Skip to Content

Easy Potato Salad Recipe

Sharing is caring!

A favorite among picnics, potlucks, and cookouts, this Easy Potato Salad Recipe is a delicious, easy to prepare side dish! It’s simple and full of flavor — the perfect complement to your grilled foods. 


main image for recipe of easy potato salad recipe.


While potato salad is mostly associated with summertime parties, it’s actually a versatile and filling side dish that pairs well with a variety of meals! We’ve served it alongside Mexican food and found it went together really well. 

We like to make potato salad when we have a surplus of hard boiled eggs around Easter. Potato salad goes great alongside a tasty ham dinner and is a great way to utilize extra hard boiled eggs. 


peeled and cut up potatoes, uncooked


Who invented potato salad?

It can be rather difficult to trace the origins of different foods, especially those that have boasted a lengthy history such as potato salad. 

It’s believed that simple potato salad made with boiled potatoes and wine or vinegar was introduced to Europeans by Spanish explorers in the 16th century.  

What we now consider “classic potato salad,” you know — the creamy potato salad with egg that is ubiquitous at summer picnics and potlucks — can trace its origins to Germany, settlers from which brought the recipe to North America. 


potatoes being boiled in a pot


What goes in potato salad?

One of the things that makes this easy potato salad recipe so easy is that it’s got two main ingredients: potatoes and eggs. Everything else is basically seasoning! 

Here’s what you’ll need to make this simple potato salad recipe with eggs:

  • Russet potatoes – if you have a different variety of potato on hand, never fear! Any variety can work with this recipe. 
  • Salt – the ultimate flavor enhancer. Adding a bit of salt to the boiling water you cook the potatoes in will help enhance the flavor and allow the water to boil at a higher temperature. 
  • Vegetable oil – a bit of vegetable oil will thin the creamy sauce and help it adhere to the other salad ingredients. 
  • Apple cider vinegar – homemade potato salad is known for its sweet and sour and creamy flavor. Vinegar adds that bit of zip you know and love! 
  • Lemon juice – another zippy component and a great way to add depth of flavor and brightness to the dish. 
  • Powdered sugar – potato salad with sugar makes a great contrast to the tangy and sour flavors from the vinegar and lemon juice. And powdered sugar has a bit of cornstarch as well, which will help prevent the salad from becoming watery. 
  • Dry mustard mustard powder provides all the great flavor of mustard without providing additional vinegar (like you find in bottled and prepared mustard). 
  • Hard boiled eggs – one of my favorite times to make potato salad is after Easter when we have too many eggs leftover from dying! Check out our article on Easy to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs. 
  • Mayonnaise – every potato salad recipe has to include mayonnaise! It wouldn’t be the same without it. 
  • Paprika – potato salad with paprika adds a touch of color and a lot of flavor! I especially love to make smoked paprika potato salad for additional depth. 


boiled potatoes in a bowl, cooled.


How to make potato salad?

Perhaps one of the reasons potato salad is a favorite of parties and potlucks is because it’s so easy to make! And this is the BEST potato salad recipe because it’s the classic flavor you know and love, and it’s oh-so easy to prepare. 

  1. Boil diced potatoes until fork-tender.
  2. Drain potatoes and allow them to cool.
  3. Whisk together sauce ingredients.
  4. Pour sauce over cooled potatoes and stir to coat. 
  5. Mix in chopped eggs and mayonnaise once potato mixture is fully cooled. 
  6. Sprinkle with paprika.
  7. Serve and enjoy! 


hard boiled eggs cut up


What are the best potatoes for potato salad?

Most potatoes will work well for potato salad as long as they aren’t over- or under-cooked. I like to use russet potatoes for this recipe, but I’ve also had great results using red or gold potatoes! 


oil, vinegar, lemon juice, powdered sugar and mustard in a bowl, unmixed.


How long to boil potatoes for potato salad?

This will largely depend on how large you’ve diced your potatoes. On average, you want to boil them for about 10 minutes. Larger chunks will take longer to cook. 

I would set a timer for 10 minutes and check with a fork after that to see if they need more time. 


oil dressing mixed in bowl.


How long does potato salad last?

Homemade potato salad is delicious, but has often been associated with foodborne illnesses — often because eggs and mayonnaise that have sat in the sun for hours at a picnic are a recipe for disaster. 

But when properly stored, potato salad is safe to eat and can last up to 5 days! Store, covered, in the fridge. If the salad is left out or in the sunlight for longer than 2 hours, discard the leftovers. 


cooked potatoes in a bowl, with diced hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise on top.


Can you freeze potato salad?

Potato salad does not freeze well. Potatoes often turn mushy when frozen and thawed, and mayonnaise can separate. It’s best to eat this potato salad recipe within 5 days of preparing, and to store it in the refrigerator. 


potato salad mixed together in bowl, ready to chill.


What goes with potato salad?

While a southern potato salad recipe is most often associated with summertime picnics and BBQs, it can be a very versatile side dish! We’ve served it as a side with Mexican food and found it complemented the meal nicely. 

Whether you’re trying new combinations of side dishes and main dishes, or just want a tasty classic for a cookout, this recipe will work great! 


potato salad in a bowl with paprika sprinkled on top.


How much potato salad per person?

We’ve calculated this recipe based on 8 servings per batch. Obviously people can eat more or less! Keep in mind that any nutritional information provided is an approximation for reference only. 


top view of potato salad in a bowl with paprika sprinkled on top.


Is potato salad healthy?

There are a lot of filling and nutritious parts of potato salad, but it’s not a health food. Remember to exercise moderation — too much of a good thing, and all that. 


top side view of potato salad with paprika sprinkled on top.


Is potato salad gluten free?

None of the ingredients in this recipe traditionally contain gluten, so your potato salad should be gluten free! As always, be sure to confirm with the labels of the individual ingredients to be certain. 


top view of potato salad in a bowl


More Summer Salad Recipes You’ll Love…


Whether you’re looking for a way to use up your leftover potatoes and hard boiled eggs or just want a tasty classic for an upcoming potluck, this potato salad recipe is the one for you!

It’s easy to prepare and full of flavor. Your friends and family are bound to love it. 


Yield: 8 Servings

Classic Potato Salad

top view of potato salad in a bowl

A favorite among picnics, potlucks, and cookouts, this Easy Potato Salad Recipe is a delicious, easy to prepare side dish!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, scant (not quite full)
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup of Mayonnaise
  • dash of paprika


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  2. While waiting for water to boil, peel and dice potatoes into bite sized pieces.
  3. Once water is boiling, add potatoes and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender with a fork (not fall apart tender but soft enough that a fork goes through it.
  4. If you do not have hard boiled eggs, now is the time to prepare them.
  5. Once potatoes are ready, strain potatoes and set aside. Allow potatoes to cool to warm but not hot - approximately 10 minutes, gently stirring every 2 minutes to allow even cooling.
  6. While potatoes are cooling, in a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, powdered sugar and mustard. Mix until well blended.
  7. Once potatoes are cooled to warm, pour dressing mixture over them and stir. Cover and put mixture into fridge for 1 hour or up to overnight.
  8. As mixture is cooling, peel, and dice hard boiled eggs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. After potatoes have cooled for an hour or more, add egg and mayonnaise. Mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  10. Sprinkle paprika on top of potato salad before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 385Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 249mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g
Originally Posted: March 25, 2015

Photos & Text Updated: July 1, 2021

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe