How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe

How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe EverHow To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe you’ve ever tasted!

How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe (Mom's Recipe)
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My mom’s potato salad is better than your mom’s potato salad.

There, I said it and I’m not taking it back! *wink*

Seriously though, my mother has magical abilities in the art of potato salad making. Mom makes a traditional mustard, pickle, and hard boiled egg potato salad. I have never made or tasted another potato salad better than her version… And I’m not the only person to think so.

Over the years I’ve watched countless relatives and friends swoon over here classic potato salad.

The problem is, when you ask her for the recipe she has a hard time sharing it, because she doesn’t actually have a recipe written down. She makes it by feel.

It’s taken years of watching, assisting her, and asking questions to come up with what I consider to be her recipe.

Want to know mom’s secrets?

How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe Ever (Mom's Recipe)

How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe

1) The key is to use starchy potatoes and let them get really soft, so they are partially mashed once mixed.  This gives the potato salad a rustic, yet thick and luxurious quality. I like to use Yukon Gold or Klondike Goldust potatoes. 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 flavor gets deep down in the potatoes.

Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe Ever

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.

How To Make - Best Potato Salad Recipe Ever

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 use… Mayonnaise is an intensely personal condiment!

Here in the carolinas we use Duke’s Mayonnaise, but mom usually uses Hellmann’s. You can even go with Miracle Whip if that is your favorite.

Making The Best Potato Salad Recipe Ever

Mix a large amount of sweet pickle relish into the dressing. Use the refrigerated kind that tastes fresh and stays firm. If you can’t find it, finely dice firm refrigerated sweet pickles instead.

How To Make: The Best Potato Salad Recipe Ever

Make sure to use yellow mustard for flavor and color. Sometimes mom adds half yellow mustard and half dijon mustard, but if it’s going to be one or the other, you have to use classic yellow mustard.

Apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, and a little bit of paprika round out the dressing flavor.

The Best Potato Salad Recipe Ever

3) Mix the potatoes and the dressing while the potatoes are still warm. Add chopped hard boiled eggs for richness, celery for crunch, sweet onions for zippy bite, and fresh chopped dill for an herbaceous punch.

The onions are a point of discrepancy in our family… Personally, I would always choose scallions over any other raw onion. However my dad insists on raw chopped sweet onions for crunch and flavor, so that’s what mom uses.

To his credit, they do provide a more potent onion essence and crisp texture when serving on the second or third day.

The Best! How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe Ever

4) Finally potato salad, any potato salad, tastes better on the second day after the flavors have had ample time to mix and mingle.

When possible make mom’s potato salad the day before you plan to serve it. However, if you don’t have time to make it a day ahead, refrigerate the potato salad for as long as humanly possibly before meal time.

How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe

If you are determined to learn How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe, give my mom’s recipe a try.

I guarantee, you will not be disappointed!

How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe
5 from 22 votes

How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe. My mom's potato salad recipe is hands-down the best potato salad I, or anyone else who's tried it, has ever eaten!
Servings: 16 Servings
Nutrition Facts
How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 317 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 34%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 58mg 19%
Sodium 360mg 15%
Potassium 643mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 5g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 6.7%
Vitamin C 20.4%
Calcium 6.3%
Iron 28.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • 5 pounds Yukon Gold or Klondike Goldust potatoes
  • 2 cups mayonnaise, your favorite brand
  • 1 cup refrigerated sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard, or 1 part yellow + 1 part dijon
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 4-5 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks,  diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion,  diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cut the potatoes into quarters and place them in a large stock pot. Fill the pot with water until it is 1 inch over the top of the potatoes. Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and cook the potatoes for 13-15 minutes, until fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish including juices, mustard, apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Stir until smooth. Then chop the eggs, celery, onions, and dill.
  3. Once the potatoes are very tender, drain off all the water. Remove the loose peels and chop the potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. It's ok if they are soft and crumbly. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Gently mix in the dressing until it coats the potatoes well. Then stir in the eggs, celery, onions, and dill. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh dill and paprika.
  4. Cover the potato salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. If you have time to make it ahead, it tastes even better on day two! Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

Recipe Notes

NOTES: 1) If you can't find golden potatoes, use russets. 2) For best flavor, make your potato salad a day ahead.

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46 comments on “How To Make The Best Potato Salad Recipe

  1. Lisaposted December 14, 2018 at 7:32 pm Reply

    I literally just finished using your recipe for the potato salad. I am amazed because I never tried to make it. This is soooo good. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Megginposted December 13, 2018 at 3:33 pm Reply

    Thx….great tips

  3. Pamelaposted December 6, 2018 at 3:04 pm Reply

    OMG. Delicious. Small change that was better suited for my preference. I used Dijon only and a smaller amount, just maybe a teaspoon of relish, a teaspoon of sugar. Didn’t have celery seed so I used a small amount of celery salt. Only made half the recipe with the other ingredients. Really good.

