A classic and easy Potato Salad Recipe that’s perfect for any party or potluck. Make sure that you save this one for Memorial Day and July 4th!
I’ve gotten a few requests recently for more savory recipes, and with some big outdoor holidays (Memorial Day, July 4th, etc.) right around the corner, what could be better than a classic Potato Salad recipe!?
Today’s potato salad recipe ranks up there with other picnic favorites like Macaroni Salad and Deviled Eggs. It’s a simple staple recipe that’s easy to make and that everyone is going to want the recipe for.
My version is dressed up with a sprinkle of sugar and sweet pickle juice, a dash of smoked paprika, and the option to add plenty of bacon. It’s creamy and flavorful and if you make it once, be prepared to be asked to bring it to parties for the rest of your life.
A Word About Bacon!
The best potato salad is potato salad with bacon! I love this addition because it enhances the flavor of the salad and just adds a little something extra. That being said, if you don’t eat bacon you can leave this out without making any other alterations to the recipe.
You can buy pre-cooked, pre-crumbled bacon from the store and use it in this recipe (I often do when I’m trying to save time) and that will work fine. Do make sure that you buy “real” bacon (it should say it on the label) and not “artificially flavored” bits. If you choose to cook your own, you’ll need about 5-6 strips and make sure to cook until nice and crispy so it doesn’t become soggy in your potato salad.
Should the Potatoes Cool Before Making Potato Salad?
I always recommend allowing your potatoes to cool completely before making potato salad. We are using a mayonnaise-based dressing for this potato salad recipe, and if you add that to potatoes that are too hot, you could end up with an oily coating over your potatoes rather than a creamy dressing.
What is the Best Potato to use?
The potatoes that you choose to use can make all the difference in the end result! For this potato salad recipe, I strongly recommend using a waxy potato like Gold or Fingerling potatoes. Red potatoes are another great choice. This type of potato will stay firm after cooking and hold its shape without falling apart. As a bonus, these potatoes have a thin skin and don’t need to be peeled (though you can if you’d like to!).
Starchy potatoes (like Russet or Idaho potatoes), while they may be great in potato soups, generally are not recommended when making potato salad. However, my mom always uses Russet potatoes to make potato salad (it’s just what she keeps in her pantry, so she uses them).
Personally, I don’t think that Russet potatoes are necessarily a bad choice, but keep in mind that they are much starchier and will soak up the dressing in a way that the waxier varieties above will not. They also have a thicker skin that can be tough and chewy in a potato salad, and if you opt to use this variety I recommend peeling before boiling. I’ve found potato salad made with starchy potatoes to be softer and creamier, while waxy potatoes yield a salad that requires a bit more chewing, so choose your preference!
Other Recipes You Might Like:
Be sure to check out my Potato Salad Video at the bottom of the recipe! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 100 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
- 2 lbs potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces¹ (910g)
- 3 hard-boiled eggs diced
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion (60g)
- ½ cup diced sweet pickles (75g)
- 1-2 stalks celery diced
- ½ cup crumbled bacon² (may be omitted) (60g)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (220g)
- 1 Tablespoon sweet pickle juice³
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and allow potatoes to cool completely.
- Once potatoes have cooled, combine cooked potatoes, eggs, onion, sweet pickles, celery, and bacon in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare dressing by whisking together mayonnaise, sweet pickle juice, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika until well-combined.
- Pour dressing over ingredients in large bowl and toss until all ingredients are well coated by dressing.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.