This Southern Potato Salad recipe makes a classic side perfect for casual suppers and summer cookouts! A family potato salad recipe that’s great to make ahead and is a crowd favorite!

Southern Potato Salad Recipe - Southern Potato Salad is a classic recipe perfect for Sunday suppers, summertime lunches, picnics, reunions, and every possible celebration! This potato salad recipe is a family favorite! //

When I was a girl I loved being the taste tester when Mama made her potato salad. What a lucky job it was because her Southern Potato Salad is the best! She was asked to make it for every cookout or family reunion because everyone loved it. And my family requested it for so many suppers and family gatherings too. So I got to test it a lot.

This potato salad recipe is a simple, classic side dish that’s so easy to make and pairs so well with everything from grilled hamburgers and chicken to a a southern Sunday meal with fried chicken and pinto beans. What a special dish!

Southern Potato Salad Recipe

This potato salad recipe has been in my family for so many years. My great grandmother made it by this recipe and passed it down through the generations. Mama taught my sister and me how to make it with stories of how she got to be the taste tester with her grandmother and her mother.

Best Potatoes for Southern Potato Salad

I am sure that you have seen many types of this favorite salad. Some have firm potatoes and other ingredients that I don’t have in my recipe.

But for my recipe, you need to use starchy potatoes that get a little bit soft when you cook them. I prefer Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, but I most often use Russets. A waxy potato won’t do for this southern favorite, so get one that will get somewhat soft.

How to Make Southern Potato Salad

To make this potato salad, you will need these ingredients.

  • Potatoes (Russets preferably)
  • Eggs
  • Onion
  • Dill Pickles
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Mayonnaise (not the sweet dressing type)
  • Salt

Start by scrubbing and peeling 3 pounds of potatoes. Cube them, add to cold water and boil until tender enough to pierce with a fork, but not until they are mushy. Drain well once they are done.

At the same time, hard boil 6 eggs and then peel them once they’re done. Chop the eggs in preparation for the salad.

While the potatoes are boiling, dice your onion and dill pickles. (While my recipe calls for onion, there is a member of my family who can’t have onions, so I always make a bowl for her without onion. She uses extra pickles instead and it’s delicious too!)

Combine the drained potatoes, chopped eggs, diced onion, diced pickles and salt with the mayonnaise and mustard until creamy. Add more mustard, mayo and even pickles to taste.

Make sure your tasting spoons are lined up and at the ready. You will want to have them for your own taste tests!

Once you’ve completed your potato salad, you can either serve right away or refrigerate to serve later.

Southern Potato Salad Recipe - Southern Potato Salad is a classic recipe perfect for Sunday suppers, summertime lunches, picnics, reunions, and every possible celebration! This potato salad recipe is a family favorite! //

Make Ahead Favorite

My family’s Southern Potato Salad recipe is one that is delicious made the day of serving, but is a great make-ahead dish as well. Just keep it tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to serve. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Perfect for Get Togethers and Suppers
You’ll find this dish served at most family get-togethers in my family – from holidays like Easter to reunions to Sunday suppers! It’s a great potluck dish anytime too. Potato salad is delicious with chicken, beef, and pork and is a dish that everyone in my family loves!

Southern Potato Salad Recipe - Southern Potato Salad is a classic recipe perfect for Sunday suppers, summertime lunches, picnics, reunions, and every possible celebration! This potato salad recipe is a family favorite! //

You know what? I still line up my spoons up ready to taste when the potato salad making is in progress. It’s just a part of our family recipe I guess.

More Delicious Side Dishes and Salads

Here are a few more scrumptious sides for summer cookouts, potlucks and family suppers to try! Many are make ahead too!


Cucumber Tomato Salad

Southern Macaroni Salad

Easy Tortellini Pasta Salad

Here’s my family’s Potato Salad recipe. It’s a special favorite!

Southern Potato Salad Recipe

Southern Potato Salad – Potato salad is a classic recipe perfect for every possible summer celebration! Made with potatoes, pickles, onions, and eggs, this potato salad is an all-time favorite!
4.81 from 26 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 12
Course Salad, Side Dish
Calories: 242kcal
Serving Size 1cup
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 3 pounds boiled potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 6 boiled eggs chopped
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 medium dill pickles diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Combine all ingredients together and mix until well-combined and creamy. Add more mayonnaise and mustard depending on tastes.



Store potato salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 13.8mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 4.2mg
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Robyn xo

Southern Potato Salad Recipe - Southern Potato Salad is a classic recipe perfect for Sunday suppers, summertime lunches, picnics, reunions, and every possible celebration! This potato salad recipe is a family favorite! //

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published in 2011.

