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Classic Potato Salad

Classic Potato Salad


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Going to a cookout? This classic potato salad is what you want! It's made with boiled potatoes, sour cream, mayo, green onions, celery, parsley, pickles and bacon. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Summer. Outdoor barbecues, kids and swimming pools, burgers, hot dogs, and plenty of potato salad. We made a big batch of potato salad for a little family gathering this weekend. How about you?

VIDEO! How to Make Classic Potato Salad

Potato Salad for a Crowd

What I love about potato salad is that it serves a lot of people without a lot of effort, and it’s so easy to make a good one.

I love using Yukon golds, though you can use any potato. My dad likes using russets in his potato salad. This recipe is for potato salad with sour cream – using it as a binder makes it extra creamy.

How to Cook Potatoes for Potato Salad

The easiest way to cook potatoes for potato salad is to boil them. Here are two key tips for boiling potatoes success:

  1. Cut them so they are the same size. This ensures that all the potato pieces cook evenly and at the same rate. We cut our potatoes into 1-inch chunks.
  2. Start the potatoes in cold water: Bring the potatoes up to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until they’re tender in the middles when pierced with a fork. Starting them in cold water also ensures that they cook evenly throughout.

How long to cook your potatoes? If you cut them into 1-inch chunks like we do, they will cook from start to finish in about 25 to 30 minutes.

How Far Ahead Can You Make Potato Salad?

Potato salad can be served right away, or refrigerated until ready to serve. It’s best served the same day it’s made, but leftovers will keep for about 3 to 4 days (less if the salad has sat out at room or warm temperatures for any length of time).

You can also boil the potatoes and fry the bacon a few days ahead. Keep them refrigerated separately and assemble the salad when ready to serve.

Potato salad does not freeze well, and we don’t recommend it.

Try These Other Potato Salad Recipes!

  • German Potato Salad
  • Pressure Cooker Potato Salad
  • Dad’s Potato Salad with Russet Potatoes
  • Mediterranean Potato Salad
  • New Potato Salad with Sour Cream and Dill

Updated May 25, 2020 : We spiffed up this post with a brand new video! No changes to the original recipe.

Classic Potato Salad

If you are using Russets and not Yukon Gold potatoes, peel them first, then cut them into 1-inch pieces for cooking.

The bacon is entirely optional, feel free to skip it, or experiment with other ingredients. My dad likes adding minced carrots and chopped hard boiled egg to his potato salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (you can leave the peel on if you want), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (your favorite: yellow, Dijon, stone ground)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 dill pickles, chopped into 1/4 in cubes (about 3/4 cup)
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Method

1 Cook the potatoes: In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. (If you want, add some pickle juice to the drained, still slightly warm potatoes. The potatoes will absorb some of the juices, making them even tastier!)

2 Meanwhile, cook the bacon: Heat a frying pan on medium low. Lay out the strips of bacon in a single layer. Gently cook, turning over occasionally with tongs, until lightly browned, and much of the fat rendered out.

Place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess fat. Do not pour any fat from the pan down the drain, it will clog it. Instead, pour it into a jar, or sop up with paper towels and discard.

Once cool, chop the bacon finely.

3 Assemble the potato salad: In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, and mustard. Add a little salt and pepper.

Add the potatoes and use a rubber spatula to gently combine with the sour cream mixture. Add the green onions, celery, parsley, pickles, and bacon, again gently combining. (Include a couple tablespoons of the pickle juice for good measure.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds red and/or yellow new potatoes, quartered
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery (2 stalks)
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion (1 small)
  • ½ cup chopped sweet or dill pickles or sweet or dill pickle relish
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped
  • Lettuce leaves (optional)
  • Paprika (optional)

In a medium saucepan place potatoes, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and enough water to cover. Bring to boiling reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until just tender. Drain well cool slightly.

Meanwhile, for dressing, in a large bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Stir in the celery, onion, and pickles. Add the potatoes and eggs. Toss lightly to coat. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

To serve, if desired, line a salad bowl with lettuce leaves. Transfer the potato salad to the bowl. If desired, sprinkle with paprika.

Makes 12 side-dish servings.


1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
2-3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
paprika

Step 1
Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool completely.

Step 2
In a large mixing bowl, combine cooled potatoes, celery, relish, eggs, and onion.

