potato salad recipe with step by step photos. when you love potatoes, you make various recipes with them. so far i have shared many potato recipes be it indian or from the world cuisine. we love potatoes and so now sharing our favorite potato salad which is pretty easy to make and tastes good too. it is my take on the classic american potato salad. this recipe of potato salad is mildly sweet and tangy salad with the smoothness of the potatoes coated with a silken mayonnaise dressing. the textures are soft and crunchy – onions and celery add a nice crunch in the salad.
i have got many requests for adding salad recipes. i will be adding various vegetable and fruit salads recipes. i always make salads to go with the mains. even when i make everyday indian main course, i make international salad recipes to go with them. example a beetroot salad pairs up wonderfully with the main course of dal-rice or khichdi. you just need to know your flavors and you can make amazing pairings of various dishes.
potato with mayonnaise or potato with sour cream is a winning combination. while i make a potato dill salad with sour cream or yogurt, i also make this smooth potato salad with a mayonnaise dressing. a batch of homemade mayonnaise (egg-free) went in to make the dressing. you can use store-bought egg-free or vegan mayonnaise too. just make sure that the mayonnaise has a good taste and flavor.
flavors in this potato salad
texture: apart from a smoothness coming from the mayo and potatoes, the salad also has some crunch and freshness coming from the onions, celery and parsley. so do not skip these three ingredients. as a substitute for onions, you can even use scallions or spring onions. as a substitute for parsley, add cilantro or coriander leaves.
taste: usually in the classic american potato salad, pickles or pickle relish are added. these pickles are basically cucumbers or gherkins fermented in brine or vinegar. using a cucumber pickle adds some sour, salty and umami taste. in the recipe to get that sour and umami bites i have used green olives. yes, they contribute beautifully in the salad and you get a taste of sour bits here and there when eating the potato salad. dijon mustard also gives a slightly pungent and sharp taste in the salad.
how to boil potatoes for potato salad
potatoes are peeled, diced and cooked in water with some salt. the potatoes need to be simmered in water. in this recipe, the potatoes are not just cooked in your plain salted water. some vinegar and sugar are added in the water and this infuses some mild sour and sweet taste in the potatoes. not sweet like sweet potatoes, but just faintly sweet with a hint of sweetness. the sourness is also faint and not pronounced.
how long to boil potatoes for potato salad
while boiling potatoes, first make sure you have chopped or diced them evenly. usually, chopped potatoes take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook till tender on a medium flame. use a fork or a knife to check if they are cooked well. you can use any type of potatoes to make the salad. you just need to cook them right and not overdo the cooking. you do not want a mushy or pasty salad.
how to make potato salad (step by step photos)
1. pour 4 cups water in a pan or pot.
2. add 1 teaspoon salt.
3. next add 1 teaspoon sugar.
4. next add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
5. stir and keep the pan aside.
6. rinse 500 to 550 grams of potatoes or 3 to 4 large potatoes in running water very well. brush off the mud if any from the potatoes skin and rinse them thoroughly. then peel them and dice in 1-inch cubes. you will need 3 cup diced potatoes.
7. as soon as you dice the potatoes add them in the water in the pan.
8. cover the pan and keep it on a medium flame.
9. simmer and cook potatoes covered with a lid. a couple of times you can open the lid and check.
10. potatoes will take about 12 to 15 minutes to cook.
11. cook potatoes till they are fork-tender – meaning a fork or a knife should pass easily without any resistance.
12. strain the potatoes in a colander or strainer.
making mayonnaise dressing for potato salad
13. so when the potatoes are cooking, you can peel, rinse and finely chop 1 small onion, 1 stalk of celery, some parsley leaves and 5 to 6 pitted green olives. you will need ¼ cup finely chopped onions, 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery and 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley. some parsley can be kept for garnishing.
14. in a bowl take 6 tablespoons mayonnaise (vegetarian or vegan) and 1 teaspoon dijon mustard. i have used homemade mayo and it had a slight pouring consistency.
15. add 1 teaspoon lemon juice or ½ to 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
16. next add ¼ cup finely chopped onions, 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery, 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley and 5 to 6 chopped olives (green or black olives). one minced garlic clove can also be added.
17. season with ¼ teaspoon sugar. also, add ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika. you can even add smoked paprika, cayenne pepper or red chilli powder instead of sweet paprika.
18. mix very well. check the taste of the dressing and add more dijon mustard or lemon juice if needed. mayo and dijon mustard already have salt in them, so go easy on the salt and add it after you add the potatoes.
making potato salad
19. add the cooked potatoes. the potatoes can be warm when you add them. we prefer a warm potato salad so i add potatoes when they are warm. you can even cool them and then add.
20. mix and gently toss the potatoes with the dressing.
21. sprinkle ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper and salt as required. check the taste and add salt. after taste testing, you can add more pepper if required.
22. mix gently again.
23. serve potato salad. serve garnished with some chopped parsley and sprinkled with 1 to 2 pinches of sweet paprika or red chilli powder. you can even sprinkle some black pepper if you prefer. if not serving immediately then refrigerate and serve the potato salad later. you can have potato salad as a meal or serve as a side with your mains.
tips for making potato salad
- mayonnaise: use your favorite mayonnaise. it can be homemade or store brought. mayonnaise is an important ingredient and it has to be really good as the main flavor of the salad comes from the mayo. so do use a mayo which has a good taste and flavor.