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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126 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. My daughter and my youngest son always “taste test” my potato salad too. Sometimes it honestly starts tasting the same to me and I can’t tell if it needs anything more. There’s nothing like a good taste tester! Once I accidentally took the red pepper instead of paprika and liberally sprinkled it over the top! Instead of being terrible like I feared, we really liked it! I always let my testers add red pepper to our potato salad after that. Thanks for the recipe, it sounds great!

  2. Hi Robyn,
    what a beautiful story. Is there anything better than eating something that we loved so much when we were kids. Somehow these recipes always bring back nice memories and smile to our faces. I love it! 🙂

  3. Thanks so much! Your story and this recipe bring back many fond memories from my grandmother’s kitchen! Very nostalgic, very Southern, and no doubt delicious 🙂

  4. I love discovering new recipes and I am sure a lot of people are interested to try this one, as much as I do too…Thanks!

  5. Seems like I remember doing the same thing. ; ) This potato salad always reminds me of my grandmother. It’s the only kind of potato salad that is truly potato salad to me. The others? Imposters.

  6. Your potato salad reminds me of South Mississippi, hot & humid summer days of rocking on the porch and eating lots of potato salad with mustard in it. yummmm copied the recipe Thanks.

    1. Hi Karen, there is just nothing better than good recipes that remind us of rocking on the porch, is there? I hope you enjoy this family favorite!

  7. Oh my! I love the sight of that bright yellow potato salad!! After I left home for college, I thought my family was the only one in the world who made it with liberal amounts of yellow mustard and a sprinkling of paprika 😀 So glad to see others enjoy it this way as well. And I totally agree, you can’t call it potato salad unless it has that atomic yellow look and sour bite! This recipe made me think of my dear grandfather and how much he loved potato salad. It was a holiday staple for us.

  8. Dill pickles? Honest? I thought I was the only one warped enough to demand dill pickles in my potato salad. 😉 So much better than sweet! And the eggs, and the mustard…we must have been living parallel lives. Yum.

  9. Very similar to the southern potato salad I grew up with. It had sweet pickles instead of dill, and also had celery. We used to whip our potatoes until they were like mashed potatoes (very smooth and creamy) and then add the other ingrediants. And you NEVER EVER ate potato salad hot! We always let it sit overnight so the flavors would blend. Delicious!!!

  10. Wow, it’s great to see somebody else makes potato salad with dill pickles and mustard. I live in the south and everybody else, except my mother, uses sweet pickles & mayo only, no mustard. I love it this way.

  11. North Dakota native and grandma came from Norway. We made potato salad almost the same way. Getting ready to make some now so it has time to sit until the party tomorrow night.

  12. This is the same recipe that my mom and grandmother used to make; I can still see the big steel pot on the stove full of potatoes! Mine never turns out as well, so I have moved on to a yogurt/mayo mix with dill. But dang…this looks so good that I might just give it another try.

  13. This is almost like my Mom’s & Grandma’s except we put in diced tomatoes; however this was a good mistake. When my Mom was visiting her Mom in West Virginia she was helping with the potato salad. When Mom put in the tomatoes, Grandma asked her what she was doing. Grandma said I don’t put tomatoes in mine & Mom of course started arguing with her. Grandma told her She always put PIMIENTOS in it!!! We love the tomato version.

  14. Do you boil the potatoes whole and then cut them up? Or cube them, then boil? I have a problem getting them to the perfect consistency to where they’re cooked, but not mushy.

  15. This looks so yummy! What kind of potatoes do you use? I’ve only made potato salad a couple of times and it was just ok so I’m excited to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I use my G’MOTHER ‘s recipe & she put chopped celery & green onions so naturally I do the same.Red onions r added for their sweet flavor ,and
    If new potatoes r available I use them but generally use red.

  17. For a little variance, try adding a chopped (peeled) apple – Gala, Honeycrisp, etc. Some slightly sweet crunch. And, I leave out the pickles sometimes… depends on your taste.

  18. When I lived in the South and “had” to make potato salad, we didn’t use quite so many eggs. We also used pickle relish instead of plain old pickles, but I’m betting the plain old pickles would be just as good if not better! We also used Duke’s Mayonnaise as it’s about the best Mayo out there, too bad I can’t get it where I live now. :o( Since I saw your recipe, I can’t wait to make some Potato Salad now!! LOL

  19. This is exactly like my family makes it. We live in the West now, but all the family is from the South. When I saw it was the perfect yellow I knew it must be like ours, when we go to potluck we avoid tater salad that isn’t yellow enough, lol.

