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

Potato salad on a white plate.

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 57 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: 1serving (1 cup)Calories: 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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Comments

  1. Excellent! Loved this! Followed recipe to a ‚T‘! I especially liked the mayo ‘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.

  3. I really like this receipt. I don’t add the garlic (hubby can’t eat it) but even without it, it’s fantastic!!5 stars

  4. I’m normally not a fan of potato salad, But I needed a side for my Smoked BBQ ribs,
    And this came out great.
    Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  5. Well done! And easy recipe that is actually easy and uses normal ingredients. Also I love the “jump to the recipe” button. I could care less about somebodies great aunt Tilly who stole this recipe from a sandanistan freedom fighter during the revolution and smuggled messages to the resistance based on the salt and pepper ratio of the dish. Well done5 stars

    1. Wow, somebody who actually SAW the Jump to Recipe button! LOL! It’s always there, people miss it all the time. I’m glad you saw it. And I’m even happier you liked the recipe. Story-telling is going away from blogs all over the place, so hopefully you don’t see too much of that anymore. We bloggers got the message. :) Thanks for stopping by! -Meggan

  6. Great potato salad recipe. It’s delicious. Too bad you made it so difficult to write it down for people on a smart phone without a printer with all these advertisements and videos getting in the way. It’s just too busy here for a senior citizen to try another recipe. I guess you all based this site on catering to the a specific type of person and didn’t consider an average or older person. Shame on you.5 stars

    1. Hi Tamara, I’m sorry about all the trouble you had on my site (and that I took so long to reply; I was on vacation in Wisconsin in an area with no WIFI). What I wanted to tell you is, if you go to the recipe card and click “print recipe,” a new window will open on your phone with no ads and a text-only version of the recipe. It will be really easy to see it, cook from it, or write it down. I will talk to my ad company about all the ads, it doesn’t look horrible on my own phone but clearly you had issues. So sorry about that! And I’m not catering my site to a specific person other than people who love to cook. But I know I need to make it easier for you to do that, fewer ads would help! Sorry again. Sincerely, Meggan

  7. Excellent! You add the potatoes to the cold water and bring them and the water up to temperature together. That way, the outside is not over done and mushy while the inside is cooking to firm. Basically my same recipe.5 stars