Southern Potato Salad is a delicious combination of potatoes, hard boiled eggs, onions, celery, sweet pickles, mayo, mustard, and seasoning. This classic potato salad is perfect for potlucks, cookouts, and picnics. A Southern classic side dish that goes perfectly with grilled meats and sandwiches.
SOUTHERN POTATO SALAD RECIPE
Never give another thought about what you can bring to a potluck dinner or a friend’s barbecue party. Classic Southern potato salad is always a crowd-pleaser and have not failed me yet.
It’s all about the combination of creamy, savory potatoes with a tang of mustard and a touch of sweetness from sweet pickles. That combination of flavors is quite satisfying and goes very well with smokey, grilled chicken, burgers, hot dogs, or steaks.
Even the pickiest guests have not been able to resist my potato salad. One bite is all it takes to convince them to grab that spoon and scoop a hearty helping onto their plate. If I haven’t convinced you, give it a try and see for yourself.
WHAT GOES INTO SOUTHERN POTATO SALAD
Potatoes – if you’re wondering what potatoes to use in a Southern potato salad, I always recommend Russet. It’s not as starchy as some others so it won’t turn into glue while you’re trying to cut them. These potatoes are also smooth, fluffy, and tender, which makes them perfect for this potato salad.
Hard boiled eggs – I recommend a ratio of potatoes and eggs where eggs don’t get lost among too much potatoes. The point of this salad is to feature a combination of both.
Onion – Use sweeter Vidalia onion for an extra sweet crunch.
Celery – celery province a fresh crunch that this smooth salad needs to variate the textures.
Sweet pickles – I prefer to add pickles over relish to my potato salad because pickles also bring in more crunch and less sweetness at the same time. You can add more pickles than relish without overpowering other flavors.
Mayonnaise – there is quite a bit of mayo in this potato salad, so make sure to choose your favorite tasting one because the flavor will come through clearly.
Mustard – I’m just going to come out and say it, I do not like yellow mustard. Because of the harsh and overpowering flavor of yellow mustard, I use Grey Poupon Dijon mustard instead. I find the flavor a lot more complimentary to other ingredients.
TIPS FOR THE BEST SOUTHERN POTATO SALAD
Cook potatoes and eggs ahead of time and give it enough time to cool down completely before cutting. It’s much easier to cut potatoes and hard boiled eggs when at room temperature.
Dice potatoes into small pieces. You want everything cut into small cubes so that it all mixes well and each bite has an even amount of ingredients.
Peel potatoes before cutting. There are many potato salads that are great with potato skin left on but not this one. The texture of this potato salad is smooth, creamy, and tender and potato skins would really change the texture here.
Mix diced potatoes, eggs, onions, celery, and pickles together first so that it’s evenly mixed and then add the mixture of mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mixing the potato salad twice will ensure that ingredients are incorporated evenly throughout.
This potato salad can be served still warm or cold.
CAN I MAKE SOUTHERN POTATO SALAD AHEAD?
Yes, absolutely. You can prepare this potato salad ahead of time partially or completely.
Potatoes and hard boiled eggs can be cooked the night before. Cook potatoes and hard boiled eggs, strain all the water, and let it cool down to room temperature. Cover both with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to prepare the salad.
Potato salad can also be prepared completely and stored in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container, until ready to serve.
HOW TO STORE COOKED POTATO SALAD
Store potato salad in a closed food storage container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Make sure to keep the container air-tight either with the lid or plastic wrap. If using plastic wrap, make sure to use a new sheet after each time you open it.
To minimize exposure to bacteria and extend life of potato salad, use a clean spoon each time you take out some potato salad.
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Southern Potato Salad
- 3 lbs Russet potatoes
- 8 eggs
- 6 oz sweet pickles
- 1 Vidalia onion
- 2 celery ribs
- 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- fresh cracked black pepper
- Cooking potatoes:Rinse potatoes and place them in a pot. Fill the pot with cold water, making sure potatoes are covered. Bring the pot to boil and lower the heat to medium. Cook until potatoes are tender. (You can stick a fork into the middle of a potato to test it.) Drain off water and let potatoes cool to room temperature.
- Cooking eggs:Place eggs into the pot and add cold water to it. Add just enough water to cover the eggs. Heat up the eggs and water over medium-high heat until water comes to a roaring boil. Immediately cover with a lid and take off heat. Let eggs sit in the hot water, covered with a lid, for 10-13 minutes. Drain off water and let eggs cool to room temperature.
- Peel potatoes and eggs.
- Dice potatoes and eggs into small cubes and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Dice pickles, onion, and celery into even sized pieces and add it to the mixing bowl as well. Gently mix everything together with a wooden spoon.
- In a small bowl, combine mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the mayo mixture to the potato mixture and mix everything together.
- Serve right away or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.