    1. If the potato salad is not yellow enough I already know it’s not the kind I like! It has to meet the color requirements haha.

  20. My recipe, too. Some people have said too many eggs, but the eggs add so much to it. Good kosher pickles, Vidalia onions and Duke’s mayo!

  21. We’ve always used sweet bread ‘n butter pickles in ours, and a little pickle juice in the dressing. I also like to add celery seed, but Momma didn’t.

  22. Love potato salad!! I make my southern Granny’s recipe which is similar to this one, but no onions, add dill pickle juice if needed, and chopped green Olives. Yes, olives! My family and friends love it!!

  23. This is basically the same recipe for Potato Salad my mother made! Grew up in Texas. The only difference was that my mother put in celery, sweet pickles, little bit of the sweet pickle juice. I preferred dill pickles, which I used when I made it. Always loved the mayonnaise and mustard mixed together. It is very difficult for me to eat other potato salad that does not have mustard in it.

    1. Not in my family and I am as southern as you can get. I do not put mustard in my potato salad and I use sweet pickles and celery. I think we call this mustard potato salad.

  24. I love that the potato salad only involves a few ingredients and most of which I have! Thank you sharing I am definitely excited to try. I love vinegar!

  25. Does anyone know what the little bits of (looks like tomato) are called? My grandma would put them in the salad for a little more flavor. They come in a very little jar. Not sure what they’re called though.

  26. My husband is from South Carolina, and I am a born and raised Jersey girl. Traditionally, I use my mother’s recipe (potatoes, mayo, white vinegar, fresh parsley, boiled eggs, onion, paprika, salt and pepper) but today my husband asked me to make it “Southern Style.” I used your recipe, and I wish you could have seen his face when he tasted it! He was so happy, and said it tasted just like his grandmother’s. So thank you for helping me make a happy husband!

      1. My grandmother made potato salad just for me because she didn’t like pickles, I never got the recipe from her but this looks close so I’m going to try it. I was the taster but the batch was mine

      2. Hi Brooke,
        Being the taste tester was always such a fun job growing up, wasn’t it?!
        I hope you enjoy this potato salad! It’s always been such a favorite in my family!
        Thanks so much!

  27. This recipe is a 98% winner. For a 100% champion, add 2 cups (Lb) of crumbled bacon bits and a cup (2 or 3) diced red & green bell peppers. nomnomnom

  28. I followed your recipe and added celery, bell pepper and a little sugar, and it reminded of my mom’s my birthday is 4th of July and I can’t wait to enjoy this meal ???

  29. This is exactly how my Mom use to make hers. I was the official taste tester at our house also. I make mine just like my Mom did also. Only difference is we use miracle whip. Sometimes we’d mash them also. My favorite tater salad. Thanks !

  30. My Mama never wrote down recipes. She has gone to be with Jesus now. I’ve been trying to find a potato salad recipe like hers. I’ve searched and searched and was happy to find this one! It’s very close. I needed a recipe to give me an idea of the amounts of ingredients. She just added a few more things to hers. I have a couple of questions. How long do you boil the potatoes and what kind do you use? I can’t wait to surprise my family with this. It will be like Mama is here for Thanksgiving. 🙂

    1. Hi Gayle,
      I’m glad you found my family recipe too and hope you enjoy it!
      For the potatoes, I boil russet potatoes until they are fork tender, around 20 minutes.
      I hope my family favorite potato salad recipe can bring a bit of joy to you on Thanksgiving. Take care! Thanks so much! xo

  31. Thank you for sharing this recipe, my potato salad tends to come out very watery and bland after I have covered and placed in the refrigerator overnight and I don’t know why? How long should I wait after the potatoes has drained to add all the ingredients. I was using relish in the past, therefore I’m going to try the Dill pickles are these sweet?

    1. Hi Yolanda,
      Just make sure potatoes are fully drained. Also make sure it is completely cooled before you put it in the refrigerator. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  32. Your recipe is exactly the way, I make mine. I use Dill relish, unless I am out of it, then I use dill pickles and I add Black Pepper. I make mine just like my Mom used to make, except she used Miracle Whip. I haven’t like Miracle Whip for years and always prefer Real Mayo. You always have Great Recipes!

  33. Thank you for this! I have beem trying to find a “southern” potato salad that i can make to satisfy my friends and family.

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