My Grandma’s recipe for the BEST potato salad is seriously SO GOOD! This classic summer staple pairs well with everything from burgers to grilled chicken and makes a great picnic side with sandwiches. Throw this easy, traditional side dish together for family and friends and you’re sure to get tons of requests for the recipe.

potato salad on a large white serving platter

Summer barbecue time is upon us! And this potato salad recipe is always on the menu!

The recipe started out really basic, with just potatoes, eggs, mayo, sweet pickles and Dijon mustard. It was simple and delicious. However, she didn’t have the recipe actually written down and she also didn’t measure any of the ingredients. She just eyeballed everything and made it to taste.

After years of watching and taste-testing, my mom can easily create my grandma’s original recipe. I asked my mom to replicate the recipe as close as possible to what my grandma made and measure out the ingredients, so I could share it with all of you. As my mom has made it over the years, she’s added in the sugar and vinegar to really kick this salad up a notch. Once you try my grandma’s classic potato salad recipe, it’s sure to be a permanent item on your spring and summer menu!

Why you should make this recipe

  • Super tasty. The flavor of this is incredible. It’s sure to be a huge hit at any gathering.
  • The perfect summer side. What is better than a cold, creamy, flavorful potato salad served with your favorite burger or hot dogs. This is an absolute must for any summer cookout!
  • Great for making ahead. You can boil the potatoes and store them ready to go, or make the whole salad and store it for up to five days. It gets even tastier over time!

Ingredients needed

The ingredients needed for this best potato salad recipe are quite simple. Here’s the lineup:

  • Potatoes. We like to use Yukon Golds or Klondike Goldust potatoes. White russet potatoes work too. For this particular recipe, I would not use red potatoes, because they don’t get as mushy and will leave the dressing runny.
  • Hard boiled eggs. You’ll need 8 large eggs for this recipe. To boil eggs, we like to use this technique from the Pioneer Woman and it always works great!
  • Sweet pickles. We love diced sweet pickle relish in this recipe, but you can substitute dill relish or minced dill pickles if you prefer that flavor.
  • Mayo. Mayonnaise is what binds all of the ingredients together and makes the salad super creamy. Feel free to use Greek yogurt or Miracle Whip instead of or in combination with the mayo, if preferred.
  • Dijon mustard. Adds an intense, sharp, and complex mustard flavor that perfectly balances out the mayo.
  • Sugar. You only need 1 tbsp of sugar to give this just the right taste.
  • White vinegar. This secret ingredient adds a lovely zing of flavor. You can use apple cider vinegar, if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper. To make all of the flavors pop.
  • Fresh herbs. We usually don’t add the garnish of dill or sprinkle of paprika, but for the photos and perhaps if you were entertaining, it definitely adds a little something special to the look of the salad. You can swap the dill for parsley, green onions or chives.
cubed potato in a white bowl alongside a boiled egg and potato salad sauce

How to make this recipe

Follow just a few simple steps and you’re well on your way to the best potato salad! Here’s the simple process:

  1. Cook potatoes. Quarter potatoes and boil in salted water, following the recipe instructions, below.
  2. Make the dressing. While potatoes are cooking, combine the potato salad dressing ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Chop potatoes. Once potatoes are cooked and cooled, peel the skin off and chop them into small pieces.
  4. Add dressing & eggs. Transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl and gently mix the dressing in with the potatoes. Then stir in the eggs and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Chill. Refrigerate salad for at least 2 hours or overnight, if possible. Enjoy!

Expert tips 

  • Start checking to see if potatoes are fork tender after about 15 minutes. You don’t want to overcook potatoes because they will get too mushy.
  • To keep potato salad from becoming too runny, you’ll want to choose the right potatoes to absorb the dressing. Yukon golds are my go-to.
  • Looking to lower the calories and fat? For all or a portion of the mayo, use Greek yogurt instead.
  • For different methods of making hard-boiled eggs, scroll through my egg salad recipe. I’ve listed instructions for the air fryer, oven, instant pot and stovetop.

