Homemade potato salad in a blue bowl next to a blue towel and wooden spoon (with logo overlay)

How to Make The Best Easy Classic Potato Salad

Classic potato salad recipe is a Southern must-have at any gathering, especially in the summer. Use only 3 ingredients for an easy potato salad recipe. 

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I love a good potato salad. It’s not possible to have a good ol’ Southern BBQ without a classic potato salad! And those store-bought potato salads just don’t cut it.

Really, have you ever tried those compared to what someone from the South can make? There are so many ways to make potato salad. So many different ingredients, flavors, and textures. And me? I love a good, plain potato salad.

Seriously, 3 ingredients are all you need for a good potato salad in my opinion. Well, 5 if you count the salt and black pepper. I know a lot of people add other things to their potato salad, such as onions, celery, and all types of other ingredients.

Simple Ingredients for Great Potato Salad

My potato salad, as I said, has 3 simple ingredients: hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, and miracle whip. Then I add a little salt and pepper for flavor, but that’s it!

Potatoes

What type of potatoes works best for potato salad? Almost any potatoes will work, but they all have a slightly different taste. I prefer to use russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes. Red potatoes also make a great potato salad. I’ve seen some recipes that instruct you to cut the potatoes before boiling and some that say to boil the potatoes whole. I have tried both ways and don’t find much of a difference in the taste or texture. If you cut the potatoes before you boil them, they don’t take as long as whole potatoes.

Miracle Whip

​Most potato salad dressing calls for mayonnaise and a few other spices. Instead of getting multiple ingredients, I find it easiest to use Miracle Whip. It has a slightly sweeter taste, already has spices in it such as mustard, paprika, and garlic, and is usually cheaper than mayo. 

Eggs

You can make your potato salad as eggy as you want. I like a lot of eggs in my potato salad, so I tend to use at least 8 eggs for every 5 pounds of potatoes. But you can lower that amount if you don’t want as much egg in your potatoes. 

Serving Suggestions and Add-Ins

My grandma always adds celery to hers so I either have to pick it out. Or hope that she made two batches, one without the celery, like she sometimes does for me.

There are so many options for things to add to or on top of your potato salad. 

  • Mix in some sliced green onions
  • Top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits for a loaded potato flavor
  • Add some chopped dill pickles or sweet pickles
  • Stir in some Dijon mustard or yellow mustard
  • Dice a red onion to add to the potato salad
  • Top with sweet pickle relish
  • Mix in some fresh herbs such as celery seed, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, rosemary, or thyme
  • Use a little bit of Greek yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise for a more creamy dressing

Classic Potato Salad Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 5 lb potatoes
  • 1 small jar Miracle Whip
  • 6-8 eggs

Instructions

Decide if you would rather have the potato skins peeled or not because they need to be peeled before boiling. Now and then I take the time to peel, but I like making this quick and easy, so boil unpeeled potatoes.

Cut the potatoes into thirds so they cook quicker and place in a large pot then cover with cold water. Boil the potatoes until they are cooked and slightly soft, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, hard-boil the eggs so they are ready at about the same time as the potatoes. 

Hard-boiled egg sliced in half on a wooden cutting board next to shell pieces and other eggs

Let both the potatoes and eggs cool for about 15 minutes then cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Chop the eggs into small pieces as well and add to the potatoes. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, to taste, into the potato salad.

Gently fold in the miracle whip.

Cover and refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes and serve cold.

Homemade potato salad in a blue bowl next to a blue towel and wooden spoon (vertical)

Classic Potato Salad Leftovers

Storage: Store potato salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The dressing may separate a bit, so give it a quick stir before serving. 

Recipe

Originally Published On: September 6, 2016

Last Updated On: June 3, 2024

Homemade potato salad in a blue bowl next to a blue towel and wooden spoon

Potato Salad

Classic potato salad recipe is a Southern must-have at any gathering, especially in the summer. Use only 3 ingredients for an easy potato salad recipe. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course:
Side Dish
Cuisine:
American
Keyword:
bbq
|
eggs
|
potatoes
Servings: 10
4.80 from 10 votes

Ingredients

  • 5 lb potatoes
  • 1 small jar miracle whip
  • 6-8 eggs

Instructions

  • Peel potatoes and cut into thirds
  • Boil potatoes until just done, and let cool completely
  • Hard boil eggs
  • Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces
  • Chop the eggs into small pieces
  • Mix potatoes and eggs together with miracle whip
  • Cover and refrigerate to cool
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Nutrition Facts
Potato Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 169 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 60mg3%
Potassium 973mg28%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 5g20%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 145IU3%
Vitamin C 25.8mg31%
Calcium 83mg8%
Iron 7.8mg43%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

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38 thoughts on “How to Make The Best Easy Classic Potato Salad”

  1. 5 stars
    I should surprise my husband with this recipe. I wonder if he would like it. I know he likes this type of thing however, I cannot recall if I have ever actually seen him eat it before LOL!

  2. YES to the Miracle Whip! This is a staple in our potato salads, too, though I admit our family’s recipe is a little more dressed than yours (celery, green onions, sometimes radishes, sometimes crumbled bacon) – And vinegar; most people don’t like their potato salad this way, but it’s how I grew up and I love that extra tang!

    1. I know a lot of people add other things to it, but I’ve always liked mine plain and simple. I’ll have to try a bit of vinegar next time, though, because I think I would like the tang!

  3. I always use mustard, mayo and pickle juice when I make my potato salad. I honestly don’t think I’ve had miracle whip since I was 6 years old lol. But I love how easy this recipe sounds and looks!

    1. It’s always interesting to hear what foods are popular in different places. We were in London and Dublin quite a few years ago and when my sister asked for Ice Tea they looked at her like she had three heads and when we asked about getting Root Beer they weren’t sure if it was an alcoholic drink (it’s a soda). So fun to compare popular foods and what’s available.

    1. I don’t know if I’ve ever had it with dill, but that sounds like it would be a great flavor. Not sure I would like the red onion, but I definitely want to try dill soon!

  4. Potato salad is my go to food whenever I feel low. It’s easy to make and satisfying. Thank you so much. I add chopped mint leaves too in mine.

  5. Your recipes always leave me drooling. I have cut down on all starch and carbs so wondering what I can use instead. Would sweet potatoes work? Also what can I substitute for the Miracle Whip?

    1. I’ve never tried it with sweet potatoes, but I don’t care for those as much as regular potatoes. As for the Miracle Whip, I’m not sure what you could sub. It’s similar to mayo, but you may not want that either if you are trying to cut down. Unless you can find a vegan mayo, that may be a bit better.

  6. 5 stars
    When we have potatoes for dinner I always end up cooking too many so this is a great way for me to use up the leftovers!

  7. Potato dishes are very popular in Lithuania. You definitely should try Lithuanian Cepelinai! 😊
    Your simple Classic Potato Salad looks so yummy!

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