Perfect Potato Salad

Naming this recipe Perfect Potato Salad is a bold move. Potato salad is such an iconic American food and there are so many variations, perhaps the title is a bit of a stretch… your Gramma’s potato salad was probably perfect, too. And so is my mom’s.

The thing about my mom’s recipe is – there is no recipe. Ask her how to make potato salad and she’ll start off by saying, “Well, you’ll probably need at least a 10 lb. bag of potatoes. And, 18 eggs. And salt. Be sure to use plenty of salt.” I credit my mom for teaching me that cooking is sometimes more of a process than a recipe.

Even though I love my mom’s potato salad, I don’t make mine the same way. She boils whole baking potatoes, cools them overnight, then peels off the skin and cuts them up. That is just way, way too much work. I buy baby potatoes and cut them before boiling – and, of course, I leave the skin on. I like a lot of parsley in my potato salad. My mom usually leaves that out in favor of a little relish. Neither one of us put paprika on top, but a little dill from the garden is okay. We both use mustard – French’s Yellow Mustard… not dijon.

So is this recipe perfect? That’s probably debatable, but it does receive rave reviews and I’ve shared it many times. If you are looking for a classic, eggy, deli-style potato salad, this is it.

Perfect Potato Salad

Servings 8


  • 1 1/2 lbs. yellow skinned new potatoes
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  • Cut the new potatoes into quarters (or sixths if they are large).
  • Boil the potatoes in a large pot of well-salted water until they are tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside to cool. (Note: new potatoes have thin skins and cook faster than baking potatoes. Test for doneness after 10 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard and cider vinegar. Mix well.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, green onion, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Stir the dressing into the potato mixture until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, smash the potatoes slightly to get a creamer consistency.
  • Refrigerate to blend the flavors before serving.
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