Step 3
In a smaller bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Add mixture to the large mixing bowl.

Step 4
Gently stir all of the ingredients until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Sprinkle the top of the potato salad with paprika.

Chef&aposs note: How do you make potato salad that catches the eye? Use red potatoes or other colored varieties! In addition to the bright green of fresh herbs, the beautiful red and purple of colored potatoes make any homemade potato salad stand above the rest.


Nan's Classic Mustard Potato Salad

I'm always asked to share this recipe, and people are often surprised to see how similar the ingredients are to their own recipe. While the ingredients may be similar to other posted recipes, the technique is the key to this outstanding potato salad. The specific ingredients are important, too. Russets absorb the flavors best, but don't hold their shape well. Dicing them after they are cold, and folding the other ingredients in gently, takes care of that problem. Don't skimp on the mayo and other dressing ingredients. The potatoes will absorb a lot of moisture, and you want a creamy salad. Another key to flavor and texture is the very fine chopping of the onion, celery and pickle. You want the flavors to disperse throughout the whole dish, but when you take a bite, you want to bite into potato, not an onion chunk. For smaller apetites and crowds, you can halve the quantity easily. In Louisiana and other states where they serve Cajun food, potato salad is often served with gumbo.


Chris' Classic Potato Salad Recipe

Make this classic potato salad recipe your go-to summer side dish! With unique ingredients like balsamic vinegar and chipotle mustard, it hits the spot for potlucks and backyard barbecues.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle mustard (I have also used Sriracha mustard & it’s great too)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • fresh chives

Instructions

  1. Cook red potatoes: Place potatoes in a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.
  2. Cut potatoes into fourths, and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, and mix carefully to coat. Add onions, celery, and eggs.
  3. Fold in mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, and salt, and combine well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours overnight is optimal.
  4. Before serving, sprinkle snipped chives and bacon on top.

May 28, 2019 10:19 pm Chris Filed Under: side dishes, Summer


Cooling Potato Salad

In my most perfect world, I make a potato salad and cool it only at room temperature, and never put it in the fridge. This keeps the dressing super creamy. So that would mean about 2 hours of cooling at room temp, which is not always the way your timing will work, since most of the time we are trying to make things ahead of time when we can. And potato salad is a great make ahead dish, so in that case you will chill it in the fridge for at least a few hours, up to a few days, and then bring it to room temperature before serving. Let it sit out for about 20 minutes and the dressing will get creamy again.


How to Make Classic Creamy Potato Salad

Chop the onions, celery and pickles and place them in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sauce ingredients.

Add the potatoes and chopped eggs to the mixing bowl along with the mayonnaise mixture.

Carefully stir the ingredients together until combined being as careful as you can not to break up the potatoes too much.

Let the salad refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving.

This salad gets better and better the longer it sits and is fantastic the next day!


10 Great Takes on the Classic Potato Salad

Tender, creamy potatoes make the perfect hearty-but-neutral base for simple summer salads. The picnic and barbecue standard is also incredibly versatile, easily adapted to fit whatever main course it's made to accompany. From the tangy, mayonnaise-dressed classic to a light and fresh-tasting pesto-tossed version, we've got 10 crowd-pleasing takes on potato salad.

Classic Potato Salad

A perfectly balanced, totally classic potato salad for the purists out there. It's tangy, salty, and sweet with a texture that's simultaneously creamy, crunchy, and fluffy in each bite. For best results, use russet potatoes, cut them evenly, and season them before and after boiling.

Easy Fingerling Potato Salad With Creamy Dill Dressing

Dill, potatoes, and sour cream go hand in hand, and they make an especially happy trio in this colorful potato salad. Petite fingerling potatoes are boiled in water with salt and vinegar so that they keep their shape and deliver lots of flavor. Sour cream adds creaminess, while onions and dill give it a fresh, herbal bite.

Yukon Gold Potato Salad With Tarragon Pesto and Pickled Onions

For a lighter, fresh-tasting potato salad, dress it with a simple pesto-like tarragon and parsley sauce. Toss in quick-pickled red onions and Kalamata olives for a flavorful side dish that won't weigh you down.

Five-Ingredient Smoked Salmon and Potato Salad

Five ingredients, one pot, 20 minutes, and pretty much zero effort can get you a ton of flavor. The addition of smoked salmon takes the potatoes from a mere side salad to something special, and it's dressed simply with tangy sour cream, aromatic fresh herbs, and tart lemon juice.

Creamy Fingerling Potato Salad (Vegan)

Fingerling potatoes in a sweet-tart vinaigrette are made extra-creamy with the addition of the potatoes' cooking liquid and mashed Yukon golds. It's creamy, delicious, and 100% vegan.

New Potato Salad

Tangy, meaty, fresh, crunchy, creamy—this is a far cry from your standard deli-made potato salad. Grilled new potatoes and bacon fat-basted grilled onions make this the ultimate side dish for your next big cookout.

German Potato Salad

Now this is a side worthy of a seat next to a stack of fatty brisket. German potato salad drops the mayo in favor of tart vinegar, oil, and some spicy mustard. Add some smoky bacon and slightly sweet onions, and you've got your barbecue flavor bases covered (and then some).

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad With Chutney Vinaigrette

Switch things up with this warm sweet potato salad. The sweet potatoes are roasted until tender before they're tossed with a dressing of vinegar, chutney, mustard, honey, and garlic. Tart cranberries, sharp scallions, and crunchy almonds top off the sweet and savory dish.

Fingerling Potato Salad With Aioli, Pesto, Fried Shallots, and Pecorino

This over-the-top take on the classic incorporates a homemade aioli, basil pesto, fried shallots, and pecorino cheese. Between the delicate shavings of cheese and the crispy shallots, it's the kind of elegant side that's equally at home on a picnic blanket or a dining room table.

Grilled Jalapeño Potato Salad

Potato salad goes Tex-Mex in this rendition featuring char-grilled jalapeños. Sour cream, cider vinegar, and cumin make a tart, creamy dressing, and green onions and cilantro add some requisite freshness.


Ingredients

Step 1

Bring potatoes, 1 cup Diamond Crystal or ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. Morton kosher salt, and 3 quarts water to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat cook until tender, 18–22 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, using a slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into a large saucepan of boiling water and cook, adjusting heat as needed to maintain a gentle boil, 10 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and let cool until just slightly warm, about 2 minutes.

Step 3

Remove eggs from ice water. Gently crack all over and peel discard shells. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out yolks into a medium bowl. Coarsely chop egg whites set aside. Mash yolks with a fork until smooth. Add mayonnaise, relish, both mustards, and remaining 2 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 Tbsp. Morton kosher salt mix well. Fold bell pepper, red onion, and celery into dressing.

Step 4

Drain potatoes let cool 5 minutes. Peel with a paring knife cut into ½" pieces. Add to dressing and gently toss fold in reserved egg whites. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Step 5

Sprinkle with seasoning before serving.

How would you rate Classic Cookout Potato Salad?

Didn't have high hopes for this recipe, not being a big fan of potato salad OR mustard, but was really craving something to take me back to my childhood summers. So glad BA published this one because it was delicious! The flavors were completely balanced and like everything wonderful about potato salad I remember as a child, only BETTER. Switching from russets to yukon gold potatoes made this salad so divine and luscious. Subbed minced cornichon for the relish and it worked for me. And it's so great to have a little leftover jar of the BBQ seasoning (tastes like BBQ chips) to sprinkle over roast veggies or deviled eggs. Yum! Going in my favorites file for sure.

I have a sort of aversion to relish, so I left that out. Potato salads for me are usually really good or really bad and I think this is the best one I have ever had!

This is the potato salad of my youth and it's fantastic. We will be making this all summer. We didn't have celery and that crunch will be a great addition the next time we make it.

Two mustards are better than one. This is quintessential potato salad and I want to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (I subbed white onions, but red would be better.) Will be making this recipe all summer.

This was really good! So full of flavour, well seasoned and great crunch from the veggies! I could only wait an hour before eating it, I suspect it will be amazing when I eat it tomorrow. FYI I did half this recipe and there was no issues,I just added a few tablespoons of mayo before serving so it was extra creamy . The only substitution I made was I had no relish and i'm trying to limit grocery store visits so I used pickles diced up and a few tablespoons of sugar, worked well and great crunch from the pickles.


Recipe Summary

  • 5 potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup sweet pickle relish
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and chop.

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, relish, garlic salt, celery salt, mustard, pepper and mayonnaise. Mix together well and refrigerate until chilled.


Reviews

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