for garnish

Instructions

  • In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook potatoes until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Drain well and move to a large bowl to cool completely in the refrigerator.
  • Once potatoes are cooled, add eggs.
  • Whisk together mayonnaise, chives, milk, vinegar, salt, mustard and pepper and pour over top. Stir to coat, adding additional milk for extra creaminess as desired.
  • Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and extra chives as desired and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 333cal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 763mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords easy side dishes, homemade potato salad, how to make potato salad

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. John says

    hey Ashley
    I also hated making hard boiled eggs
    Now I steam them and even fresh eggs are fairly easy to peel
    Seems the steam stays at temperature whereas boiling water cools off when eggs are added to the pot and the steaming causes the steamed eggs to set quicker next to the shell for easier peeling and brighter yolks
    Regards, Can-Do John

  2. Pamela J Neumann says

    I can only give this two stars because there isn’t any thing in it. It’s just potatoes and eggs. Where is the celery, onion, carrots, and bell pepper at the least. You can add more things to this. But without some veggies it has no crunch or chew to it. Like eating baby food.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Pamela, did you actually make the recipe? This is how we enjoy our potato salad and I’m not familiar with a potato salad containing all of those vegetables. You are free to find a recipe that suits your needs.

  3. Janet Ortega says

    Thanks for everyone’s comments. I love potato salad but never make it because it’s just like ice cream, can’t eat just one bite. I never buy it also because of the humongous fat in it and just can’t eat one serving lol. But I’m very tempted to try this one and since it’s the end of the summer I might not be so tempted to try more batches lol. Love the idea of red onions in it as well, I use red onions for just about every recipe that calls for onions.

  4. Kathy Allen says

    Really enjoyed this and I am BAD at potato salad. I love to cook and do so pretty well as far as my family is concerned, but I hated potato salad as a kid so I never made it. When I do it is either too creamy or too dry. This also worked out for us as it was for less people than the “take to the family picnic” kind. I did chop up bread and butter sweet pickles and add so I didn’t add vinegar. Worked well…all gone. Thanks.

  5. Jessica Wikstrom says

    This recipe is AWESOME, made simpler by the instant pot. It would have been nice to have the cool off times included in the time estimates up top, but next time I’ll know to make further in advance.

  6. Ginger Childs says

    Love, love, love this potato salad recipe! I added bits of red onion, celery, and pickle and turned out so delicious! My family and friends love this recipe.

  7. Linda Tanzini says

    Any thoughts on using diced hash browns for this salad? I have arthritis and always looking for easier methods. Thanks and just love your recipes! Linda

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Thanks Linda! I think you could, I’m just not sure about the texture of the potatoes. I’ve never tried using hashbrowns in potato salad before so I can’t say for sure!

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