Simple Potato Salad with Eggs

Classic Potato Salad is the perfect potluck side dish that is great year-round. Calling for seven ingredients, this old fashioned potato salad recipe is easy to make and share. 

bowl of classic potato salad with text overlay for facebook


 

Potato salad is one of those polarizing dishes that everyone seems to have an opinion on. And this recipe involves one of the most polarizing ingredients—mayonnaise.

I’ll be clear: I’m here for any and all potato salad renditions. (If you’re looking for something without mayo, this No Mayo Potato Salad is one of our family’s all-time favorites because we have a few mayo haters in the house.)

close up of classic potato salad on a spoon

Traditional Potato Salad Recipe

This recipe… is not for mayo haters, though it’s not as heavy as some classic potato salad recipes can be. It’s got a lovely creaminess and balance and comes together quickly when you have the ingredients ready to go.

Calling for gold potatoes, boiled until fork tender, hard boiled eggs and chopped celery, we toss this potato salad recipe in a mixture of mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard.

I can see this being a standout side dish at any summertime potluck, especially the outdoor ones, because this potato salad is incredibly easy to eat and enjoy!

angled shot of classic potato salad on a plate

Easy Potato Salad ingredients

Chances are, you’ve got some, if not all, of the simple ingredients for this classic potato salad already on hand in your house. They’re all pretty easy to find at a traditional grocery store.

You’ll need…

  • Potatoes — We’re going to be using gold potatoes. I like to peel them with a vegetable peeler and chop into ½” cubes for a uniform size. However, as you mix the potato salad, they will melt into the other ingredients, and that’s A-OK! 
  • Hard boiled eggsHard-boiled eggs these add color, texture and flavor to our potato salad, and I love ‘em. You can make your own or buy them at the store. Make sure to not over boil them, this causes the yolks to be gray and unsightly. Meanwhile, a jammy yolk (which I love when just munching on eggs) isn’t the right consistency for a potato salad.
  • Celery — It adds a beautiful crunch to this creamy potato salad.
  • Salt — I like to use a fine grain sea or kosher salt for this recipe.
  • Mayonnaise — Use your favorite brand (mine is any Avocado Oil Mayo) or homemade mayo here. 
  • White wine vinegar — This thins out the dressing while also providing some acid to the mix. You could also use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar or even champagne vinegar if you don’t have white wine vinegar.
  • Dijon mustard — I love Dijon mustard so much. It adds a depth of flavor, along with some creaminess, to the classic potato salad dressing. You can use plain yellow mustard if you’d like.
  • Granulated garlic — We love garlic in our house, but I didn’t want to use fresh in this recipe since it would provide a bit of a kick. Granulated garlic adds the garlic flavor without the punch to our dressing.
  • Black pepper — This is an optional ingredient, but it’s good to have on hand in case your dressing needs a little extra flavor! 
potato salad on a plate with ribs

What potatoes are best for Classic Potato Salad?

Waxy potatoes are where it’s at for potato salad because they hold their shape when boiled. 

Personally, I like yukon gold potatoes for this recipe because they are half waxy and half starchy, the best of both worlds. However, you can also use any waxy potatoes here, like red potatoes, purple, blue and fingerling potatoes.

Do not use a full starchy potato, like a Russet, in this recipe.

Classic Potato Salad Recipe variations

  • Raw onions – In addition to the celery, you could add either green onion or red onion to this classic potato salad recipe.
  • Pickles – If you’re a pickle lover like me, consider adding in some dill pickles, pickle juice, sweet pickles, fresh dill or even sweet pickle relish for a real crowd pleaser.
  • Mayonnaise – Instead of using real mayonnaise, you could swap it out for Miracle Whip. You could also add is some sour cream for an extra creamy texture. Plain Greek yogurt is another optoin for a thick and tangy base with less calories.
  • Protein – If you’d like to take the original recipe up a notch, try adding some crispy bacon crumbles.
  • Serving – This traditional potato salad is the perfect simple side for a summer bbq. Serve alongside hot dogs and other picnic favorites.
angled shot of potato salad in a bowl

How to make Potato Salad with Eggs

How to boil potatoes for Potato Salad

  1. Prep the potatoes. Give ‘em a good wash, scrubbing the skin well. Then peel the skins off with a vegetable peeler. Dice into ½” cubes using a sharp knife. Once they’ve been diced, place in a large saucepan and fill it with water to where the water covers the potatoes completely. We want the potatoes to have more than enough space to cook. Season the water with a healthy pinch of salt.
  2. Boil the potatoes. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat.

How long to boil potatoes for Potato Salad

  1. Cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender, drain, and let cool for 15-20 minutes. (You can also do this in advance, let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and finish the rest of the classic potato salad later.)
  2. Prep the rest of the ingredients. Hard boil the eggs (if you haven’t already.) Chop the hard boiled eggs. Dice the celery into bite-sizes pieces.
  3. Make the dressing. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and granulated garlic. Stir until smooth, and then give it a taste. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  4. Mix the potato salad. Gently toss the tender potatoes with the egg and celery. Drizzle on the dressing, and gently stir to combine.

