Creamy potato salad is loaded with fork tender chunks of potato and hard-boiled eggs, in a flavorful, tangy dressing sprinkled with green onions and smoky paprika. Whip up this classic side dish for any occasion, whether it’s Easter, a cookout, or Sunday dinner.
Make this potato salad recipe and you will always have an invite to the cookout! Potato salad is a must-have side dish for every Black family gathering, especially in the summertime. Since it’s one of the most anticipated dishes at cookouts, barbeques, picnics, and potlucks, you want to do it right.
When they ask, “Who made the potato salad?” you want it to be with enthusiasm! The best potato salad is creamy, thick, tangy, and savory. Each ingredient adds a layer of flavor so when you scoop a spoonful into your mouth, you’re experiencing true bliss!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS CREAMY POTATO SALAD RECIPE
- Crowd-Pleasing Side Dish. No family function is complete with a heaping bowl of potato salad. It goes with everything from hamburgers and hotdogs to fried chicken and collard greens.
- Easy Prep. Boil potatoes and eggs then combine them with a mayo-based dressing. It really is that simple!
- Downright Delicious. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! My recipe follows the key ingredients of an old fashioned potato salad so you know it includes boiled eggs, sweet pickles, and mayonnaise.
The Best Potatoes for Creamy Potato Salad
The type of potatoes you use makes all the difference. Here are my top picks for the best potato salad recipe:
- Russet Potatoes: Soft and flaky, these starchy potatoes become tender when cooked. They mash easily which is what you want for super creamy potato salad.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes: These sturdy potatoes keep their firm texture, even after being cooked. If you prefer a denser potato salad, opt for this.
- Red Potatoes: The waxy residue on these tiny potatoes helps them keep their shape. They have a slightly sweet taste and the skin is so thin, you don’t have to peel it.
Creamy Potato Salad Ingredients
- Potatoes: I use two 8 oz russet potatoes.
- Eggs: I can’t imagine a potato salad recipe without hard-boiled eggs. It makes the dish hearty and adds some creaminess due to the yolk.
- Onion: Use diced red or white onions.
- Celery stalks: If you like your potato salad to have a little crunch, use fresh celery.
- Bread n Butter Pickle Relish: This adds a sweetness that complements the other ingredients but you can use a dill pickle relish if you prefer.
- Mayonnaise: Aside from the potatoes themselves, this ingredient is crucial to the overall texture of the dish. Use your favorite brand.
- Mustard BBQ Sauce: This adds a sweet, savory, spicy quality to this recipe. If you can’t get ahold of this delicious sauce, use dijon mustard or yellow mustard instead.
- Red Wine Vinegar: This adds dimension to the overall flavor.
- Seasoning: I keep it simple with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
- Garnish: Once the potato salad is set, I top it off with smoked paprika and green onion for taste and a colorful presentation.
How To Make Creamy Potato Salad
Peel and dice potatoes into ½ inch cubes. Place cut potatoes in a bowl of cool water as you cut them in order to prevent them from turning brown. Set aside.
In a large pot add water and bring to a boil and season the water with salt. With a slotted spoon add potatoes to the water. Boil just until the potatoes are tender to the bite but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and let potatoes cool off.
Boil, Peel, and Dice Eggs
While the potatoes are chilling, boil and peel the eggs. Dice the egg whites up and place them into the bowl.
Mix and Mash
Stir in onions, relish, mayo, and mustard in with potatoes in a large bowl. Gently mash a few of the potatoes, while stirring to create a creamier, thickened texture. Taste again and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish and Serve
Place in a casserole dish and garnish the top with paprika and chives if desired. Refrigerate and serve cool.
The key to classic potato salad is to not stray too far from the basics. So you won’t see add-ins like raisins or nuts but I do have tasteful ideas and substitutes.
- Fresh Herbs: For a pop of flavor, consider adding dill, thyme, chives, parsley, rosemary, or oregano.
- Add Sour Cream: This enhances the creaminess of the dish but also lightens the taste of the mayonnaise dressing.
- Miracle Whip: Some people use Miracle Whip instead of mayo to make creamy potato salad. If you prefer a subtle sweetness, then Miracle Whip is the best choice.
- Vinegar: If you can’t get ahold of some red wine vinegar, use apple cider vinegar or pickle juice instead. This adds a delightful tang to the potato salad.
- Radishes: For a satisfying crunch (and a boost of vitamin C) add this to the mix. They have a spicy, earthy taste that can round out the other flavors.
- Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon: Add some crumbled bacon as a topping for a truly decadent side dish. The savory, salty combo would be so mouthwatering.
- Do not overcook the potatoes. If you do, they will absorb the water they are boiled in and become too mushy.
- Allow the potatoes times to cool down before mixing them with the other ingredients. Hot potatoes release water as they cool. Then your potato would be watery and that’s not appetizing.
- Gently combine the ingredients so you don’t over-mash the potatoes.
- After preparing the potato salad, let it chill for at least 15 minutes in the fridge so the flavors have time to settle in and combine.
Store leftover potato salad in the fridge for up to 3 days, in an airtight container.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can potato salad be made ahead?
Creamy potato salad is best enjoyed immediately or within 6 hours of preparation. If you want to save some time, have your potatoes and boiled eggs prepared the day before. Then all you have to do is combine your ingredients.
Can I freeze potato salad?
I would not freeze potato salad because the texture will change when it’s defrosted.
Do I have to peel the skin off the potatoes?
Peeling the skin off potatoes to make potato salad is a matter of preference. In fact, leaving the skin on provides more nutrients since potato skins are packed with antioxidants. Just make sure the potatoes are thoroughly rinsed so there’s no grittiness left behind from dirt.
If you loved this Classic Cookout Potato Salad recipe, let me know in the comments. For more delicious recipes, follow me on TikTok and Instagram!
Creamy Potato Salad (Cookout Classic)
- 1 lb Potatoes I used two 8 oz russet potatoes
- 8 Eggs
- ½ Onion diced
- 2 Celery stalks
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp Bread n Butter Pickle Relish
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 1½ tbsp Mustard BBQ Sauce
- 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste
- Smoked Paprika for garnish
- Green Onion for garnish
- Peel and dice potatoes into ½ inch cubes.
- Place cut potatoes in a bowl of cool water as you cut them to prevent them from turning brown. Set aside.
- In a pot add water and bring to a boil and season the water with salt. With a slotted spoon add potatoes into the water.
- Boil just until the potatoes are tender to the bite but still hold its shape, about 10 minutes.
- Drain potatoes and let potatoes cool off.
- While potatoes are chilling, boil and peel the eggs.
- Dice the egg whites up and place them into the bowl.
- Stir in onions, relish, mayo, and mustard in with potatoes in a large bowl.
- Gently mash a few of the potatoes, while stirring to create a creamier, thickened texture.
- Taste again and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Place in a casserole dish and garnish the top with paprika and chives if desired.
- Refrigerate and serve cool.