Easy Creamy Potato Salad

This is hands-down my favorite potato salad! It’s so easy to make, uses simple ingredients, and I love the classic three-ingredient dressing. Our family has been making this recipe for years! You will love it.

Watch the Video

Easy Creamy Potato Salad Recipe Video

I love this potato salad recipe so much. We shared this many years ago, and I haven’t found anything that beats how creamy and flavorful it is yet.

This recipe is EASY. I’m sharing how to cook the potatoes, my favorite potato salad ingredients, and our family’s favorite creamy dressing, which is so good you’ll be licking the bowl clean (we love it so much that we also use it when making our red potato salad).

Bowl of our easy creamy potato salad

Key Ingredients

  • Potatoes: Small, waxy, thin-skinned potatoes are best for potato salad. (I especially love small Yukon Gold potatoes, which are pictured.) They cook quickly, and since they are small, we cook them whole, which means less prep time! Russets or baking potatoes work, but the texture is a bit different. You will also need to cut them before cooking.
  • Celery and pickles: Both add a fresh crunch. Our family LOVES dill pickles, so we always add them, but you can leave them out or use sweet pickles instead.
  • Red onion: I love a little onion in my salad and like to “deflame” the onions before adding them to my salad. It’s easy. Soak chopped onions in cold water for 10 minutes, and then drain. The time in the water takes the raw edge off the onion.
  • Hard-boiled eggs: Eggs are a must for me in potato salad, but you can leave them out if you aren’t a fan. Hard-boiled eggs add texture and extra creaminess.
  • Fresh Herbs: I love dill and parsley in this salad!

How to Make the Best Potato Salad

When making potato salad, I cook whole, small potatoes. I find potatoes cooked whole retain flavor and have a better texture than when cooked chopped. I simmer the whole potatoes in salted water until I can push a fork through the center. Small to medium potatoes (like the ones pictured) take 15 to 20 minutes.

How to cook potatoes for potato salad - Salting the water

While I love using skin-on potatoes for mashed potatoes, I remove the skins for potato salad. Instead of peeling before cooking, I do it after (it’s actually easier this way!). I cook my potatoes with the peel on, let them cool, and then peel. Since the potatoes are cooked, the peel comes off easily (you can see how quickly the peel comes away from the potatoes in our video).

Removing the skins from cooked potatoes for potato salad

I chop the peeled potatoes into smaller chunks and sprinkle apple cider vinegar over them. This is one of my secrets for the best potato salad we learned from Alton Brown years ago! Vinegar makes the flavor of our potatoes pop and adds a little bite, which is amazing when mixed with the creamy dressing. Other vinegars or even pickle brine are good substitutes.

Tossing potatoes with vinegar so they taste amazing (a potato salad secret)

From here, we need to combine the potatoes with the other potato salad ingredients and our creamy dressing.

The Easiest Potato Salad Dressing

I love how simple our favorite potato salad dressing is to make. It only has 3 ingredients and tastes so good that I end up licking the bowl. We use the same dressing when making this creamy herb potato salad and turn it into a sauce for roasted fingerling potatoes.

  • Mayonnaise and sour cream make our dressing extra creamy. I love the combination and find a dressing made with only mayo too heavy. Plain yogurt will work in a pinch if you don’t have sour cream. Homemade mayonnaise makes this extra special.
  • Yellow mustard adds some kick and color. I usually use Dijon mustard in our recipes, but regular yellow mustard wins in this potato salad.

If you’d prefer to use a vinaigrette-style dressing, see our herb potato salad made without mayo.

Potato Salad Ingredients

Storing Potato Salad and Make Ahead Tips

Store your potato salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Potato salad improves on the second day, so this is a perfect make-ahead recipe! I do not recommend freezing potato salad (the dressing does not freeze and thaw well).

Don’t leave potato salad at room temperature for longer than 2 hours when serving it (because of the creamy dressing).

What to Serve with Potato Salad

We often serve this salad during the summer. I love it with burgers and grilled steak. It’s perfect with pulled pork and these fall off the bone ribs. And it’s just amazing with veggie burgers or these simple black bean burgers.

Potato salad is also excellent when served next to other sides, such as our pasta salad, this amazing corn salad, easy bean salad, and my favorite cucumber salad.

