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This old-fashioned recipe for Easy Potato Salad has probably been passed down by our grandmas for generations. It’s a summer classic destined for backyard barbecues, family celebrations, and picnics.

Potato salad on a white plate.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Easy Potato Salad Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Potatoes: Waxy varieties like new potatoes or Yukon golds hold their shape well. But, I like big Russets because they are easiest to peel and I don’t mind if the potatoes fall apart a bit in the salad.
  • Vinegar: Or substitute cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
  • Mustard: Substitute 1 teaspoon ground mustard for the prepared yellow mustard.
  • Paprika: I love to garnish potato salad with sweet paprika, but dill (fresh or dried), chives, or scallions are also delicious. Or use a combination.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add potatoes, 1 tablespoon salt, and enough water to cover. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
A sliced, boiled potato being held over a silver colander.
  1. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard, and garlic powder. Add the potatoes, onion, celery, and chopped eggs. Stir to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 ½ teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper). Garnish with paprika if desired.
Potato salad in a white oval serving dish.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Make ahead: Make up to three days in advance and store covered in the refrigerator. 
  • Shelf life: Potato salad should not sit out at room temperature longer than 2 hours. According to the USDA, “If the potato salad was held in excess of 41°F for over two hours, then discard.” It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Mix-ins: Make this potato salad your own by adding cooked bacon, fresh chives or other herbs, minced pickles or relish, peas, capers, or slivered radishes.

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For your next picnic

A white s erving bowl with potato salad.

Easy Potato Salad

This old-fashioned recipe for Easy Potato Salad has probably been passed down by our grandmas for generations. It’s a summer classic destined for backyard barbecues, family celebrations, and picnics.
5 from 62 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 10 servings (1 cup each)
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 395

Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks (see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard (see note 2)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 medium onion minced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ribs celery thinly sliced
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs peeled and chopped
  • paprika for garnish

Instructions 

  • In a large pot, add potatoes, 1 tablespoon salt, and enough water to cover. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well and cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard, and garlic powder.
  • In a large bowl, add potatoes, onion, celery, and chopped eggs. Add mayonnaise mixture and stir to combine.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 ½ teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper). Garnish with paprika.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Potatoes: Waxy varieties like new potatoes or Yukon golds hold their shape well. But, I like big Russets because they are easiest to peel and I don’t mind if the potatoes fall apart a bit in the salad.
  2. Mustard: Or substitute 1 teaspoon ground mustard.
  3. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  4. Make ahead: The potatoes can be cubed and submerged in water in the refrigerator up to 24 hours in advance. The hard-boiled eggs can be boiled a week in advance.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 395kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 7gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 652mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 218IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. Excellent! Loved this! Followed recipe to a β€šTβ€˜! I especially liked the mayo β€˜mix’ (mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard, and garlic powder)….I suggest making extra….I used it as one of my fondue Bourguignonne sauces as well as using it as a sauce to fill my avocados!! Great Salad/Dip sauce as well!!! Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi T, you can adjust the serving size with the slider tool on the recipe card. Hope you enjoy! – Meggan

  2. This recipe was a hit, I gave my wife a break and prepared supper and everybody, even myself was amazed as to how good the potato salad came out. Oh another thing was that you were spot on about it being the past down from generation recipe, tasted just like my grandmother and my mothers. Delicious. Thanks for everything.

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