Frequently asked questions

How to cook potatoes for potato salad?

There are a variety of different ways to cook potatoes for potato salad. I just do what my mom does and it works like a charm every time. Quarter potatoes, but don’t worry about peeling them until after they’ve cooked. Start the potatoes in cold water and bring them to a boil to ensure even cooking. This prevents the outside from cooking too fast and the inside taking more time. This is essential for the perfect texture of potato. Salt the boiling water, so the potatoes get plenty of that salty flavor.

Should you make potato salad the day before?

Yes, we highly recommend making this a day or two ahead of time. It’s best when it has time to chill and the flavors have a chance to mix and meld together.

What is the best type of potato to use for potato salad?

Waxy potatoes are generally considered the best for classic potato salad because they retain their shape and they have a smooth texture. White and yellow potatoes work well because they tend to be creamier and have the perfect touch of sweetness. They also have a thinner skin, so they’re easy to peel after boiling.


Everyone has their favorite ingredients that make up a potato salad. Here are a few additions and variations you may want to try.

  • Pickles. Feel free to use dill pickle relish instead of sweet pickles, if you prefer more of a tangy flavor.
  • Cream base. If you want to give this dish a sweeter, spicier taste, swap an even amount of the mayonnaise for Miracle Whip.
  • Mustard. Our personal preference is Dijon mustard but regular yellow mustard will work. You can also increase the amount, if you like a more mustardy potato salad.
  • Veggies. For a crisp vegetable crunch, add in 2 stalks of diced celery and/or 1/2 cup diced sweet onion or red onion for a little kick.
  • Bacon. Everything’s better with bacon! I think a few slices of chopped, crispy bacon would be delicious in this salad.

Serving suggestions

What goes good with potato salad?

Potato salad is great served as a side dish to many different meals. It pairs well with grilled meats like steak, chicken, or fish. We also love to pair it with slow cooker ham and pork sliders. You can also enjoy it alongside sandwiches and wraps for a flavorful twist.

Storage recommendations

Leftover potato salad will keep fresh in the refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to about 5 days. We do not recommend freezing this salad.

If you’re bringing this to a picnic or BBQ, keep it on ice until you’re ready to serve it. Keep out at room temperature for a maximum time of 2 hours. If you’re outdoors and the temperature is in the 80s or 90s, the safe time is even less, about one hour.  

potato salad topped with paprika and dill and served with a silver serving spoon

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

potato salad on a large white serving platter
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Best Potato Salad

My grandma's potato salad recipe is seriously SO GOOD! This dish is a summer staple that pairs well with everything from burgers to grilled chicken and makes a great picnic side with sandwiches. So easy to throw together too!
Author: Kim


  • 8 medium white or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 8 hard boiled eggs
  • 3/4 cup diced sweet pickles*
  • 1 cup mayo**
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard***
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • fresh chopped dill and/or paprika, optional for garnish
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Cut the potatoes into quarters and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with cold water until it is 1 inch over the top of the potatoes. Bring water to a boil. Cook potatoes for about 15-20 minutes and until fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix the sweet pickles, mayo, mustard, sugar, vinegar, and salt & pepper. Stir until smooth. Then chop the eggs and dill.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and cool until you can handle them. Remove the loose peels and chop the potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces. It is fine if they are soft and crumbly. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Gently mix in the dressing until it coats the potatoes well. Then stir in the eggs. Taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Cover the potato salad and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with fresh dill and paprika, if using. This potato salad tastes even better the next day, so if you have time, make in advance. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.


*To add a bit more sweetness to the salad, you can add a splash of sweet pickle juice too.
**If you prefer, substitute the mayo with Miracle Whip. Or, use half mayo and half Greek yogurt or sour cream.
**Regular mustard is fine to use, but I like Dijon mustard best in this because it has a milder flavor.
Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 207kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 99mg, Sodium: 288mg, Potassium: 402mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 194IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg

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