Potato Salad

From the recipe archive. First posted in 2005. Happy Labor Day weekend! ~Elise

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.

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.

Ingredients

  • 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.

Method

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

2 In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, and mustard. Add a little salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and use a rubber spatula to gently combine. Add the rest of the ingredients, 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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34 Comments

  1. Alice

    Thank you for the recipes…and the style in which you write. Refreshing.

    I may be alone in my amazement at this potato salad, but do give it a try. Pretty, different and yummy. It was served at a buffet lunch in Tahiti after a day of snorkeling. I have invented new versions based on the original recipe, but here is all it was:
    Tahitian Pink Potato Salad
    White potatoes
    red onion
    Best Foods Mayo (she made me promise!)
    Canned beets – julienne strips – or fresh cooked
    crispy canned corn

    Do try it. Enjoy!

    Hi Alice, Thanks, it sounds delicious! I love beets, with just about anything. ~Elise

  2. Jim Price

    Great recipe! I varied it by substituting a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for the pickles, adding 4 hard-boiled eggs, and cubing my potatoes before cooking. I think the golden Yukons make best potato salad.

  3. Anonymous

    Very wonderful! I found the flavors of the green onions to really ‘pop’ after a few days of the left overs sitting in the fridge. The second time I made it, I decided to add the onion in with the potatoes and sour cream/mayo mixture to mellow overnight. Made a big flavor difference.

  4. Rob N

    This is excellent except for the Dill pickles. Pickles yes, but Gerkins not Dill. You would be amazed the difference it makes.

  5. David

    I saw this potato salad recipe and felt that my own family’s extremely quick and simple version might be worth mentioning.

    Ingredients:
    1 bag New/baby potatoes
    1/2 jar “Real” mayonnaise
    3 eggs
    Small tin of anchovies
    Salt & pepper to taste

    1. Boil potatoes; about 15-20 minutes should work. Boil eggs semi-hard.
    2. Cut up potatoes (leave the skin on), and peel and cut up the eggs.
    3. Shred 4-5 anchovies by hand.
    4. Mix all ingredients in bowl.
    5. Add some salt and pepper, as desired.

    Et voila! A tasty, but not necessarily healthy, side-dish, providing enough for five or six people.

  6. Tami

    Everyone in my family is vegetarian, so we all love salads. recently we made this variation of potato salad: cubed, boiled potatoes+sweet peas+chopped pickles+steamed carrots+steamed beet(s)+mayonnaise. You can also substitute the beet with boiled eggs and olives. It’s amazing, hope you try it :)

  7. Jen

    Made this tonight for our Memorial Day gathering. I substituted dill relish for the pickles (all I had!) and it is amazing! I KNOW it will be even better tomorrow. Thank you for the great (and easy) recipe!!

  8. preet

    Thanks for this! The mustard and cilantro (or parsley) really makes all the difference.

    I improvised on your recipe and used red onions instead of green, skipped the dill and bacon, added 2 hard-boiled eggs and topped it off with grated mozzarella. It turned out great!

  9. Vicky

    I made this last night and loved it! The changes I made were 1/2 cup mayo 1/2 cup yogurt (no sour cream), added 1 clove garlic, added 2 more strips of bacon and omitted the celery (only because I forgot about it). It was delicious!

  10. John Astle

    I’ve enjoyed reading all of the variations made to this recipe. All of them sound GREAT! I believe Potato Salad is one of those recipes with a great deal of versatility, but almost anything you do, it still comes out great. Personally, I can’t imagine Potato Salad without hard-boiled egg. I also like to add a bit of horseradish and Tabasco Sauce to the mix.

  11. Cecilia Gunther

    Isn’t it wonderful how everyone has such individual potato salad preferences in your comments. I love that about your blog, you encourage everyone to feel free to add their favourites. My favourite is so completely dull that i am going to try your favourite.. And use whatever those potatoes are that I am digging out of the garden. (I am hopeless at labeling) new potatoes in potato salad are so creamy and delish. c

  12. Lisa

    Love love LOVE tater salad!! No bacon, sour cream or added salt for me, but the rest of the recipe is spot on!! I also sub a little sweet relish for the dill pickles. YUM!!!

  13. Mike

    My mother’s recipe was mostly the same, except she used equal parts whole milk and mayo–no sour cream for her–then used gherkins instead of dill pickles.

  14. Jette Stuart

    Incredible recipe…the bacon did wonders for the flavor

  15. Katrina

    A classic! Love this recipe :)

  16. Mary Morris

    I love this recipe, it’s like having a fully loaded baked potato in the summertime, with the bacon, chives and sour cream, without the heat. I use russet potatoes utilizing a Fanny Farmer tip: boil them whole, with skins on until tender when pierced by a fork. Drain the potatoes and as soon as you can handle them, peal off the skins (they come off quite easily when cooked and before they get cold) and discard, then chop up the potatoes. The cooking time is longer and it’s a bit tedious, but you are rewarded with wonderful, mealy potatoes that aren’t soggy.