Traditional Potato Salad Recipe tips

  • Cook and cool those potatoes. You don’t want them to be so hot that they’ll separate the dressing mixture, which would cause for disappointing flavor and texture.
  • Don’t overmix the potatoes. They’re going to be fork tender, and they will stick together as you mix them, but if you mix them too much, your potato salad will become more similar in appearance to mashed potatoes. A little texture is good.
  • Make parts in advance. You can hard boil the eggs early and also boil the potatoes, too. Prep the rest of the ingredients and keep ‘em all in the fridge in separate airtight food storage containers before combining and mixing. You can also make the dressing in advance. Store it in a mason jar in the fridge until go time.
straight on shot of classic potato salad on a plate
overhead shot of classic potato salad on plate with ribs

How to serve this Traditional Potato Salad Recipe

You can serve the classic potato salad at room temperature (immediately) or pop the potato salad in the fridge to chill and serve it cold later.

What goes with potato salad?

Potato salad is a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of foods, making it a popular choice for picnics, barbecues, and potluck gatherings. Most notably, burgers, hot dogs, and sausages.
In addition to meat-based dishes, potato salad can be an excellent accompaniment to vegetarian and vegan meals. It pairs nicely with grilled vegetables. It can also be served alongside dishes like quiches, sandwiches, or as part of a salad buffet.

Simple Potato Salad storage

How long does potato salad last?

You can store this classic potato salad in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight food storage container.

Can you freeze potato salad?

I do not recommend freezing potato salad.

Make ahead Potato Salad with Eggs

Make ahead: Hard boil the eggs in advance, and leave in shells until time to make the potato salad. Boil the potatoes, and let cool in advance. You may put them in an airtight food storage container in the fridge and keep cool for a few days before mixing the ingredients of the potato salad.

How far in advance can you make potato salad?

Potato salad can typically be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days before serving.

In fact, it’s actually often recommended to prepare potato salad a few hours to a day ahead of your planned meal to allow the flavors to meld and develop. It might need to be reseasoned, as cold dishes tend to lose a little flavor when chilled. Also give it a good stir to remix all of the ingredients.

Classic Potato Salad FAQs

Why Add Vinegar to Potato Salad

It used to be that hot potatoes were tossed in vinegar to prevent the mayonnaise from separating and becoming greasy. But nowadays most folks just use it to balance the flavors and whisk it directly into the dressing and use cold potatoes to prevent the dressing from separating.
The vinegar can be omitted, but it does add a nice zing to the mix.

How much potato salad per person?

I plan for about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of potato salad per person when serving it as a side dish at a meal. However, this can vary depending on the overall menu and appetite of your guests, so it’s always a good idea to consider the specific context of your event and adjust the quantity accordingly.

What not to put in potato salad?

Some bad choices to avoid putting in potato salad include ingredients that can make the salad overly watery or affect its flavor negatively. For example, very juicy vegetables like tomatoes can release excess moisture, making the salad soggy, and strong-flavored ingredients like raw onions or garlic should be used sparingly to prevent overpowering the dish… unless you are like me a love a pungent salad!

Why does my potato salad taste bland?

A bland-tasting potato salad can result from a lack of well-balanced flavors and seasoning. One common reason is insufficient salt; potatoes tend to absorb salt, so it’s important to season the cooking water adequately and then season the salad itself to taste. Additionally, not using enough tangy or acidic ingredients like vinegar, mustard, or pickle juice can contribute to blandness.

How do you keep potatoes from getting mushy in potato salad?

Not overcooking the potatoes initially will prevent them from becoming soggy in the salad. Also not adding too many liquidy ingredients and lastly, not over stirring. Toss the salad instead of stirring with a spoon.

What goes bad first in potato salad?

The mayonnaise or other creamy dressing used in potato salad is typically the first component to go bad.

collage of potato salad for pinterest

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potato salad with ribs on a plate with text overlay for pitnerest
angled shot of potato salad in a bowl

Classic Potato Salad with Eggs

4.95 from 39 votes
Classic Potato Salad is the perfect potluck side dish that is great year-round. Calling for seven ingredients, this old fashioned potato salad recipe is easy to make and share.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Potato Salad

  • 2 pounds gold potatoes
  • 4 hardb boiled eggs , peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs , diced into bite-sized pieces

Dressing

Instructions

  • Wash, then peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler. Cut into ½” cubes.
  • Place the chopped potatoes in cold water in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of salt to season the water.
  • Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat. Cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  • When the potatoes are fork tender, drain the potatoes and let cool for 15-20 minutes. You can also rinse with cold water to stop the cooking processs.
  • Combine the mayonnaise with white wine vinegar, mustard and granulated garlic. Stir until smooth, then taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Once the potatoes are cooled, toss with the egg and celery.
  • Pour the dressing on top of the potato mixture, and gently mix to combine.
  • Serve immediately, or store in the fridge, then serve when ready.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!

Notes

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight food storage container.
Make ahead tip: Hard boil the eggs in advance, and leave in shells until time to make the potato salad. Boil the potatoes, and let cool in advance. You may put them in an airtight food storage container in the fridge and keep cool for a few days before mixing the ingredients of the potato salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 293 kcal, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Protein: 7 g, Fat: 17 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 117 mg, Sodium: 236 mg, Potassium: 731 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 2 g, Vitamin A: 237 IU, Vitamin C: 30 mg, Calcium: 45 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Author: Erin Parker
Calories: 293
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic potato salad, easy potato salad
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I love the dressing on this potato salad as it’s so much lighter but still so tasty. Definitely a recipe I will be using all summer.

  2. 5 stars
    I am obsessed with potato salad and this one is perfect and CLASSIC just like my grandma used to make! The eggs are a must!!!

  3. 5 stars
    With leftover hard boiled eggs from Easter, it was a no-brainer that I would make this potato salad recipe! I love that it calls for yellow potatoes–my favourite! Your dressing with Dijon was just the right touch! Thanks!