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Basic Potato Salad

Combining the potatoes with the vinegar mixture while they're still hot allows them to absorb it all for a more flavorful salad. Learn more tips for perfecting your potato salad: How-to with Allie.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Basic Potato Salad

Source: Everyday Food, June 2007


  • 3 pounds waxy potatoes (such as Yukon gold or new), scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 4 scallions, white part minced, green part thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup light mayonnaise


  1. Set a steamer basket in a Dutch oven (or large pot with a lid), and add enough salted water to come just below basket; bring to a boil.

  2. Place potatoes in basket, cover pot, and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Steam potatoes, gently tossing occasionally, until tender, 15 to 25 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine vinegar, scallion whites, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

  4. Add hot potatoes to vinegar mixture; toss to combine. Cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour.

  5. Add mayonnaise and scallion greens to cooled potatoes; mix gently to combine. Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Reviews (41)

  • GrahamH 13 Dec, 2013

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    este cea mai buna solutie pt un hotel.

  • breezy37 24 Sep, 2013

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  • Happy_Birthday_Dr_Seuss 30 Mar, 2013

    Basic Potato Salad
    Russell and I enjoyed this food at our Saturday picnic meal.
    It was nutritious and delicious!

  • MartiniLaura 4 Jul, 2012

    Made it exactly according to posted recipe, but with extra veggies...a touch dry, so added a bit of sour cream. VERY good!!

  • liz1071 28 Oct, 2010

    My secret to keeping it from becoming too dry is to add just a bit of Carnation Evaporated milk, regular milk will work too. I prefer to evaporated milk because it's creamier and it will give it a nice consistency

  • jody511 19 Aug, 2010

    I boil 5 LBS. potatos whole till knife tender,put them in the sink and cool with cold water till just warm.Peel and chop into small pieces. Chop 1 small onion very fine.
    Chop 2 sticks of celery very fine,1 small green pepper choped fine.
    Pour it all into a deep bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of cider vinager over top and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in 1whole jar of mayo.
    Sometimes I add bacon and eggs.
    I have been told that I make the best potato salad in the world,it could be b

  • patcash 14 May, 2010

    Gourmet Diary, I am with you. The secret to my potato salad is the addition of sour cream with the mayo and a small amount of mustard. I learned this from a Jewish Deli I used to go to who made the best potato salad I had ever eaten. They told me the secret was the sour cream. I also always use eggs, celery and stuffed green olives chopped up and then sliced and put on top as decoration along with sliced eggs. A hit every time, even if I do say so myself, but then there has to be a reason I am t

  • JenniferCity85 2 Mar, 2010

    Is it best to make this salad the night before?

  • mwedding 29 Aug, 2008

    Our family LOVES this one. It's amazing what adding the vinegar to the hot potatoes does. Just had to look it up to make for the weekend...

  • DebaeraBisceglia 28 Aug, 2008

    This sounds like a tasty recipe that will satisfy all. I plan to make it for my family Labor Day cook out. Wish me luck. Thanks. Deb

  • terivanhecke 28 Aug, 2008

    I agree w/ other comments - this doesn't have enough traditional ingredients! My DH wouldn't eat this without celery - LOTS - and eggs! You all give me a laugh, sometimes, with the comments, but culinaryguru needs to lighten up - we aren't all perfect . . . remember what happened to the last perfect Man on this earth?

  • bpwkhowell 27 Aug, 2008

    I'm sorry, it's not potato salad without yellow mustard and HB eggs, it just isn't! But adding the dressing while the potatoes are hot is right on the money. I use the french fry cutter on my food processor to cut raw potatoes, then drop them in boiling water. By the time the water comes back to the boil they are just about cooked--test like al dente pasta. I don't peel the potatoes at all. This is a great way to make LOTS of potato salad for a big celebration.

  • Erlinda 27 Aug, 2008

    I don't peel all of my potatoes and I add a bit of dry mustard to the mayonnaise. The texture is really nice, and the mustard is an interesting touch.

  • missvito 26 Aug, 2008

    I always found it to be a crap shoot when boiling potatoes. Too long and they were mush. Too short and they were raw in the middle. This way is FOOLPROOF!! Bake potatoes in oven. Let cool; refrigerate. Peel and continue with recipe. Perfect texture every time.

  • CarolSE 26 Aug, 2008

    I Made this with 1/2 c low fat mayo and 1/2 cup low fat sour cream and spices like celery seed and dry mustard and it was wonderfull !

  • VickiA 25 Aug, 2008

    Thanks for the help on getting rid of the annoying ad at the bottom. I'm not all that computer-savvy but my solution was to watch my printing and cancel print just before it starts the ad. I don't know why we have to deal with it in the first place.

  • delsa 21 Aug, 2008

    add small amount of sweetener and celery seed

  • MsWoodstock 21 Aug, 2008

    To get rid of the HP ad, select the print icon above the recipe, then select print preview from your file menu. You can then raise the bottom margin to send the ad to a second page. Select to print only the first page and that ink using ad is gone! I hope this makes sense. Thank you to Iampotter for commenting about the ad. It bothered me too, but I had never before given any thought to find a way to get rid of it.
    Thank you to all of you who make helpful comments on these recipes.

