Country-Style Potato Salad with Eggs contains fluffy potatoes and boiled eggs in a flavorful mayonnaise and a mustard-based dressing made even more flavorful with piquant pickles, aromatics, and fresh herbs. There’s an unspoken rule among Black people. At any BBQ, summer cookouts, picnic, or family reunion I’ve attended, especially among my family and friends, everyone asks, “who made the potato salad” before eating it.
With this classic Southern potato salad recipe, you’ll not only be the star of the cookout the next time you bring it, but you’ll be the one asked to make it forever.
What Makes A Country-Style Potato Salad?
When I think of what makes the best potato salad recipe, I think of one that tastes like I’m sitting in a homey cafe run by Ethel Mae or Mabel Ann. Instead of ending her sentences with periods, she ends them with “Baby.” Potato salad has to be bright yellow and contain eggs and copious amounts of mayonnaise. If not, it ain’t country-style and isn’t a Southern-style potato salad.
Soul food potato salad recipes contain a creamy dressing packed with soul food seasonings. The texture is a cross between mashed potatoes and chunky boiled potatoes. Mine has simple ingredients handed down in my Black family over many generations.
What Are The Best Potatoes For Potato Salad?
Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes are the best potatoes to use when making potato salad. You can use red skin potatoes as a last resort.
Russets are starchy potatoes, so it’s important not to overcook them, or the salad will be mushy. Yukon Golds are not as starchy as Russets but not as waxy as red skin potatoes. Red potatoes are waxy potatoes and tend to not break down (and mash) as the former does.
Use Russet or Yukon Gold for this recipe here, or a combination of both potatoes for an even better potato salad.
What Are The Other Ingredients In Country-Style Potato Salad?
To make country-style potato salad, you need potatoes, granulated garlic powder, seasoned salt (Lawry’s is the seasoned salt for Black potato salad), paprika, black pepper, roasted red peppers, red onion (also called purple onion), yellow mustard, fresh dill and parsley, a good quality mayonnaise, large eggs, and sweet relish. This combination of flavors makes soul food potato salad what it is.
You’ll need a large pot to boil the potatoes in and a large bowl for mixing the potato salad. If you have a big-ass metal kitchen spoon, I think that will add to the flavor. There is no real rhyme or reason; it’s just a nod to the ancestors.
Can I Omit The Eggs?
You can omit the eggs from your potato salad if you don’t like them. Since we’re using a lot of eggs in this recipe, replace them with another potato to avoid an overly creamy potato salad (if that’s even a thing).
You can also add more eggs if you love them. Add up to 6 more eggs to the recipe (or a total of 1 dozen). That will border on egg potato salad, but I’m not here to judge. On the contrary, if you want to reduce the number of eggs in your salad, add as few as you want.
How Long Do I Have To Boil The Potatoes?
Clean and remove the potato skin from your spuds. Cut the potatoes into chunks of equal size, about 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes. The potatoes won’t cook evenly or be tender at the same time if you cut some larger than the others.
Add the cut potatoes to a large pot of water. Add enough water to cover the potatoes 5-6 inches. Bring the water in the pot to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the eggs to the pot once the water comes to a boil. Boil the potatoes and eggs for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Hard-boiled eggs take 12 minutes to cook, but a few extra minutes won’t hurt them. Plus, it’s just easier to get all the cooking done simultaneously.
How Do I Make The Potato Salad Dressing?
Southern recipes like potato salad are known for their flavor. In Black families like mine, Lawry’s is the classic seasoning for most soul food dishes, especially potato salad. It’s an all-in-one seasoning blend that eliminates the need for a ton of spice bottles. Add black pepper, paprika, and granulated garlic to the seasoned salt, and the spices for your dressing are complete. You can add some onion powder if you like an added measure of seasoning, but remember, there are onions in this potato salad already.
Add the spices to a large mixing bowl.
Can I Swap Any Of The Dressing Ingredients?
You can replace the prepared yellow mustard in potato salad with Dijon mustard, brown mustard, or whole grain mustard. Yellow mustard is my personal preference because it gives country-style potato salad its distinctive color and is less expensive.
You also can omit the mustard from this recipe if you’re not a fan.
Another swap you can make when making potato salad is replacing the red onions with sweet, yellow, or green onions. You can replace the sweet pickle relish with dill relish or cut crunchy dill pickles (or sweet pickles) into small pieces and add them to the dressing mixture.
I recommend adding fresh parsley, dill, and roasted red peppers (the jarred kind) to your dressing since they provide the perfect herb flavors. You can also throw in minced celery or celery seed for added flavor.
Add these ingredients to the bowl with your spices.
How Far Ahead Can I Make The Potato Salad Dressing?
Next, add 3/4s of the mayonnaise to the bowl. Stir the contents of the bowl together with a large rubber spatula or spoon to combine them into a tangy sauce. The remaining mayonnaise will go into the chilled potato salad to make it creamier.
You can replace the mayonnaise with Miracle Whip or sour cream if you prefer. The dressing will be tangier, but if you like the flavor of that dressing, it won’t matter anyway.
You can make the potato salad dressing one or two days ahead and refrigerate it in a storage container for 3-4 days.
How Long Do I Have To Chill The Potato Salad?
Drain the cooked potatoes and hard-cooked eggs in a colander. Leave them in the colander for an hour to allow them to come to room temperature, then transfer them to a mixing bowl. I put my potatoes and eggs in the fridge for another hour to firm them up. It makes peeling the eggs easier, and the yolks and whites hold together better when I cut them.
