Craving the goodness of a traditional side dish? Look no further than Paula Deen potato salad. This recipe is as classic as it gets.
Chunks of red potatoes and eggs are tossed with a creamy mayo dressing and made even more delicious with bacon crumbles, chopped celery, minced onion, and fresh dill.
It’s the ultimate backyard party side dish, although I also don’t mind devouring it on its own.
Learn how to make potato salad the Paula Deen way! It’s easier than you think, and you’ll use this recipe again and again.
Paula Deen Potato Salad
Paula Deen’s potato salad is the traditional potato salad you grew up eating at summer barbecues and picnics.
With a combination of creamy potatoes, rich boiled eggs, and a mayo dressing, this potato salad is as delectable as it gets.
It’s refreshing, but hearty and filling at the same time.
It’s best served chilled, which is what makes it a perfect summer side dish.
How Do You Make Paula Deen’s Potato Salad?
First, boil the potatoes. This recipe calls for baby red potatoes, so you can leave the skins on.
Season the water with two tablespoons of salt. I know this seems like a lot, but trust me, it won’t make your potatoes extremely salty.
Bring the salted water and potatoes to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender.
You won’t need to keep the water boiling at this point. A gentle simmer will do, and it will cook the potatoes just as quickly.
The length of cooking depends on the size of your potatoes, but it’ll be somewhere around 8-10 minutes.
While waiting, prepare the other ingredients: hard-boil and slice the eggs, cook the bacon, chop the celery, and mince the dill.
Once cooked, drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to cool slightly.
To speed things up, you can submerge the potatoes in an ice bath for 2 to 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. You can do this in the same bowl you’ll put the salad in for easy clean-up.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, salt, and pepper. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
Once the potatoes are warm enough to handle, slice them in halves or quarters, depending on their size. The idea is to cut them into bite-sized pieces.
Place the potatoes in the bowl along with the bacon, hard-boiled eggs, celery, and onion. Toss the ingredients together gently until well-coated.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
Serve potato salad either chilled or at room temperature. It’ll be fantastic either way.
What’s the Best Potato for Potato Salad?
For potato salad, go for waxy over starchy potatoes. They’re firm enough to hold their shape when boiled, compared to starchy potatoes, which will disintegrate.
You’ll use red baby potatoes for this salad, which is awesome because besides being waxy, their skins are also thin. This means there’s no need to peel them!
And since they’re small, it takes no time to cook them.
Another great contender is Yukon Gold. They have a nice, buttery flavor and a creamy texture.
Should I Boil Potatoes Whole or Cut Them for Potato Salad?
While other recipes will call for cutting the potatoes before cooking, I don’t advise it.
It may cut the cooking time in half, but the results are nowhere near as acceptable.
When they’re already cut open, the potatoes will absorb more water than you want them to.
They’ll be super saturated with liquid, which will make them too mushy.
When you boil them whole, the skins will protect the spuds from absorbing too much water.
The great thing about baby red potatoes is because they’re small, you won’t even need to wait long for them to cook.
Tips for Making The Best Salad
- Don’t be afraid to salt the boiling water generously. All salt does is give the spuds a bit of flavor.
For this recipe, I add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water. The potatoes will only absorb a little amount of salted water, so this won’t make your potatoes overly salty.
- The great thing about using red potatoes is that because their skins are thin, you can leave them on without affecting the salad’s flavor or texture.
But don’t feel like you should leave the skins on even though you don’t want to!
If you want to peel the spuds, do so post-boiling and cooling. Potato peels come off easily when cooked.
- Don’t slice the potatoes before boiling them. Sure, it’ll make cooking faster, but it’ll also yield mushy, waterlogged spuds.
- Drain the potatoes well. Any excess water will make the salad dressing runny.
- Cut the potatoes into even, bite-sized pieces for easy eating.
- Toss in the dressing while the potatoes are still warm. They’re more absorbent at this stage, so doing so will make your salad more delectable.
- Be gentle when tossing to prevent the potatoes from breaking up.
- If you have other fresh herbs on hand other than dill, by all means, go for it! Thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano, basil, tarragon, scallions, and chives all make great additions.
- Fresh is best, but if you don’t have them, dried herbs are okay, too. Just reduce the amount in half because they have a stronger flavor.
- Taste and adjust as you go. Whether it needs more mayo, herbs, or seasonings, it’s totally your call.
- Potato salad tastes better over time, so if you can, make it in advance. This will allow the potatoes to absorb more flavors from the dressing and herbs, making them significantly tastier.
- Store the salad, covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge for up to 3 to 5 days.
- Variation suggestions:
- This salad calls for red potatoes, but Yukon Golds and Russets are also perfect for potato salad.
- Give your salad a bit of a kick! Finish it off with a sprinkling of paprika.
- Hate mayo? Use full-fat plain Greek yogurt instead.
More Potato Recipes You’ll Love
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Paula Deen’s Crockpot Potato Soup
- Irish Mashed Potatoes
- Lighthouse Inn Potatoes
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes
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