This classic Southern Potato Salad will remind you of the ones you’ve had as a kid during a potluck dinner or picnic. It’s rich, creamy, and tastes absolutely incredible!
What’s best is that it’s simple and easy to make, but its simplicity doesn’t compromise on flavors. It’s decadent and will keep you wanting more!
It’s the perfect salad alongside some Southern fried chicken or a barbecue. Kids and adults both love it alike, and it’s a total crowd pleaser!
Want to learn how to make the best Southern Potato Salad you’ve ever had? Keep reading along!
What’s a Southern Potato Salad?
A Southern Potato Salad is that classic, creamy, and rich potato salad you’ve probably had at some point in your life if you’ve lived in the South, or had a lovely Southern neighbor or friend bring over if you live anywhere else.
It has that quintessential creamy texture that’s to die for and goes well with just about any southern dish!
Not only is it incredibly easy to make, but it’s also the perfect dish to make a bit in advance since it tastes even better the next day! Grill some burgers and BBQ chicken and serve it with this potato salad and it’ll always be the perfect side dish. Don't forget to use my Hash Brown recipe if you want to use potatoes in another delicious recipe!
This is a classic Southern recipe, so there’s no apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, or Miracle Whip here! You’re going to find the ingredients your grandma used to use to make this delicious salad.
Whether it’s a potluck supper, a backyard cookout, or a holiday get-together, this salad is bound to win over everyone’s heart.
This salad might be loaded with mayonnaise, but a good potato salad is actually really good for you! Potatoes are an excellent source of fiber and carbohydrates and are rich in vitamin C! So not only does this salad taste good, it’s good for you too!
What are the Best Potatoes for Potato Salad?
To make this Southern style Potato Salad, I recommend using Russet potatoes! Their starchiness lends to a delicious extra-creamy texture, which goes perfectly with this dish!
You can also use Yukon Gold potatoes or Red Potatoes, but that will alter the flavor a little bit.
I always tend to peel my potatoes when using Russet Potatoes, but you don’t necessarily have to do that while using Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes since the peels are a lot thinner.
Dill Pickles, Sweet Pickles, or Sweet Pickle Relish?
You’ll always see potato salad lovers debating over what’s best to add, dill pickles, sweet pickles, or sweet relish. I absolutely love the flavor that comes with using sweet pickle relish, but every single option is amazing.
If you have a particular preference, feel free to switch it out for what you like instead. You’re still going to end up with the tastiest Southern potato salad you’ve ever had!
What You Need to Make Southern Potato Salad
This delicious salad tastes rich and creamy but requires pantry-staple ingredients! Here’s what you need to make this incredible salad:
Potatoes: This is, obviously, the star ingredient in this perfect salad! I recommend using Russet potatoes since their starchiness will result in a creamier salad. Check out the section above if you want to use another variety of potatoes instead.
Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs add that extra something to this dish and this salad is absolutely incomplete without them!
Mayonnaise: The classic recipe calls for mayo, and that’s what we’ll be using here instead of Miracle Whip. I love Duke’s Mayonnaise for this recipe, but Hellman’s is another great option! You can even try adding half and half of each to make it extra special!
Sweet relish: Sweet pickle relish adds an incredible flavor to this salad, and I highly recommend you give it a go. If you prefer dill or sweet pickles instead, read my section above to know more!
Yellow mustard: This adds that perfect crisp, tart, and tangy flavor to the salad! Definitely go for regular yellow mustard and don’t substitute it with Dijon mustard as it’ll completely alter the flavor of your salad.
Carrots and onions: We’ll be adding grated carrots or chopped if you prefer and onions to this salad for an extra crunch and flavor.
Spices: Paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper is all we need in this recipe. A hefty sprinkle of paprika is an absolute must to make the perfect southern potato salad!
How to Make Southern Potato Salad – Step by Step
Making this Southern Potato Salad is incredibly easy! Here’s how you can make it step by step:
Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Set over high heat and boil just until fork tender. Be careful to keep an eye on the potatoes because they will get mushy if they overcook.
When the potatoes are soft, drain them in a strainer and let them cool while you prepare the other salad ingredients.
Now take a large mixing bowl and add all the ingredients to it except for the eggs, onions, and potatoes. Mix it all well.
Add the eggs and onion to the large bowl and mash them using a whisk or fork for a creamier texture (that's optional of course, in the video I didn't mash the eggs and it turned out great too). You can keep some chunks of eggs if you like your salad that way.
Next, add the cooled potatoes to the salad and mix it all together.
Cover and refrigerate the potato salad for at least three hours, as this will bring all the flavors together. Serve cold.
How Long Can It Be Made in Advance?
I recommend refrigerating this salad for at least three hours before serving it cold. But if you want to make it even more in advance, then you can do it up to a day in advance as long as it’s kept covered and refrigerated.
It’ll actually taste even better the longer the ingredients have time to blend together.
How Long Can I Store It?
You can store this salad in the refrigerator for up to five days. Just make sure to tightly cover it. To refresh the salad before serving, just lightly stir it and adjust the seasonings. You can also add an extra spoonful of mayo or mustard!
I don’t recommend freezing this salad to steer clear of that!
Optional Ingredients for Your Potato Salad
The recipe I’ve shared with you is the classic Southern Potato Salad recipe, but you can add a few variations to it to make it your own!
Some optional ingredients that go great with this salad are chopped bacon, celery, and green onions. If you like any of these, you might want to consider adding them to your very own potato salad.
Other Southern Recipes You’ll Love
Southern Cornbread: This homemade Southern cornbread is fluffy and moist on the inside and has a crispy golden edge! With the perfectly crumbly yet soft texture, this cornbread will be the best one you’ve ever had!
Southern Iced Tea: This Iced Tea recipe is the perfect one you’re looking for to get that Southern sweet tea fix! All the Southern flavors you’re looking for are right here in this post.
Southern Style Deviled Eggs: These deviled eggs are incredibly easy to make but pack a punch in terms of flavor! If you’re looking for the perfect Southern style deviled eggs, then you have got to try this one!
Southern Potato Salad
- 1 ½ cup boiled and seasoned with salt potato cubes
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- ⅓ cup grated carrot
- 2 large boiled eggs
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon sweet relish
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- In a bowl add the mayonnaise, mustard, spices, salt, and sweet relish. Mix well.
- Add the carrot, eggs, and the finely chopped onion and mix the ingredients well.
- At this stage check if you are happy with the seasoning. Add the boiled potatoes and mix.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours before serving.
- Make sure the potatoes are cold before adding them to the salad.
- This salad can be modified according to your taste, you can add more mayo or more sweet relish.
- The salad is enough for three people and I have purposely kept the amount small so that you can modify it to your liking and then double the recipe accordingly.
- Do not use flavored mayonnaise.
- For a creamier texture, before refrigerating the salad, mash it 4 times with a potato masher.
- This post is updated with more information and a video.