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Old Fashioned Potato Salad Recipe

potato salad
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3.81 from 87 votes
Make mom proud with this recipe for the perfect potato salad. No backyard BBQ is complete without potato salad but often times it can be lacking in flavor. The secret to old fashioned potato salad recipe is the dressing, a simple blend of mayonnaise and sour cream that perfectly complements the other ingredients.

Side Dish


About 2 1/2 pounds (1.1 kg)
Servings: 8 servings


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 2 scallions
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 stalk celery
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt (read about the science of salt here)
  • 2 pounds waxy potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • Black pepper to taste


  • 1 jalapeño or hot pepper flakes
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works. 
Note. If you want to turn Mom's Potato Salad into Dad's Potato Salad, dice a jalapeño and throw it in. Better still, get 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chop it finely, and mix it with the mayo. This will give the whole dish a slightly orange color and a rich, earthy, smoky heat that is perfect for whatever you are grilling.
Low fat version. Substitute more sour cream for the mayo.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Prep. Chop the scallions, bell pepper, and celery into pea-sized chunks, then mix them and all the other ingredients except the egg, potato, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Scrub the potatoes thoroughly. If the skin comes clean, you can leave it on. If not, get rid of it. Now cut them into ½ inch (6.4 mm) cubes.
  • Boil. Bring a pot filled with enough water to cover the taters a roiling boil and add the ½ teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes until the tip of a sharp knife easily slides through a cube. Drain, cool, and add to the large bowl.
  • Prep again. Bring the water back up to a boil and add the eggs gently, lowering them in with a spoon so they don't crack when they hit the bottom. When the water comes back to a boil, for standard large eggs, boil for 11 to 12 minutes. For more on the best way to make hard boiled eggs for perfect yolks and easy peeling, read this article.
  • Chop. Chill the eggs in ice water for about 5 minutes, crack, peel, and chop. Add the egg to the bowl with the other ingredients.
  • Coat with the dressing. Add pepper and salt to taste. Chill then serve.

Nutrition per Serving

Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 420mg | Potassium: 577mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 497IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg