Learn how to make potato salad with this easy recipe! The perfect BBQ side dish, it’s creamy and flavorful, made with tangy pickles, celery, and mustard.
This potato salad recipe is hands down the BEST I’ve tried. It’s creamy, it’s tangy, and it’s flecked with savory herbs, crunchy celery, and (optional, but delicious) hard-boiled eggs. I’ll be bringing it to every cookout and BBQ we attend this summer. This potato salad recipe is so tasty that I can’t get enough!
It’s essentially the classic potato salad that appeared at every picnic and potluck throughout my childhood, but it has a few key twists. First, I add diced dill pickles for crunch, and I also mix a splash of pickle brine into the creamy mayo and mustard dressing. The extra burst of acidity really makes the potatoes pop. Fresh herbs liven up this recipe too. Dill brings out the tartness of the pickles, and chives add an oniony kick. Try it once, and you’ll never need another homemade potato salad recipe.
What’s In This Potato Salad Recipe
To make this potato salad recipe, you’ll need these simple ingredients:
- Potatoes, of course! You’ll need two pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes. Read more about why I love using them in potato salad below!
- Celery – It adds fresh, savory flavor and crunch.
- Dill pickles – For more crunch and sour flavor. You’ll use some of the pickle brine in the dressing too!
- Mayonnaise – It makes the dressing rich and creamy.
- Apple cider vinegar and yellow mustard – They add sharp, tangy flavor to the potato salad dressing.
- Garlic – For savory bite.
- Chives and dill – These fresh herbs balance the rich dressing and starchy potatoes. No chives handy? Thinly sliced green onions would work here too.
- Hard-boiled eggs – A classic potato salad recipe ingredient! They make it extra-creamy. We love them here, but I list them as optional. Feel free to skip them if you’d like.
- And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
What kind of potatoes are best for potato salad?
Good question! I recommend Yukon Golds.
These yellow waxy potatoes have the perfect texture for potato salad. They hold their shape well after boiling, but they still break down enough to make the salad creamy. They also do a great job soaking up the flavors from the dressing. Plus, their skins are so thin that there’s no need to peel them!
Avoid russet potatoes and starchy red potatoes here. Their high starch content means that they can easily turn to mush as you mix the salad together. I like creamy potato salads, but mushy ones? No thanks.
How to Make the Best Potato Salad
Ready to cook? Here’s how to make this potato salad recipe:
First, boil the potatoes. Wash them well and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces. Then, place them in a large pot and cover them with cold water by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and set them aside to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, make the creamy dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pickle juice, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and several grinds of pepper. The dressing will taste sharp on its own, but its flavor will balance once it’s on the potatoes.
Next, dress the potatoes. Place them in a large bowl and pour on the dressing. Mix well, mashing the potatoes slightly, until the salad becomes creamy.
Then, fold in the other ingredients. Add the pickles, celery, and hard-boiled eggs…
…along with the chives and dill.
Mix well to combine.
Chill the salad for at least 1 hour—and up to 1 day—to allow the flavors to meld.
Finally, season to taste and serve. If you like, garnish it with more dill just before digging in. A little fresh parsley would be a great topping too.
- Mash it. I like this recipe best when the potatoes are mashed slightly. The salad should be really creamy with some larger potato chunks still remaining. The Yukon Gold potatoes won’t fall apart on their own, so make sure to mash them up a bit as you stir the salad together.
- Chill it. The secret to the best potato salad is giving the flavors a chance to meld. Chill this salad for at least an hour—and up to a day—in the refrigerator before serving. The potatoes need time to soak up that delicious dressing!
- Make it vegan. Do you have plant-based guests coming to your cookout? Make this recipe vegan by skipping the eggs and using vegan mayo in the dressing. Alternatively, make this non-traditional vegan potato salad recipe!
More Favorite Summer Side Dishes
If you love this creamy potato salad recipe, try one of these summer side dishes next:
Want even more summer side dish ideas? Check out these 33 Best BBQ Sides!
The BEST potato salad recipe! Perfect for picnics and BBQs, it’s creamy, tangy, and flavorful. Bonus: it tastes even better if you make it ahead.
Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, pickle brine, apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and several grinds of pepper.
Place the cooled potatoes in a large bowl. Add the dressing and stir to coat, mashing the potatoes slightly so that the salad becomes creamy.
Fold in the celery, chopped pickles, chives, dill, and hard-boiled eggs, if using.
Cover and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Season to taste and serve. Leftover potato salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.