Traditional Potato Salad

Looking for a recipe for traditional potato salad just like mom, or grandma, used to make? Look no further. This is a classic recipe with eggs, mayo (or Miracle Whip!), celery seeds, and of course, Idaho® potatoes. Bring back childhood memories with this favorite recipe of summers past!


  • 2 pounds Idaho® potatoes, peeled and diced (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped hard-boiled egg
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds

Optional Add-Ins:

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion or scallion
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, chives or dill


  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Cook 13 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
  3. In a large bowl combine mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add potatoes, celery, hard-boiled eggs, celery seeds and optional add-ins.
  5. Toss to coat thoroughly.

Tips to Make Potato Salad Like a Pro

  • When dicing your potatoes, make sure they are all the same size. This will help assure they cook evenly. 
  • Don't overcook the potatoes or they'll break down when you mix them and won't have a nice texture.
  • Don't want to peel the potatoes? That's just fine! Many of the nutrients are in the skin.
  • Looking to make the salad ahead of time? Potatoes cooked too far in advance can start to brown. Adding concentrated lemon juice or white wine vinegar to the water before the final draining and storage will help with that. Combine the rest of the ingredients up to one day before you'll be serving but remember to check the seasoning and dressing before serving, adding more if needed, as the potatoes will absorb it while sitting.

Food Safety Tips

Potato salad and picnics are a natural pairing, but picnic weather is often warm weather so here's some tips to keep everyone safe.

  • Once the salad is finished being prepared, chill in the refrigerator for several hours – 4 or more is best.
  • Pre-chill the cooler you'll be transporting the potato salad in with cold water or ice before adding the finished salad.
  • Bring a larger bowl and make a nest of ice to place the bowl of potato salad in.
  • Keep salad covered until service and remove once the buffet line has gone through – you can always place it out later for seconds!.
  • Keep the potato salad out of direct sunlight.
  • Wondering if you can freeze any leftover potato salad? Sorry... the answer is no. Mayonnaise doesn’t freeze well. Same with celery and eggs and the potatoes will get an off-color.
Print Recipe

Yield: 6 - 8 servings
Calories: 170
Sodium: 332 mg
Fat: 4 g
Protein: 3 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg

Photo Credit:
Fiona Green
(Recipe Photo Contest Winner)

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