  4. Kayposted December 5, 2018 at 1:43 pm Reply

    I love to make different potato salad recipes. I have learned to boil or bake the potatoes whole. That way the flavor stays in & doesn’t get watered down. They are easy to peel & chop after they have cooled. I don’t like sweet relish, so I use dill pickles finely chopped. I like Dukes & Best Food Mayo & of course yellow mustard. I use more eggs & will add sliced black olives. Haven’t tried adding bacon.

  5. Lindsey Forstieposted November 28, 2018 at 2:50 pm Reply

    So easy to make and delicious!

  6. Leanneposted November 27, 2018 at 11:32 am Reply

    This looked so good I had to try it even though I was skeptical about the relish!  It is the best potato salad I have ever made.  Hubby loved it too!  Our new normal.  

  7. Lilyposted November 23, 2018 at 12:08 pm Reply

    I made this for Thanksgiving, and everyone loved it.  I personally have never liked potato salad, so I was a bit nervous to serve something that I could test first and make sure it was good, but everyone loved this potato salad! 

  8. Rose Chaparroposted November 21, 2018 at 5:56 pm Reply

    I made this potatoe salad for tomorrow’s dinner and is DELICIOUS. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Sommer Collierposted November 22, 2018 at 8:48 am Reply

      Hi Rose,

      I’m so very glad you liked it!! :)

  9. Anthony Allenposted November 20, 2018 at 9:19 pm Reply

    My wife was craving potato salad so after looking at a few different recipies I tried this one. It was really good! It is better the next day so make it a day in advance if possible. I added more mayo so it wasn’t dry. It definately is a classic picnic potato salad. I will definately make this recipe again. Thanks for your sharing!!

  10. Sharposted November 14, 2018 at 10:49 am Reply

    This recipe is close to my grandmothers recipe. I grate my onions because some people in my family have issues with the diced onion. When I grate the onion they can’t feel them. 

  11. Lizbethposted November 6, 2018 at 6:51 pm Reply

    Im going to try the recipe for a family get together. But I’ve never had potato salad and I’ve never made it. I got assigned potatoes🤷🏻‍♀️. Is it served hot, warm, or cold???  

  12. Susan Duboseposted October 31, 2018 at 10:04 pm Reply

    Yum! I’m a big fan of potato salad, and this was my favorite recipe for it so far! I added some red pepper flakes for a little extra kick! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Maryposted October 13, 2018 at 8:24 pm Reply

    This was delicious. I made it vegan by using a Helman’s Vegan Mayo and omitted the eggs. Sometimes I used pickle juice, sometimes vinegar. I like to add a tablespoon of  siracha  for some punch. Very good.

  14. Michelle C.posted October 7, 2018 at 7:52 pm Reply

    I made this potato salad  today to go with pulled BBQ chicken for dinner. I am no potato salad making expert so I followed the recipe and directions to a tee. It was amazing!!! So tasty and tangy and personally I love it warm. I gave some to my Mother in Law (who’s potato salad is famous in our family) and she loved it!! Totally recommend ❤️

  15. Randy Raderposted September 29, 2018 at 4:24 pm Reply

    Add a little sugar and bacon and be prepared to smile really big! 😊

  16. Samanthaposted September 13, 2018 at 10:05 pm Reply

    This was really delicious and quick to make! I’m not even a big fan of potato salad, but wanted a good side for school days when I’m rushing between classes but also starving and in need of something of more nutritional value than a Cheeto. Thanks so much for sharing your mom’s recipe, it really is great. The dill is just lovely in this. I cut it down by about 1/4 and it made 4 (generous) servings for me.

    • Samanthaposted September 13, 2018 at 10:06 pm Reply

      Oops, cut it down and only made 1/4 of the recipe, in case that wasn’t clear…

  17. Peg Pirrottaposted September 11, 2018 at 4:22 pm Reply

    Omg with is good!!! Thanks

  18. Tira Terryposted September 3, 2018 at 10:15 pm Reply

    My Grandma thinks every one loves her potatoe salad. However I do not. She uses miracle whip and I can not stand miracle whip. I used your recipe with Dill relish and Best Foods Mayo it is delicious. I wish I cooked the potatoes a little longer but I know for next time. Going to have my son try both and see which one he likes better. Thank you.

  19. Keenaposted August 31, 2018 at 2:09 pm Reply

    I didn’t have any mustard(!?) so I added two packs George Washington Golden seasoning. Spectacular! Not dry, perfectly seasoned. Winner!!

  20. Gerryposted August 23, 2018 at 8:03 pm Reply

    After making this recipe a few days ago we were able to try it tonight and it is a winner! It reminds me of the potato salad that one of my aunts used to make for family get together’s and it was something I always looked forward to. My previous comment lists some of the modifications I made to it, but it is essentially what was in the original recipe. I did halve the recipe since it was only for my wife & I, but this will be my go to recipe from now on.

