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Making Potato Salad (Plus 6 Recipes)

Potato salad is certainly a crowd-pleaser at most BBQs. This phenomenon is partly due to the versatility of the humble spud. But the other ingredients take it to a whole new level. If you want to switch things up, we’ve got you covered with these six bonus recipes. They’re easy to follow and guaranteed to impress!

Potato Salad

The sheer volume of potato salad recipes nearly equals the number of people who use them. Of course, there are a few things to know before making it. Start with the right potato, and keep the salad chilled before and during serving.

What is the difference between a hot and cold potato salad?

A potato salad combines potatoes, dressing or mayonnaise, vegetables like onions and celery, seasonings, and sometimes eggs. Because dressings and mayonnaise can spoil quickly, these salads must be kept cool from the start. Some varieties are prepared and served hot, but creamy salads must always remain cold. That includes letting the potatoes cool down after boiling them and maintaining a cool environment from the onset of preparation. See the boiling section for how to cool down cooked potatoes.

Hot salads are dressed in lemon juice, or vinegar. Seldom do they contain mayonnaise. The boiled potatoes are drained, tossed in a warm dressing, and served with crumbled bacon bits or capers.

Lars Blankers

What is the best potato for potato salad?

While it seems simple, you can improve your salads by choosing the right potato. The traditional potato is the russet or Idaho potato. These potatoes are readily available in most grocery stores. While they are excellent for baking and French fry-making, they are not always right for potato salads. I recommend using high-moisture, waxy potatoes like the red potato, Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold. These potatoes have a superior texture and absorb dressings, while russets are mealy and less flavorful.

Best practices for boiling

Potatoes are boiled whole or cut into smaller pieces. The boiling time will reduce with smaller pieces. Add salt to simmering water before adding the potatoes. When cooking potatoes, get them to the perfect point of tenderness, then promptly remove them from the pot and place them into an ice bath for 3-5 minutes then drain.

Potato salad in bowl

How can I add flavor to a potato salad?

Salad dressings or mayonnaise are typical, but the seasonings are entirely your choice. Try diced vegetables like onions, celery, pickles, or jalapenos. Fresh herbs like dill and flavorful mustards like Dijon are great additions. Experiment, get creative, and make it your masterpiece.

potato salad with bacon in a red bowl

1) Bacon Lovers Potato Salad

If you love the goodness of a loaded baked potato, then this bacon lovers delight is for you. The potatoes are coated in a delectable mixture of blue cheese, green onions, and bacon; chilled, and then served. If you’re looking for a simple, homemade side dish, I recommend this one. Serve this at your next BBQ, potluck, or game day party.

Hawaiian potato salad made with spam

2) Hawaiian Potato Salad

This easy, creamy Hawaiian-style salad contains a little spam, a hit of lemon juice, and loads of delicious flavor. Serve this homemade salad with grilled and baked meats or vegetables.

3) Tangy Mustard Potato Salad

This Southern-style Tangy Mustard based salad contains all of the goodness of a classic creamy variety, with an extra mustard zing!

Texas Potato Salad in white bowl

4) Texas Potato Salad

A homemade Texas favorite combines the creaminess of mayonnaise and mustard with a kick of pickled jalapenos. Truly a delicious homemade side dish that is perfect for potlucks and BBQs.

herb and caper

5) Herb and Caper Potato salad

This herb and caper salad is so good; it’s worth eating all by itself! Warm potato salads make the perfect year-round side dish for cookouts, potlucks, or family dinners. The combination of flavors means this salad can hold up against some of the boldest mains. We recommend serving this herb and caper potato salad with pork chops, grilled fish, chicken, or traditional BBQ meats.

6) Deviled Egg Potato Salad

This Deviled Egg Salad is so delicious and creamy that you’ll want to serve this Southern staple at your next cookout. You will love this side dish if you are a deviled egg lover.

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