Mom’s Potato Salad

Potato salad is the ultimate party side dish, with this recipe right from moms closely guarded favorites.

mom's potato salad in a large white bowl with sliced green onions on top
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Potato salad is the ultimate party side dish, but the ones at the supermarket are always so tasteless. Instead of buying one, why not learn how to make an even better one yourself with this classic recipe?

Learn How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs to use in your salad, or you could try Air Fryer Hard Boiled Eggs if the traditional method never seems to quite work out! Beef Kabobs pair well with this recipe too, making this salad perfect for barbecue parties!

mom's potato salad in a large white bowl with sliced green onions on top

Moms Potato Salad

A good potato salad recipe is one of those things that are kept a closely guarded family secret, with the exact ingredients and methods remaining a mystery for anyone lucky enough to try it.

However, thanks to this recipe, you will be able to make your very own potato salad and turn it into your own family recipe!

Feel free to play around with the precise quantities of ingredients, or try adding anything you want to make it your own. Potato salad is meant to be customized and altered to suit your individual tastes, so try anything you like!

mom's potato salad ingredients in small white and clear bowls

Is It Worth Making Mayonnaise To Use In Your Salad?

This recipe, like pretty much all potato salad recipes, calls for a good amount of mayonnaise to provide both the fatty richness and the necessary moisture to turn your clump of potatoes and vegetables into a potato salad.

Most people, when faced with a recipe that calls for the inclusion of mayonnaise, assume that you should buy whatever type of mayonnaise you like from your local supermarket and call it a day.

However, there is always the option to make your very own mayonnaise instead!

Making mayonnaise at home is surprisingly easy, and basically just requires mixing oil into a small number of egg yolks, salt, garlic, and lemon juice. However, it is a bit tricky to try and make mayonnaise without it breaking apart.

There is also the issue that making mayonnaise from scratch involves consuming raw egg yolks, something that not everyone feels comfortable with.

So, while making homemade mayonnaise will definitely improve the flavor of your potato salad, you need to decide if it is worth the slightly increased risk, as well as the extra work – unless you have a stick blender to make it easier, you might find yourself gradually whisking in the oil over a period of 30 minutes just to make your mayo.

For something tastier and richer, feel free to make your own, but for ease of cooking, and for a faster potato salad, you might just want to use the store-bought stuff.

mom's potato salad ingredients in a large clear bowl un stirred

What To Do If You Over Cook Your Potatoes

One problem that can happen super easily if you aren’t being careful is that your potatoes become really overcooked. Whether because you forgot about it for a second or because your heat was on too high if your potatoes get too overcooked, you might find that they ruin the texture of your potato salad.

When potatoes get overcooked, they can fall apart really easily when they get even only the slightest amount of pressure applied to them.

This is a big problem when making potato salad because you need to mix everything together at the end.

If you do overcook your potatoes, make sure to stir them really gently when everything comes together. You want to try and avoid breaking the potatoes up, as otherwise, you will basically end up making mashed potatoes.

To easily stir the potato salad without damaging the potatoes, try and use a rubber spatula, and stir it using a gentle, swirling motion, rather than aggressively stirring.

As long as you are gentle, you should be able to avoid absolutely destroying your potato pieces.

mom's potato salad in two large bowls with green onions on the side

Why It Is Important To Leave The Salad To Rest In The Fridge Before Serving

This recipe calls for you to rest your potato salad for a good amount of time before you try and serve it.

This is a really common step for things like potato salad, anything saucy, or even baked foods like cookies, and the reasoning is basically the same.

When you make something with a lot of liquid and solid bits and are hoping for all of the flavors to meld together, you need to give everything time to properly mix together.

This means that all of the solids need to hydrate and absorb any latent liquid within the mixture, as otherwise, the solid potato bits won’t taste like all of the seasonings, and instead just like… potato.

So make sure to leave your potato salad in the fridge long enough to properly hydrate to ensure that it tastes as good as it possibly can.

mom's potato salad lifted over a bowl on a large spoon

Extras That You Could Add To Your Potato Salad

This potato salad makes for a dependable and tasty side dish, but it can also serve as a great base for other flavors.

