Classic Potato Salad

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

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted in 2005.

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 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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Showing 4 of 37 Comments

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Rob N

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

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