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Southern Potato Salad

This easy and traditional Southern Potato Salad is a recipe that has been handed down through the ages. Learn all the secrets to the perfect side dish that will come out just right every single time.

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Southern Potato Salad
Southern Potato Salad

Potato Salad Variations

I have shared another variation of potato salad, which we just love, on this blog. Plus a German potato salad that I serve warm. However, this one is a top recipe that folks just seem to love anytime.

If you grew up on potato salad in the summer like I did at picnics in the park, then you have been lucky. This is a great side dish to hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, and any other item you can think of to grill outside in the warm weather.

Overhead View of Potato Salad
Overhead View of Potato Salad

Enjoy this easy Southern potato salad all year round.

Here is what I use in this potato salad

  • Potatoes
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Miracle Whip
  • Mayonnaise
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Diced Potatoes in Colander
Diced Potatoes Draining in Colander

Learn How to Keep the Potatoes from Becoming Mush When Mixing the Salad

Have you ever had the potatoes turn to mush when mixing? Here is your solution. Cube the potatoes before cooking. I have never gone back. The potatoes cooked very fast. All I had to do is drain the potatoes in the colander and let sit to cool. They look great in the potato salad. No more mushy mess.

You certainly can cook the potatoes with the skin on (cleaned of course), quarter them, then boil them. Just as fast and easy. If they are small baby potatoes you might leave the skin right on for the potato salad, this adds great texture and flavor too.

No matter if I peel ahead of time, cube or quarter the potatoes, I always start with cold water. Boil until just fork-tender. about 20-25 minutes.

This next tip is very important…

For cold potato salad, I do not salt the water. This tends to make the potatoes sweat water and the potato salad can become watery

Red Potatoes
Red Potatoes

Potatoes for Potato Salad

My favorite potatoes to use for potato salad are White, Yukon Gold, or Red. They are all very flavorful, have a thinner skin, which can be left on if they are scrubbed really well. The potatoes are all creamy and hold their shape nicely.

Adding Cider Vinegar to the Warm Potatoes
Adding Cider Vinegar to the Warm Potatoes

This Potato Salad Has Cider Vinegar

If you add the vinegar to the potatoes when they are still slightly warm, the potatoes will soak up the vinegar better. You can also use white vinegar or even sweet or dill pickle juice. The vinegar gives the potato salad a punch.

Salad Dressing Debate

I know some folks use Miracle Whip and others use Mayonnaise. Myself, I prefer the Miracle Whip as I feel it has more flavor. However, with that said, the Mayonnaise has more of a creamy taste to it. Therefore, this potato salad recipe uses both for their delicious qualities. Use the combination or one that you and your family prefer though.

Just look at how creamy and delicious this Southern Potato Salad looks.

Pure Comfort Food!

Creamy Potato Salad
Creamy Potato Salad

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

If you have ever struggled with making hard boiled eggs and peeling the shell off, this trick is for you. Find out how I easily peel the shells off every time. I use steam to cook the eggs, cool and peel right away.

This recipe calls for 5 hard boiled eggs; however, my daughter loves eggs in potato salad and begs me to double that. I know right? So, if i know she is coming to eat, there are extra eggs in the salad. The rest of the family loves the potato salad either way.

Potato Salad in Fancy Serving Bowl
Potato Salad in Fancy Serving Bowl

Potato Salad Variations

Crispy Cooked Bacon

Crumbled Crisp Bacon

Just like the amount of eggs in the salad, everyone has an opinion on what should be in and on top of the side dish. My son-in-law loves his Crumbled Bacon added to his as a topping and stirred throughout.

celery seed
celery seed

Celery Seed

You can add 1 Teaspoon of Celery Seed to this recipe if desired. It adds a delicious flavor to the recipe. However, my husband complains about the taste; therefore, I leave it out. But I personally think you should give it a try as I think it tastes wonderful with it in.


I use yellow mustard in this recipe. However, a Dijon, or stone ground mustard would give this potato salad even more zing if you desire that.

Refrigerate Potato Salad

If you let the side dish sit a few hours in the refrigerator before serving, the flavors have a chance to all meld together. Seems the potato salad is always better the day after it is made. This salad will keep in the refrigerator 3-4 days.

Southern Potato Salad
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Southern Potato Salad

This easy and traditional Southern Potato Salad is a recipe that has been handed down through the ages. Learn all the secrets to the perfect side dish that will come out just perfect every single time.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Potatoes, potluck, salad, side dish
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 132kcal


  • 6 Medium/Large White, Yukon Gold, or Red Potatoes-about 3 pounds Peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 TBL Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Stalks Celery Diced
  • 1 Small/Medium Onion Diced
  • 5 large Hard-Boiled Eggs sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Miracle Whip
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 TBL Yellow Mustard
  • 3/4 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1 Tsp. Celery Seed Optional
  • Paprika for garnish


  • In a large kettle of cold water, add the diced potatoes. Bring to a boil. When fork-tender, drain. This will take about 20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
    Diced Potatoes in Colander
  • While the potatoes are cooking, use another kettle to cook the eggs to hard boil stage. When done, drain, peel, and cool. Set aside.
    Easy peel hard-boiled egg
  • While both the potatoes and eggs are cooking, dice the onions and celery and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • When the potatoes are still slightly warm, add those to the mixing bowl along with the eggs (all but 1). Add the vinegar and gently toss to incorporate.
    Adding Cider Vinegar to the Warm Potatoes
  • In a medium bowl, mix the Miracle Whip, Mayonnaise, yellow mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and celery seed if you are adding that.
    Mixing Salad Dressing
  • Pour the salad dressing over the potato mixture and gently fold in to incorporate.
  • If you transfer the potato salad to a serving dish, place the last sliced egg on top and sprinkle with paprika to garnish.
    Southern Potato Salad

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 730mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made! @patternprincess1 or tag #Patternprincess!

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