The Essential Recipe for Southern Potato Salad
I love a good potato salad, but I also love to switch things up. Instead of the typical mayo-based salads you’ll find in the South, this one uses vinegar and mustard to give it that tangy kick. It’s great for picnics and potlucks because it doesn’t need to be kept cold!
What is Southern Potato Salad
Southern potato salad is a staple of summer sides. If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor grill and a hearty appetite, it’s a great option for a barbecue or picnic. It’s also simple to make and can be made in advance, so even if you don’t want to spend hours over the grill yourself, this dish will still lend itself well to your outdoor cookout.
In essence, southern potato salad is very simple: boiled potatoes are cut into bite-sized pieces, then mixed with mayonnaise and other ingredients like onion and celery until everything is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Some people prefer their southern potato salad spicy—adding mustard or hot sauce—while others think this overpowers the dish’s natural flavors. Either way, this classic side dish never disappoints!
- Potatoes (you can use red or yellow potatoes, but Yukon golds are the best)
- Eggs (2 eggs per 3 to 4 cups of diced potatoes)
- Mayonnaise (about 1/4 cup per 1 cup of diced potatoes)
- Chives and parsley (for garnish; parsley is optional)
- Cayenne pepper for heat (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the eggs and whisk until well combined.
- Gently mix in the eggs, tossing lightly to avoid breaking them up too much.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- Use a variety of potatoes. The sliced red potatoes are delicious, but you can also add in fingerling, or even sweet potato.
- Use a variety of spices. You’ll be surprised how many different flavors you can get from just one type of spice—for example, try paprika, mustard powder and cayenne pepper in your dressing for something spicy and tangy!
- Use a variety of vegetables. Try adding bell peppers or mushrooms along with your corn and peas for some extra fiber!
- Use a variety of meats (if applicable). Ham is classic Southern style potato salad, but if you want to go with something more modern try incorporating chicken breast into the mix as well! This will make it less fattening while still keeping all that flavor packed into every bite! Just remember: less than 200 calories per serving is ideal when making any kind seafood dishes like this one so keep an eye out on those numbers before adding too much meat/cheese into it.
- To make sure you have enough room to mix the salad together, make sure to use a large enough bowl.
- Make sure your potato masher is large enough to mash all the potatoes in one go.
- Make sure your mixing bowl is large enough to hold all of the ingredients as they are mixed together until they are completely combined and there are no lumps left over.
- Use a large spoon for stirring the salad dressing into the boiled potatoes so that it mixes well without any clumps or pockets of un-dissolved mustard powder floating around in your potato salad dressing!
- Use a serving dish or serving platter with plenty of surface area when spreading out your freshly cooked Southern Potato Salad across its surface before serving it up at parties and family gatherings!
Add-ins and Variations
- Add a can of corn.
- Add a can of black beans.
- Add a can of peas!
- Give it some green beans, too!
- Slice up some mushrooms and add those in for their awesome texture and flavor.
- Diced tomatoes and diced green chilies are also delicious additions to this recipe.
This potato salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
It’s great for summer, potlucks, barbecues, parties and family reunions. The combination of ingredients with tangy mustard and vinegar make the perfect dressing for our potatoes. We recommend serving this dish at your next gathering.