What Are The Best Potatoes For Potato Salad
In order to make the BEST Potato Salad, you need to choose the right potatoes for the job. Potatoes based on texture can be categorized into 3 groups:
- Waxy: These thin-skinned potatoes have the least amount of starch and retain their shape well when boiled. Thin skins also mean that peeling is optional if youre short on time or like a more rustic salad. Examples are red, new, or fingerling potatoes. The down side of waxy potatoes is they do not hold flavor of dressings or vinaigrette well.
- In-Between: Also known as all-purpose potatoes, these potatoes have more starch than waxy potatoes, but will generally work well in most potato dishes, including potato salad. White and Yukon Golds are the most popular potatoes in this group, and are reliable in-between potatoes to always have around. These potatoes hold both their textures flavors from dressings well.
- Starchy: For potato salad, youll want to stay away from starchy, thick-skinned potatoes like russets, which will fall apart during the cooking process. Russet Potatoes are better for mashed potatoes.
For the Best Potato Salad recipe, use in-between potatoes. I prefer either white or Yukon gold potatoes. They boast a delicious buttery flavor, are a little sweet, hold their shape after cooking while still imparting a creaminess all without becoming mushy. They also absorb the dressing better than waxy potatoes resulting in tastier potatoes through and through.
German Potato Salad Recipe
Warm cozy German Potato Salad Recipe with bacon and onions! A fabulous side dish for any back to school dinner.
The first time I ever tasted german style potato salad was at an Octoberfest street fair years ago. As I walked down the street I smelled an intoxicating aroma of bacon mixed with something tangy.
The fragrance seemed to pull me toward a large cast iron kettle filled to the brim with potatoes, onions, and bacon. I asked the attendant for a serving of whatever-that-is, and she genuinely seemed concerned that I was unfamiliar with german potato salad.
Never had I tasted potato salad that was so rich and tangy with a hint of sweetness Plus it was warm, not cold, like the potato salads I was used to.
Although I love making classic chilled potato salads through the spring and summer, the moment the kids are back in school I immediately switch over to this classic German Potato Salad Recipe loaded with crispy bacon, sweet onions, fresh parsley, and tons of tang!
In my German Potato Salad Recipe I like to use the multicolored new potatoes you find in 1-2 pound bags in the produce department. However, you can use any type of new potato you like.
To make this German Potato Salad Recipe start by boiling the potatoes until fork-tender. Then chop them into bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, sizzle the bacon in a large saute pan or deep skillet. Pour off some of the bacon grease, and cook the onion with the bacon until soft and golden.
What Else Can I Add To Amish Potato Salad
Like most salads, Amish potato salad can be easily customized to your liking. To add texture, try sprinkling on crumbled thick-cut bacon, french-fried onions or blanched green beans. If you like your food spicy, whisk a few splashes of hot sauce into the dressing, tasting as you go. For extra color, toss your Amish potato salad with chopped parsley or fresh dill.
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More Easy Salad Recipes
- This Lemony Chicken Breast Recipe with Feta and Cucumber Salad it is quick to make and is perfect for weeknight meals.
- Easy Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Dill the salad comes together quickly and it made with fresh lemon, fresh dill, crisp cucumber and tomatoes.
- This delicious and Easy Potato Salad Recipe is mayonnaise free and has lots of fresh herbs.
- Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe with a tzatziki-inspired dressing made with Greek yogurt, vinegar, fresh lemon, garlic, and dill. Its light, refreshing and less than 30 calories per serving!
Recipe updated, originally posted June 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. Adam and Joanne
How To Make A Potato And Green Bean Salad With Feta Vinaigrette
We love a big bowl of classic potato salad, but get just as excited with this simple salad of sliced potatoes, green beans, olives and a dressing made with feta cheese and sherry vinegar. For another mayo-free potato salad, take a look at our easy herb potato salad or try our easy green bean salad with crispy shallots!
We cook the potatoes whole then let them cool slightly and slice. For the green beans, we start with fresh and cook until crisp tender. Then to make the dressing, we whisk vinegar, olive oil, mustard and the lemon juice until creamy. Add the feta cheese, stir well then season with salt and pepper.
The real trick is to wait about 15 minutes before serving. In just 15 minutes the potatoes have a chance to soak up flavor from the dressing. The wait is worth it. This is perfect served as a side, but we usually enjoy it with some protein on top. Try baked chicken breast or some roasted shrimp.
Recipe updated, originally posted June 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. Adam and Joanne
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Expert Tips For Potato Salad
- Boiling the Potatoes: Typically potatoes are boiled in plain salted water. In this recipe, some vinegar and sugar are added to the water and this infuses a mild sour and sweet taste into the potatoes. Not sweet like sweet potatoes, but rather just a hint of sweetness. The sourness is also faint and not pronounced.
