Potato Salad For A Crowd
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 for potato salad with sour cream – using it as a binder makes it extra creamy.
Easy Potato Salad Recipe
You cant have a cookout without potato salad! This easy potato salad recipe is creamy, tangy, and so delicious alongside all of your favorite summer foods.
Summer weather makes me crave all kinds of summer potluck foods.
Its the kind of food you dream about during those dreary late-winter days when you think the snow will never end.
But that hot weather is finally here and with Memorial Day right around the corner, Im planning all of my favorite cookout foods, starting with this easy potato salad recipe.
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The texture of this salad is creamy-smooth, with little pops of crunch mingled throughout.
Perfect for barbecues, picnics, and potlucks, youll definitely want to share this life-changing version of macaroni salad.
My family is nuts over this recipe. Its a side dish they ask for again and again.
I bet yours will, too!
Serve This Dish With
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Can I Peel The Potatoes Before Cooking
Mom always cooked the potatoes with the peels, then pulled off some of the peels after cooking. This allows you to leave some potato skins in the salad, if you like, for extra texture. Also, it elements the need for a vegetable peeler because the skins will pull right off after the potatoes are fully cooked.
However, if you do not want to incorporate any of the potato skins into the salad, you can peel them beforehand. Its a matter of personal preference.
How To Make Potato Salad:
Heres how to make the best potato salad recipe its so easy!
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How To Make Creamy Potato Salad
Boil the potatoes: I did peel and cut my potatoes to size before boiling. However, you can decide not to do this and boil the potatoes whole, especially if you are using baby potatoes.
Add the potatoes to a large pan and cover with cold water, add salt to taste and cook the potatoes until fork tender. Drain and set aside and leave to cool.
De-flame the onions: While the potatoes is boiling, de-flame the onions, pour cold water over the chopped onions and leave to stand for about 5 minutes. Drain and give it another rinse under a cold running tap.
Make the creamy dressing: In a small mixing bowl, add sour cream, mayonnaise, salad cream and mix to combine.
Transfer the cooled potatoes to a large bowl, add the creamy dressing, chopped onions, chives, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.
How To Boil The Perfect Eggs
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Healthy Broccoli Salad With Kale
Why add kale to broccoli salad, one might ask?
I find that finely chopped kale blends perfectly into the broccoli creating little pockets to hold the dressing and other tasty tidbits.
It offers more nutritional value to the salad, than just broccoli alone. Yet friends and family members resistant to kale, wont even know its there!
Im tricky like that.
How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe
1) The key to making the best potato salad is to use starchy potatoes and let them get really soft, so they are partially mashed once mixed. This gives the recipe a rustic, yet thick and luxurious quality. I like to use Yukon Gold or Klondike Goldust potatoes. You can also use Russet potatoes if you like. Do not use new potatoes, because they hold their shape too well and will leave the dressing soupy.
Start the potatoes in cold water and bring them to a boil to ensure even cooking. Make sure to salt the boiling water so the salty flavor gets deep down in the potatoes.
Once the potatoes are soft, drain off the water and peel off the skins. You can leave some of the skins on if you like the added texture.
Chop the potatoes when they are soft this saves time on the peeling and chopping.
2) Next, mix all the dressing ingredients together. Use your favorite mayonnaise as the base.
I know better than to tell you what brand to useMayonnaise is an intensely personal condiment!
Here in the Carolinas, we use Dukes Mayonnaise, but mom usually uses Hellmanns. You can even go with Miracle Whip if that is your favorite.
Mix a large amount of sweet pickle relish into the dressing.
Use the good quality refrigerated relish that tastes fresh, has large chunks, and stays firm. Otherwise, the dense ultra-sweet shelved variety might overwhelm the flavor of the dressing.
If you cant find good relish, finely dice firm refrigerated sweet pickles instead.
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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
My Top Potato Salad Tip
Now for my top tip when it comes to making potato salad:
As soon as the potatoes are finished cooking, drain them and spread them onto a large baking sheet. Immediately drizzle them with apple cider vinegar and sprinkle them with several big pinches of salt.
The potatoes will soak up tons of flavor while theyre hot, so adding some extra salt and a nice amount of vinegar will make them super tangy and delicious. No bland potatoes here!
Let the potatoes soak up the vinegar and salt for a few minutes, then give them a taste. You can always add more vinegar or salt if you want!
After the potatoes are perfectly seasoned and have cooled, you can add them to the dressing along with the eggs and dill.
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What Is The Best Potato For Potato Salad
The potatoes that you choose to use can make all the difference in the end result! For this potato salad recipe, I strongly recommend using a waxy potato like Gold or Fingerling potatoes. Red potatoes are another great choice. This type of potato will stay firm after cooking and hold its shape without falling apart. As a bonus, these potatoes have a thin skin and dont need to be peeled .
Starchy potatoes generally are not recommended when making potato salad. However, my mom always uses Russet potatoes to make potato salad .
Personally, I dont think that Russet potatoes are necessarily a bad choice, but keep in mind that they are much starchier and will soak up the dressing in a way that the waxier varieties above will not. They also have a thicker skin that can be tough and chewy in a potato salad, and if you opt to use this variety I recommend peeling before boiling. Ive found potato salad made with starchy potatoes to be softer and creamier, while waxy potatoes yield a salad that requires a bit more chewing, so choose your preference!
