This Traditional Potato Salad recipe is an American classic guaranteed to be devoured at any summer cookout. You’ll love this recipe because it’s quick and easy and can be made hours ahead of time! Just reserve the crispy bacon for right before serving.
Potato salad is typically made with mayonnaise. But many potato salad lovers have a love-hate relationship with mayo, so if mayo is not your thing, check out my recipe for No-Mayo Potato Salad made with vinaigrette which is also in the video demo below (in the recipe card).
HOW TO MAKE TRADITIONAL POTATO SALAD (PREVIEW)
(FULL RECIPE VIDEO IS IN THE RECIPE CARD BELOW)
What are the best potatoes to use for potato salad?
Personally I find the “waxy potatoes” are best for potato salad since they hold their shape. Unlike a starchy potato, such as a Russet, which don’t hold their shape well after boiling. However Russets are great for mashed potatoes!
One of my favorite waxy potatoes are Yukon Gold potatoes. Personally, I love them for their buttery flavor they give to the recipe.
STEP#1: Peel and Boil Potatoes
After the potatoes are just fork-tender, carefully strain and allow to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, chop into bite size pieces for easy eating.
Place the potatoes in a small bowl and set aside.
Why Does My Potato Salad Get Watery?
A watery potato salad can be caused by mixing the potatoes while they are too hot or the ingredients used in your potato salad (for example too much vinegar or other liquid).
Make sure to drain potatoes well and allow them to cool to room temperature before mixing. If you mix them while hot, the potatoes will continue to sweat adding moisture to the salad and then resulting in a watery potato salad.
If you are adding a relish or chopped vegetables to your salad, make sure you drain all excess water. Some vegetables like pickles, celery or cucumbers can release moisture after they are handled or chopped which can also make a potato salad watery!
Step 2: Make the Dressing
In a small bowl you’ll combine mayonnaise and sour cream (full measurements in the recipe card below).
I like to use a combo of both mayo and sour cream to give the dressing a nice smooth and silky texture. They both contribute great flavor with the richness from the mayonnaise and a nice bite from the sour cream.
In the same bowl, add the Dijon mustard, salt, celery seed, parsley and red onion. Mix until you get a well-combined dressing.
Can You Make Potato Salad the Day Before?
Yes! The longer the ingredients in the potato salad sit, the longer the flavors will marry. If you make this the night before, hold off on adding the bacon garnish until serving to avoid soggy bacon. It’s much better to have it nice and crisp!
Step 3: Assemble the Potato Salad
Now, pour the dressing over the potatoes and gently stir to combine.
I like to transfer this to a serving bowl and top with chopped scallions. If you really want to jazz it up, add some crumbled bacon for a beautiful finish.
What are some dishes that go well with potato salad?
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- 2 1/2 lbs of Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) sour cream
- 2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt
- 1 tsp (5 ml) celery seed
- 1 tbsp (15ml) parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) red onion, diced
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 5-6 sliced cooked bacon, roughly chopped
- Boil potatoes until fork tender. Allow to cool. Cut potatoes into bit-sized chunks and set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, salt, celery seed, parsley and red onion. Pour dressing over cut potatoes and toss to combine. Transfer potato salad to a serving bowl.
- Top with sliced scallions and crumbled cooked bacon.
If you cannot find Yukon Gold Potatoes look for "Dutch Babies" or Red Potatoes. These are also waxy potato varieties.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 174mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g