Southern Potato Salad (A Classic Recipe)

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).

Close up of potato salad sprinkled with paprika in a white bowl.

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.

An overhead picture of all potato salad ingredients in a white bowl.

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.

Left picture shows dressing in a clear bowl, right picture shows dressing poured over potato salad ingredients.

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

Delicious potato salad made with eggs and mayonnaise!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 373
Author Holly Nilsson


  • 3 pounds Russet, Yukon gold or red potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickles chopped, or sweet relish
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 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


  • 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.


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.


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
Top image - Southern Potato Salad. Bottom image - southern potato salad ingredients.
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.
Ingredients for Southern Potato Salad assembled in a white bowl, with writing

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