  21. Gerryposted August 21, 2018 at 10:55 am Reply

    I liked the sound of this recipe so decided to try it out to serve with a smoked pulled pork that I’m going to make in a couple of days. I halved the recipe & chopped up a quarter of green pepper that I had in my refrigerator. I’ve mixed the dry ingredients with the wet ones, diced the celery & onion, boiled the eggs, and placed everything in the fridge to cool down. Later today I’ll boil the potatoes and then mix everything together. This will give the potato salad a couple of days to meld all of the flavors. I did taste the mayonnaise mixture and it tastes wonderful. I didn’t have sweet relish so I used some dill pickle relish and I think it works well. I’ll let everyone know how the finished product tastes in a couple of days.

  22. Kimposted August 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm Reply

    No one in my family is a super big fan of the traditional potato salad, so I was looking for something with  just a little more to it.  This is it!  A really a good mix of flavors.  So happy I found it:D This will be my new go-to for potato salad.  Thank you so much for sharing!

  23. flotsam54posted August 11, 2018 at 9:50 pm Reply

    Huge thanks. I cooked it, and it is really the best recipe

  24. Alan Cameronposted July 23, 2018 at 3:11 pm Reply

    Looks tangy I will venture a bowl.Thanks.

  25. Linda Bposted July 2, 2018 at 12:23 pm Reply

    I love, love, love this potato salad. It has just the right amount of tang to make it full of flavor. I used Yukon Gold potatoes, good ol’ Duke’s mayo, and regular yellow mustard. And yes, be sure to make it a day ahead.

  26. Davidposted June 17, 2018 at 1:59 pm Reply

    Love the sound of the recipe but please can you enlighten an Engishman and explain what sweet pickle relish is or similar to? Seems like an important part of the whole

    many thanks


    • Maryposted June 23, 2018 at 6:29 pm Reply

      If you leave it out, like we do, it is still scrumptious!

    • Sommer Collierposted June 26, 2018 at 12:43 am Reply

      Hi David!

      Do you have sweet pickles or “bread and butter” pickles available where you live? Sweet pickle relish is essentially sweet pickles diced into tiny pieces. Some relishes have diced pimento added in, but they are not necessary.

  27. Parkerposted May 8, 2018 at 2:21 pm Reply

    Reduced the relish to a couple tbsp.  it was the best I’ve had in a long time !

  28. Vivian L Easterposted February 21, 2018 at 4:02 pm Reply

    I Used Dill Pickles, 1/2 Cup It was Amazing!

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  30. Rachaelposted April 21, 2017 at 10:24 pm Reply

    Wow, I can already tell this is the potato salad of my dreams. You had me at yellow mustard LOL. Thanks so much for sharing, I can’t wait to make this!!

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  32. Julie | Table for Twoposted March 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm Reply

    Potato Salad – nothing like a perfect summer dish!

  33. Barbposted March 26, 2017 at 11:31 am Reply

    Your potato salad is very similar to my mother’s as well. I do like the finishing touch of dill, which I will try today, as I have a potluck tomorrow. I’m so tired of potlucks having potato salad from the local grocery store and the potatoes are so hard! I will be putting this one together today. BTW: Is it smoky or sweet paprika?
    (I’m tempted to add a bit of cardamom. What do you think?)

  34. Marla Meridithposted March 23, 2017 at 11:55 pm Reply

    This looks completely delicious!

  35. Gaby Dalkinposted March 22, 2017 at 9:22 pm Reply

    This potato salad recipe is a MUST try!

  36. Tammyposted March 22, 2017 at 3:12 pm Reply

    Sounds very similar to my mom’s potato salad (and hers is pretty darn good too), however she uses a couple grated or chopped dill pickles instead of relish. And for myself, I can’t stomach onions of any kind in my potato salad (they just don’t agree with me) so I put diced celery in mine for the crunch…

  37. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted March 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm Reply

    Nice potato salad!

  38. Robyn Helmsposted March 22, 2017 at 12:53 pm Reply

    Well, my Mom’s recipe is better than yours! LOL She uses pickle juice instead of the vinegar, she’s almost world famous! People love it and try to figure out the secret. I love it with apple cider vinegar as well!

    • Sommerposted March 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm Reply

      I don’t know… I’m going to have to try the pickle juice trick and taste for myself! ;) ;)

      • Momposted March 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm

        Well Sommer’s Mom uses pickle juice at times as well.

    • Juanita JONESposted May 28, 2017 at 7:53 am Reply

      I will love to see your mom recipe for the potatoe salad

  39. Maria Lichtyposted March 22, 2017 at 11:01 am Reply

    I love dill in my potato salad!