The BEST Light Potato Salad {With How-To Video}

Published June 9, 2018. Updated December 8, 2023

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The best Light Potato Salad! Everyone is always raving about how good this recipe is! It’s a lot like the potato salad you had as a kid, but even better and with less calories thanks to the light mayo. It’s rich and creamy, it’s perfectly flavorful, it’s hearty, and it has all the best textures.

creamy Potato Salad in a glass bowl topped with herbs

The BEST Light Potato Salad Recipe

Every summer I turn to this creamy potato salad recipe for cookouts, weeknight dinners or picnics. It’s got everything I want in a potato salad and it’s always a crowd favorite!

It does require a few steps (mostly those annoying chill times), but the end result is so worth it, trust me. Try it once and it may just become your easy potato salad recipe for life!

Want to see how to make potato salad? Watch the video!

Classic Potato Salad Ingredients

This easy potato salad recipe is the classic mayo-based version you grew up eating. Here’s what you’ll need to make homemade potato salad:

  • Potatoes
  • Steamed or hard-boiled eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • Light mayonnaise
  • Yellow mustard
  • Milk
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baby dill pickles
  • Celery
  • Celery Seed
  • Red onion
  • Salt and pepper

What Are the Best Potatoes for Potato Salad?

I like to use russet potatoes with this potato salad recipe, I like the way they absorb the dressing and I just prefer their texture. Just be sure you don’t over or under-boil them.

In other words, keep a close eye on them during the last few minutes. I think that is one of the keys to a good potato salad — perfectly cooked potatoes that aren’t chewy or mushy. If you’re not sure what the best method for boiling potatoes for potato salad is, I’ve given my exact instructions below.

the best potato salad ingredients on a marble surface

How to Make Light Potato Salad

First, you’ll either steam or boil the eggs. I much prefer the steam method as it ensures the egg shells will peel right away easily. Let cool, peel and chop.

steamed eggs for potato salad in a collander

Meanwhile dice and boil the potatoes. Once cooked through, drain and chill.

boiling potatoes for potato salad

In a mixing bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients, sour cream, light mayonnaise, mustard, apple cider vinegar, celery seed, milk, salt and pepper.

potato salad dressing mixture in a bowl with a whisk

Add cooled potatoes and eggs to a large bowl along with celery, red onion dill pickles and dressing.

potato salad ingredients in a bowl ready to mix together

Toss to evenly coat. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. Store in refrigerator up to 2 days.

homemade potato salad in serving bowl

How to Boil Potatoes

Boiling potatoes for potato salad is an underrated kitchen skill to have. You want your potatoes to be the perfect texture to soak up just enough of that delicious potato salad dressing without becoming soggy.

To boil the potatoes for this easy potato salad recipe, here’s what you’ll do:

  • Place the peeled and diced russet potatoes in a pot and cover them with water (the water should go about an inch above the potatoes). Salt the water generously and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat so the water is just simmering and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After the 10-minute mark, prick the potatoes gently with a fork every minute or so to be sure you’re not over cooking them.
  • Once cooked, drain the potatoes and immediately transfer to a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, but leave an edge open to allow heat to escape.
  • Pop the boiled potatoes into the fridge to chill while you make the rest of the creamy potato salad with egg.

How Long to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad

Depending on how large you dice your russet potatoes, they’ll need to boil for 10 to 15 minutes. 

A glass bowl of potato salad on a table

How Long is Potato Salad Good For?

This traditional potato salad recipe will last 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Be sure to store it in an airtight container.

Can I Prep Potato Salad in Advance?

Yes, absolutely! I actually think this classic potato salad tastes best after it’s had a few hours to absorb all the flavors. Note that homemade potato salad is best within the first 24 hours of making it.

Tips for the Best Potato Salad

  • This potato salad with sour cream can be enjoyed right away, but I prefer to let it chill prior to serving to let all the flavors come together.
  • Feel free to use your favorite mustard in this recipe. Yellow mustard is a classic, but Dijon would taste good too.
  • If you’ve never steamed eggs before, check out this tutorial on how to do it.

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Potato Salad
4.91 from 10 votes

The Best Potato Salad

This is my idea of the best potato salad! It's a lot like the potato salad you had as a kid but even better and with less calories thanks to the light mayo. The texture is rich and creamy, it's perfectly flavorful, it's hearty, and it has all the best textures.
Servings: 8 Servings
Prep15 minutes
Cook30 minutes
Chill time45 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 30 minutes



  • 3 lbs russet potatoes , peeled, rinsed and diced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 Tbsp salt , then to taste
  • 4 eggs hard boiled , peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion , rinsed under cool water and drained
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup chopped baby dill pickles
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)



  • Place potatoes in a large pot. Cover with water (water level should come about 1-inch above potatoes), season with 1 Tbsp salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender all the way through, about 10 - 15 minutes (don't over cook them). Drain potatoes then transfer to a bowl.s.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap while leaving an opening on the edge for heat to escape and chill 30 minute
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, mustard, pepper, celery seed and 3 Tbsp milk. Season with salt to taste (about 3/4 tsp+).
  • Add eggs, red onion, celery, dill pickles and dressing to bowl with potatoes. Toss everything to coat. Thin with more milk as desired 1 Tbsp at a time (you may need up to 4 Tbsp more).
  • Preferably chill at least 30 minutes. Serve cold and sprinkle top with fresh parsley if desired.


  • If you've never steamed eggs before, check out this tutorial on how to do it.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
The Best Potato Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 106mg35%
Sodium 1206mg52%
Potassium 849mg24%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 390IU8%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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  • ruth

    This is a great recipe…I cut the russet potatoes in cubes and started checking for doneness at 12 min. This is so important. Have had potato salad with hard, under cooked potatoes…I did everything as the recipe…except did not have a red onion…used 1/2 med. white onion and 2 green onions. I did not have dill pickles but still very good. I used olive oil type mayo (2/3 cup) and then used 2% Fage greek yogurt( 2/3 cup) instead of sour cream.. I like it savory, so I added a little more Dijon and ACV…but if you add the pickles, I think that would do it….also my husband can not have salt. I did not salt the potato water …I just sprinkled the potatoes after they were cooled with a little no salt lemon pepper….and to finish added a sprinkle of smoked paprika…to give it a bit of color .. This is the best potato salad I have had in a while!!! Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Dianna Calbaugh

    The best way I have found for boiling the potatoes for potato salad is to boil them with the skins on and then peel them. This is a good recipe though, thank you for sharing it.

  • Christopher Lupold

    I made it…its in the fridge. Followed to a T other than celery seed…used flakes and adjusted accordingly. I hope this is better than my last few efforts. I have a good feeling.

  • david morris

    once again this is fantastic. as i am home for the corona and my wife is working she will come home to barbecue chicken this potato salad and a veggie. im sure to get lucky. i hope

  • Julie Scriver

    Loved your recipe! My Mom always added chopped radish to hers, and my husband said his Mom would add peas. So I added both plus some fresh dill. It was the best I’ve ever had!

  • Willi

    I’ve made this several times! It’s a fantastic recipe. I’ve changed it up with homemade yogurt, instead of sour cream and it works well, with less fat. I didn’t have celery once, and I added celery seed and included something else crunchy, like fresh cucumbers. Tastes great and even better the next day… if it lasts that long! :)