Dad’s Potato Salad

Updated December, 2011.

A month ago or so I made some potato salad. I love potato salad and was well pleased with this one. Then the next week my father made his version of potato salad. It was great too! The difference? Pickle juice and mustard. Also he throws in a hard boiled egg once in a while too. Note that getting the recipe out of my parents generated the usual recipe banter. Dad: “Use Russets.” Mom: “I’ve been making this recipe for years with all kinds of potatoes.” Dad: “Use Russets.” We’re using Russets in this recipe, which is why it is called, “Dad’s” potato salad.

Dad’s Potato Salad Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4-6.


  • 3 or 4 mid sized Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 Tbsp juice from Kosher dill pickles
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped dill pickles
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 or 2 chopped scallions, including the greens
  • 1-2 hard boiled eggs, chopped (optional)
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, raw or roasted, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 Place peeled, cut potatoes in a large pot. Cover with an inch of salted water. Bring a pot of water to boil. Simmer for 10-20 minutes until just fork tender. Remove from pot. Let cool enough to handle, but still warm.

2 Put potatoes in to a large bowl. Add the juice from the Kosher dill pickles. Add the finely chopped pickles themselves. Add parsley, onions, celery, scallions and, if using, the hard boiled egg, carrots, and red bell pepper.

3 In a separate small bowl, mix mayonnaise with mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the dressing with the potato mixture. Again, salt and pepper to taste.

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Showing 4 of 37 Comments

  • george

    My grandmother made potato salad with pickles, but the secret ingredient was an apple or two diced up. That way you get a balance of tart and sweet.

  • Anna

    I learned this trick from a friend while preparing potato salad for her daughter’s wedding:

    After boiling, skinning, and cubing the potatoes, marinate them in a little vinaigrette for a few hours before adding the mayonnaise and other ingredients. This gives the potato salad a whole new depth. Use white vinegar or rice vinegar or white balsamic vinegar to keep from darkening the potatoes, and good olive oil.

  • Francille

    For a different twist on this favorite salad, I bake the potatoes instead of boiling. When cool enough to handle, peel skins, then dice and toss with a good virgin olive oil. Mix mayo with sour cream [ half & half ]and a dollop of mustard. Add pickle relish of choice, followed with the usual celery, onions, hard boiled eggs, fresh ground sea salt, fresh ground white peppercorns. Enjoy

  • Paul

    Elise, this was delicious! Made it for a Labor Day party and got compliments. I couldn’t resist adding stuff, which is a bad habit of mine. To your terrific base recipe, I added some roasted corn and to the dressing, I added some buttermilk, since I had it out for a cake and was really loving that tangy taste. With the buttermilk, I ended up adding a bit more mustard.

    Love your blog!

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