Classic Potato Salad

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Summer. Outdoor barbecues, kids and swimming pools, burgers, hot dogs, and plenty of potato salad. We made a big batch of potato salad for a little family gathering this weekend. How about you?

What I love about potato salad is that it serves a lot of people without a lot of effort, and it’s so easy to make a good one. I love using Yukon golds, though you can use any potato. My dad likes using russets in his potato salad. This recipe is extra creamy with the addition of sour cream as a binder.

Classic Potato Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

If you are using Russets and not Yukon Gold potatoes, peel them first, then cut them into 1-inch pieces for cooking. The bacon is entirely optional, feel free to skip it, or experiment with other ingredients. My dad likes adding minced carrots and chopped hard boiled egg to his potato salad.


  • 2 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes (you can leave the peel on if you want), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons of mustard (your favorite, yellow, Dijon, stone ground)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 dill pickles, chopped into 1/4 in cubes (about 3/4 cup)
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked* and finely chopped
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

*To cook the bacon, heat a frying pan on medium low. Lay out the strips of bacon in a single layer. Gently cook, turning over occasionally with tongs, until lightly browned, and much of the fat rendered out. Place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess fat. Do not pour any fat from the pan down the drain, it will clog it. Instead, pour it into a jar, or sop up with paper towels and discard.


1 Cover potatoes with salted water and bring to a simmer: In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.

2 Simmer until fork tender, then drain: Simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. (If you want, add some pickle juice to the drained, still slightly warm potatoes. The potatoes will absorb some of the juices, making them even tastier!)

3 Whisk together sour cream, mayo, mustard, salt, pepper: In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, and mustard. Add a little salt and pepper.

4 Add potatoes and other ingredients: Add the potatoes and use a rubber spatula to gently combine with the sour cream mixture. Add the green onions, celery, parsley, pickles, and bacon, again gently combining. (Include a couple tablespoons of the pickle juice for good measure.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Potato Salad

Showing 4 of 30 Comments

  • Gina

    So I added a few things-juice from a couple lemons, tablespoon of olive oil, seasoning of chives, minced onions, garlic powder, parsley, dill weed, seasoning salt, celery salt, some Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, vinegar, eggs and some green olives. I couldn’t get it right until I added the lemon juice, made it all come together. I love potato salad and I’m always trying new things. My boyfriend commented the last time I made it that it was never the same. I think this batch is the best ever. The olive oil makes a big difference also and it’s good for you!

  • Jennifer

    I’m looking for a recipe to make mayonnaise without eggs, spice and mustards. Because I’m allergic to eggs and any and all spices. Does anyone by any chance know if there is a recipe to make mayonnaise using sour cream? Thank you very much.

  • Karl

    I love potato salad! But this recipe made me love it even more!

  • Shuhada

    so delicious! I love a good old fashioned potato salad.

  • Tempy

    This salad is so familiar to the one I prepare, although I usually use garden variety mustard (the one we all know from yellow bottles) I tried Djon this time and the green onions, versus the purple or white I usually love to use (for the strenth of onionish flavor). I substituted bacon for a few thinly cubed pieces of ham that we had from leftovers and added boiled eggs to the batch. It sure was a winner here!

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