{Recipe Classic} Homemade Potato Salad, Simple Real Food Style

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Homemade Potato Salad, Simple Real Food Style

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…

Easy Homemade Potato Salad :: Kitchen Stewardship

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.

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..)

potato salad with paulAwww, isn’t he cute cutting those potatoes? My son, who is now 7 years old, is going to make a great husband someday! This summer, he’s learning how to make tacos and guacamole all by himself. This post demonstrates  how I integrate kids into the kitchen at a very early age.

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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.)

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4.8 from 4 reviews
Homemade Potato Salad Recipe, Simple Real Food Style
If you don’t have a favorite potato salad recipe, here’s mine – roughly. I don’t use a recipe, and you won't need one either once you master the system.
Recipe type: side dish
Serves: 4 (adjust for more)
  • hard-boiled eggs (how to source quality eggs)
  • whole potatoes
  • dill pickle spears (Fewer if they’re big ol’ whole pickles…For my family, I use 4 of each if I don't want any leftovers.)
  • 1-2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbs. homemade mayo
  • Salt and pepper (about ½ tsp. salt per 4 potatoes)
  1. 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!
  2. Peel eggs and chop into bite-sized chunks.
  3. Dice pickles.
  4. 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.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 Essential Tips:

    1. 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.
    2. 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!
    3. Toss in a splash of pickle juice to add zing!
    4. Many people add chopped raw onion, radishes, or celery as well.
    5. Make it pretty with a sprinkle of any fresh herb, or just dried parsley like I used in the photos.
    6. 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)
    7. 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.
    8. What to do with the peels? Make potato crispies, of course – recipe in Healthy Snacks to Go.

Better Than a Box bookDid 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).


Easy Homemade Potato Salad :: Kitchen Stewardship

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.)Healthy Snacks to Go cover sidebar

More real food party ideas:

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15 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Ashley says

    Katie–I attended 2 pot-luck style meals recently and took potato salad to both! Of course, the first place I looked for info was KS : ) I went all the way & attempted homemade mayo (which didn’t emulsify but worked out ok for this application…just more of a dressing on the salad!). For the peel/not to peel argument, I simply pulled off any skin that wasn’t clinging to the potatoes after cooking & left the rest alone. The result was some of the added nutrition of the skins, but without a ton of weird texture of leaving it all on. I got tons of compliments on this super easy & REAL dish!

  2. Eileen Price says

    That is basically my mothers recipe also except she adds celery and a dash of paprika on top. It’s really good.

  3. Anna says

    If you don’t want to make mayo or like me can’t find a mayo without soy, then you can use sour cream. My family loves sour cream in the potato salad. I’ll even turn the sour cream into a ranch dressing with some dill, parsley and garlic beforehand if I want it more flavorful.

  4. says

    I have been eating hard-boiled eggs in various forms all week. I thought I’d had enough, but this potato salad is about to send me back to the store for more eggs.

  5. Jenn says

    Just made this with little purple, red and yellow potatoes (skin on) and added onion and red and orange sweet peppers. DELISH! :)

  6. Bonnie says

    I do this recipe basically. Adding the pickle juice is a must in my book. The odd thing I add that is unusual for potato salad is cucumber. Cut into cubes about half the size of the potatoes.

  7. Jacqueline says

    made this tonight for a summer potluck and everyone LOVED it!!! So easy and tasty. They commented how it was a good balance of mayo and mustard, not too much of either. Loved the pickles too!

  8. Susan says

    I tried this recipe and was surprised how well it tuned out. I thought I would add miss dash to the water when the potatoes were cooking to give them flavor. That was the best thing I could have done. It make the potatoes flavor full and the salad come over even better.

    f Alyssa {Bates} Webster.

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