This Classic Potato Salad is a side dish recipe made with potatoes, celery, onion, eggs, and a combination of mayo and mustard dressing. It is then decorated with another hard boiled egg and grape tomatoes then sprinkled with fresh parsley.
This potato salad recipe is a traditional summer salad that mom would make often. It was popular potluck salad for picnics, family reunions, or just as a side dish to one of the dinner proteins she would make on the grill.
As a child I was not a fan of potatoes. Unless they were in french fry form or potato salad form. This recipe is light on the onions, which is something I would not eat as a child. Getting a chunk of onion as a kid was not pleasing. As a result, I like any raw onions in cold salads to be chopped fine.
🥔 What Potato To Use
I see this talked about all around the internet. And, like everything else, the best potato to use for potato salad is not something that in general I see everyone agreeing upon.
Having been a long time non-fan of potatoes, I can say from my own experience, there are two types of potatoes that are the best.
I used russet potatoes for this recipe because that is what I had on hand. While I see many people do not recommend russet, I do. Normally considered a baking potato, it has a low moisture content. For this reason alone, I think it is a great potato for this mayonnaise based salad. My interpretation of a low moisture potato means the salad will not become runny.
My second choice of potato for this salad is the Yukon Gold. I like the buttery flavor of this potato and it lends a comfort feel to the salad.
Potatoes, for the recipe pictured russet potatoes were used.
- Cook, drain, and allow the potatoes to cool.
- Chop the potatoes using a hand chopper, or dice with a knife.
- Add the chopped egg, celery, and onion to the chopped potatoes. Toss to combine.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and mustard.
- Add the mayonnaise mixture and potato mixture until well combined.
- Transfer the potato salad to a serving bowl.
- Cut the remaining egg into quarters. Arrange on top of the salad.
- Place halved grape tomatoes on top of the salad. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and smoked paprika.
💭 Top Tips
- Overcooked potatoes will make a watery and loose salad no matter what potatoes are used.
- Once cooked, immediately turn off the burner and drain the potatoes. Set the potatoes back on the burner 5-10 seconds. The residual heat will to in evaporating any water left on the bottom of the pan.
- Cool the potatoes completely before assembling.
- Use a biscuit cutter to chop the potatoes. I use this one, it is what my mom always used, is inexpensive and lasts forever!
Cooking The Potato
Below are what I feel is are the best ways to cook a potato for potato salad:
Baking: Scrub the potato, remove any eyes and stab the potato with a knife 3-4 times. Season and bake on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 50 minutes or until a fork or knife pierces the potato easily. Allow the potato to completely cool. Then, remove the skin and chop for the salad.
Boiled, depending on the size of the potato, it can take from 15-25 minutes. The larger the potato, the longer it will take. To test the potato for doneness, stab it with a fork or knife. If it slides in easily, the potato is cooked. If it breaks when it is stabbed, it is likely overcooked. Once cooled, the potatoes can be chopped for the salad.
- Add ½ cup shredded carrots.
- To add layer of sweet to the salad add 2 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish.
- Stir in ½ cup of diced garlic dill pickles.
- Use a spicy, sweet hot, or yellow mustard in place of the dijon mustard.
- Reduced-fat mayonnaise or using half greek yogurt and half mayonnaise will reduce the fat content.
- Substitute sweet paprika for the smoked paprika.
👪 Serving size
For this Classic Potato Salad recipe I used 5 large russet potatoes. This yielded almost 7 cups of chopped potatoes. 1 serving is ½ cup of salad and should serve 14 people. Be sure to adjust accordingly if the potatoes are not large.
Classic Potato Salad Recipe
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- Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the diced celery, onion and 3 of the hard boiled eggs, chopped. Stir to combine.
- Combine the mayonnaise and mustard in a small mixing bowl.
- Add the mayonnaise mixture to the potato mixture and stir to combine.
- Transfer the potato salad to a storage container. Top with 1 egg, quartered, grape tomatoes, halved, and chopped fresh parsley. Sprinkle with smoked paprika.