Easy Southern Potato Salad

Easy Southern Potato Salad is more than just a dish; it’s also a classic comfort food as well as a taste of warm Southern hospitality!

This creamy old-fashioned southern potato salad uses very simple ingredients. Lots of creamy mayonnaise, a hint of mustard, dill pickles and sweet pickle relish.

You can trace its roots back to the early German settlers in America. The recipe has also passed through generations and regions, being embraced and adapted in the Southern states. Here, it flourished into a staple. It’s often at the heart of family reunions, picnics, and backyard barbecues.

This simple, delightful dish captures the essence of comfort food. I’m sure this Southern Potato Salad recipe is sure to become the highlight of your next down-home feast!

The Essentials of Easy Southern Potato Salad

Let’s chat about the heart of this dish—the ingredients. Starting with 5 pounds of glorious Russet Potatoes. Russets are superstars because they soak up all the flavors while offering that perfect fluffy bite we love. Their starchy goodness means each chunk of potato holds onto the creamy dressing like a charm.

  • 5 lb Russet Potatoes: For that ideal fluffiness and flavor adherence.
  • 2 teaspoons Chicken/Vegetable Bouillon: Adds depth (optional but recommended).
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs: Protein-packed pockets and adds richness.
  • 1/2 cup celery: For the must-have crunch.
  • 3 tablespoons sweet relish: For the hint of sweetness amidst the savory.
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion: A subtle kick to balance the creaminess.
  • 1/2 cup dill pickles: That zesty snap every bite should have.

Pulling these ingredients together doesn’t just make a salad—it weaves a story of texture, taste, and soulful satisfaction. So why Russet potatoes? They’re the cornerstone of Southern Potato Salad for good reason. Their fluffy insides and tender skins offer the best base for absorbing all those yummy flavors and spices. Friendly tip: Russets’ magic is best unleashed when cooked until fork tender.

Perfectly Prepping Potatoes and Eggs: Your Step-by-Step Companion

Let’s roll up our sleeves and bring these russets to life. First up, potato prep. Grab your potatoes and give them a good rinse—no dirt, please! Peel and dice them into even chunks. Into the pot they go, cold water bath, and all. A dash of bouillon? Yes, please. Cook those potatoes until your fork says “Yep, we’re ready.” Remember, fork tender is the golden ticket. Drain and cool.

Some prefer to make their Potato Salad with un-peeled potatoes. And yes, it’s still delicious.

Next, the eggs. They need a gentle boil, then a cold-water shock for that just-right peel. Here’s how you get eggs that are easy to deal with.

  1. Place your eggs in a pot and cover them with water; we’re aiming for an inch above the eggs.
  2. Bring it to a boil then cover and simmer. Set a timer for 9-12 minutes, depending on your egg size.
  3. As soon as the timer dings, escort those eggs to an ice bath for about 5 minutes.
  4. Time to peel. Crack them on a hard surface. Roll and peel. Fresh cool water helps slide that shell right off.

Mixing the Ingredients

When it comes to nailing that signature Southern Potato Salad, harmony among ingredients is key. Let’s delve into the wet wonders that bind everything together—mayonnaise and mustard. They’re the dynamic duo, the yin and yang of dressings, creating a rich, creamy foundation for our spices.

  • 1 cup mayonnaise: This isn’t just a wet ingredient; it’s the creamy caress that marries all the elements.
  • 4 tablespoons mustard: A dash of Dijon or the boldness of classic yellow, your choice.

The raw crunch of finely chopped celery offers a contrasting texture that’s crucial for balance. Meanwhile the sweet onion imparts a depth that complements the softness of the potatoes and the eggs.

The roles of dill pickles and sweet relish cannot be overstated—they prevent the palate from becoming overwhelmed.

  • 2 stalks celery, ½ cup sweet onion, 1/2 cup dill pickles, and 3 tablespoons sweet relish: These bits provide flavors that complete the ensemble with their distinct profiles.

But let’s talk about the silent flavor bomb—chicken/vegetable bouillon. Calling it a “secret touch” is apt because most won’t peg it as the ingredient that woke their taste buds.

This cube (or two) dissolves into the water bathing the potatoes, quietly infusing them with a savory depth few can pinpoint, yet everyone will notice.

  • 2 teaspoons Chicken/Vegetable Bouillon: Optional, but trust us—you want that umami intrigue.

Every ingredient has its moment in the spotlight, and our role is to conduct them into a flavorful dish. The wet ingredients bring everything together, creating something simple yet spectacular.

Combining Wet Ingredients for Southern Potato Salad

ingredients for southern potato salad in a bowl

Now we approach a pivotal moment—the blending of the mayonnaise, mustard, and spices, a step that transforms humble ingredients into a flavor-packed masterpiece. This artistry elevates the Southern Potato Salad to its iconic status.