  17. KimH

    Its funny.. Its taken me 49 years to begin to even like potato salad, and I only know of one recipe I really like, but I think this one sounds really yummy and Im thinking I just may have to make it. ;)
    Thanks! Hope you all had a great Labor Day!

  18. kate

    This is wonderful recipe. It’s actually similar to the one my mom used to make when i was a kid but instead of adding the dill pickle in mom would boil the potatoes with dill seed.

  19. Linda

    Excellent recipe! I wouldn’t change a thing. Very good taste using the Yukon Golds and the bacon was just the thing to include. I love trying your recipes the way that you present them without changing the ingredients. I really feel like I am venturing into new cooking experiences when I make them the way you make them instead of including my “
    old” way ingredients. Thanks, as always, for sharing your expertise. It is much appreciated.

  20. jonathan

    how could i have ever missed this? you know i’ve touted union square (nyc) cafe’s recipes many times in the past. here’s their version of potato salad with bacon, but using an herbed vinaigrette dressing made with some of the potato poaching liquid instead of a mayo-based dressing. really tasty. http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=657598

  21. Rose

    I made this recipe and it’s awesome. The only thing I did different was to cook the bacon in the microwave you never have to worry about the fat as it’s all absorbed by the paper towels.

  22. Tracy Lawson

    Now this looks like a potato salad that I could eat, I really love bacon in so many things as well as celery. I’ll be whipping this one up for sure! Thanks for the recipe!

  23. Askmeaboutcheese

    My mother always bakes her potatoes instead of boils, then chops after cooking for the potato salad, they hold up a lot better in the salad

  24. Julie

    This one sounds great! I’ve never used sour cream or bacon, I’m absolutely trying this next. Mine uses russets boiled unpeeled and whole, then peeled and sliced thin when slightly cooled, a mix of equal parts Greek yogurt and mayo, celery and celery leaves (the unsung hero), diced red onion, fresh chopped parsley, chopped capers, 2 tbs of yellow mustard, and salt/pepper/paprika. I’ve made it I think 7 times this summer now, my boyfriend goes crazy for it. This is my mom’s recipe with capers and mustard added and the hard-boiled eggs omitted because they smell and taste like death :p

  25. Nancy Long

    will definitely give this one a try, though have never found one I like as well as my mother’s. She added a bit of vinegar, but no pickle and she put in some chopped green pepper.

  26. S.

    The sour cream addition sounds good. Always a great recipe to have! Thanks for sharing this! :-)

  27. Judy

    I must have at least 50 potato salad recipes, most of them good…but classic recipes like this always seem to be the ones I make the most. We sometimes add diced smoked ham to our potato salad and serve as a main dish in the heat of summer, but I’m looking forward to using the bacon instead. We grow Italian flat leaf parsley, which is fabulous in this kind of dish. Served on a bed of fresh baby spinach leaves with a healthy sprinkle of smoked paprika sounds yummy…and I think I’ll use both Yukon Gold and Red potatoes.
    Thanks for another great recipe, Elise.

  28. declaratii fiscale

    Hmmm this recipe looks so delicious and nice and i think that fits perfect with my taste and in my opinion is a very easy recipe, so i think i will try it. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Annie

    Whoa, this is a great recipe but OMG I would NEVER toss out good bacon fat! I might even fold a bit of it into the potato salad. I always strain my rendered bacon fat, keep it in a canning jar by my stove and use it to season leafy greens or other dishes. Ever cook onions in bacon fat?? Scrumptious! I even mix it into dog’s food.

    Let’s not be so afraid of eating good, natural, wholesome saturated fats. The old advice concerning sat fats is VERY outdated and was wrong. Keep studying and researching this issue and you will see what I mean. The fat worth avoiding is trans fat (hydrogenated liquid oils); that’s the killer!! And the old, outdated research results didn’t differentiate between healthy sat fats and hydrogenated oils or trans fats.

    In case you are wondering…I’m 65, 5’5″ and have never been on any prescription drugs and I weigh 130 pounds. I eat healthy fats. What I don’t eat is refined grains–those will make you fat!

    This looks like a very tasty recipe for potato salad for sure!

    We always keep a jar of bacon drippings around, great for flavor. Try adding them to refried beans. Yum. ~Elise

  30. 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!

  31. Faythe

    I generally stay well away from potato salad, because of two things – vinegar and celery. I do like vinegar, but most of the time it’s too strong for me. Celery is just one of those things I don’t like due to the texture. So, I am always leaving the two out. :)

  32. Shuhada

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

  33. Karl

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

  34. The Omnivore

    This sounds like a great “splurge” potato salad!

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