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!
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!
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chill. Garnish the potato salad with a sprinkling of paprika and extra chives, as desired. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
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.
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!)
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
- 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
- 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.
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