We love this easy red potato salad recipe with a creamy dressing, dill pickles, and fresh herbs. See how to make the best red potato salad with our favorite homemade dressing.
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Related: We love this fresh corn salad!
Potato salad is one of my favorite side dishes. It’s easy to make, tastes better when made ahead of time, and everyone loves it. We have a few recipes for potato salad on Inspired Taste — see our Easy Creamy Potato Salad or this mayonnaise-free Herb Potato Salad.
This red potato salad is a mash-up of the two salads I mentioned above. The dressing is rich and creamy like our original salad, but we add an extra couple of handfuls of fresh herbs to match the flavor of the herby version. I love it!
How to Make Red Potato Salad
When I can find them, I love using smaller red potatoes since it means that I can cook them whole. Chopping them does help them cook a bit quicker, but potatoes that have been cooked whole taste better and are fluffier in the middle.
Use a big pot for cooking the potatoes and throw a good amount of salt into the water. The water should taste salty. Salting your water is essential since it seasons the potatoes. Without it, they will taste bland, even after tossing them in your dressing.
Then when the potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, scatter a couple of tablespoons of vinegar over them. It’s incredible how much of a difference the vinegar makes. I use red wine vinegar for this salad, but apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, and even dill pickle juice work well.
To recap, when making potato salad, we like to keep these tips in mind:
- Smaller red waxy potatoes are best (they are lower in starch and have firmer flesh)
- If time allows, cook the potatoes whole. They taste better and don’t get waterlogged.
- Add a generous amount of salt to your cooking water. Potatoes can be bland and need salt to taste their best.
- For the best tasting salad, scatter vinegar over the cooked potatoes (a tip from Alton Brown)
Our Favorite Creamy Potato Salad Dressing
Have you heard the statement, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”? Well, that’s how we feel about our favorite potato salad dressing. We use this dressing in our original recipe and love it so much that we don’t see a reason to change it. Our readers love it, too!
It’s made with three ingredients:
- Mayonnaise, which adds richness and flavor — try homemade mayo.
- Sour cream, lightens up the heaviness of mayo and adds some tanginess.
- Mustard adds more tanginess and a little color. I use yellow mustard.
Putting the Salad Together
Everyone has an opinion on what makes for the best potato salad, but here’s what we love adding to ours. You can, of course, add or remove an ingredient based on your tastes. It’s also important to note that it’s okay if you don’t have red potatoes on hand.
Use other waxy potatoes like yellow or Yukon potatoes, white or creamer potatoes, and fingerling potatoes. They are quick-cooking, and since they are already small, there’s no need to chop them before cooking them. Russet or baking potatoes will work, but the salad’s texture will be less creamy.
In addition to the potatoes, we add the following ingredients to the salad. The full recipe is below this article.
- Finely diced celery for crunch
- Finely diced dill pickles for crunch and flavor
- Fresh parsley, dill, and chives
Other popular ingredients are hard-boiled eggs and onion. We add them to our creamy potato salad but leave them out for this red potato version. We love letting the herbs shine, so we hold back on the other ingredients.
Creamy Red Potato Salad with Herbs
Small red potatoes are best for this potato salad. The potatoes maintain their natural moisture and sweetness this way. We prefer the texture when cooked whole, but you can chop the potatoes if you’re in a pinch for time or if your potatoes are large.
It’s okay if you don’t have red potatoes on hand. Use other waxy potatoes like yellow or Yukon potatoes, white or creamer potatoes, and fingerling potatoes. They are quick-cooking, and since they are already small, there’s no need to chop them before cooking them. Russet or baking potatoes will work, but the salad’s texture will be less creamy.
If you can, 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.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
2 pounds (907 grams) small red potatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or dill pickle juice
1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream
1/4 cup (58 grams) mayonnaise, try homemade mayonnaise
1 tablespoon yellow mustard, substitute Dijon or whole grain mustard
2 celery stalks, finely chopped, about 1/3 cup
1 to 2 medium dill pickles, finely chopped, about 1/3 cup
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 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.
4When cool, chop the potatoes into bite-size chunks, then add to a large bowl. Scatter the vinegar over potatoes and lightly season with salt.
- Make Potato Salad
1Stir the sour cream, mayonnaise, and mustard in a bowl.
2Add the sour cream mixture, celery, pickles, 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 for the sour cream.
- Make potato salad up to 3 days in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator.
- You can use dried herbs for this salad, we recommend adding one to two tablespoons 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.