Easy Homemade Potato Salad

Easy Creamy Potato Salad

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

My family’s favorite potato salad recipe! Use small yellow, white, or red potatoes and cook them whole for the best texture. If your potatoes are on the larger side, you can chop them. If you have the time, store the salad in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so before serving. This extra time helps the flavors mingle and makes for a better potato salad.

Makes 6 Servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

2 pounds small yellow, red, or white potatoes

1 tablespoon apple cider, wine, or rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise, try homemade mayonnaise

1 tablespoon yellow mustard, substitute Dijon or whole grain mustard

1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped, about 1/2 cup

3 celery stalks, finely chopped, about 1/2 cup

1 medium dill pickle, finely chopped, about 1/3 cup, try homemade pickles

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped, optional

1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs like parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, or cilantro

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  • Cook Potatoes
  • 1Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with 1 ½ inches of water. Season with salt — use one teaspoon for every quart of water.

    2Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer (boiling the potatoes can cause them to hit one another and break apart)—Cook 15 to 20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

    3Meanwhile, set up an ice bath. Add cold water to a medium bowl filled with ice. Drain the potatoes and then place them into the ice bath. When cool, peel the potatoes by gently pinching the skin and pulling it away.

    4Chop the peeled potatoes into bite-size chunks, then add to a large bowl. Scatter the vinegar over potatoes and lightly season with salt.

  • "De-flame" Onions
  • 1While the potatoes cook, add the onions to a small bowl and cover with cold water. Wait for 10 minutes, then rinse. This step helps to tone down the raw flavor of the onions.

  • Make Potato Salad
  • 1Stir the sour cream, mayonnaise, and mustard in a bowl.

    2Add the sour cream mixture, de-flamed onions, celery, pickles, eggs, and herbs to the potatoes. Gently stir to combine, being careful not to mash the potatoes too much.

    3Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you have the time, refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Substitute 1/2 cup crème fraîche or plain yogurt for the sour cream.
  • Make potato salad up to 5 days in advance.
  • For instructions on how to cook hard boiled eggs, visit our tutorial: How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs.
  • You can use dried herbs for this salad, we recommend adding a heaping tablespoon of dried herbs–I especially love dill and chives.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/6 of the recipe / Calories 250 / Protein 6 g / Carbohydrate 29 g / Dietary Fiber 4 g / Total Sugars 3 g / Total Fat 13 g / Saturated Fat 4 g / Cholesterol 75 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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389 comments… Leave a Review
  • Marilyn May 15, 2024, 6:16 am

    Delicious

    Reply
  • Sandy April 1, 2024, 12:53 pm

    What exact type of potato did you use in this recipe?

    Reply
    • Joanne April 1, 2024, 1:18 pm

      Hi Sandy, We used small Yukon gold potatoes for the photos.

      Reply
  • Ann December 25, 2023, 2:02 am

    Was looking for a potato salad recipe for Christmas day and came across this one. Lucky me. Followed directions and very happy with the result, absolutely delicious.

    Reply
  • Lorraine Wilkins November 9, 2023, 5:32 pm

    Delicious! The only change I made was I used green onions because that’s what I prefer. One time I didn’t have pickles so I omitted and it was still good.

    Reply
  • sharyn fireman October 29, 2023, 3:43 pm

    When I grew up our German housekeeper put sour cream in the potaoe Salad. So neea that you suggested this. I make it exactly this way.
    FOOTBALL season and hotdogs or burgers or Buffalo Wings. XO

    Reply
  • Carol October 8, 2023, 2:20 pm

    Love it! I made it along with chicken wings for football Sunday. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Termizi HjYusof June 25, 2023, 9:15 pm

    Simply amazing! I love it.

    Reply
  • Pam June 18, 2023, 1:04 pm

    First time using sour cream, very good

    Reply
  • Boitumelo. Mooketsi June 10, 2023, 12:07 pm

    I like the receipe im gonna try it

    Reply
  • Diana-Elizabeth June 7, 2023, 4:47 pm

    Awesome recipe !! I’m always looking for new recipes because my family is Mexican, therefore, we only know how to make traditional Mexican food. I was in the mood for a patato salad so I Googled it and came across this one. Everyone in my family loved it! My mom and dad have always been fans of potato salad, but we never knew how to make it. I left out the pickles only because we usually don’t have any, but it was still Amazing ! Thank you for putting up your recipe worth five stars!

    Reply
    • Adam June 7, 2023, 4:48 pm

      Thank you for coming back to leave a review. We are so happy that you love it!

      Reply

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