Southern Potato Salad

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Potato Salad is a classic recipe for good reason, this creamy salad is easy to make ahead of time making it the perfect potluck dish!

This creamy old-fashioned potato salad uses very simple ingredients to make bright flavors. Lots of creamy mayonnaise, a hint of mustard and sweet pickles (or relish).

Southern potato salad in a white bowl with Paprika on top

The Best Potatoes for Potato Salad

Depending on where you live, versions of potato salad can vary based on preference and location (from a German potato salad recipe to deviled egg potato salad).

The best potatoes for potato salad are either Russet or Yukon gold because they stay firmer longer after they’ve been boiled (red potatoes work too). If using thin-skinned potatoes, you can leave a few of the skins on to save the step of peeling.

Ingredients for southern potato salad in a white bowl not mixed

How to Make Southern Potato Salad

This simple southern-style potato salad is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water (per the recipe below). Do not overcook them otherwise they will get mushy when you are stirring in the other ingredients.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Combine all ingredients together (here’s where you can add the optional bacon)!

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dressing for southern potato salad in a clear bowl with a whisk and ingredients for southern potato salad in a white bowl with dressing on top

How Long Can It Be Made in Advance?

Southern potato salad can be made up to a day in advance as long as it is kept covered and refrigerated. It actually tastes better the longer the ingredients have to blend together!

How Long Does It Last?

Potato salad will keep about a week in the refrigerator as long as it’s covered. Make sure it stays cold!

To refresh, simply give it a stir and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper and maybe an extra spoonful of mustard!

More Great Potato Recipes

Below are some of our favorite side dish recipes any time of year!

Did you enjoy this Potato Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Southern potato salad in a white bowl
4.97 from 116 votes
Review Recipe

Southern Potato Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Delicious potato salad made with eggs and mayonnaise!


  • 3 pounds Russet, Yukon gold or red potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup sweet pickles chopped, or sweet relish
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs shelled and diced
  • 4 green onions finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks finely diced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

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  • Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Set over high heat and cook just until fork tender. Be careful to keep an eye on the potatoes because if they overcook they will get mushy.
  • When the potatoes are soft, drain them in a strainer and let them cool while you prepare the other salad ingredients.
  • In a large mixing bowl add mayonnaise, yellow mustard, chopped pickles, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the potatoes to the mixing bowl along with the diced hard-boiled eggs, green onions, and celery. Stir gently to combine.
  • Taste and season with the desired amount of kosher salt and black pepper.

Recipe Notes

This can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
Swap out sweet pickles for dill pickles for a delicious flavor.
We prefer mild green onions but you can add sweet white onion if you'd prefer.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 373, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 300mg, Potassium: 866mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 334IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Southern potato salad ingredients in a white bowl and Southern potato salad in a white bowl with a title
Southern Potato Salad sprinkled with paprika, and the ingredients assembled in a white bowl ready to mix together under the title.
Southern Potato Salad ingredients in a white bowl with a title
Southern Potato Salad garnished with paprika in a white bowl with a title.
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I like roasting the potatoes instead of boiling them. they don’t get water logged and the browning enhances the potato flavor and it will last a lot longer with out getting watery. also pealing eggs can be a pain so i cook the eggs (cracked) in a little water in a pan the put the lid on and they steam to hard cooked. Some of my friends don’t like the crunch of onions so I grate it, sane taste no crunch.5 stars

  2. I’m a southern girl, and couldn’t remember how my mom made her potato salad :)! So I looked this one up and am very happy. I substituted yellow onions instead of green onions, and honey for the sweetener. I like relish so I added a bit more than called for.4 stars

  3. This recipe is almost like mine, but I add finely diced mini colored sweet peppers and lots more eggs to mine.5 stars

  4. This is the best recipe for Southern Potato Salad ever, never been great at making ps until I found this recipe now everyone loves my Potato Salad!! Perfect thank you!!5 stars

  5. Good recipe!!! I use basically these same ingredients in mine. I use green onions, only Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and I don’t add sugar or vinegar, the sweet pickle relish adds enough on it’s own, I sometimes add a little 1,000 Island dressing to mine.
    I don’t like the texture of chunks of potatoes so I don’t eat potato salad myself but my husband adores it. I’m making it for our Fourth of July family cookout.5 stars

  6. Made this tonight for a Memorial day BBQ tomorrow. WOW! So delicious. Added double the sweet pickle and a teaspoon of the pickle juice. Had never used the Yukon gold potatoes before for anything. Loved the ease of peeling and cubing them prior to boiling. They were soft yet held their shape. Thank you for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  7. Hi Holly – I am going to syart practicing this recipe for a bbq in June. I have never had luck making potato salad EVER! I was reading the directions and I have a dumb question. Do I peel and cut the potatoes before I cook them or after? The potatoes is where I fail miserably. They’re either too mushy or too hard. Thank you!5 stars

    1. You can do this Sandi! The potatoes are peeled and diced before cooking. They should be fork tender. Watch them carefully. Try using russet or yukon gold!

  8. I love this recipe. I really dont like pickles so I switched them out for a hand full of sliced black olives and the wet mustard for mustard powder (saw my father in law do this once). Thank you so much!5 stars

  9. Hello Holly! Thank you so much for this recipe! I am wondering what kind of vinegar you like the best. I would love to know, since I have every kind in my kitchen! Blessings to you and yours.5 stars

  10. Made this as written and it’s perfect! Exactly what southern potato salad should taste like. Reminds me of going family reunions as a kid here in Georgia. Will definitely make again!5 stars

  11. Love the food that you bring to us.

    Love the explanations of the different things that go into making the dish.

    I am not a cook by any means of the word. I find this information so helpful.

  12. I love the ingredients in this potato salad however its just my husband n I.. does anyone know measurements to make this recipe for two?? 8 servings is way more than we need considering he won’t eat it cold…weird I know4 stars

    1. If you go to the recipe card and click on the print button, it will allow you to adjust the servings. You’ll run across some unusual measurements doing this, but it’ll give you an idea of how to scale the recipe Holly. Enjoy it!

    1. Your potato salad is delish!!! I am really picky when it comes to potato salad. I can’t stand a lot of mustard…I’m more a mayo girl and the tad bit of mustard that is in your recipe is perfect! This will be my go to recipe when we BBQ for family and friends! Thank you!!!5 stars

  13. I think this is the 3rd time I’ve made this potato salad.. fabulous! I’ve really come to trust your recipes. Whenever I Google to find a recipe, if I see “Spend With Pennies” I always hafta check it out! High five, girl!