Making a delicious potato salad from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With the right ingredients and a few simple steps, you can whip up an easy and traditional potato salad that will impress your guests and family alike. Follow these tips and tricks for how to make the best potato salads so you can enjoy them all summer long!
What is potato salad?
Potato salad is a traditional side dish typically served at barbecues and summer picnics. It’s made with potatoes, mayonnaise, and other vegetables such as celery, onion, bell pepper, and pickles. Herbs like dill or parsley are often added for an extra pop of flavor.
This particular recipe is my family’s version, and I just love it!
My recipe for potato salad is usually a big hit during the summer season, as it pairs nicely with grilled food and is easy to make ahead of time. Perfect for an outdoor BBQ with your friends and family! I like to have this salad with any meal actually, whether there is a BBQ or not.
I will sometimes adapt this easy potato salad recipe for Passover (without the peas), and you can also add hard-boiled eggs to it to make it richer.
Either way, it’s a delicious salad that can be enjoyed any time of the year.
To make this potato salad you need: potatoes, carrots, peas, pickles, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper. As I just mentioned you can also use hard-boiled eggs and can choose to omit the peas or not.
The process to make the potato salad starts with boiling the potatoes and carrots. If you use frozen peas then boil them as well. The other option is to use canned peas.
Once the potatoes, carrots, and peas are cooked, chop the pickles and mix them all with mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper. That's it, simple and easy as always.
Tips for making homemade potato salad
Whenever you make a potato salad at home, certain tips and tricks can be followed in order to make the most flavorful and delicious recipe.
Here are my best tips when making a homemade potato salad:
Use canned veggies
While it’s always nice to use fresh vegetables, canned veggies are an easy and tasty option for potato salad. If I can't get any fresh produce, I usually opt for canned peas and carrots, as they add great flavor and texture.
Pick the right kind of potato
When it comes to making a traditional potato salad, there are many different varieties of potatoes available to choose from. For this particular recipe, I would recommend using Yukon Gold potatoes or red potatoes, as they hold their shape well when cooked and provide a nice texture and flavor.
Yukon Gold potatoes are yellowish in color and tend to be creamier than other potatoes.
Don't overcook the potatoes
When boiled, potatoes should be cooked just until they are tender but not mushy. To test if the potatoes are cooked properly, insert a sharp knife into the potato and check to see how easily it penetrates. If it goes in easily, your potatoes are done!
If the potatoes are overboiled, they will become mushy and won’t hold up well in the salad. It might turn into mashed potatoes.
Use a different creamy dressing
A traditional potato salad is usually made with mayonnaise, but there are many different ways to make a creamy dressing. In my research, I've seen others use a combination of sour cream and Greek yogurt for the dressing. This creates an extra creamy texture and gives the potato salad a delicious tangy flavor.
I personally don't add this as it makes the recipe non-parve.
You can also add mustard, lemon juice, or vinegar to the dressing to brighten up the flavors.
When it comes to potato salads, cold is best! Be sure to allow the salad to cool completely before serving. If you’re short on time, you can put it in the fridge for a few minutes to speed up the cooling process.
Here are some questions people often ask about how to make the best potato salad.
What are the best potatoes for this potato salad recipe?
Waxy potatoes are the best for potato salad because they hold their shape when boiled, making them easier to slice and dice. Yukon gold potatoes are also a good choice because they have a buttery flavor and creamy texture.
How long do I boil potatoes for potato salad?
It depends on how large the potatoes are. Smaller potatoes need to boil for about 10–12 minutes, while larger potatoes may take up to 20–25 minutes.
What kind of pickles taste best in this salad recipe?
Dill pickles are the traditional pickle used in potato salad recipes, but you can also try dill relish or sweet pickles for a different flavor.
What should I serve with homemade potato salad?
This delectable, creamy salad pairs perfectly with any main course, making it a great choice for your meal. And, since the dish is parve (neither dairy nor meat), you can rest assured that you won't be compromising on kashrut. You can even serve this as part of Kiddush's array of starters alongside other salads, such as my cooked carrot one!
Can you freeze potato salad?
No, potato salad should not be frozen because the potatoes will become mushy and watery when thawed.
Make this easy potato salad recipe today!
This traditional potato salad recipe is a classic side dish that’s perfect for summer barbecues and potlucks. It’s easy to make and tastes delicious! All you need are just a few simple ingredients. Combine these ingredients with a few easy steps, and you’ve got yourself a delicious potato salad that everyone will love! Enjoy!
More Salad Recipes:
Want to add a few more salads to your menu? Check out some of these delicious recipes:
How To Make Potato Salad
- 7 potatoes peeled
- 4 carrots peeled
- ⅓ cup peas
- 4 pickles
- 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper by your taste
- Chop the potatoes and carrots into tiny cubes, adding them to a pot of water.
- Simmer on medium heat until these vegetables are soft and tender.
- Add the peas to the mix, cooking for several minutes more before straining all ingredients.
- Dice some pickles while you're at it!
- Place everything in one bowl, then mix with mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper; stirring thoroughly until combined.
- Refrigerate the potato salad until you are ready to serve.
- Serve and enjoy!