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A bowl of classic potato salad
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4.58 from 7 votes

How to Make the Classic Potato Salad

To me the classic potato salad needs to have the right balance of sweet and savory, creamy, tender yet firm potatoes, and not an overload of mayonnaise. This is your new go to version. Time does not include 1 hour refrigeration for flavors to meld.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine: American, Western
Keyword: picnic salad, potato salad, potluck side dish
Servings: 8
Calories: 423kcal


  • 2 1/2 lbs potatoes cut into 1/2" cubes (See Note 1)
  • 2 celery ribs sliced
  • 1 cup red onion small dice (See Note 2)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs


  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sweet relish
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard (See Note 3)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed


  • In large pot of heavily salted cold water bring peeled potatoes (See Note 1) to a boil. Reduce heat to medium or a light rolling boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Drain and place diced potatoes in large bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Slice celery, set aside. After cutting the red onion, cover with cold water and let soak for 15 minutes, then drain. Cut hard boiled eggs, set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sweet relish, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic powder, pepper and celery seeds.
  • Add celery and onions to potatoes, pour dressing over all and mix well. Gently stir in eggs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for flavors to meld.
  • Sprinkle paprika on top for garnish (optional) and serve chilled or at room temperature.


  1. Some use russet potatoes, that get peeled. I like to use red potatoes or yellow (Yukon Gold) and keep the skins on. Both options are wonderful.
  2. After cutting the red onion I cover with cold water and let soak for 15 minutes, then drain and use. This takes the raw bite flavor out of them.
  3. For a little extra kick, substitute with dijon mustard


Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 662mg | Potassium: 655mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 16.6mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 5.1mg