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The Best Potato Salad Recipe – The Perfect Side Dish For Your Backyard Cookout

To this day, my mom makes the Best Potato Salad that I have ever had. It has the perfect texture of being both slightly chunky and creamy all at the same time.

And the dressing that coats the potatoes has the perfect ratio of mayonnaise and mustard. Add in a little crunch of celery and onion, and you have the perfect side dish to serve at your backyard cookout!

Over the years I have watched her make the potato salad in awe. I have never seen her follow a recipe. Instead, she prepares it all by memory, look and taste.

best potato salad
My favorite potato salad recipe that tastes just like my mother’s.

So when I first asked her for the recipe, she told me what ingredients that she uses. However the measurement instructions were less than clear.

Although she told me add ‘some mayo and mix in a little mustard’, I had to keep practicing until I finally found the ratio that tasted just like her recipe.

And now, many years later, I am proud to say that I can share this delicious recipe with all of you! So this summer, when you are preparing a backyard cookout for your family and friends, be sure to keep this recipe handy. You can bet that someone will ask you for it!

Best Potato Salad Recipe

*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 pounds Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes
  • 2 cups Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • 1 cup Pickle Relish, sweet or dill flavored
  • 2 tablespoons prepared Yellow Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Celery seeds
  • 3 ribs of Celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup red or sweet Onion, diced
  • 5 hard boiled Eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Garnish Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Frequently Asked Questions About The Ingredients

Before we get to the actual instructions, let me first answer a few questions that you might have about the ingredients.

1. Type of Potatoes Used

Although you could use any type of potato to make potato salad, I find that it is best to use Yukon gold potatoes. The potatoes will hold up to the cooking process and will give you a nice blend of slightly chunky and slightly creamy potatoes.

However, if you like a more creamy salad, then use Russet potatoes. They have a higher starch content and will break down more when cooked.

bag yukon gold potatoes
I prefer to make potato salad using Yukon Gold potatoes, however, you could also use Russet if you like the texture to be more creamy.

2. Type of Mayonnaise

Whenever I share this recipe or my macaroni salad recipe, I always get asked what is the best type of mayo to use. And my answer is always the same.

Use whatever mayonnaise that you like the best. Yes, a general answer, but it is true.

If you love Duke’s Mayonnaise, use that. If you prefer Miracle Whip over mayo, then by all means, use that instead.

And for those who have an egg allergy or who eat a vegan diet, use plant based mayo. Use whatever you like to use on your sandwiches.

3. What Type of Relish To Use?

Another common question is what type of relish to use. If you like sweeter tasting potato salad, it would be best to use sweet pickle relish.

Like a little more dill flavor? Then use dill pickle relish. Most store bought jars of relish are dill pickle relish. Therefore, that is what I use because I have it already on hand in my refrigerator.

relish
You can use Sweet or Dill Pickle Relish. At the end of summer I will use my Homemade Dill Pickle Relish that I can from my garden.

4. Is Apple Cider Vinegar Necessary?

This is one ingredient that you don’t want to skip. I know it may sound weird, but adding a little apple cider vinegar will provide that slight tang that potato salad is known for.

However, it must be apple cider vinegar and not distilled white vinegar that you use. There is a significant difference in taste between the two.

So now that you know more about the ingredients, let’s get to the actual recipe instructions!

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

Wash and scrub the potatoes clean. Now decide whether or not that you want to peel the potatoes.

If you are using Yukon gold potatoes, you can leave the peels on if you prefer. They are thin enough and will not cause a texture issue.

However, it is best to peel Russet potatoes, either before or after they have been boiled. That is because this variety of potato has a thicker skin that doesn’t mix well in potato salad.

Now dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Some people quarter the potatoes and then cut them after they cook. However, I find it easier to do it before. But the choice is up to you.

peeled and diced potatoes
I prefer to peel and dice the potatoes before they are boiled.

Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with cold water, at least 1 inch above the potatoes. Then place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil.

Once boiling, add 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the water and cook the potatoes for 8-10 minutes, if they are cut in small cubes, increasing time for larger potatoes. You want the potatoes tender enough that a fork can easily pierce through to the other side.

While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the dressing. In a medium size bowl add the mayonnaise/Miracle Whip, pickle relish, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

Then stir the potato salad dressing until the ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside. Then dice the celery, onions, & dill, set aside.

Now it is time to peel and dice the hard boiled eggs. You can use an egg slicer, or a sharp knife to cut the eggs into small pieces.

Assembly Instructions

Once the potatoes are done cooking, drain them in a colander. Remove as much moisture that you can and let them sit in the colander to cool slightly for 5 minutes.

Then place the potatoes in a large serving bowl. Add the diced celery, onions, dill, and eggs to the bowl.

Then slowly pour half of the dressing over top of the mixture. Gently toss the potato salad and pour in the remaining dressing.

paprika as a garnish on potato salad
Garnishing the potato salad with paprika adds both color and flavor to this classic dish.

Continue to toss until the potatoes are well coated. Add salt and black pepper per taste. Then garnish with fresh dill and paprika.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. However, it is best to let the potato salad to sit overnight for maximum flavor.

Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If you are serving it for a backyard cookout, be sure to leave it out no longer than 2 hours or it will spoil.

Enjoy! Mary

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Best Potato Salad Recipe

best potato salad

How to make the best potato salad that gives you great texture and taste. The perfect side dish recipe for your backyard cookouts!

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes
  • 2 cups mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • 1 cup pickle relish, sweet or dill flavored
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Garnish Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Then dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with cold water, at least 1 inch above the potatoes. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the water and cook the potatoes for 8-10 minutes. You want the potatoes tender enough that a fork can easily pierce through to the other side.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the dressing. In a medium bowl add the mayonnaise/Miracle Whip, pickle relish, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Dice the celery, onions, & dill, set aside. Then peel and dice the hard boiled eggs and set aside.
  4. Once the potatoes are done cooking, drain them in a colander. Remove as much moisture that you can and let them sit in the colander to cool slightly for 5 minutes. Then place the potatoes in a large serving bowl.
  5. Add the diced celery, onions, dill, and eggs to the bowl. Then slowly pour half of the dressing over top of the mixture. Gently toss the potato salad and pour in the remaining dressing. Continue to toss until the potatoes are well coated. Add salt and black pepper per taste.
  6. Garnish with fresh dill and paprika.
  7. Cover the potato salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. However, it is best to let it sit overnight for maximum flavor.
  8. Serve cold.

Notes

  • If using Yukon Gold potatoes, peeling is optional.
  • When serving the potato salad, do not let it sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • The potato salad will stay good when refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • To make the recipe Vegan, use plant based mayo and omit the eggs.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 382mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 8g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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