  • GourmetDiary 20 Aug, 2008

    I use a 50/50 combo of nonfat sour cream and mayonnaise, add some mustard to taste to the mixture, and add some balsamic vinegar to add enough tanginess. I dress the potatoes while hot so they absorb the flavors. Beyond that, add what appeals: pickles, finely chopped celery, chopped hard-cooked egg, celery seed, black olives, etc. Enjoy!

  • HansGustav 19 Aug, 2008

    to heathercan: I sometimes use mustard with mayonaise; perhaps a tablespoon or so. You might try just a bit and leave out the mayo, or maybe substitute a nice salad dressing grade olive oil for the mayo. I'm just concerned that a bit of mustard might make the mixture too dry, and more mustard might be overpowering. Experiment and see what works for you. Good luck.

  • arwen1 19 Aug, 2008

    oops sorry blessed farm I didn't see your comment

  • arwen1 19 Aug, 2008

    If you use the "print" command from the recipe page, instead of from File, you will just get the recipe in black and white. - arwen

  • kickypants 19 Aug, 2008

    Apple cider vinegar and chives give it a nice twist....

  • heathercan 19 Aug, 2008

    Does anyone know if you can use mustard instead of mayo? I can't seem to find a mustard-based potato salad recipe.

  • BlessedFarm 19 Aug, 2008

    Iampotter, you can click the 'print' link at the top of the recipe, and you should get an ad free page with the recipe on it to print out. HTH....

  • SheriHaxton 19 Aug, 2008

    If you click on the "print" icon above the recipe, it will give you a printable version without the advertisements. Sometimes a printed version is nice in addition to the virtual one. :-)

  • ellygh 19 Aug, 2008

    Iampotter - Just use the print icon -- right under the heading "Basic Potato Salad." That way you will only print the recipe and not the info and pics in the sidebars. And, CGABRIELE1940, is it that difficult to be pleasant or do you find it easier to be rude.

  • lskreiner 19 Aug, 2008

    To cgabriele1940 : I got a good laugh from your comment to iampotter. Looks like a good basic potato salad recipe to try. When I hit the above "print" icon, a "printer friendly" version of the recipe comes up (as most sites will provide). No ads at all. I have an HP printer also. Strange!!!!!

  • ixip 19 Aug, 2008

    Really doesn't matter if this is a recipe site or whatever, there is no point in not understanding that this person was upset about how much ink some sites cause you to use. However, since I print a lot of recipes off this site, you just need to click on print this recipe and there are no ads on the page at all. Have a feeling iampotter was just clicking on file, the on print instead of using the print icon at the top of the page.

  • CrystalBeachMom 19 Aug, 2008

    to Lampotter- Where do you see an HP ad? I hit the "print" button adn all I have is the recipe. I' going to guess you have an HP printer. It's one of your printer settings I'm sure. You should have a computer geek take a look for you. For the recipe, it does look good BUT mine is better!!!!!! SSHHHhhhhhh it's a secret recipe.

  • joycehm 19 Aug, 2008

    Further to the alst comment, the 'print' selection is at the top of the recipe - no need to highlight the recipe. Keep it simple - just like the recipe . . .by the way, try adding a pinch or two of fresh tarragon and a little paprika - (if you want color, no ink needed or wasted :)

  • joycehm 19 Aug, 2008

    Wonderful, simple and delicious recipe. To iampotter: select the 'print' mode for the recipe - you won't bring up any ads to sap your ink supply. And to cgabriele1940 - you could have suggested this.

  • Epicman3 19 Aug, 2008

    I totally agree with iampotter. It is a sneaky way to use up one's expensive color ink cartridges. In order to not print the HP color banner, I highlight the recipe only, click on print, then choose "Selection" for what I want to print. I'm sure it has saved me from buying more than one color ink cartridge.

  • booboo604 20 Jul, 2008

    sorry for the wrong spelling.I added rice vinegar also,because I ran out of white.

  • booboo604 20 Jul, 2008

    I made this yesterday,and it's all gone.I ran out of white vinegar,so I added some rie vinegar ,it was really good.I will make this again and again.I just loved it.My husband does not like eggs in potatoe salad,and this was a hit.Thanks for the good recipe!!!Now I need to make more.

  • Experimentando 21 Jun, 2008

    It is a very nice and tasty recipe. You don't need as much mayonnaise as it says in the recipe though.

  • iampotter 19 Jun, 2008

    Love to print out your great recipes, but feel that the HP Advertisement for ink is really wasting my cupply of color ink! What a sneaky way to sell ink cartridges!!

  • YoKa 2 Jun, 2008

    My most favorite menu! This recipe's very easy and everyone can surely cook it by yourself......

  • joyfullysurfing 22 Feb, 2008

    This is my all-time favorite way to prepare potato salad. The extra zing from the vinegar adds sophistication and people always remark on how delicious my potato salad is :)

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