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Ina Garten’s Potato Salad (Easy Recipe)

With Ina Garten’s potato salad, your next BBQ will be a sure-fire hit!

There may be thousands of potato salad recipes online, but Ina’s will always be the best.

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Homemade Ina Garten's Potato Salad with Dill

Fluffy, starchy potatoes are coated with a creamy, herbed dressing, creating something humbly decadent.

It seems so simple, but this crowd-pleasing side dish will surely knock your socks off. 

Don’t take my word for it, though! Instead, try Ina Garten’s potato salad at your next party and see for yourself.

Ina Garten’s Potato Salad 

Potato salad is a summer cookout essential.

Served chilled, this salad is as refreshing as can be. It’s also outrageously creamy and wonderfully hearty.

Any barbecue will be lucky to have it by its side.

I’m particularly fond of Ina Garten’s version because the dressing is quite unique. This recipe is more than just boiled potatoes with mayo.

The mayo is mixed with buttermilk and two types of mustard to give it a slight tanginess that nicely balances out the richness. 

There are slices of red onion in there, too, to give you a hint of pepper. There’s also some chopped-up celery for a crunchy contrast. 

Lastly, the dressing is loaded with fresh dill. Besides the refreshing flavor it gives to the salad, I also like the added pop of color.

Ina Garten's Potato Salad Ingredients: Potatoes, Salt, Mayo, Red Onion, Whole Grain Mustard, Buttermilk, Dijon Mustard, Dill, Celery and Onions

How does Ina Garten Make Potato Salad?

Ina Garten makes potato salad by boiling the potatoes until tender. They’re then left to steam and drain while she makes the dressing, a blend of mayo, buttermilk, two kinds of mustard, and seasonings. Once the potatoes are cool, she coats them with the sauce and chills the dish before serving.

Sounds easy enough, right? Let’s break that down a little.

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  1. Start by boiling the potatoes. Don’t peel or slice them yet – it’s better to cook them whole because their skins protect them from absorbing too much water.
  2. Boil the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on their size. To test for doneness, poke them with a toothpick or a fork – no resistance means they’re all set.
  3. Drain the potatoes in a colander and place the colander back in the pot. Cover the pot with a dry, clean kitchen towel and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. The steam inside will continue to cook the potatoes.
  4. Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, salt, and pepper. 
  5. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins (it should be super effortless at this point) and slice them into large quarters or halves, again, depending on their size. I like to slice them into bite-sized chunks for easier eating.
  6. Transfer the potatoes into a large bowl pour the dressing over and toss gently to coat. Be careful, otherwise you may mash the potatoes.
  7. Toss in the celery and onion, and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. It should be cold before you taste it.
  8. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. This will allow the potatoes to absorb the dressing and make it more flavorful.

Potato salad can be served either chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Close up of Ina Garten's Creamy Potato Salad in a Bowl

What’s the Best Potato for Potato Salad?

Waxy potatoes are the best potatoes for potato salad because they have a lovely buttery flavor and a great texture – soft and creamy with a nice chew. They’re also able to hold their shape after boiling. For this reason, Yukon Golds are the best choice.

That said, it boils down to personal preference.

Yukons are more expensive than, say, Russets, but I think they’re worth it because Russets are more likely to turn to mush as you mix the dressing in.

Why Does My Potato Salad Get Watery?

Potato salad can become watery if you coat the potatoes with the dressing when they’re still too hot. This is because the potatoes will continue to sweat, adding moisture to the sauce. Another culprit is adding too much liquid to your dressing, like apple cider vinegar or watery extras, like celery.

You’ll want the potatoes to be a bit warm so they’ll absorb the dressing better, but not piping hot. Also, be sure they’re completely drained and dried before mixing.

As for the added moisture from extra ingredients, like vinegar or celery, you just need to be careful.

Of course, this recipe doesn’t include vinegar, so it shouldn’t be an issue. Just be sure the celery slices are dry before mixing them in.

Fluffy and Starchy Potato Salad with Dill

Tips for Making The Best Salad

  • Use fresh dill as much as possible. Dry herbs are fine, in a pinch, but expect a mild bitterness to them. Also, reduce the amount in half because they have a much stronger flavor.
  • Don’t peel and slice the potatoes before boiling in an attempt to speed up cooking. Slicing beforehand will result in mushy, waterlogged spuds. Boiling them whole will protect them from absorbing too much liquid.
  • Drain the potatoes and other veggies well to avoid a watery salad. That means they need to sit for at least 15 minutes in the colander.
  • Slice the potatoes in either halves or quarters, depending on their size. The key is not to cut them way too small, as they’ll still break up a little while mixing.
  • To avoid a soggy salad, don’t add all the dressing right away. Start with about 3/4 and see if the potatoes need more. If yes, then add the remaining dressing.
  • Coat the potatoes while they’re still warm so they’ll absorb the flavors more. Warm means just slightly warm to the touch. You should be able to handle and eat them comfortably.
  • Thirty minutes is fine, but chilling the salad longer is more ideal to allow the potatoes to absorb the flavors of the dressing. Try to wait overnight if you can!
  • Variations:
    • I like Yukon golds for making potato salad, but you can also use Russets and red potatoes.
    • Add more fresh herbs! I like adding tarragon and parsley to mine. Chives, basil, and thyme are fantastic with potatoes, too.
    • Add grated hard-boiled eggs for more flavor and texture. It’s so good, especially as a sandwich filling! One egg per potato is a good ratio.
    • Make it meaty and smokey with bacon crumbles.
    • Sprinkle with paprika for some heat.
    • Use full-fat plain Greek yogurt for a healthy alternative.
  • Cover the salad bowl with plastic wrap or store the salad in an airtight container. Refrigerate it for up to 3 to 5 days. Do not freeze.
  • Serve potato salad as a side dish to barbecue or enjoy on its own as a snack. It’s perticularly delsious with salmon, thanks to the dill.

More Tasty BBQ Side Dishes You’ll Love

Ina Garten’s Potato Salad (Easy Recipe)

Servings

6-8

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

With Ina Garten’s potato salad, your next BBQ will be a hit! There may be thousands of potato salad recipes online, but Ina’s will always be the best.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds 3 small white potatoes

  • 1 cup 1 mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 buttermilk

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons 2 whole-grain mustard

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 chopped fresh dill

  • 3 teaspoons 3 salt, divided

  • 2 teaspoon 2 freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 chopped celery

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 chopped red onion

Directions

  • Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium. Let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until there’s no resistance from the potatoes when poked with a fork or skewer.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander and place the colander over the pot. Cover the pot with a dry kitchen towel and let the potatoes steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper until well-combined.
  • Once cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and slice them into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
  • Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Pour the dressing and toss to coat. Add the celery, onion, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper, and toss again.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to a few hours for the flavors to marry. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Ina Garten's Potato Salad

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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