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Favorite Potato Salad

Favorite Potato Salad
  • Prep 10 min
  • Total 4 hr 50 min
  • Servings 10
Every home cook should have one go-to classic potato salad recipe on hand. It’s the perfect dish to bring to summer picnics, serve at grillouts and take along to potluck suppers. And don’t just limit this simple potato salad to warm-weather months—potato salad is great all year round.
Updated June 12, 2019


  • 6 medium boiling potatoes (2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 4 hard cooked eggs, chopped


  • 1
    Scrub potatoes. Leaves skins on if desired, or peel thinly and remove eyes.
  • 2
    Heat 1 inch water (salted if desired) to boiling; add potatoes. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cook 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Cool slightly; cut into cubes (about 6 cups).
  • 3
    Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in 4-quart glass or plastic bowl. Add potatoes, celery and onion; toss. Stir in eggs. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

  • Choose waxier potatoes if you want the salad to hold up well for picnics or big gatherings. Red or yellow potatoes, like a red new potato or Yukon rose (red-skinned, golden flesh) or gold (yellow-skinned with golden flesh). Russets or baking potatoes are starchier and will easily fall apart when stirred into a salad.
  • Double-check the seasonings, especially salt, before serving the salad.
  • Salting the water before adding the potatoes will help add to the flavor later in the salad.
  • You choose your favorite creamy dressing base. Mayonnaise is a classic sauce made from emulsion of egg yolks beaten with oil and vinegar. A creamy “salad dressing” is also emulsified and thick like mayo but has a few more seasonings and some sugar added. They’re often used interchangeably for making sandwiches or to dress chunky potato or pasta salads.
  • To keep the salad cold—especially when serving at picnics and potlucks—place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice.
  • Making the creamy dressing right in the salad bowl saves on clean-up and lets you really blend the ingredients before stirring in the potatoes.
  • The hard-cooked egg yolks meld into the dressing for the salad, adding a brighter color and richer flavor. Short-cut tip: look for fully cooked and peeled eggs in the dairy department.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
29 g
Saturated Fat
5 g
105 mg
480 mg
320 mg
Total Carbohydrate
17 g
Dietary Fiber
2 g
4 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 6 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

  • For much of its early history, potato salad was a hot-and-vinegary sort of dish. The earliest written recipes for American potato salad began appearing in the 1850s, and they called for cooked potatoes dressed with oil, vinegar and herbs, a style we’ve come to call “German potato salad,” and which is known as "Kartoffelsalat" in Germany. The cold, mayonnaise-dressed version of potato salad gained popularity in the early 20th century, thanks to the appearance of jarred mayonnaise on grocery store shelves. The great thing about potato salad is that, with mildly flavored boiled potatoes as your base, you have full creative freedom to make it your own. Substitute Greek yogurt for all or part of the mayonnaise, add chipotle peppers or Sriracha sauce to spice it up, and sprinkle on plenty of flavorful add-ins like crumbled cooked bacon, sliced scallions, plain or flavored potato chips or crumbled blue cheese. Once you’ve tried this easy potato salad recipe and learned how to make potato salad, you can find more inspiration from Betty’s Best Potato Salad Recipe Collection.
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