Creamy Potato Salad Recipe for Family Gatherings

My grandmother’s timeless recipe for potato salad has become a staple at all our family gatherings. Whether it’s a summer picnic, a casual cookout, or a holiday celebration, this crowd-pleasing side dish never fails to impress. With just five simple ingredients, this delightful dish is easy to make and always a hit. Serve it alongside an Easter ham, grilled burgers, or BBQ chicken for a cool, creamy, and flavorful addition to your spread.

A Classic Red Potato Salad

Sometimes, simplicity is the key to perfection. This easy potato salad recipe is made without eggs and requires only a handful of common kitchen staples. It’s a minimal effort dish that pairs perfectly with barbecue, burgers, fried chicken, or any grilled meat. Passed down through three generations, this traditional recipe holds a special place in our hearts, and we hope it becomes a beloved favorite in your family’s home too.

What is Potato Salad?

Originating in Germany and spreading to other European countries and colonies, potato salad is a classic side dish made with boiled potatoes and a variety of other ingredients. While German potato salad is typically served warm and dressed in a vinegar-based sauce, American-style potato salad, as shown here, is often served cold with a creamy dressing made from mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt. Along with the potatoes, most potato salad recipes include seasonings, herbs, or vegetables.

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Best Potatoes for Creamy Potato Salad

Choosing the right potatoes is crucial for a creamy potato salad. While red potatoes are the traditional choice, Yukon Gold potatoes or other waxy potatoes work equally well. These varieties hold their shape when cooked, ensuring a firm texture in the salad. It’s best to avoid starchy, thick-skinned potatoes like russets, as they tend to fall apart during the cooking process.


To prepare this easy potato salad, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Potatoes: Red potatoes or gold potatoes work best.
  • Celery: Adds a crisp crunch.
  • Green onion: Provides savory flavor.
  • Mayonnaise: Any variety will work.
  • Sour cream: Adds tanginess and richness to the dressing.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: Enhance the flavors of the dish.

How to Make Creamy Potato Salad

Follow these simple steps to create this fast and easy potato salad recipe:

  1. Boil the Potatoes: Start by boiling whole potatoes (with the skin on) in a pot of cold water. Add salt to the boiling water and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and let them cool.

  2. Peel and Cube the Potatoes: Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and dice them into bite-size pieces.

  3. Add the Remaining Ingredients: Place the potatoes in a large bowl and stir in the celery, green onion, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.

  4. Chill: Cover the potato salad and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Adjust the consistency by adding more sour cream or mayonnaise if needed.

Serving Suggestions

This creamy potato salad pairs well with a variety of main dishes. Here are a few great options to consider:

  • Baked Chicken Wings, Crispy Fried Chicken, or Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders
  • Fried Chicken Cutlets and Country Gravy
  • Dutch Oven Pork Roast or 5-Ingredient Pork Sirloin Roast
  • Baked Baby Back Ribs
  • Ham Steak with Brown Sugar Glaze, Pineapple Glazed Ham, or Baked Ham with Apricot Glaze
  • Grilled New York Strip Steak
  • Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy
  • Fried Pork Chops
  • Roast Chicken
  • Dutch Oven Pot Roast or Mississippi Pot Roast
  • Slow Cooker Turkey Breast or Oven Roasted Turkey
  • Crock Pot Pulled Pork, Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork, or Cider-Braised Pulled Pork
  • Mississippi Roasted Pork Shoulder
  • Grilled BBQ Pork Chops
  • Grilled BBQ Chicken, Oven BBQ Chicken Breast, or Crockpot BBQ Chicken
  • Dutch Oven BBQ Beef
  • Oven Baked Pork Tenderloin or Mustard and Brown Sugar Baked Pork Tenderloin
  • Crispy Southern Fried Catfish
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Preparation and Storage

You can make this classic potato salad recipe 1-2 days ahead of time. When properly chilled in an airtight container, leftover potato salad will remain fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days. However, if the salad has been sitting out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it’s best to discard any leftovers. Freezing is not recommended as the ingredients may lose their consistency when thawed.

How Much Potato Salad per Person?

As a general guideline, 1 pound of potatoes will feed about 3-4 people. For servings that yield 6-8 people, use approximately 2 pounds of potatoes. Adjust the ingredients accordingly based on the number of guests. Keep in mind that these quantities are estimates and can vary depending on individual appetites.

Recipe Variations

Feel free to customize this recipe to your liking. Here are a few variations you can try:

  • Garnish with a tablespoon of fresh herbs, such as parsley or dill.
  • Sprinkle paprika on top of the salad for a colorful touch.
  • Stir in cooked, crumbled bacon, hard-boiled eggs, yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, pickle relish, or chopped dill pickles to add extra flavor and texture.

Tips for the Best Potato Salad

To achieve the best results, consider the following tips:

  • Add the potatoes to cold water and then bring it to a boil. This ensures even cooking and prevents the potatoes from becoming mushy.
  • Boil the potatoes whole without dicing or peeling them beforehand. This helps maintain their texture during cooking.
  • Cooking time for potatoes ranges from 15-20 minutes, depending on their size. Baby potatoes may require only 10 minutes, so keep a close eye on them to avoid overcooking.
  • Use full-fat mayo and sour cream for optimal flavor and texture.
  • Keep in mind that the potatoes will absorb some of the sour cream and mayonnaise as the salad chills. Adjust the consistency by adding more just before serving.
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More Easy Potato Recipes to Explore

If you’re a fan of potatoes, here are a few more recipes you might enjoy:

  • Southern Potato Salad
  • German Potato Salad
  • 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Easy Au Gratin Potatoes
  • Cheesy Sour Cream Potato Casserole
  • Chunky Skin-On Mashed Red Potatoes
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
  • Baked Potato Wedges

For more delicious recipes and culinary inspiration, visit Family Cuisine.

This article was crafted with love and expertise to ensure your cooking success. Enjoy the process, savor the flavors, and create memorable moments with your loved ones.

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