A Taste of Tradition: Classic Southern Potato Salad


When it comes to iconic Southern comfort food, Classic Southern Potato Salad holds a special place. This timeless dish combines tender boiled potatoes with a creamy and tangy dressing, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. With a perfect balance of creaminess, tanginess, and a hint of crunch, this potato salad is a staple at picnics, barbecues, and family gatherings. So, let’s dive into the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and some valuable tips to create a memorable Classic Southern Potato Salad that will transport you to the heart of the South.


For the Potato Salad:

  1. 2 pounds red or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. 1 cup mayonnaise
  4. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  5. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  6. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  7. 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  8. 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. Paprika for garnish (optional)
  11. Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Cooking the Potatoes and Eggs

  • Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water.
  • Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat and cook the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10-15 minutes.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, place the eggs in a small saucepan and cover them with cold water.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the eggs simmer for 9 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs from the heat, drain the hot water, and transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool.

Step 2: Preparing the Dressing

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, chopped onion, chopped celery, and sweet pickle relish until well combined.
  • Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Assembling the Potato Salad

  • Drain the cooked potatoes and let them cool slightly.
  • Gently peel the cooled hard-boiled eggs and chop them into small pieces.
  • Add the cooked potatoes and chopped eggs to the bowl with the dressing.
  • Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold the potatoes and eggs into the dressing until they are well coated.

Step 4: Chilling and Serving

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the potato salad for at least 1 hour or overnight to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Before serving, give the potato salad a gentle stir and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and chopped fresh parsley for added visual appeal.

Tips for Perfect Classic Southern Potato Salad:

  1. Choose waxy or all-purpose potatoes like red or Yukon Gold potatoes as they hold their shape better after cooking.
  2. Cut the potatoes into uniform-sized cubes to ensure even cooking.
  3. For extra flavor, you can add a tablespoon of pickle juice or a dash of hot sauce to the dressing.
  4. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes as they can become mushy. Test them frequently with a fork for doneness.
  5. For a creamier texture, slightly mash a few of the cooked potato cubes with a fork before mixing them into the dressing.
  6. To prevent the potatoes from becoming waterlogged, drain them well and allow them to cool slightly before combining with the dressing.
  7. The potato salad tastes even better when chilled for a few hours or overnight to let the flavors develop.



Savor the nostalgia and comfort of Classic Southern Potato Salad—a timeless dish that brings a taste of the South to your table. This creamy and tangy potato salad is the perfect accompaniment to any barbecue, picnic, or potluck gathering. Follow the step-by-step instructions, incorporate the valuable tips, and enjoy the flavors and textures of this classic dish. Whether shared with loved ones or enjoyed on your own, Classic Southern Potato Salad captures the essence of Southern hospitality and culinary tradition. Embrace the creaminess, tanginess, and crunch of this beloved potato salad, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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