Begin with 1 cup of mayonnaise; this creamy binder is the canvas of our potato salad. Eased into a mixing bowl, it awaits its partners. Moving to the 4 tablespoons of mustard, here’s where personal preference plays a role. Do you fancy the flair of Dijon with its sophisticated sharpness, or is it the homey, classic yellow mustard that calls to your soul? Whisk it into the mayo until the color and texture tell a tale of unity.

Perfect Spice for Southern Potato Salad

And now—the seasoning. Be bold with a pinch of salt and generous with a crack of black pepper. Introduce a whisper of paprika for warmth and a smidge of garlic powder for a hint of savoriness that will make guests wonder.

Stirring is not just a mechanical act. Move the spoon through the mixture with purpose, ensuring every stroke of the spoon folds the spices evenly through the mayo-mustard melody.

The result is a smooth, seasoned dressing ready to cover each potato with affection. This delicate process is the backbone of your dish, setting the stage for the crisp vegetables and hearty potatoes to combine perfectly.

  • 1 cup mayonnaise: The smooth hug that brings harmony.
  • 4 tablespoons mustard (Dijon or yellow): A dot of color and a dash of zest.
  • Salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder: The quartet of seasonings that weave complexity into every dollop.

With your wet ingredients combined and your seasonings dispersed, you have crafted not just a dressing, but a potion that will turn a simple potato into a gourmet experience. It’s time to unite them with the precooked potatoes as well as the rest of the ingredients.

Tossing it All Together: The Finishing Touch

The final step in our Southern Potato Salad saga is the gentle marriage of tender potatoes with our creamy, zesty dressing. To achieve the perfect union without compromising the integrity of the potatoes, a delicate touch and a bit of patience are required.

Start by spreading the precooked potatoes in a large mixing bowl, taking care not to crowd them. With a soft hand, scoop dollops of the seasoned mayonnaise-mustard mixture over the potatoes. The trick is not to pour all the dressing at once but to add it little bit at a time.

Use a large spoon or spatula to lightly toss the potatoes with the dressing. The goal is to coat each piece evenly while maintaining the potato’s shape. If the potatoes are still warm, they will absorb the flavors more fully, but also be more fragile, so extra care must be taken.

Rotate the bowl as you work, ensuring no potato is left behind in the flavor embrace. If you find the salad too dry for your taste, add a touch more of the dressing. When done correctly, you should be left with a creamy potato salad without being mushy, its components distinct yet cohesive—a true testament to the spirit of Southern culinary finesse.

  • Potatoes and dressing: A dance of textures and tastes.
  • Gentle folding technique: Ensures even distribution without breakdown.
  • Patience: The secret ingredient that brings it all together.

With every ingredient now playing its part in this culinary chorus, your Southern Potato Salad is ready to be savored.

Seasoning and Adjusting Taste

easy southern potato salad in a bowl

As our Southern Potato Salad nears completion, the time comes to fine-tune the flavors, ensuring a seamless balance between the sweet relish and the savory components. Enter celery seed and sea salt, two seasonings capable of elevating the dish effortlessly.

  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed: A small sprinkle goes a long way, contributing a gentle earthiness and slight bitterness that grounds the sweetness of the relish. This hidden gem instills an aromatic touch that complements without dominating, harmonizing the medley of flavors before us.
  • Sea salt to taste: After all components have come together, assess the seasoning. Has the relish tipped the scales too far into sweetness? A pinch of sea salt can recalibrate the flavor profile, enhancing natural tastes and ensuring that every forkful is imbued with just the right amount of savoriness to counterpoint the relish’s vibrancy.
  • Small jar of pimentos: For a pop of color.

Make these final adjustments with a careful palate, seeking a symphonic finish where each ingredient’s essence can sing. Remember, the true art of Southern culinary craft lies not just in the bold strokes of flavor but in the delicate whispers of taste that unite to create a dish much greater than the sum of its parts.

Presentation: The Pinnacle of Southern Potato Salad and Hospitality

In Southern cuisine, presentation extends beyond mere aesthetics; it reflects the heart of hospitality. The final touches to our Southern Potato Salad are a testament to this tradition, transforming simple ingredients into an inviting feast for the senses.

To gracefully finish off our dish, sprinkle a light dusting of paprika across the creamy landscape of the potato salad. Not only does it add a vibrant pop of color, but it also imparts a subtle smokiness that ties the flavors together. This visual and flavorful contrast is a nod to the care put into every step of this timeless recipe.

Lastly, crown your creation with rings of boiled eggs arranged along the top. The whites offer a clean, elegant border that showcases the golden yolks, a symbol of the richness in every spoonful. This garnish is not just decorative; it promises the fulfilling satisfaction known to Southern comfort food.

