Ready to rediscover your potato salad roots? Mom’s creamy potato salad recipe is the picnic table classic with that fluffy texture we all love!
Have you noticed? Potato salad has gotten super creative lately ~ and I’m all for it ~ who doesn’t love the idea of a Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad, Ranch Potato Salad or Dill Pickle Potato Salad? But sometimes, it’s just got to be the real deal. And when mom’s potato salad is on the table, everything else just seems to fade away. Why? Because potato salad is the OG comfort food, and this is the OG potato salad recipe! Makes things nice and easy next time you need to ‘bring something‘ you know they’ll love.
ingredients for creamy potato salad recipe
- russet (baking) potatoes
- choose potatoes that are roughly the same size so they’ll cook evenly. I used 4 good sized potatoes for this recipe.
- I use the inner heart of celery, leaves too!
- spring onions
- one bunch, about 6-7.
- lots of hard cooked eggs rough chopped and folded right in make the salad so satisfying.
This is the classic American style picnic table potato salad dressing. After you make it once or twice you won’t need to rely on a recipe, just mix the ingredients until it tastes right to you.
- sour cream
- yellow mustard
- sweet relish
- celery seed
- salt and pepper
Mom’s secret? (it’s all about the potato!)
Lots of modern potato salad recipes will tell you to buy waxy potatoes aka new potatoes, red potatoes, Yukon Gold, and baby potatoes. Waxy potatoes are firm ~ they hold their shape when cooked and cubed. But guess what? Mom didn’t use waxy potatoes, she knew better…
Mom used russet potatoes in her potato salad
The secret to Mom’s potato salad recipe is using russet (or baking) potatoes, and here’s why they’re the perfect choice:
- We love their size ~ it means easier peeling.
- We love the fluffy texture when cooked.
- We love how some of the potato keeps its shape but some of it melts into the dressing to create a thick creamy texture. It’s basically mashed potatoes meets potato salad for the ideal summer side.
- Cooked russet potatoes have a porous surface texture which drinks in the dressing and all its flavors (it slides right off waxy potatoes!)
how to make creamy potato salad recipe
step 1. Peel and halve your potatoes
Halving the potatoes lengthwise allows the potatoes to cook quickly and evenly. I soak them in cold water as I peel.
step 2. Boil until tender
Gently boil the potatoes until tender. Russets will get soft and fluffy on the outside by the time the interior gets cooked through. Some of them may start to break apart as you drain them. This is exactly what you want!
step 3. make the dressing
While the potatoes cook mix the dressing together. It will be thick (and delicious.)
step 4. Dice and dress!
Dice your potatoes immediately, while they’re hot. Then add some of the dressing to the hot potatoes ~ they will soak in all that flavor. As you toss the potatoes you’ll notice fluffy bits of mashed potato mixing with the dressing ~ it’s one of the little things that makes this potato salad recipe perfect.
step 5. Finish with fresh veggies and eggs
Add celery, spring onions, chopped eggs, and the rest of the dressing.
step 6. Chill
Always serve this potato salad recipe chilled. A little time in the fridge will also give the flavors a chance to develop.
why Mom’s potato salad recipe is the best!
- This classic is always right. This is the little black dress of summer side salads. If you’re asked to bring something to a potluck or barbecue you can never go wrong with this.
- It’s the completer piece to just about any summer meal, from sandwiches and burgers to anything grilled or barbecued.
- There’s minimal washing up ~ the bowl is always scraped clean 😉
more salads for the picnic table
Mom’s Potato Salad
- 3 lbs russet potatoes, about 4 good sized potatoes.
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery heart (I use the leaves, too.)
- 1 bunch spring onions, about 6, trimmed and thinly sliced, white and green parts.
- 4 hard cooked eggs, rough chopped
make the dressing
- Whisk or stir the ingredients together, making sure to get them completely combined. Taste and adjust as you like.
make the salad
- Peel the potatoes and slice in half lengthwise. Place in a bowl of cold water while you work. Drain the potatoes and place in a large pot. Cover with water, add a tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the potatoes can be easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Note: once the water comes to a boil, this might take 20-25 minutes. But all potatoes are different, so be sure to check with a knife first.
- Drain and cut the potatoes in chunks. Use a bench scraper to transfer them to a large bowl. Some of the potatoes will be quite soft, that's ok.
- As you add potatoes to your bowl, toss each batch with a little bit of the dressing. The hot potatoes will drink in the flavors.
- Add the celery, onions, and eggs to the bowl and toss with more of the dressing. Note: depending on the size of your potatoes you may not need all the dressing, but be generous.
- Chill the salad before serving. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika.