Although I love most potato salad recipes, red potato salad is one of my favorites. I love how the large chunks of red potatoes add so much texture. And the tangy dressing is superb.
If you enjoy potato salad, you’ll appreciate red potato salad, too. It’s a great dish to bring to a backyard BBQ or potluck. It also makes a fantastic side dish for most proteins.
It tastes just as good as leftovers as it does fresh. And you can even turn it into a stand-alone lunch!
In short, red potato salad has a lot going for it. Once you try it, you’ll make it all the time.
Red Potato Salad
Everything I said above about this potato salad is true. But there’s one more thing that makes it so awesome. It’s fantastically easy to make!
You don’t have to be a kitchen pro to whip up this dish. In fact, you don’t even have to be moderately kitchen efficient. It’s so simple, even total newbies can prepare it.
If you can boil potatoes and mix ingredients, you’ve got this one in the bag. And the fresh, herb-infused flavor will make you an instant fan!
And if you have dietary restrictions, simply swap out the mayo and sour cream for vegan varieties. It should remain fresh and safe even on the hottest days.
- Whole red potatoes. Three pounds of red potatoes should do the trick. I leave mine whole. But you can dice them up before boiling them if you want them to cook quicker. I also recommend leaving the peels on. That’s where most of the texture comes from.
- Mayo, sour cream, and Dijon mustard. These ingredients make the potato salad creamy and give it its signature tanginess. Any brand will work. But stick to vegan varieties if you’re concerned about the heat at backyard BBQs.
- Red wine vinegar. Again, this ingredient, too, adds a bright, tangy flavor. It also helps thin out some of the thicker ingredients in the sauce.
- Red onion and celery. Onions and celery add crunch and an earthy, umami taste. Any onion will work, but red onions make the potato salad look nicer.
- Seasonings. All the seasonings this recipe really requires are salt and pepper. However, you can add freshly chopped dill for extra flavor.
- Dill pickles. Though optional, I like to add chopped dill pickles to my potato salad. They add more texture and a bright burst of pickle goodness.
- Hard-boiled eggs. Eggs, too, are optional. Leave them out if you need a vegan-friendly side dish. (Or if you’re worried they’ll spoil.)
- Garnishes. I like to garnish mine with several things. Chopped chives, sliced scallions, paprika, and bacon crumbles are my go-tos. You can top yours with whatever you like best.
How to Make Red Potato Salad
1. Boil the potatoes. Rinse the potatoes and add them to a large stock pot. Cover them with water, and don’t forget to add salt.
Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The potatoes should be fork-tender when they’re ready.
2. Cool the potatoes. Place the potatoes into an ice bath to stop them from cooking further.
3. Make the dressing. Combine all of the other ingredients except the hard-boiled eggs. Mix well.
4. Cut and combine. Chop the cooled potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Then, toss them into the bowl with the dressing. Stir or toss to coat everything well.
If you’re adding eggs, add them at this time.
5. Chill. Cover the bowl of potato salad with plastic wrap, and pop it in the fridge. It needs to chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
6. Garnish, serve, and enjoy! Once the potato salad is cold, top it with your choice of garnishes. Then, serve it and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- Don’t add the potatoes to already-boiling water. Put them in cold water, and let the water heat around them. Dropping them straight into boiling water messes with their starches.
- Make it lighter. Use 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Save time by skipping the water bath. Simply drain the potatoes and leave them to cool completely in the colander.
- Don’t over-boil. The potatoes only need to be fork-tender. You don’t want them to fall apart. Don’t let them simmer much longer than 15-20 minutes.
- Use different potatoes. This recipe works best with red potatoes. They look lovely, and they have a great texture. However, you can make it with russet potatoes or whatever you have.
- Add some heat. Cayenne, red pepper flakes, or diced jalapenos will all do the trick.
- Make it extra herby. Add fresh herbs to the potato salad. Rosemary, chives, and dill are only a few options.
- Use lemon juice instead of red wine vinegar. Both ingredients provide a tart and tangy flavor. Lemon juice is just a bit more citrusy and fresh.
- Give it a sweet-n-tangy finish. Instead of dill pickles, add sweet relish. It’s still delicious but has a somewhat sweeter taste.
What to Serve With Potato Salad
Looking for main courses that pair well with red potato salad? Try some of these:
- Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Chicken
- Mississippi Pot Roast
- Oven-Baked Ribs
- Travis Scott Burger
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
- T-Bone Steak
Make Ahead and Storage
Because this potato salad tastes best cold, it’s a great make-ahead dish. You can make it according to the recipe up to 24 hours before serving it. Just pop it in the fridge to chill.
Hold off on adding the eggs, though. Those taste best if they’re added immediately before serving the potato salad.
If you have leftovers, they can go in the fridge. Place them in an air-tight container, and eat them within 2 days of making the salad.
Be sure to stir the leftovers before serving them. Add a little extra mayo or sour cream to make them creamy again.
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