With traditional ingredients and a homemade creamy dressing, this Potato Salad with Egg is truly a tried and true recipe. Perfect for summer potlucks and great for making in advance.
Best Potato Salad
Potato salad is always a crowd pleaser and a must at every barbecue, picnic, and summer potluck. This traditional Potato Salad with egg is my personal go-to favorite. Loaded with tender potatoes, a little crunch, and a tangy, creamy dressing, it never disappoints.
You can easily prepare it the night before serving, so the next day it’s ready to go. Perfect for relaxing summer get togethers and cookouts.
Potato Salad Recipe
As with most classic recipes, there are many variations and each family puts their own personal spin on it. I prefer simple, basic ingredients that we’ve all come to know and love since our childhood – nothing weird, nothing fancy or complicated – just layers of flavor the old school way.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
Potato Salad Ingredients
- Potatoes – It’s not potato salad without potatoes! Yukon Gold potatoes all the way (more on that below.)
- Celery – Adds a nice textural crunch in every bite.
- Red onion – Our favorite in salads for the pop of color and mild flavor when eaten raw.
- Pickles (optional) – Finely diced up dill pickles or relish adds an awesome tang to the dish. If pickles aren’t your thing, simply leave them out.
- Scallions – A subtle peppery flavor.
- Hard-boiled eggs – We love the addition of eggs in our potato salad. Remember to make the hard boiled eggs ahead of time, since they’ll need time to cool.
- Mayonnaise – We prefer all mayonnaise as the base of the dressing. Miracle Whip is more of a standard throughout the Midwest and if that’s your preference you can certainly swap it for the mayo or use a combo of both.
- Apple cider vinegar – For a zippy flavor. Red wine vinegar or white vinegar also work if that’s what you have on hand.
- Dijon mustard – A touch of dijon mustard adds nice depth to the dish.
- Seasonings – Celery seed, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper are all traditional seasonings in most potato salad.
We love this potato salad as is, but there are many ways you can customize it to your own preference. Here are a few ideas:
- Swap out the mayonnaise. 100% mayo is our preference, but you can do 50/50 mayo and Miracle Whip or try using some sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt for some of the mayo instead.
- Mash up some of the potatoes. If you prefer your potatoes partially mashed instead of cubed, go for it!
- Add bacon. Can’t go wrong mixing in some crispy crumbled bacon!
- Add some fresh or dried herbs. Feel free to mix in some herbs like parsley, chives, or dill.
- Stir in some radishes. These give the salad another layer of color, texture, and flavor.
- Omit the pickles or add more. We love the addition of pickles, but if you don’t, simply leave them out. If you love them, add extra or drizzle in some pickle juice.
- Spice it up. A couple teaspoons of Sriracha or dashes of hot sauce can add some heat, if preferred.
- Serve on a bed of lettuce. The green helps the potato salad pop for a great visual presentation.
How to Make Potato Salad
Making this traditional potato salad is simple and takes just a few steps, then it chills for a couple hours. Here’s a summary of what to do:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Make the hard boiled eggs. Make perfect hard boiled eggs on the stove, in your air fryer, or instant pot. Up to you! Prepare them ahead of time, so they have a chance to cool.
- Cook the potatoes. Cover cubed potatoes with water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil, then cook until fork tender. Drain and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Combine all salad ingredients. Combine all the other potato salad ingredients in a large bowl, whisking together until smooth.
- Fold in cooked potatoes and eggs. Gently fold in the cooked potatoes and eggs, then season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Chill and serve. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Serve chilled and garnish with a couple slices of hard boiled eggs, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, and a couple diced scallions. (Garnishes are optional, but highly recommended. Another option is to sprinkle a little Old Bay on top.)
About the Potatoes
What are the best potatoes for potato salad?
Yukon Gold are the best potatoes for potato salad, which are waxy, hold their shape better, and have a creamy texture. Avoid starchy russet potatoes, which are great for baking, but not for boiling – they’ll crumble! You can also use a mix of red and yellow new potatoes for this salad.
Should you cut the potatoes before boiling them?
There are many different opinions on whether you should boil potatoes whole or cut them into cubes first. Honestly, I don’t think it makes any difference. Personally, I cut them first and then boil because that way they cook and cool faster. But choose your preference – the salad will taste the same either way.
How long to boil potatoes for Potato Salad?
We cut our potatoes into 3/4-inch thick uniform cubes, then place them in a large pot with water covering by 1-inch. Bring water to boil, then reduce heat to a medium simmer and continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. They should be fork tender and not crumbly.
Do you peel the skin or leave it on?
Feel free to peel the potatoes or leave the skin on – we make it both ways!
Make Ahead and Storing Leftovers
- Make ahead: You can easily assemble this the day before serving. We like to prepare it the night before so it’s had time to chill and the flavors to blend, but still tastes fresh.
- How long does potato salad last? Potato salad with egg should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will keep for 3 days. Do not leave this salad out at room temperature or, worse, out in the sun. Mayo-based dressings do not do well in the heat.
- Can you freeze potato salad? Technically, yes. But I don’t recommend it. Once thawed the potatoes get grainy and the dressing separates. We just prefer to make it fresh each time.
What Goes with Potato Salad
More Summer Potluck Recipes:
Classic Potato Salad
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes , cut into 3/4-inch uniform square cubes
- kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/2 small red onion , finely diced
- 1/4 cup finely diced dill pickles (or 1/3 cup pickle relish)
- 2 stalks celery , diced small
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (regular or smoked)
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 hard boiled eggs , chopped (plus slices for garnish)
- 1/4 cup finely diced scallions
- freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- Place the diced potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover potatoes by 1-inch. Bring water to boil, then reduce heat to a medium simmer and continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. (Don't over-cook. They should be fork tender, but not crumbly.) Drain and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, red onion, pickles, celery, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, paprika, celery seed, and garlic powder. Stir until well combined and smooth.
- Fold in cooked potatoes, hard boiled eggs, and scallions, then season with salt and pepper. (Also feel free to add in a tablespoon or two of pickle juice.)
- Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to chill and allow the flavors to blend.
- Transfer the potato salad to a serving bowl. Garnish with a couple slices of hard boiled egg, a sprinkle of paprika, and a couple diced scallions. (Garnishes are optional, but highly recommended. Another option is to sprinkle a little Old Bay on top.)
- Serve and enjoy!
- NOTE: Don't miss the recipe variations, storage info, and helpful information in the full article.