- type of potato: any potato variety can be used to make potato salad. just do not overcook them. depending on the size of chopped potatoes and the variety, the timing to cook potatoes will vary.
- mustard: if you do not have dijon mustard, then add ground mustard paste or mustard powder.
- onions – onions are an essential ingredient in the potato salad. so do not skip them. use onions which are not too pungent. green onions aka spring onions can be used instead.
- celery – apart from a deep herby flavor, celery also add some crunch in the salad. so best not to skip them.
- parsley – parsley add freshness in the salad. if you do not have parsley, use cilantro (coriander leaves) instead. you can definitely add your choice of fresh or dried herbs.
- cucumber pickle or pickle relishes – you can add cucumber pickles if you prefer them. as a substitute for pickle, i have used green olives. though olives can be skipped. you can even add kalamata olives or black olives.
- scaling the recipe – you can easily double or triple the recipe. use the recipe card below to scale the ingredients.
- leftovers– refrigerate the leftover salad and it stays good for 1 to 2 days. while serving, you can serve the salad chilled or can warm in an oven.
variations for potato salad
- spiced and warm – add your favorite spices or sauces. worcestershire sauce or red chilly paste can be added. even indian spices & herbs like roasted cumin powder, coriander powder, chaat masala, coriander leaves, mint leaves can be used.
- herby salad – a lot of fresh herbs or dried herbs with some extra virgin olive oil, a bit of mashed garlic can make a simple yet tasty salad. i have shared a variation earlier – herbed potato salad.
- creme fraiche or sour cream – for a sour-tasting salad, both creme fraiche and sour cream work well. you can flavor it up with some herbs and seasonings of your choice.
- yogurt salad – a creamy and smooth dressing can also be made with yogurt or curd. your choice of herbs and spices can be added in the yogurt seasoning.
few more salad recipes for you!
an easy classic american potato salad recipe that tastes delicious and is too good. made with a mayonnaise dressing with mildly sweet, tangy and pungent notes.
(1 CUP = 250 ML)
for cooking potatoes
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 500 to 550 grams potatoes 1 to 1.25 pounds or 3 to 4 large potatoes or 3 cups diced potatoes
for potato salad dressing
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise – vegetarian or vegan
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard or add as required
- ½ teaspoon sugar or add as required
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice – can add ½ to 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar instead
- ¼ cup onions – finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons celery – finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley – finely chopped
- 5 to 6 green olives or black olives – pitted, sliced or chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika or red chilli powder or cayenne pepper – add as required
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder or add as required
- salt as required
- 1 teaspoon parsley – finely chopped
- 1 to 2 pinches sweet paprika or red chilli powder or cayenne pepper – add as required
take the water in a saucepan or a pot.
add salt, sugar and vinegar. stir and keep the pan aside.
rinse potatoes in running water very well. brush off the mud if any from the potatoes skin and rinse them thoroughly. then peel and dice in 1-inch cubes.
as soon as you dice the potatoes add them in the water in the pan.
cover the pan with its lid. heat on a medium flame.
simmer and cook potatoes covered with the lid.
potatoes will take about 12 to 15 minutes to cook.
cook potatoes till they are fork-tender – meaning a fork or a knife should pass easily without any resistance.
strain the potatoes in a colander or strainer. drain the water well.
making mayonnaise dressing
while the potatoes are cooking, you can peel, rinse and finely chop 1 small onion, half a stick of celery, parsley leaves and 5 to 6 pitted green olives.
in a bowl take mayonnaise (vegetarian or vegan), dijon mustard, lemon juice.
next add finely chopped onions, finely chopped celery, finely chopped parsley and chopped olives. you can even add one minced garlic clove (small to medium-sized).
season with ¼ teaspoon sugar and ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika. you can even add smoked paprika, cayenne pepper or red chilli powder instead of sweet paprika.
mix very well. check the taste of the dressing and add more dijon mustard or lemon juice or sugar if needed.
making potato salad
add the cooked potatoes. the potatoes can be warm when you add them.
mix and gently toss the potatoes with the dressing.
sprinkle ground black pepper and salt as required. check the taste and add salt. after taste testing, you can add more pepper if required.
mix gently again.
serve potato salad. serve garnished with some chopped parsley and sprinkled with 1 to 2 pinches of sweet paprika. if not serving immediately then refrigerate and serve later.
- use your favorite mayonnaise. it can be homemade or store brought.
- any type of potato variety can be used to make potato salad. just do not overcook them.
- if you do not have dijon mustard, then add ground mustard paste or mustard powder.
- use onions which are not too pungent. scallions or spring onions can be used instead.
- celery imparts a deep herby flavor in the salad. so do add and avoid skipping it.
- if you do not have parsley, use cilantro (coriander leaves) instead.
- you can add cucumber pickles if you prefer them.
- you can easily double or triple the recipe.
- the leftover salad stays good in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. while serving, you can serve the salad chilled or can warm in an oven for some minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 305 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Vitamin A 409IU8%
Vitamin C 22mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.