Potato Salad {The Best! With How-To Video}

June 9, 2018  ·  Published June 3, 2016

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The best 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 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 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 for Potato Salad

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.

More Potato Salad Recipes You’ll Love:

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)


  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 cup milk, then more as needed


  • 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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  • Cheryl

    Classic potato salad – just the way I love it – when you want to indulge in potato salad go for the best! Only change was increasing the mayo to sour cream ratio, since I wasn’t sure about how I’d like sour cream, but I am sure it was great either way. The IPot directions were spot on. I probably made my potato cubes a bit smaller than 1″ just to make sure they got soft enough, and they may be a little overdone, but no harm. And the eggs were perfect. I can rely on your recipes to be well thought out and tested to come out just right. Thanks so much.

  • Marina

    Made this for the first time. I didn’t like potato salad before. To say it was a hit is an understatement. It was most definitely the star of the BBQ dinner. Will be making it again. Thank you.

  • Sharron Snell

    I made this potato salad today….absolutely wonderful recipe. My husband who loves potato salad said it was the best he’d ever tasted.

  • Vegan 4 a healthy Earth

    I do my potatoes differently. I just dice them, put in a sauce pan, with a little oil (so they don’t stick to the pan bottom), or just a little water (so they remain moist, as it steams them), over med LOW heat (so they cook, but don’t brown), with any herbs I like, thrown in with them, dry diced onion, Parsley, Tarragon, Basil, the tiniest amount of powdered Rosemary, etc. I like very herby dishes. As the potatoes cook, you can shake them, to coat them with the herbs. I like to make home fries this way too (medium heat, to brown them). This method, uses much less water and time. One can cook diced squash, diced sweet potato, diced turnips, diced parsnips, and sliced carrots, the same way. They only need to cook about 5-8 minutes per 1 red potato. I use only 1 potato, because I live alone, and so, I can just make 1-2 single servings for me. The method would still work, with more potatoes, and more time. I think the herbs add more taste & interest. For the dressing, I used Ranch dressing (home made), with some squirts of Dijon mustard, to my liking, and very little sprinkling of celery salt. I don’t like pickles or added vinegar in my potato salad. I don’t like vinegar, at all, but, there’s just enough vinegar in the Dijon mustard, to make it tangy, without being vinegary. Also, this can be made vegan, if one uses vegan mayo, to make the Ranch dressing, and no eggs.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry I didn’t measure in cups. Just based on about how many people it feeds.

  • Doris

    Love the recipe but I omit the eggs . Basically , it is my go to recipe. Excellent!

  • Debra Caraballo

    This is a great recipe! I’m definitely going to try this dressing…(minus celery seeds), I already use the ingredients in the salad when I make it. It sounds wonderful and something a bit different for us!
    Thank you!