How to Make Potato Salad Like Mama Used to Make

by Felicia Gustin

Folks are VERY particular about their potato salad and there are dozens of variations. Here's mine, learned from mom. Ingredient amounts vary based on your own tastes.


  • 6-8 Potatoes
  • 6-8 Hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise (or as needed)
  • ¼ Cups Chopped pickles or pickle relish
  • 1 ¼ Teaspoons Salt (to taste)
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ Dill
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika (plus more for top)
  • 1 Tablespoon Mustard (optional)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    You can use whatever type of potatoes you want. I happen to have an assortment in my pantry so I'm using a few of each. This recipe serves 10-15 (it's for a party!) so adjust based on your numbers.

    Step 2

    Wipe off the skin but do not peel yet. We need that skin to hold the potatoes firm while cooking. It'll come off later.

    Step 3

    Cut the potatoes into like sizes so they'll cook evenly...

    Step 4

    Like this...

    Step 5

    Into a pot!

    Step 6

    Fill another pot with cold water. This is where we're going to make our hard-boiled eggs and I'm going to show you the method I use so they come out just right.

    Step 7

    Gently set the eggs into the pot, add a bit of salt (so they'll peel easier) and cook on high until the water comes to a boil.

    Step 8

    Let the water boil for about a minute and then...

    Step 9

    Turn off the heat, cover and let the eggs sit in the water for 12 minutes. Meanwhile back at the cutting board...

    Step 10

    Chop an onion,

    Step 11

    celery, and...

    Step 12

    pickles. You can also use pickle relish instead if you prefer.

    Step 13

    The potatoes have been boiling for about 15 minutes now. Check to see if they're done…

    Step 14

    By using a fork – when the fork slides in easily, the potatoes are ready!

    Step 15

    Drain and rinse the potatoes with cold water

    Step 16

    Peel the potatoes – the skins come off pretty easily now.

    Step 17

    Here are the peeled potatoes but they're still pretty large so…

    Step 18

    I gently cut the potatoes, right in the bowl,, into bite size pieces.

    Step 19

    Our eggs are now ready so drain and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. You can also put them in a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further.

    Step 20

    Now peel the eggs.

    Step 21

    Ta da!

    Step 22

    Cut the egg into bite-size pieces and add to the potatoes.

    Step 23

    Toss in your chopped onions...

    Step 24

    And the celery…

    Step 25

    And the chopped pickles or pickle relish.

    Step 26

    Add the mayonnaise or salad dressing like Miracle Whip. I actually use a bit of both because I like the sweetness that Miracle Whip brings to the mix. It's all about personal taste.

    Step 27

    But if you don't like that sweetness, just use mayonnaise. Or if you do want sweetness but don't have Miracle Whip, just toss in a teaspoon or so of sugar.

    Step 28

    In goes the salt and pepper.

    Step 29

    Add dill (if you want) and paprika. Remember, potato salad is all about personal taste. You can pick and choose what you want to add (or not add) and how much.

    Step 30

    Add some mustard - I'm using a brown mustard but you can use yellow mustard as well.

    Step 31

    Mix everything together VERY gently with a spatula. You don't want to mix it too harshly because you'll end up with mashed potato salad…oh no!!!

    Step 32

    Sprinkle paprika on top to give your potato salad some color. Chill and It's ready to serve!

    Step 33

    Hope you've enjoyed this guide - remember it can also serve as the basis to make your own unique potato salad, with your favorite seasonings and additions. Share in comments your suggestions. YAY!