Once the potatoes and eggs are cool, peel the eggs, then cut them into quarters or sixths and return them to the bowl with the potatoes.
Next, pour the salad dressing over the potatoes and use a rubber spatula or spoon to fold the potatoes into the dressing.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the potato salad for 4-5 hours or overnight.
How Do I Finish This Country-Style Potato Salad?
To make a really creamy potato salad, reserve a portion of the mayonnaise to stir into the potato salad right before serving it. The first part of the dressing was to flavor the potatoes. The potatoes will still absorb some of that dressing even though you chilled them. Once the potatoes are cold, they stop sucking up the dressing and dry out a bit. Stirring mayonnaise into the potato salad just before serving adds more creaminess.
Garnish the potato salad with sprigs of fresh parsley or dill and a generous dusting of paprika. Because, like most people, if I don’t see paprika on your potato salad, it’s not good.
How Do I Serve This Country-Style Potato Salad?
This classic potato salad is so good you can eat it alone.
Any of these recipes will bring out the creaminess and flavor of this country-style potato salad.
Be sure to keep your potato salad chilled. If you plan to take your potato salad to BBQs or family gatherings where the food will sit outdoors, bring a larger dish to sit the bowl of potato salad in and fill it with ice to keep it chilled. Make sure to keep the potato salad covered and stir it frequently as well.
There’s nothing worse at a Black cookout than to be blamed for making folks sick. You definitely won’t be invited back.
How Do I Store Leftovers?
Transfer leftover potato salad to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Stir the potato salad just before serving it to make it creamy again. Be sure not to leave the salad sitting out for too long. Serve what you will then cover and return it to the fridge to avoid a foodborne illness.
Can I Freeze Leftovers?
I don’t recommend freezing leftover potato salad because of the mayo in this recipe. When it’s thawed, the dressing is runnier and slightly curdled.
If you freeze it and succeed, let me know what you think after tasting it again.
Here are a few more chilled salad recipes:
Whip up a batch of my Country-Style Potato Salad for your next cookout and see if you’re not crowned the official “Potato Salad-Maker.
Your friends and family will fall in love with its creamy, flavorful dressing. Be sure to pin this recipe to your salad board, and don’t forget to tag me on social media if you make it.
Country-Style Potato Saladat Sense & Edibility
- 12-quart stock pot
- 5 pounds (2 1/4 kilos) russet potatoes cleaned and peeled
- 6 large eggs
Sweet Pickle Mayo Dressing (can be made 2-3 days ahead)
- 3/4 cup (from 1/2 a large) red onion minced
- 1/2 cup (130 grams) sweet pickle relish
- 1/3 cup (70 grams) red pimiento peppers drained and minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley), plus more to garnish
- 1 tablespoon dill leaves chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried dill leaves)
- 3 cups (715 grams) mayonnaise separated
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika plus more to garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
Cook the Potatoes and Eggs
- Cut each potato in half, then cut those halves into 8 equal pieces. Make sure the potato chunks are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.Once cut, throw the chunks of potatoes into a pot of cold water. The water should cover the potatoes by 5-6 inches.
- Set the pot on the stove and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the eggs to the pot. Boil the potatoes and eggs for an additional 15 minutes or until the largest chunk offers a knife minimal resistance when pierced.
- Once the potatoes and eggs are cooked, strain them in a colander. Leave them in the colander to cool for an hour or so, then transfer them to a mixing bowl. Put this bowl in the fridge for an hour to firm them up.
Prepare the Sweet Pickle Relish Dressing (can be done 2-3 days ahead and stored in the fridge)
- Add the minced onion, pickle relish, pimientos, parsley, dill, 2 1/4 cups of mayonnaise, mustard, seasoned salt, granulated garlic powder, paprika, and pepper to a mixing bowl. Stir everything together until smooth and well-blended.
Finish the Potato Salad
- Once the potatoes and eggs are cool, peel the eggs. Next, cut the eggs into quarters or sixths and throw them back in the bowl with the potatoes.
- Pour the prepared salad dressing over the potatoes and use a wide rubber spatula or spoon to fold the potatoes into the dressing. Cover the bowl and chill the potato salad completely or about 4-5 hours.
- Once fully chilled, stir in the remaining mayonnaise really well, then garnish the salad with sprigs of fresh parsley and a generous dusting of paprika. Be sure to keep your potato salad chilled before, during, and after serving.
Swaps and Subs:
- If you have an aversion or allergy to eggs, you can omit them from this recipe. Replace the amount of eggs in this recipe with one large potato.
- If you want to add more eggs, up to 6 more (for a total of 1 dozen) can be added to the pot with the potatoes.
On the contrary, if you want to reduce the number of eggs in your salad, add more or less to suit your preference.
- If you don't have yellow mustard, substitute brown mustard, dijon, or deli mustard in its place. You can also omit the mustard in this recipe.
- If you don't have red onions, use Spanish onions or yellow onions.
- If you're serving this at an event where the potato salad will sit outdoors, bring a larger dish to sit the bowl of my potato salad in. Fill the outer bowl with ice and a little cold water. Make sure to stir the salad frequently. This will keep the salad from becoming too warm and spoiling.
- To store leftover: cover the bowl tightly and store it in the fridge. Potato salad will keep in the fridge for 3 days after you've prepared it.
- Be sure to never leave the salad sitting out for too long. Serve what you will, then cover and return it to the fridge.