  • A dusting of paprika: Colorful warmth to the eye and a hint of spice to the palate.
  • Boiled egg rings: The final, sumptuous layer of Southern complexity.
  • With these final adornments, our Southern Potato Salad doesn’t just tempt the taste buds—it invites connection, storytelling, and the making of memories around the table.

Making Ahead and Storing: Savoring the Flavor Evolution

Made ahead of time, a Southern Potato Salad can mature into a deeper expression of its flavors. The key to this transformation lies in proper refrigeration. Ensuring the dish is cooled swiftly and stored in an air-tight container minimizes the risk of bacterial growth and helps the ingredients maintain their integrity.

The refrigerator also acts as a culinary time capsule, allowing the savory notes of mustard and the subtle tartness of the relish to meld harmoniously. Potatoes, their absorbent nature now a virtue, become ample vessels for the dressing’s rich and creamy consistency. For best results, let the salad chill for at least 4 hours; however, it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. rounded taste profile.

When it’s time to revisit this chilled treasure, remember to gently stir the salad before serving to redistribute any dressing that may have settled at the bottom. If the consistency thickens during storage, a splash of milk or a spoonful of mayonnaise can help restore creaminess. Serve your Southern Potato Salad slightly chilled.

  • Swift cooling and air-tight storage: Essential for safety and quality.
  • Chilling time: Minimum of 4 hours for flavor melding, optimal for up to 3 days.
  • Revitalizing before serving: A stir and possible light addition to the refreshing creaminess.

Serving Suggestions: Complementing the Southern Feast

easy southern potato salad with green onion garnish

When presenting your Southern Potato Salad at a gathering, consider the companions to your dish. Pair it with classic Southern staples such as fried chicken, barbecue ribs, or pulled pork for a robust meal that resonates with tradition. Vegetarian options like grilled corn on the cob or a fresh green bean salad also work beautifully, offering a lighter contrast to the creamy potato salad.

For serving sizes, a good rule of thumb is about 1/2 to 3/4 cup per guest if it’s part of a larger spread with multiple sides. If the potato salad is one of the main attractions, aim for 1 to 1 1/2 cups per person to ensure a hearty portion that satisfies. Remember, part of Southern charm is ensuring there’s always a little extra to go around, so don’t be afraid to make a generous batch.

  • Fried chicken or barbecue: Classic pairings that offer a play on textures.
  • Vegetarian sides: Balance the meal with earthy, lighter elements.
  • Portion sizes: Generous servings ensure a true taste of Southern hospitality.

Whether it’s a casual backyard barbecue or a festive potluck, your Southern Potato Salad will be the side dish that guests return to, scoop after hearty scoop.


In the world of comfort cuisine, Southern Potato Salad stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of Southern food culture. From the careful selection of ingredients to the ceremonial final garnish, each step in the creation of this beloved dish underscores a legacy of flavor and fellowship.

As it graces tables and warms hearts, the Southern Potato Salad goes beyond a mere accompaniment; it becomes a cherished centerpiece.

So, the next time you set forth to craft this classic, remember, you’re not just making a salad—you’re cultivating a moment in time, seasoned generously with history and love.

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Happy cooking and bon appétit!

easy southern potato salad in a bowl

Easy Southern Potato Salad

Easy Southern Potato Salad is more than just a dish; it's a celebration on a plate, a taste of warm Southern hospitality!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 soup pot
  • 1 large mixing bowl


  • 5 lb Russet Potatoes 4 large
  • 2 teaspoons Chicken/Vegetable Bouillon optional
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs 1 for garnish
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dill pickles finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sweet relish

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons mustard (Dijon or regular)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed optional
  • pinch sea salt


  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 boiled egg (cut in rings)



  • Rinse, peel and dice the potatoes, then place them in a pot. Fill the pot with cold water. Add the bouillon and boil until fork tender. Also put your eggs on to boil at this time.
  • When you can stick a fork easily into the middle of a potato, it's ready. Drain off the water and let potatoes cool to room temperature.
  • If you prefer dice potatoes and eggs into smaller pieces and add to a large mixing bowl.
  • You are now ready to add your chopped onion, celery, dill pickle and sweet relish to the mixing bowl.

Wet Ingredients

  • In a small bowl, combine mayo, mustard, celery seed and salt, mix well.
    Add the mayo mixture to the potato mixture and gently mix everything together with a wooden spoon.
  • Adjust to taste. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Enjoy!


Nutrition Estimate
Calories: 219kcal
Carbohydrates: 33g
Protein: 5g
Fat: 13g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 91mg
Sodium: 617mg
Potassium: 470mg
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 3g


Keyword easy potato salad, easy southern potato salad, potato sald

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