This Southern Potato Salad is the best creamy version made with simple ingredients. Tender potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, sweet relish and a dash of mustard come together perfectly in must-have recipe for any celebration or barbecue.
You know those recipes you call your mom for. This potato salad recipe is one of those recipes. I grew up (in Eastern NC) on my grandmother’s old-fashioned Potato Salad and she never had an “exact recipe”. She just tossed in the ingredients and did the taste test.
Thank goodness I finally learned that making this classic potato salad is much easier than I thought. I was so nervous the first time for some reason.
There are many versions of Potato Salads, but this is traditional southern potato salad I grew up on. To me, this is by har the best potato salad recipe around!
It’s one of those family favorite easy side dishes that everyone looks forward to at so many holidays and family gatherings throughout the year. I mean is there anything better to have with burgers or hot dogs at a cookout than this great recipe!
Ingredients you will need:
Makes 8 servings
Potatoes – Peeled and diced. I think the best potatoes are white potatoes because they are so creamy But Yukon gold potatoes and red potatoes work well too. Starchy potatoes, like Russet potatoes, typically do not do well in potato salad since they have a tendency to fall apart after boiling them.
Hard-boiled eggs – A must for potato salad. I like my potato salad with lots of egg but if you prefer just 3 or 4 that is fine as well.
Mayonnaise – Another classic ingredient for any potato salad. My personal preference is Hellman’s mayonnaise. But I know there are some die hard duke’s mayonnaise lovers that swear by it too . Some people do prefer a whipped salad dressing ,like miracle whip, 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.
Yellow Mustard – adds just the right amount of a tangy flavor.
Sweet pickle relish – has always been in our version of potato salad but you can also use dill pickles or dill relish if you prefer.
Salt and pepper – You can also sprinkle the top with a little paprika too if you’d like.
Other additions you can add is chopped yellow onion and chopped crunchy celery. Green onions, sweet onion and red onion are also great too. My grandmother didn’t add either of these but I know they are popular in some variations.
How to Make this Homemade Potato Salad
Step 1: Place the large eggs in a pot of water. When the water comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 minute.
Step 3: Peel and dice the potatoes into about 1 inch pieces. You can boil the potatoes with the skin on and scrape the skin off with a knife after you have cooked and drained them.
Step 4: Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water and bring them to a boil over high heat for about 15 minutes UNCOVERED or until fork tender. Drain in a colander and then place the hot potatoes in a large bowl or the serving bowl you want to use.
Step 5: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to give the potatoes ample time to cool completely. If you try to mix warm cooked potatoes, they tend to crumble when stirring.
Step 6: In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, and sweet pickles together. Then add salt and black pepper to taste.
Then add the potatoes and fold in gently.
Plan to give your potato salad several hours in the refrigerator before diving in. The flavors get better and better as the hours go by. (usually 4-6 is plenty of time).
Make a day or 2 before if you have time to let the flavors blend even more.
Cook the potatoes with the skin on if you prefer.
Use dijon mustard if desired.
Add a dash of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar if you prefer a tangier flavor
Add a little celery seed and/ or garlic powder if desired.
If you happen to have any leftovers, they will keep just fine for about 4 days in the refrigerator. If your potato salad 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.
You can serve potato salad warm or cold. I actually love it warmed. Just be sure to heat it up and not let it sit out to get warm.
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.