My Favorite Potato Salad Dressing
Our potato salad recipe airs on the classic, more traditional side, but we do have a couple of tweaks.
For the salad dressing, we use mayonnaise and sour cream. Both make the dressing extra creamy, but mayonnaise can be heavy by itself.
Adding the sour cream lightens up the dressing a bit. If youre used to only using mayonnaise, try adding a bit of sour cream next time. Its a game-changer. When I really want to up my potato salad game, I use homemade mayonnaise. Its easier than you might think. Here is our mayonnaise recipe with a video that walks you through how to make it.
We also add regular yellow mustard, which adds an extra kick of flavor as well as a bit of color. I usually use Dijon mustard in our recipes, but when it comes to this salad, regular yellow mustard wins.
We add vinegar as well, but not to the dressing. Instead, we sprinkle vinegar over the cooked potatoes. We learned this tip from Alton Brown.
After dicing the cooked potatoes, scatter a tablespoon or so of vinegar over them. Its incredible how much of a difference the vinegar makes. Use apple cider vinegar, white, or red wine vinegar or even dill pickle juice!
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The Best Potato Salad
What I really love about this simple salad made with potatoes is that the texture is really, really good. Im a fan of a thicker-style potato salad that really gives me a good bite.
And even though I really love to make this recipe during the summer months, it can easily be made all year long. The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it the best because there are no strange ingredients in it that youll have to worry about tracking down. If you love the classic flavor of a good potato salad, dont miss out on this crowd-pleaser.
You could even use up some leftover boiled potatoes that you had sitting around the house as a way to stretch your budget!
Last but not least, make certain that you doctor it up with spices that youre craving as each person can make this dish taste just how they want. Adding in some chili pepper is a super simple way to add a little bit of heat!
Make certain to make this dish up ahead of time and give it the chance to chill. Eating it when its nice and cool is a great taste and flavor.
Leave the premade potato salad at the store and make up your own made from scratch potato salad at home. Theres just something so refreshing about the flavor!
Ingredients For The Best Potato Salad Recipe
Here are some of the ingredients that take this from a good potato salad to the BEST potato salad recipe!
- Red potatoes: I swap the typical waxy potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes for red potatoes .
- Green onion: In comparison to red onions, green onions have a milder flavor. You can use the white part for a stronger flavor, and the green ends for garnish!
- White wine vinegar: The creamy dressing is made of a combination of mayo and white vinegarno yellow mustard, Miracle Whip, or pickle juice here!
- Sweet pickles: I love swapping dill pickles for sweet pickles to add a different, sweeter flavor.
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How To Chop Fresh Dill Weed For Potato Salad
We have a few picky eaters in the family who dont care for anything crunchy in their potato salad. Personally, I love adding celery and green onion for extra texture and flavor.
Theres also some debate in the family over pickles vs. dill weed. Again, the crunchy factor comes into play. However, dill weed adds such a delightful dimension to the potato salad flavor.
Heres how to chop fresh dill weed:
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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The Best Potatoes To Use
Small, waxy, and thin-skinned potatoes are best for potato salad. Small yellow, white or red potatoes are perfect . They are quick-cooking, and since they are already small, theres no need to chop them before cooking them.
Leave the potatoes whole. Whole cooked potatoes maintain more of their flavor and natural sweetness. Were also partial to the texture of potatoes when they are cooked whole compared to chopped.
If you dont have small, waxy potatoes available, other potatoes will work in their place the texture will be slightly different. We try not to use russet potatoes since they tend to fall apart. If thats all you have, dont worry. Chop them before cooking they are much larger and take a long time when cooked whole.
The Best Potato Salad Recipe
In our family, we cant imagine a family barbecue, picnic, or game day buffet without this rich and creamy homemade potato salad as a side dish.
Now, I know that everyone says their mom makes the best potato salad, but in this case its totally true! Once you try this recipe, youll never go back to that nasty store-bought stuff again.
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Best Potatoes For Potato Salad
Mom and grandma always said red potatoes or waxy potatoes are the best potatoes for potato salad since they hold their shape well after cooking.
White potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes will work, as well. Russet potatoes aren’t the best choice since their fluffier flesh is better for baking.
However, I know people who love russets in salad, so it really is a personal preference.
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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Picking The Right Potatoes
The potatoes you use will make all the difference in the texture of your salad. Some cooks prefer waxy potatoes such as Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, and red potatoes because they hold their shape when they’re cooked and keep their firm texture in the salad when they’re chopped up and tossed with dressing.
Russet or Idaho potatoes have a drier, starchier texture and tend to break down during cooking, chopping, and tossing with dressing. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This kind of potato soaks up dressing like a sponge and tends to yield a softer, creamier potato salad. Read up on how to choose the right potato for the recipe.
Tater Tip: Potatoes can add color highlights to your salad. Red potatoes are red on the outside and creamy white on the inside, while purple potatoes hold their color all the way through. You can also use sweet potatoes to add a cheerful touch of orange, as in this Caribbean Sweet Potato Salad.
Related: Get recipes for red potato salads.