How To Make The Best Potato Salad
This easy, traditional potato salad recipe, handed down from my mom and then to me, has their secret tips that makes it the very best every single time.
It may be a pretty bold to claim, but saying this potato salad recipe is the best is a statement I’ll totally stand behind.
I’ve shared several variations of salad recipes here on the blog including my German salad, a creamy dill salad, my no-mayo salad with herbs, a bacon and soured cream loaded potato salad, and even more. But this salad is that the one that readers have made a top recipe here on the blog, and definitely ranks as my personal childhood favorite.
This classic salad is that the one I grew abreast of. It’s the recipe my mom, aunts, and cousins, and me and my sisters. It’s accompanied burgers, grilled ribs, and each other favorite summer dinner recipes under the sun.
So now it’s your turn to give it a try. Here’s the way to make the simplest salad ever.
Let’s get start
What’s In Potato Salad?
Here’s the ingredients you’ll need for this classic potato salad:
- Yukon gold potatoes (see below why they’re the best)
- white vinegar
- hard boiled eggs
- green onion
- Miracle Whip—it’s the secret sauce to this potato salad dressing
- yellow mustard
- celery seed
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
I use white potatoes or Yukon Golds. White potatoes are a touch creamier, a touch sweet and hold their shape well after cooking.
and since they need a thinner skin, they’re very easy to peel after boiling.
Avoid using starchier potatoes like russets that too easily address mush in salads like this.
Choose potatoes of an equivalent size for the foremost consistent cooking.
How to Keep Potato Salad from Getting Watery?
There are a few reasons salad can become runny. Here’s the way to troubleshoot the matter.
Be sure to feature the dressing to chill potatoes before adding the creamy mayo dressing. Potatoes will sweat water as they cool, which can contribute to watery salad.
And then, reader Vicki sent in an email together with her suggestion to avoid watery potato salad:
“I asked a renowned chef what I used to be doing wrong, and he told me NEVER to salt the potatoes either during cooking or preparing the salad. The salt makes the potatoes seep water. Ever since I took his suggestion, I even have never had a drag with watery salad. you’ll season the salad with salt, pepper, and other seasonings just before serving and it won’t affect the potatoes once they need been mixed with the mayo”.
How to Cook Potatoes for Potato Salad and how we can result all problems?
One of the biggest potato salad controversies is do you cut potatoes before boiling for potato salad? My mom says, no.
My mom cooks her potatoes whole with the skin on. I follow her lead, or will quarter them before cooking. The other method to cooking the potatoes is peeling and cutting the potatoes before cooking as suggested in the comments below. But, my mom says that method allows the potatoes to absorb more water, and so I do what mama says.
To cook the potatoes, add them to cold water and bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat, rather than adding the potatoes to hot, boiling water. Boil the potatoes until fork tender and the skin just begins to crack, about 20-25 minutes.
Another cooking method a reader suggests is steaming the potatoes in 1 inch of water for 30 minutes, which works too. Just be sure to watch you don’t boil your water away and burn the pan.
Add vinegar to the nice and cozy potatoes. One of the most important flavoring secrets to the success of this recipe is white vinegar. Adding a couple of hearty splashes of white vinegar to the cooked potatoes gives the salad it’s secret and subtle flavor punch. The key’s to feature the vinegar while still the potatoes are still warm, and allowing them to rest and absorb the vinegar’s zing because of the potatoes cool.
My mom’s next key ingredient is Miracle Whip. Now, there’s much debate within the comments about using Miracle Whip over traditional mayonnaise. But I’ve found that MW adds a sweet creamy flavor mayo just doesn’t have. I’ve tried both, and time and again I’ve returned to my roots and back to the Miracle Whip because that’s what mom uses then it’s the classic flavor I can’t get otherwise. If you’re a mayo fan, by all means, make the move. But maybe, just maybe, give the old Whip a try.
Always add eggs. My mom’s original recipe calls for just three eggs, but since I’m a super fan of eggs in potato salad, I’ve added two more.
Everyone has an opinion on what to feature and what to not increase salad. For our family recipe, chunks of celery and bites of scallion add the needed crunch to classic potato salads. I’ve added diced pickles before because everything tastes better with pickles. Except for this version of salad. I’m saving the pickles for my tuna sandwiches.
Mustard adds the tang. In the realms of the mustard world, we don’t even dream about getting fancy schmancy with German browns, hearty seeded or Frenchy dijon mustards.
Give this salad time. Allowing the salad flavors to meld is vital here. If I’m planning on eating the salad on the day I make it, I’ll prepare it at lunch so it can sit and build the flavors, or make it each day ahead. salad will stay good within the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If it doesn’t get devoured before then.
Everyone has their favorite ingredients that make up a pasta salad. Here are a few additions and variations you may be craving now.
- The most requested variation is to use mayo rather than Miracle Whip. If you favor, go for it. Personally, the sweetness in Miracle Whip is what I even have the foremost fondness for.
- You can try a half and half situation by subbing in half sour cream or Greek yogurt for any part of the mayo/Miracle Whip combo.
- Add pickles. Diced sweet pickles, dill pickles or pickle relish will give this salad another layer of zing.
- Chopped red onion or radishes will add a bit more heat.
- Add bacon for an earthy bite with bacon, sour cream and cheddar cheese instead.
- Try red potatoes instead of Yukon gold, and leave their jacket skins on for a more colorful potato look.