- Do not overcook the Potatoes: While boiling potatoes, first make sure you have chopped or diced them evenly. Usually, chopped potatoes take about 15 to 20 minutes on a medium flame to cook until tender. Use a fork or a knife to check if they are cooked well and be sure not to overdo the cooking. This will result in a mushy or pasty salad.
- Scaling the Recipe: You can easily double or triple the recipe. Use the recipe card below to scale the ingredients.
- Leftovers: Refrigerate the leftover salad and it will stays good for 1 to 2 days. While serving, You can serve the salad chilled or can warm it in an oven.
How To Cook Potatoes For Potato Salad
One of the biggest potato salad controversies is do you cut potatoes before boiling for potato salad? My mom says, no.
My mom cooks her potatoes whole with the skin on. I follow her lead, or will quarter them before cooking. The other method to cooking the potatoes is peeling and cutting the potatoes before cooking as suggested in the comments below. But, my mom says that method allows the potatoes to absorb more water, and so I do what mama says.
To cook the potatoes, add them to cold water and bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat, rather than adding the potatoes to hot, boiling water. Boil the potatoes until fork tender and the skin just begins to crack, about 20-25 minutes.
Another cooking method a reader suggests is steaming the potatoes in 1 inch of water for 30 minutes, which works too. Just be sure to watch you dont boil your water away and burn the pan.
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How Long Can I Store Potato Salad In The Fridge
USDA recommends that if the potato salad was held in excess of 41°F for over two hours, then discard. To keep potato salad cold while serving for an extended period of time, you can fill a large bowl with ice then place the Potato Salad bowl in the ice.
Potato salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When properly stored, it should easily last 3-4 days in the fridge if properly stored. If you made it and stored it for 2 days before serving make sure to discard after 2 days.
Serve The French Potato Salad And Enjoy
It’s time to get a fork and dig into the wonderful French potato salad. This dish would make a great side to any protein or sandwich, and we think it would be a hit at a picnic. “This is a great side dish for sandwiches or anything off the grill,” Hahn says. If you have leftovers, they will last for about a week in the fridge. “When you are serving after it has been in the fridge, the dressing will get soaked up in the potatoes, so sometimes I add a little vinegar to revive the dressing,” Hahn notes. “And I always top with more fresh herbs.”
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Can I Make Potato Salad Ahead Of Time
Yes, and PLEASE do, chilling your salad will only make it more flavorful! You can make the Potato salad 1 or 2 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I often make my potato salad the night before serving for best results. Store the bacon separately or cook it up right before you serve to keep it crispy.
Alternatively, you can cook the potatoes ahead of time and keep them in the fridge, and then make the dressing. Potatoes, however, will turn brown and start to oxidize once cut, so add lemon juice or white wine vinegar to the boiling water before draining.
What Our Readers Are Saying
If you dont believe that our recipe helps you achieve the best homemade potato salad, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.
Ive made this so many times!! Always so yummy and a big hit with even the pickiest eaters!! Pam
Best potato salad ever!! Melinda
Excellent. Tastes delicious! Its so much better than the potato salad purchased at the store. LouAnn
I LOVED this potato salad! Paula
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How To Avoid A Watery Potato Salad
- Drain potatoes: your boiled potatoes will be full of water so make sure you sufficiently drain them in a colander to get rid of any excess moisture.
- Cool potatoes: ALWAYS let the potatoes cool completely before adding the creamy dressing. Potatoes will continue to sweat if you mix them while they are hot, and this can make the mayonnaise watery.
- Chill salad: Make sure you let the potato salad chill and set up before serving.
- Prep celery ahead: Fresh-cut celery can drip water into the salad so I recommend cutting the celery at least an hour ahead of time and laying it on a paper towel to dry out.
- Drain pickle relish: we want some of the liquid that comes with relish because it adds to the flavor of the potato salad, but take care your relish isnt overly watery or you might need to drain some of the liquid off.
Whats In Potato Salad
I spent many a summer afternoon making and taste testing this salad alongside my amazing mama, just like she did with hers. In fact, Ive made it so many times I dont even need the recipe. You know a recipe is that good when you know it by heart.
Heres the ingredients youll need for this classic potato salad:
- Yukon gold potatoes
- white vinegar
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
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How Long To Boil Potatoes For Potato Salad
Cook your potatoes until theyre just right, not over or under cooked. Start checking your potatoes after theyve been boiling for five minutes by piercing the potatoes with a fork. If the prongs enter cleanly with a little resistance, the potatoes are finished cooking. This can take anywhere from five to eight minutes, depending on the size of your potato pieces. Wait any longer and the potatoes will fall apart.
How To Make The Best Potato Salad
This classic potato salad is the one I grew up on. Its the recipe my Grandma Mary Jane originally made, then passed down my mom, aunts, and cousins, and me and my sister. Its accompanied burgers, grilled ribs, and every other favorite summer dinner recipes under the sun.
As favorite family recipes do, its a food memory none of us can, or want to, forget. It shows up at nearly every BBQ, picnic or good old fashioned supper soirée at my house, and its one Im proud as punch to share when I go to others homes as well. And its extremely popular with readers who love it all year round, at Thanksgiving and Christmas too. Who knew? Looks like this recipe has found its Southern potato salad roots.
So now its your turn to give it a try. Heres how to make the best potato salad ever. Lets get started
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Mashed Potato Salad Ingredients
POTATOES Any kind of mashed potatoes will do! Even if they are already seasoned , it will add to the flavor of the salad.
ADD-INS We added celery and hard-boiled eggs for texture but you can add bacon bits, or even diced red apples or radishes for a sweet crunch that goes well with vinegar dressing.
VARIATIONS Diced red, yellow, green, or orange bell peppers will add color and crunch! Make this recipe with sour cream or switch it out for Greek yogurt. So many possibilities!
What Potatoes To Use For Potato Salad
There are two main types of potatoes: waxy and starchy. Waxy potatoes include red potatoes, firm all-purpose whites or Yukon Gold. Starchy potatoes include Russets, which are typically used for baking and can become mushy if not properly boiled.
People fall into two groups when it comes to which potatoes should be used for potato salad. We think both kinds of potatoes can work, preferring red potatoes for some recipes and russets for others. For more info, check out The Best Potatoes for Potato Salad.
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How To Boil Potatoes For Potato Salad
Waxy potatoes can be cooked whole or cut, with or without the skin.
Starchy potatoes should be cooked whole with the skin on, then peeled and cut after theyre cooked. Select medium Russet potatoes, not large ones, to ensure the skin doesn’t split while cooking. Peel them when they’re hot , then cut them into cubes.
For both waxy and starchy potatoes, always start by adding cold water to a pot. Then add a generous pinch of salt and the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are just tender enough to easily yield when pierced with a knife.
For even more details on how to boil potatoes, head over to our story How to Boil Potatoes.
How To Make Potato Salad
There’s more than one formula for a great potato salad. There are creamy potato salads, vinegar-based potato salads, warm potato salads, cold potato salads, and a world of add-ins to flavor up the mix. And then there are the potatoes: Russets, reds, Yukon Golds. We’ll take you through the different styles of potato salads, show you how to cook the potatoes, and suggest top recipes to try.
Try this recipe for Best Classic Potato Salad from Nicole Mcmom, and watch the video above to get all her tips for how she makes her favorite potato salad.
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What Potatoes Work Best For Amish Potato Salad
Traditional American-style potato salads are typically made from starchy Russet potatoes, but, perhaps thanks to their German heritage, Amish potato salad takes after traditional German potato salad, which features waxy potatoes. Our recipe uses Yukon Golds, but any type of potato thats low in starch will work. Think red potatoes, new potatoes or fingerlings.
Easy Potato Salad Variations
While classic potato salad sticks with the tried and true cast of characters, Ive also seen potato salad recipes with red onions, bell peppers, artichokes, 4 oz. jar of Kalamata olives, peas, avocados, dill, celery seed, even curry powder.
Every homemade potato salad recipe boasting these ingredients claims to be the best potato salad so it comes down to personal preference. If you keep the basic technique and ratios Ive outlined in the recipe, you can have fun experimenting with all sorts of add-ins. Please let me know what other ingredients and topping you love!
Gluten Free Potato Salad: the ranch seasoning mix and all other ingredients except mayonnaise are gluten free. Mayonnaise sometimes contains gluten so you will need to check the packaging.
Dairy Free Potato Salad: If you are looking for dairy free, you can swap out the sour cream for additional mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is dairy free but not vegan as it is made with egg yolks, vinegar and seasonings.
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The Best Potato Salad
There are a few dishes that I immediately look forward to at any potluck.
Here in the midwest, theres a good chance Ill be able to find a pan of hash brown casserole and a bowl of ambrosia salad or sometimes watergate salad.
Theres also likely to be some macaroni salad and a platter of deviled eggs and probably a pan of baked beans.
And there is always, always going to be at least one kind of potato salad. If its a summer cookout, there will probably be a couple different types.
Now, I wont turn down a store-bought potato salad. In fact, there are some pretty good deli potato salads out there these days. But nothing compares to a homemade potato salad.
And when it comes to the classic creamy potato salad, I think this recipe is the BEST.
Its creamy, a little bit crunchy, and it has just the right amount of tang to balance out the creamy mayo and the starchy potatoes.
And the best part is that this recipe is so much easier than you might think!