Why not try a few of these additions to change up both the texture and the flavor of your potato salad? 

  • Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn is a great addition to any kind of recipe if you are looking to add both a splash of color, as well as crunchiness. Feel free to use regular canned sweetcorn for this recipe instead of fresh corn, as the differences will be barely noticed in a potato salad.

  • Diced Pickles (Relish / Gherkins)

Pickles are tangy, fresh, and delicious, and makes for a great addition to this potato salad.

Some diced cucumber, whether fresh or pickled, can add both freshness and crunchiness to your potato salad.

  • Shredded Carrots

Shredded carrots are great for adding not only a big burst of bright red coloring but also a good amount of crunchiness, so long as you make sure to shred your carrot really finely to avoid getting little bits of carrot stuck in your teeth!

Looking for more delicious Salad recipes? Try these out:

Salmon Salad

Carrot Raisin Salad

Creamy Tex-Mex Corn Salad with Green Chile Dressing

Happy Cooking




Potato salad is the ultimate party side dish, with this one right from moms closely guarded recipe.

Mom’s Potato Salad

Potato salad is the ultimate party side dish, with this recipe right from moms closely guarded favorites.
4.91 from 11 votes
mom's potato salad in a large white bowl with sliced green onions on top
Cook Time
25 minutes
Side Dish
Karlynn Johnston


  • 3 lbs medium potatoes (like russet or Yukon gold, peeled and quartered)
  • 10 whole hard boiled eggs (coarsely chopped)
  • ½ cup celery (finely diced)
  • ½ cup radishes (chopped or sliced)
  • 4 green onions (green and white parts finely chopped)
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • paprika for garnish
  • extra green onion for garnish


  • Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and pour enough water over top to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn down the heat to medium high and boil for 20 – 25 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart.
  • Remove from the heat and drain into a colander. cool for 10-12 minutes.
  • Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, celery, radishes, and green onions.
  • In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and mustard. Scoop over the salad ingredients. Gently stir the mayo into the vegetables until everything is coated completely and mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish if desired with a light sprinkle of paprika and diced green onions.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving.
  • This will store, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 271kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 497mg, Potassium: 787mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 139IU, Vitamin C: 36mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. g says

    When I make my potato salad I like to add 1 tbsp. of Frank’s sweet chili sauce; it adds a little sweetness, and a small kick, it is a secret ingredient that makes your salad stand out.

  2. Sue Turcsany says

    My recipe that I have been making for decades is similar but with a few changes. I don’t peel and quarter the potatoes before boiling. Instead I boil the whole potato with the skin still on. When done and cool enough to handle the skin comes off very easily. I like to have the potatoes still lukewarm when mixing in all the ingredients as they absorb the mayo and flavors better. You might use a bit more mayo but the outcome is fantastic. Don’t use radishes Use the chopped celery. I use chopped yellow or sweet onions and I add a splash of apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard and sprinkle in some celery seed and salt and pepper. I use about 4-5 Lbs of Yukon Gold Potatoes and less hard boiled eggs. I sometimes make it with the eggs and sometimes without. I still comes out great. Tastes the best when served a day later. The flavors meld and it even has more flavor.5 stars

  3. Julia says

    Thanks for this recipe! It’s nearly identical to the one my mom makes! I had some leftover cooked baby potatoes that I diced up and I usually add about a tbsp of sugar to the sauce. Mustard is definitely one of the secret ingredients!5 stars

  4. Feisty Granny says

    No one in my family puts mustard in their potato (or macaroni) salads One lady “adds a blush” to hers with catsup, but after tasting it, I’ll pass.4 stars

    • Karlynn J says

      Ooh you should try it! This recipe even made it into my second cookbook! Mom is asked for her her recipe wherever she goes ( and her deviled eggs!) so that’s the best indicator it’s a winner!

      Mustard gives it a little Color and that “tang” that cuts through the richness, which is a
      culinary “secret” top chefs use to make a dish extraordinary!! It’s a must!5 stars

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