Best Easy Potato Salad

5 from 4 votes
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Easy, rich, and delicious potato salad with apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, mayonnaise, celery, and seasonings for a classic cool and creamy American flavor everyone loves.

picture of creamy potato salad with green onions and cracked pepper in a blue bowl
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picture of creamy potato salad with green onions and cracked pepper in a blue bowl

Classic American Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of those nostalgic recipes everyone loves for cookouts and BBQs – it is easy and delicious, simple to make, and without fussy ingredients.

Check out my web story about this simple but delicious potato salad!

This potato salad is fantastic with smoked ribs, smoked brisket, and easy coleslaw – its also great alongside baked pork tenderloin, ribeye roast, air fryer chicken drumsticks, and

picture of creamy potato salad with green onions and cracked pepper in a blue bowl

How to Make Potato Salad

  • Russet potatoes – we’re using russet potatoes for their rich, starchy, potato flavor. Russet potatoes do get mushy when boiling, so don’t skip boiling them with vinegar, and boil from cold water, to help keep a wedge shape.
  • Apple cider vinegar – apple cider vinegar is used in this recipe to both keep the shape of potatoes as they boil, and also give a bit of sweet, tangy, acidic flavor to cut through the cool, creamy, rich mayonnaise in this potato salad.
  • Mayonnaise – mayonnaise acts as a binder, a rich fat, and cool and creamy texture bas for this potato salad. We add a lot of mayo for this recipe, so be sure to grab a brand you love.
  • Scallions – scallions add a slight heat, vegetal, and pungent lighter than onion flavor and a bright green pop of color to potato salad.
  • Celery – celery adds a salty, earthy, vegetal flavor and provides a nice crisp crunch to potato salad.
  • Dijon Mustard – dijon mustard provides a bit of a spicy kick to cut through the rich mayonnaise. You can also opt for a stoneground or other mustard you love.
  • Sugar – we skip sugar, but traditionally, many people add a tablespoon white sugar to potato salad. This is a personal preference.
  • Salt and Pepper – always season well with fresh cracked pepper and high quality celtic sea salt.

To make this potato salad, we will use the following method:

  • Peel and cube potatoes – it is somewhat optional to peel your potatoes – I personally prefer leaving the potato skin on for extra texture and color, but it’s traditional to peel it. Cubing potatoes to be roughly the same size will help them cook evenly, so your potatoes have a perfect texture – without chunks that are too soft or too crunchy!
  • Boil potatoes in water with vinegar and salt. Boiling potatoes in water with a bit of vinegar and salt helps potatoes to hold their shape and keeps them from becoming a mushy mess. If you’ve ever wondered how to keep potatoes shape when boiling them – be sure to boil them with vinegar in the water! We prefer the bit of sweetness from apple cider vinegar.
  • Mix dressing as potatoes boil. While potatoes boil and soften, in a small bowl, combine mayonaise, scallions, celery, mustard, additional vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  • Drain potatoes well. Potatoes with leftover water will repel dressing, so when they are soft enough to pierce with light pressure from a fork, drain well and be sure to let any excess water run off.
  • Toss in dressing. When potatoes have drained, toss in dressing.
  • Serve warm or cold. This part is entirely up to you – serve immediately warm, or pop immediately in the refrigerator to let chill. If serving immediately, refrigerate any leftovers as soon as possible.
picture of creamy potato salad with green onions and cracked pepper in a blue bowl

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Potato Salad & FAQs

Boil potatoes in vinegar. Adding vinegar to the water you boil potatoes in help potatoes keep their shape, so your potato salad doesn’t turn to mush.

Use waxy or russet potatoes. Waxy potatoes retain their starch and keep their shape when cooking, so they are better for potato salad – but russet potatoes have a classic “potato” flavor people love.

Boil potatoes in cold water. Bringing cold water to a boil with your potatoes will help your potatoes not release all their starch at once and turn to mush, so you have the perfect texture for potato salad.

Season boiling water. Adding salt to your boiling water helps potatoes cook evenly, brings the water to a boil more rapidly, and adds flavor to potatoes as they cook.

Let potatoes cool before dressing. If you go to immediately dress warm potatoes with mayonnaise dressing, it will melt and run off. Let potatoes cool so the mayonnaise doesn’t melt. Potatoes can be slightly warm – but should not be hot.

picture of creamy potato salad with green onions and cracked pepper in a blue bowl

FAQs

How do I keep potato salad from being mushy?

Boil potatoes in water from cold, and add vinegar to water as it boils to hold potatoes shape as it boils.

What potatoes should I use for potato salad?

We like russet potatoes for potato salad – but waxy potatoes, like yukon gold potatoes, work well.

Do I need to add vinegar to boiling water for potatoes?

While it isn’t strictly necessary, we find it best to dd vinegar to help hold the potato wedge shape and help keep your potatoes from turning into mashed potatoes.

When should I dress potato salad?

When you dress a potato salad is critically important – for oil-based potato salads, it is important to dress potatoes right away so they soak up some of the oil in the dressing. In this mayonnaise-based dressing, the potato salad needs to cool, so it does not all melt off when mixed with hot potatoes.

Should I serve potato salad warm or cold?

You can serve potato salad chilled, or slightly warm right after mixing.

How can I store this recipe?

Potato salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

picture of creamy potato salad with green onions and cracked pepper in a blue bowl

More BBQ Favorites

Potato salad is delicious alongside pork tenderloin, smoked brisket, smoked ribs, bacon-wrapped hotdogs, BBQ chicken drumsticks, crispy pulled pork, and more of our favorite BBQ Recipes!

Find more of our favorite BBQ Recipes :

picture of creamy potato salad with green onions and cracked pepper in a blue bowl

The Best Easy Potato Salad Recipe

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The best potato salad recipe with dill and chives.
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Best Easy Potato Salad

Classic American style potato salad with mayonnaise, celery, and green onions.
Course BBQ Sides
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq, cookout, gluten free, potatoes, side dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 490kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt divided
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar optional

Instructions

  • Peel and dice potatoes to 1" chunks.
  • Fill a large stock pot with cold water. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and potatoes to water and bring to a boil.
  • Boil until soft, when a fork easily pierces potato.
  • Drain well and let cool.
  • In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, mayonnaise, green onions celery, mustard, sugar, and stir to combine well.
  • When potatoes are cool, mix with dressing and toss well.
  • Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 817mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Yum

  2. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Creamy yum