Which Way is Best for Making Potato Salad?

The answer to the question, “Which way is best for making potato salad?” is not so simple. Here are a few tips to make potato salad the best way possible. The Idaho Potato Commission recommends slicing potatoes into even pieces; inconsistent slicing can cause the potatoes to cook unevenly. To avoid this problem, the potatoes should be washed before cooking. Once they are washed, please place them in a large pot. Ensure the water is barely boiling so the potatoes do not get overcooked.

Potato salad

To make a delicious potato salad, you must first choose the potatoes that will go into your recipe. You can use either a bagged potato or individual spuds. Choose firm and smooth potatoes. Avoid green potatoes because they are not safe to eat. Also, remember to store your potatoes correctly. Store them in a cool, well-ventilated place with a lid. Light can cause sprouting.

Potato Salad Nutrition Facts

Potato Salad Nutrition Facts

What is Potato Salad?

Potato salad is made with boiled potatoes and usually includes a vinaigrette and additional components like boiled eggs and raw vegetables. It’s commonly served as a side dish in American restaurants and usually goes with the main course.

Potato salad is thought to have originated in Germany and expanded over Europe, European colonies, and eventually Asia. Recipes brought to the United States by German and other European immigrants during the nineteenth century are most likely the source of American potato salad.

Potato salad in the American style is served chilled or at room temperature. Mayonnaise or a similar replacement (such as yogurt or sour cream), herbs, and vegetables are frequently used (such as onion and celery). It’s up to you whether you want to make the dish vegetarian or not. The flavor of Asian-style potato salad is similar to that of American-style potato salad, but it is sweeter and eggier.

Which Way is Best for Making Potato Salad?

Although there are many different ways to make potato salad, here is one of the best ways you can use in your recipe:


Here are the ingredients for making potato salad:

  1. Potatoes: This recipe works best with Yukon Gold potatoes, although Russets or red potatoes will also work. If you don’t like the skins on your potatoes, you can peel them, but you should leave them in because they offer texture.
  2. Hard-boiled eggs: My favorite way to make these is in the Instant Pot, but you can also make them on the stovetop.
  3. Mayo or Miracle Whip: It is entirely up to you! In the Midwest, Miracle Whip (a lighter, somewhat sweeter, and spicy mayonnaise “dressing”) has long been the norm for this potato salad. However, you can use Miracle Whip or Mayo or a 50/50 mix. You could also replace some mayo with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
  4. Vinegar: I use apple cider vinegar in this salad, but red wine vinegar or white vinegar would also work. Whatever you have on hand will suffice!
  5. Pickle relish (optional): If you don’t like pickles, you can skip this step. If you like pickles, a generous scoop of relish (or diced pickles) gives this salad an appealing sweet tang.
  6. Veggies: Raw celery and onion are common ingredients in this dish.
  7. Seasonings: The typical flavors in this potato salad include celery salt, paprika (I prefer smoky paprika), salt, and pepper. However, look at the notes below for other great things to explore!
  8. Mustard: I like to use a tangy Dijon mustard in this salad.

To add a flair of color and flavor to your potato salad, sprinkle it with smoky paprika or Old Bay spice right before serving. You can also add an egg (extra hard-boiled eggs), chopped fresh herbs (chives, dill, parsley, etc. ), or a sprinkling of bacon to your potato salad.

Steps to Follow

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Cook the Potatoes:  Potatoes should be diced into large bits. Then transfer them to a large stockpot and fill them with cold water that has been lightly seasoned. Cook until the potatoes are cooked. Drain the potatoes in a colander, return them to the pot, drizzle with vinegar, and set aside to cool while the remainder of the ingredients is prepared.
  • Prep the sauce: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, celery salt, mustard, and pickle relish until well blended.
  • Toss everything together: When the potatoes are done, combine the mayonnaise, diced eggs, celery, and onion in a mixing bowl. Gently toss until everything is well incorporated.
  • Season: Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Also, feel free to add a tablespoon or two of pickle juice if you like.)
  • Chill: Transfer the potato salad to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to chill. Then serve chilled, topped with your desired garnishes.


Here are variations of potato recipes:

  • Add bacon: I will always be down for a potato salad with bacon.
  • Add fresh herbs: Feel free to mix any fresh herbs you might love — chives, dill, parsley, basil, thyme, etc. — into this potato salad.
  • Add extra pickles: If you love pickles, feel free to add in extra pickle juice and any other pickles you love!
  • Omit the pickle relish: If you don’t love pickles, omit them entirely.
  • Omit the mayo: If mayo’s not your fave, feel free to use plain Greek yogurt instead.
  • Use different potatoes: Everyone has a different opinion about the best potatoes for potato salad! Use whichever you love — Yukon Golds, Russets, red potatoes — all will work here. )
  • Use baked potatoes: Happen to have leftover baked potatoes on hand? Chop them up and add them in to make this a baked potato salad!
  • Use different vinegar: If you don’t love apple cider vinegar, feel free to swap in white vinegar or red wine vinegar instead.
  • Use different mustard: If you don’t love Dijon mustard, feel free to swap in regular yellow mustard or your favorite spicy mustard instead.
  • Make it vegan: Swap in your favorite vegan mayo to make this a vegan potato salad recipe.

