This Southern Potato Salad recipe is the best classic, creamy version with hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, pickle relish and a dash of mustard. It’s a must-have for any celebration or barbecue.
You know those recipes you call your mom for. This is one of those recipes. I grew up (in Eastern NC) on my grandmother’s Potato Salad and for the longest time never had a true “recipe”. She just tossed in the ingredients and did the taste test.
Thank goodness I finally learned that making potato salad from scratch is much easier than you think. It’s that side dish that everyone looks forward to at so many holidays throughout the year. You can even make it up to 2 days in advance!
Ingredients you will need
Psst – all the quantities are listed in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Makes 8 servings
I like to use white potatoes because I think they are creamier. But Yukon potatoes work well too. Peel and dice them into inch pieces. Russet potatoes typically do not do well in potato salad since they have a tendency to fall apart after boiling them. I always peel my potatoes prior to cutting and boiling them. But you can also cook the potatoes with the skin on if you prefer.
Chopped hard-boiled eggs are a must for potato salad. I think more eggs are better but if you prefer just 3 or 4 that is fine as well.
Mayonnaise is, of course, another must for any potato salad. I’m a Hellman’s lover myself. Some people do prefer a whipped salad dressing for a tangier flavor. I personally think regular mayo is best but feel free to use light mayo if you want to cut calories a little more.
A tad of yellow mustard adds just the right amount of a tangy flavor.
Sweet pickle relish has always been in our version of potato salad.
Finish it with salt and pepper to taste
Other additions you can add is chopped onions and chopped celery. My grandmother didn’t add either of these but I know they are popular in some variations.
How to Make Southern Potato Salad
Place eggs in a pan covered with cold water. When the water starts to boil, reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 1 minute .
Peel and dice the potatoes into about 1 inch pieces.
Cover them with water and bring them to a boil for about 15 minutes UNCOVERED or until tender. Drain in a colander.
Let the potatoes cool completely before mixing them so they won’t crumble. I actually put mine in a bowl in the refrigerator for about an hour.
In a separate bowl, mix the other ingredients together.
Then add the potatoes and mix in gently to avoid overworking.
Plan to give your potato salad several hours in the frig before diving in. The flavors get better and better as the hours go by. (usually 4-6 is plenty of time). As I mentioned earlier, making it a day or 2 before is even better if you have time.
If you happen to have any leftovers, they will keep just fine for about 4 days in the refrigerator. If your potato has been at room temperature longer than 2 hours (or 1 hour if the temperature is over 90 degrees F), discard any leftovers since bacteria can grow if left out longer.
Oh, I have a question. How do you like your potato salad? Warm or Cold? I like it warm. Is that weird?
Try these other side dish recipes too:
Southern Potato Salad Recipe
- 2 lbs potatoes peeled and diced
- 7 hard boiled eggs chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise -
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- 4 TBSP sweet pickle relish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place eggs in a pan covered with cold water. When the water starts to boil, reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 1 minute .
- Remove from heat and COVER and let stand for 20 minutes. Or you can bake your eggs in the oven for the perfect hard boiled egg!
- Peel and dice the potatoes into about 1 inch pieces.
- Cover them with water and bring them to a boil for about 15 minutes UNCOVERED or until tender. Drain in a colander.
- Let the potatoes cool before mixing so they won't crumble. I actually put mine in a bowl in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- In a separate bowl, mix the other ingredients together.
- Then add the potatoes and mix gently.