Old-Fashioned Potato Salad is a go-to American staple proudly served at potluck BBQs and holiday gatherings. This classic rendition features tender potatoes and hard-boiled eggs tossed in a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing. A squeeze of yellow mustard and fresh relish add a little tang, while a medley of finely chopped veggies add just the right amount of crunch.
Completely delicious and easy to make, this potato salad boasts both the flavor and the easy-going vibes of the good ol’ days.
HISTORY OF POTATO SALAD
Southern-style Potato Salad with a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing is All-American indeed, but did you know the original actually originated in Germany? And, when you compare the two, they couldn’t be further apart.
German Potato Salad, while certainly still comforting, dresses on the lighter side with a vinegar-based dressing and no mayonnaise to be seen. It is served warm with a crumble of bacon and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. It sounds like a delicious side dish indeed, but when it comes to serving a crowd, the cold and creamy American rendition reigns supreme.
The French dressed theirs with a homemade aioli dressing, which hits a little closer to home as mayonnaise is (pretty much) a store-bought aioli…with a lit-tle less flavor. This is likely the reason American’s added that squeeze of yellow mustard to classic potato salad dressing!
So there you have it: In true American spirit, “Old-Fashioned Potato Salad” is actually an evolved adaptation of Old World potato salads.
- Russet Potatoes – You can use just about any potato you’d like, but budget-friendly Russets will do just fine. If you have red potatoes on hand, you can switch gears and make this classic Red Potato Salad instead!
- Vinegar – Add extra flavor and a little tang by drizzling some apple cider vinegar over the potatoes as soon as they finish boiling!
- Dressing – The dressing for Old-Fashioned Potato Salad requires very few ingredients and consists of mayonnaise, yellow mustard, and seasoning!
- Seasoning – For the seasoning, you’ll need Kosher salt, dried dill, paprika, and black pepper. If you are not a fan of dill, you can leave it out altogether.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Bell Pepper
HOW TO MAKE OLD-FASHIONED POTATO SALAD WITH EGGS
- Hard-Boil the Eggs – Place eggs in a large, wide-bottomed saucepan and fill to cover by 1” with cold water. Do not overcrowd the pan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water has reached a boil, remove the pan from the heat, cover with the lid and allow the eggs to sit, covered, for 15-20 minutes, depending on how well-done you like your yolks.
- Prep the Potatoes – To easily cut the potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise and cut each half into thirds. Then you’ll simply boil the potatoes until fork-tender, drain and set aside until cooled. Actually, back that train up: While the potatoes are still warm and ready to absorb flavor, douse them with vinegar for a little extra tang!
- Make the Dressing – Potato salad dressing is seriously easy to make. This is a creamy, mayonnaise-based potato salad, and to make the dressing you simply combine mayonnaise, a bit of mustard, salt, paprika, and pepper in a bowl. These are all very traditional ingredients for a dressing, but for a special touch, throw in a little dill!
- Chop the Veggies – Make sure you chop the vegetables as small as you can get them! Finely chopped vegetables are key in a potato salad.
- Combine Ingredients – Once the potatoes have cooled completely, add those finely chopped veggies to the large bowl with the cooled potatoes, and the prepared dressing. Toss until combined, and you’re almost set!
- Chill – This is a side dish that should be served cold. Allow enough time for your Old-Fashioned Potato Salad to chill! About three hours in the refrigerator will be perfect.
WHY DOES MY POTATO SALAD GET WATERY?
If your potato salad is watery, it’s probably because your potatoes were not drained properly. Give them time to drain well and double check to make sure they are not water-logged before dressing them!
The culprit could also be over-cooking the potatoes to mush. To avoid this, don’t cut the potatoes too small and be sure you remember to pull the potatoes from the water as soon as they are fork-tender in the center.
CAN YOU MAKE IT THE DAY BEFORE?
Yes! Potato salad keeps extremely well and can be made up to 2 days in advance. However, you may find that you need to add a little extra salt the next day. Just season to taste.
6 MORE POTLUCK SIDES YOU’LL LOVE!
- Ranch Potato Salad is a creamy, full-flavored potato salad with pan-seared, thick-cut bacon and freshly grated Cheddar!
- Southwest Potato Salad features creamy Yukon Gold potatoes, black beans, corn, and a zesty chipotle dressing.
- Green Beans with Tomatoes and Bacon is an easy, slow-cooking side dish made special with fresh green beans, bacon, and fire-roasted canned tomatoes.
- Classic House Salad is the perfect starter to any meal and loaded with tons of flavor thanks to all those crisp vegetables, croutons cheese, and bacon!
- Tuna Pasta Salad is made with canned Albacore tuna, peas, pasta shells, and dill. Best of all, it comes coated in a delectable, creamy mayonnaise dressing that cannot be beaten.
- Bowtie Pasta Salad is a simple, crowd-pleasing dish packing tons of flavor and an Italian flare. It comes together quickly with very little prep thanks to a few fresh and a few ready-made ingredients.
The best Old-Fashioned Potato Salad featuring Russet potatoes, chopped celery, dill pickles, and red peppers, and topped off with a perfectly tangy potato salad dressing!
- 4 medium-sized Russet potatoes peeled and scrubbed clean
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried dill (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 hard-boiled eggs chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickles (optional)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoon minced yellow onion
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and cut each half into thirds. Transfer potatoes to a large saucepan and cover with water by 1inch. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 15 minutes, or until fork tender. Transfer the potatoes to a colander and strain thoroughly. Place in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with vinegar and gently toss. Set aside to cool.
While the potatoes are cooling, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, salt, dill, paprika and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
Scoop out about half of the potatoes, transfer to a smaller mixing bowl and using the back of a wooden spoon, or a potato masher, roughly mash and return to the large bowl, along with eggs, celery, pickles, bell pepper and yellow onion. Pour over the dressing and gently stir until well-combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. Serve and enjoy.
Makes 10-12 servings.