There are a million different ways to make potato salad, and it’s one of those things that people have a particular preference for, so I won’t try to convince you to use my mother’s recipe. I just think it’s the best thing ever and won’t touch anyone else’s version…
This potato salad “recipe” is more of what I call a “framework recipe.” I’ll show you basically how to mix things up, and then you can work within that framework and proportions to tweak the recipe to your liking and add all sorts of goodies to it.
Easy Potato Salad Tricks and Tweaks
Even if you’re someone who always follows a recipe perfectly and is afraid to make something without measuring, you’ll be able to break out of your comfort zone and accomplish success with homemade potato salad, no problem. I promise – it’s that easy! (That’s why folks aren’t pinning this one; you’ll never need to come back here once you make it once. You should come back for our other simple, real food recipes though, and maybe to give the recipe a 5-star rating so others know it’s totally easy, too..)
Awww, isn’t he cute cutting those potatoes? My son, who is now 10 years old, is going to make a great husband someday! This summer, he’s learning how to make tacos and guacamole all by himself. And we ended up making a whole course to teach kids to cook! It’s amazing!
Potato salad happens to be one of my favorite dishes to bring to pot lucks and parties, because everyone recognizes and enjoys it, my family will eat tons of it, and it’s not a terribly expensive dish to put together. (If you’re looking for more, I have a list of cheap and easy party foods and another with 10 brunch dishes to share.)
Framework Recipe for the Best Potato Salad Ever
- Cut raw potatoes into bite-sized chunks, then boil for 15-20 minutes until just soft (not too mushy) OR bake whole potatoes at 400F for about 45 minutes or until soft when squeezed. Potato salad tastes best without potato skins, but nutrition is best with them - your call. Sometimes I’m too lazy to peel them!
- Peel eggs and chop into bite-sized chunks.
- Dice pickles.
- Mix with homemade mayo and mustard. Remember that you can always add more after tasting, but you can't take away, so go lightly and pinpoint your personal proportions.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Hi! I’m Katie, and I’m the chief mess-maker around here trying to journey to better stewardship of my family’s health and the environment – while balancing a budget and limited time (did I mention I have 4 kids?).
I’d love to share more of our family-friendly recipes, science geek research and uber-practical tips with you, and I have a mini eBook with our family’s favorite “party recipes” just for you.
If you like what you’ve read so far, I hope you’ll strap on your seatbelt and join us for the ride:
Essential Tips for Homemade Potato Salad:
- You can sub about half the mayo with plain yogurt, and some folks love sour cream in place of all or half the mayo too.
- If you don’t or won’t make your own mayo, look for a brand that doesn’t use soybean oil (yuck), and especially don’t get “Light” Miracle Whip – it has artificial sweeteners!
- Toss in a splash of pickle juice to add zing!
- Many people add chopped raw onion, radishes, or celery as well.
- Make it pretty with a sprinkle of any fresh herb, or just dried parsley like I used in the photos.
- I use pretty much the same system for egg salad, except I mash the eggs with a potato masher or fork. (No potatoes or pickles)
- Don’t forget to check out this post for more on how to make the process kid-friendly, including how to peel the potatoes without very much work.
- What to do with the peels? Make potato crispies, of course – recipe in Healthy Snacks to Go.
Did you like the framework recipe? If you’re still a little unsure, my newest book, Better Than a Box, teaches how to adapt just about any processed recipe for real food and tweak things to fit your tastes. Check out my video showing how I’ve learned to experiment successfully in the kitchen (and you can use the code POTATOSALAD to take $5 off the price, too).
Homemade potato salad is truly the stuff of summer for me – and Christmas family potlucks, for that matter. Family members always insist I bring potato salad! It remains one of my favorite dishes that I could eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks. (It’s featured in my Healthy Snacks to Go eBook along with 45 other real food recipes for on the go.)
More real food party ideas:
- Menu plan for a party of 25 people, all real food
- Two sample menus for small dinner parties
- Easy deviled eggs look a little fancier for taking to parties