Old Fashioned Simple Potato Salad is the perfect side dish for all your summer entertaining. Easy and quick to make, you can have it ready to go while you prepare the rest of the meal. It is best served chilled, so you can make it a day ahead and it will be ready to serve when you are.
When I was growing up I never liked potato salad. I couldn’t figure it out because I loved potatoes made every other way. Being Irish, they are my favorite food group, LOL! It wasn’t until I was in college and visiting a friend’s house that I discovered how much I had been missing.
Joyce’s mother made us potato salad and I fell in love! It was so simple with only 7 ingredients, easy to make, and SO much better than any store-bought versions I had tried. Not too heavily dressed with a simple sauce poured over perfectly boiled potatoes (in their jackets!). She made it for me every time I visited, and it became a joke that she had to stock up on potatoes the moment she heard I was coming over to see her daughter.
Eventually she shared her secrets and I learned to make it for myself. And no surprise, it became one of my most requested dishes. Aspects have changed over the years, I have added a few more ingredients, but the foundation is the same. And still just as delicious!
There is something very comforting about potato salad – maybe it is the memories of warm summer days, picnics at the beach, barbecues, and softball games with friends it conjures up. I make a lot of different types of potato salad but this is the one I keep coming back to and the one I always serve at a traditional barbecue.
If you don’t like mayonnaise or are afraid of it spoiling on a hot day, you can also use a simple vinaigrette or Italian dressing on this salad. In that case, leave out the pickles and add some bell peppers to the celery and onions. If you wanted you could even add some chopped salami and a sprinkle of oregano for an Italian twist! Any way you make it, I know your family and friends will love this old fashioned simple potato salad.
Adding just a little pickle juice helps cut through the fat of the mayonnaise and balances the flavors. For a little extra color, and to follow in my mom’s footsteps, I added a sprinkle of paprika over the top. Old habits … 🙂
Mayonnaise-based potato salads need to be kept cold for safety reasons. If you are planning on serving it at a barbecue or picnic, place it in a serving bowl and take along a bowl big enough for the serving bowl to easily fit inside – a wide shallow bowl would be perfect. When you get to your destination, place some ice in the large bowl, nestle the serving bowl in the ice, and add more ice around the edges. This will keep your salad nice and cold. Replenish the ice as needed.
While I can eat an entire bowl of this salad, I know most people consider it a side dish to the entrée of grilled meats, poultry, or seafood. Personally I would be happy with this salad as my main course. Yep, I am most definitely of Irish descent and I have a feeling Darby McCarty would be proud! Yep, that’s a real person, my 7th Great Grandfather from Tyrone, Ireland who immigrated in the 1600s.
You are going to love this Old Fashioned Simple Potato Salad. It is the one dish that everyone clamors for, especially the children. I hope you make it and enjoy it as much as I do. And may it be the beginning of many happy memories for you!
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Ingredients needed for Old Fashioned Simple Potato Salad:
- Russet potatoes, green onions, celery, sweet pickle relish, salt and pepper
- Mayonnaise, yellow or spicy brown mustard, sweet pickle juice
If you want a more colorful salad, use red onions in place of half the green onions and add about 3 tbsp very finely chopped red or orange bell peppers.
How to make Old Fashioned Simple Potato Salad:
- Boil the whole, unpeeled potatoes in a large pot of cold water until tender. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool until you can handle them.
- Use a paring knife to peel each one and cut into bite-sized cubes. Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add the green onions, celery, pickle relish, salt, and pepper. Gently toss them together.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, and 1 tsp of the pickle juice. If it is too thick add a little more pickle juice. Add salt and pepper to taste, whisk together and taste. Adjust seasonings if needed.
- Pour half the dressing over the potatoes and toss to coat evenly. Some people like “wetter” potato salad and others prefer a dryer version – add as much dressing as you like. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes. Keep in refrigerate until about 15 minutes before serving. Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Sprinkle the top with more chopped green onions if desired before serving.
There is a quicker way to chop celery. Trim the ends off the celery stalks and cut each lengthwise into three long strips. Cut them crosswise in half and then pile all pieces together, lining up the ends and chop crosswise with a sharp knife. This creates perfectly sized pieces with the fewest cuts.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler
- Measuring spoons
- Large stockpot or Dutch oven
- Slotted spoon
- Mixing bowls
This recipe is naturally gluten-free!
All recommended ingredients are gluten-free as of the writing of this article. Always check to be sure the products haven’t changed and are still safe to consume.
- 4 extra-large or 7 medium-sized Russet potatoes
- 2 to 3 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- 3 celery stalks, trimmed, stalks finely chopped; see Note above
- About 3 tbsp sweet pickle relish (plus juice for the dressing)
- Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Extra chopped green onions, for garnish, optional
- 3/4 cup (170g) mayonnaise
- 2 tsp prepared yellow or spicy brown mustard
- Juice from the pickle relish, as needed
- Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook the Potatoes: In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, place the whole and unpeeled potatoes and add enough cool water to cover and 1 tbsp salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the potatoes at a low boil until a knife inserted in them slides in and out with very little resistance. Remove the potatoes as they are done with a slotted spoon, setting them aside to cool. This usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes; larger potatoes will take longer.
- Assemble the Salad: When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a knife to pull the peels off each one and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Place the potato chunks in a large mixing bowl. Add the green onions, chopped celery, pickle relish, salt and pepper. Gently toss together to distribute the ingredients evenly.
- Make the Dressing: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and about 1 tsp of the pickle juice. Whisk until smooth and if you need it thinner, add a little more pickle juice. Add salt and pepper, whisk together, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Dressing the Salad: Pour about half the dressing over the potatoes and toss to coat. Add as much more of the sauce as you like. Some people like a "wetter" potato salad, others prefer a dryer version. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Transfer to your serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Keep in the refrigerator until about 15 minutes before serving. Can be made up to two days ahead. When ready to serve, sprinkle the top with some chopped green onions for garnish.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
This recipe is naturally gluten-free. All recommended ingredients are gluten-free as of the writing of this article. Always check to be sure the products haven’t changed and are still safe to consume.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is calculated by online tools and is merely an estimate.
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