Easy Southern Potato Salad (Classic Recipe)

Southern Potato Salad is a creamy blend of mayonnaise, yellow mustard, boiled eggs, sweet onion, and dill relish. A summer staple in the South that goes perfectly with almost everything.

Southern potato salad in a bowl garnished with chives and paprika.

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Why You’ll Love This

This classic old-fashioned potato salad is creamy, tangy, and absolutely delicious.

It’s quick and easy to make.

This Classic Southern Potato Salad is the perfect potluck dish that is even better made ahead.

Some of our other favorite barbecue side dish recipes are Succotash recipe, Cold Broccoli Salad, Herb Potato Salad (no mayonnaise), Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Beans with Rotel Tomatoes, and Marinated Raw Vegetables Salad.

Southern potato salad in a bowl garnished with chives and paprika.

What is Southern Potato Salad

There are a multitude of southern potato salad recipes in the south. They are all pretty much the same but with slight changes here and there to suit their taste.

But most Southern potato salads contain two main ingredients mayonnaise and yellow mustard.

Note I said “mayonnaise,” not Miracle Whip! And yellow mustard, not Dijon mustard.

In this house, Southern style potato salad requires dill pickle relish! No sweet pickles in our potato salad. There is much debate about this, but it’s a matter of personal taste.

Southern potato salad ingredients on a dark surface.

Ingredients Needed

  • Potatoes – Russet potatoes are best for their starchy creaminess. They also hold their shape better after boiling. You can also use Yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes, or new potatoes, but the flavor and texture will differ.
  • Add-Ins – Sweet onions like Vidalia onions, hard-boiled eggs, and dill pickle relish.
  • Dressing – Mayonnaise (not salad dressing such as Miracle Whip), yellow mustard, dill pickle juice, kosher salt, and black pepper.

How to Make Southern Potato Salad

Peel and cube the potatoes, place them in a large pot and cover them with 1 inch of water.

Russet potato diced on a wooden cutting board.
Cube the potatoes into about 1-inch pieces.
A fork is inserted into a boiled potato over the boiling pot.

Bring to a boil, add about 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and cook about 10-12 minutes, until fork tender. This will depend on the size of the potato cubes. Drain the potatoes well.

Southern potato salad dressing combined in a large glass mixing bowl
Use a large bowl to accommodate the ingredients and leave room for mixing thoroughly.
Boiled potatoes being added into the Southern potato salad dressing.

While boiling the potatoes, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill relish, onions, pickle juice, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Add the well-drained cooked potatoes and chopped hard-boiled eggs to the dressing ingredients. Fold in gently to coat thoroughly with the dressing.

Chopped hard-boiled eggs added to the Southern potato salad in a glass mixing bowl.
Southern potato salad combined in a glass mixing bowl.

Don’t stir too hard. You want to keep most potatoes in their cube form and not mash too many.

Let cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled before serving.

Garnish with paprika and chives if desired.

Southern potato salad in a bowl garnished with chives and paprika.

Tips

  • Be sure to cube the potatoes into equal sizes so they all cook evenly.
  • If you like a cubed potato salad that doesn’t mash too much. The potatoes should have a soft center but still be somewhat firm, holding their shape. For this potato salad recipe, we prefer that some of the potatoes are mashed.
  • If you prefer, you can boil whole potatoes, remove the skins when they have cooled, and then cube them.
  • Be sure to have the dressing ingredients mixed before the cooked potatoes are done. The hot potatoes will absorb the dressing and its yummy flavors.
  • Mince the onion finely, especially if you have family and friends that don’t like onions.
  • I highly recommend Duke’s mayonnaise and Mt. Olive dill relish, plus Mt. Olive kosher pickle juice.
  • You can replace the kosher pickle juice with apple cider vinegar if desired.
  • Try steaming your eggs instead of boiling them. They will peel much easier! We use an electric egg cooker.
  • When garnishing with paprika, sprinkle it lightly over the potato salad using your fingers, not the spice shaker. This will help avoid dumping a lot of paprika on the potato salad.

Variations

  • Pickles – If you like a sweet taste, use sweet pickle relish instead of dill.
  • Onions – Green onions can be used for a milder onion taste.
  • Add-Ins – Add some diced celery for a little more crunch. Add some Dijon mustard or stone ground mustard for a little more tang!

FAQs

Can this be made ahead of time?

Absolutely! Potato salad actually tastes better after it sits to allow the flavors to combine. This potato salad recipe can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time.

How long can potato salad sit out?

Dairy based foods like mayonnaise should not sit out at room temperature longer than 2 hours. You can place the bowl of potato salad into a larger bowl filled with ice to help keep it cold. But after two hours, you should keep it covered and refrigerated.

Storing

Let the potato salad cool completely, place it in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

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Southern potato salad in a bowl garnished with chives and paprika.

Southern Potato Salad

A creamy blend of potates, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, boiled eggs, sweet onion, and dill relish. A summer staple in the South that goes perfectly with almost everything.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 306kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

  • 3 lbs Russet potatoes 7-8 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp Kosher pickle juice
  • 1/3 cup Dill pickle relish
  • 1/2 cup Sweet yellow onion finely minced (Vidalia onion)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 4 large Hard-boiled eggs chopped

Instructions

  • Peel and cube the potatoes, place them in a large pot and cover them with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, add about 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and cook about 10 minutes, until fork tender. 
    3 lbs Russet potatoes
  • In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill relish, onions, pickle juice, kosher salt, and black pepper. Have this ready while the potatoes are cooking.
    1 cup Mayonnaise, 1/4 cup Yellow mustard, 2 tbsp Kosher pickle juice, 1/3 cup Dill pickle relish, 1/2 cup Sweet yellow onion, 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • Add the well-drained hot cooked potatoes and chopped hard-boiled eggs to the dressing ingredients. Fold in gently to coat thoroughly with the dressing. 
    4 large Hard-boiled eggs
  • Let the potato salad cool completely, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving chilled.
  • Garnish with a few sprinkles of paprika and minced chives or green onions.

Notes

Be sure to cube the potatoes into equal sizes so they all cook evenly.
Mix the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl while the potatoes are cooking. The hot potatoes will soak up the dressing better.
Make Ahead – This potato salad can be made up to 24 hours ahead of serving.
Storing – Place the cooled potato salad in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 624mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 139IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

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