How to Choose the Best Potato for Potato Salad?

Potatoes are classified in the culinary world according to their starch content. Here’s how to tell if each of the three primary types (waxy, all-purpose, and starchy) will work in your potato salad:

Waxy Potatoes

Waxy potatoes are high in sugar and water but poor in carbohydrates. This means they retain their shape after cooking and are less gritty than starchy potatoes. Furthermore, they have thin skin that does not require peeling. This is ideal for those who are short on time or prefer their potato salad to have a little more texture. Waxy potatoes produce a heavier potato salad than other cultivars.

What to Look For

  • New potatoes
  • Fingerling potatoes
  • Red potatoes

All-Purpose Potatoes

These in-between potatoes are ideal for a variety of uses. They’re known as the “Goldilocks” of the potato world because of their medium starch and moisture content. Their well-balanced texture complements a variety of potato meals.

What to Look For

  • Yukon Gold
  • Purple Majesty
  • All Blue

Starchy Potatoes

These potatoes are high in starch and low in moisture, as their name suggests. Because starchy potatoes are so absorbent, they’re ideal for soaking up other liquids such as milk or butter, and they are good for mashing because they tend to fall apart during cooking. Potato salads made with starchy kinds are creamy and absorb dressing well.

What to Look For

Once you’ve selected the type of potato you’d like to use, prepare the rest of the ingredients. You will need to clean the potatoes and prep them. If the potatoes are hard to peel, they may need an extra 15 minutes to finish. Then, cut them into similar-sized cubes. After cleaning, place the potatoes in a pot with cold water. If the potatoes are too soft, they’ll fall apart in the dressing.

Mistakes to Avoid While Making Potato Salad

Here are five mistakes you should avoid while making potato salad:

Using the Wrong Type of Potatoes.

When it comes to potato salad, not all potatoes are created equal. Starchy, all-purpose, and waxy potatoes are the three types of potatoes classified by texture. Avoid starchy potatoes like Russets for this recipe because they tend to come apart during cooking.

Not Starting the Potatoes in Cold Water

We commonly start cooking vegetables in boiling water, but this should not be the case with potatoes. The most significant disadvantage of starting potatoes in hot water is inconsistent cooking. As a result, the potato’s skin becomes overcooked and mushy, while the inside remains undercooked.

Not Seasoning the Water When Cooking the Potatoes

Seasoning is essential in a nice potato salad, especially if served cold. Suppose you wait until the potatoes are cool or while dressing the salad to season them; you’ll never get the same flavor. Seasoning as soon as possible is crucial.

Undercooking or Overcooking the Potatoes

Because potatoes are the key ingredient, they must be cooked to perfection. If you don’t cook them long enough, you’ll end up with firm, crunchy potatoes, which aren’t the texture you want in this meal. If you cook them for too long, they will get mushy.

Not Dressing the Potatoes at the Right Time

When the salad should be dressed depends on whether you’re using a mayo-based dressing or a vinaigrette. Don’t let the potatoes cool before coating them with vinaigrette. Also, avoid dressing heated potatoes when making a mayonnaise-based potato salad, and the mayonnaise will melt and turn oily from the hot potatoes.

How do you Prevent Homemade Potato Salad from Getting Watery?

Potato salad

The simplest approach to avoiding a watery potato salad is to reduce the water the potatoes absorb while cooking. To begin, choose a waxy potato, such as red or Yukon Gold, rather than a starchy potato, such as russets, which absorb a lot of water. Boil the potatoes until cooked (do not overcook), then drain and return to the pan over low heat for a minute to let the extra water evaporate. Cut into cubes when cool enough to handle.


Potato salad can be made using any potato, and those with waxy skin are the greatest. After cooking, the waxy potatoes keep their shape and texture. Alternatively, all-purpose potatoes can be used with a nice combination of starchy and waxy properties. In the end, you’ll have a great, healthy salad no matter which method you use. Then sit down with your pals and enjoy your meal.
Fresh herbs can also be added. Dill, chives, cilantro, tarragon, and parsley can be included in potato salad. The salad can be kept in the fridge for a few days after it has been made and served the next day, or leftovers can be kept in the fridge for another dinner. Cooking potatoes for potato salad in the right manner is simple and convenient if you plan ahead of time.