Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Old fashioned potato salad is a classic side dish that is easy to make. This easy recipe includes simple ingredients, from the combination of tender potatoes, mayonnaise, and mustard to the addition of hard-boiled eggs.

This recipe will show you how to make the perfect and easy old fashioned potato salad. This is a family favorite recipe!

Bowl of freshly made potato salad

Grandma’s Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Just like grandma’s old fashioned potato salad recipe, this dish has been around for generations. This simple potato salad recipe is perfect for any summer barbecue or potluck.

This classic potato salad recipe was a staple in many households in the old days. Made with farm fresh eggs, potatoes gathered from the garden, and a simple dressing of mayonnaise and mustard, this was a simple yet delicious side dish.

The secret to the perfect potato salad is using the freshest ingredients possible and allowing the flavors to meld together in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.

Bowl of mustard potato salad

Simple Potato salad Recipe

This old fashioned potato salad recipe is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual tastes. While my whole family prefers simple ingredients, you can add your favorite pickles, olives, raw onions, or even bacon.

The Best Potatoes For Potato salad

Waxy potatoes are the best potatoes for good potato salad. They are known for their low starch and high moisture content. They have a firm, creamy texture and thinner skin than starchy potatoes.

One of the best features of these potatoes is their ability to retain their shape after being cooked. For potato salad, use new potatoes or red potatoes.

However, Yukon Golds are my all-time favorite – they are the best all-purpose potato that works well in this traditional potato salad.

Old Fashioned Potato Salad Ingredients

When it comes to making the best old-fashioned potato salad, it typically consists of potatoes, mayonnaise, and a few other basic ingredients.

However, there are many ways to customize this dish to suit individual tastes. Additions like celery and onions can add a variety of flavors and textures.

Here is the list of ingredients that you will need to make this old fashioned classic potato salad.

  • Potatoes – the most popular types of potatoes used in potato salad are Yukon golds and red potatoes. Both potatoes hold up well when boiled, making them great for potato salads. Avoid using russet potatoes as they break apart too easily.
  • Vinegar – using just a splash of vinegar adds a flavor that complements the other ingredients. For this recipe, you can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Hard Boiled Eggs – adding hard-boiled eggs to potato salad adds flavor and nutrition. The eggs provide protein, healthy fats, and a creamy texture that complements the potatoes.
    • Tip – for the easiest way to make hard-boiled eggs, read THIS post.
  • Mayonnaise + Mustard – for a classic potato salad dressing, combine your favorite brands of mayonnaise and mustard. For the mustard, you can use yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, or spicy mustard for a kick of flavor.
  • Salt + Pepper – adding salt and black pepper is a great way to flavor and enhance this side dish’s overall taste.
  • Paprika – adding paprika adds a mild smoky flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in potato salad and adds a bit of color.

Kitchen Tools You May Need

This post contains affiliate links; I make a tiny commission off any purchase that you may make. This small commission helps you keep Rocky Hedge Farm going at no additional cost. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

You can find my favorite essentials can be located on my Amazon storefront. While I often try to link to the exact products you see in my photos and videos, my pieces are usually vintage and thrifted. However, I try to find and connect replicas as much as possible, made in the USA or by other small shops, as I believe in supporting hardworking American families.

  • Steamer Set – this is my go-to kitchen tool for making hard-boiled eggs.
    • Steamer Set
  • Serving Bowl – hand turned, these bowls are reminiscent of what grandma would have served her homemade potato salad in.
a bowl of homemade potato salad

How to Make the Best Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Potato salad is a perfect side dish to make for any occasion. It is incredibly easy to make and can be done in a few simple steps.

It is the perfect healthy, delicious dish to bring for a picnic, potluck, or family gathering.

Here is how to make the best old fashioned potato salad.

Potatoes in a large dutch oven to boil for potato salad.

Cut and Boil the Potatoes

Step 1: Cut and Boil the Potatoes. Rinse the potatoes under cold running water. Then cut potatoes and dice them into approximately 2-inch cubes, leaving the skin on if desired.

Place the diced potatoes into a dutch oven or stockpot, then add enough cold water to cover them. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.

Hardboiling eggs for potato salad

Hard Boil the Eggs

Step 2: Hard Boil the Eggs. While the potatoes are boiling, place the eggs in a steamer set and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Let the eggs steam for 10-12 minutes. Once done, take the eggs out of the steamer and allow them to cool.

Drain Potatoes and Chop Eggs

Step 3: Drain Potatoes and Chop Eggs. After the potatoes have cooked, place them in a colander to drain the water. Then transfer the warm potatoes to a large mixing bowl.

Once the eggs have cooled, peel them and then take a sharp knife and cut them into small bite-sized chunks.

Potato salad dressing

Old Fashioned Potato Salad Dressing

Step 4: Make the Potato Salad Dressing. Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a separate small bowl. Stir until all ingredients are well blended.

Combine Ingredients

Step 5: Combine Potatoes, Eggs and Dressing. Combine the cooked potatoes, eggs, and salad dressing mix in a large bowl.

Thoroughly mix them and then place the potato salad, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Then, garnish with sprinkling paprika on the top.

Serve

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy! Potato salad is a classic side dish that pairs well with a main dish. To complete your meal, you can serve your homemade potato salad with grilled chicken, pulled pork, steak, burgers, or hot dogs. It also pairs well with grilled corn on the cob for an outdoor barbecue.

For a light lunch or dinner, potato salad can be served with various deli meats and cheeses or with a simple green salad.

a white ironstone bowl filled with homemade potato salad

Tips for Making the Best Potato Salad

  • Make it the Night Before – If you have the time, making this easy potato salad recipe the night before is highly recommended. Refrigerating it overnight allows the flavors to blend and enhances the taste for the next day.
  • Use a High-Quality Mayonnaise – The mayonnaise is essential for creating the best creamy potato salads. Everyone has their favorite homemade recipe or store-bought brand. However, if you don’t, I recommend using Hellman or Dukes.
  • Substitutions – Instead of using mayonnaise, you can substitute Miracle Whip.
  • Make it Your Own – Potato salad is one of those beloved dishes that can be made in many ways. Depending on family recipes or personal preferences, the variations can be endless. Use this old fashioned potato salad recipe as a base and add in some of the options listed below.
    • Celery
    • Sweet Pickles
    • Onions
    • Relish
    • Bacon
    • Chives
    • Red Onions
    • Green Onions
  • Use the Best Potatoes – When making the best homemade potato salad recipe, Yukon Gold potatoes are the best potatoes. They hold their shape after cooking, which gives your potato salad a nice texture.

How to Store Potato Salad

  • To Store: When storing potato salad, it is important to keep it cool. The best way to store it is by placing it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. If it is out at a picnic or BBQ, keep it in a bowl surrounded by ice to maintain a cool temperature. Potato salad should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours.

Old Fashioned Potato Salad Recipe

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Yield: 8

Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Bowl of freshly made potato salad

Old fashioned potato salad is a classic side dish that is easy to make. This easy recipe includes simple ingredients, from the combination of potatoes, mayonnaise, and mustard to the addition of hard-boiled eggs. This recipe will show you how to make the perfect old fashioned potato salad.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds potatoes, Yukon Gold or Red
  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs diced or sliced
  • optional, paprika for garnish

Instructions

Rinse the potatoes under cold running water. Slice and dice them into approximately 2-inch cubes, leaving the skin on if desired.

Place the diced potatoes into a dutch oven or stockpot, then add enough cold water to cover them. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook until the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork.

While the potatoes are boiling, place the eggs in a steamer set and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Let the eggs steam for 10-12 minutes. Once done, take the eggs out of the steamer and allow them to cool.

After the potatoes have cooked, place them in a colander to drain the water. Then transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl.

Once the eggs have cooled, peel them and then take a knife and cut them into smaller pieces.

Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl. Stir until all ingredients are well blended.

Combine the potatoes, eggs and salad dressing mixture into a large bowl. Thoroughly mix them together and then place the potato salad, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Then, garnish with a sprinkling paprika.

Enjoy!

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