Southern Potato Salad

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Southern Potato Salad is super creamy with a blend of mayonnaise and mustard, hard-boiled eggs, sweet onion, sweet pickle relish, and celery. It is a potluck must and the only recipe for potato salad you need.

Southern Potato Salad


There’s nothing like a bowl of good old-fashioned southern Potato Salad. A go to potato salad recipe is something everyone needs to have on hand.


Southern Potato Salad


I start my Southern Potato Salad with regular russet potatoes. I cut any large ones in half so that they cook faster and I don’t bother peeling them until they’re done cooking. Then it’s really easy to scrape the skin off with a knife.

Southern Potato Salad


For the dressing, I start with lots of mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s mayonnaise. Plus a good amount of yellow mustard. It really perks up the flavor. I also add a splash of apple cider vinegar which helps accentuate the flavors.

Southern Potato Salad


Lots of hard-boiled eggs, some celery for crunch, sweet onions, sweet pickle relish, a little onion powder, and a few teaspoons of sugar. I like to finish it off by sprinkling some paprika on top.

Wrap it in some plastic wrap and let it chill at least a few hours. Then you’re ready to grill some burgers or bbq chicken to go with this yummy Southern Potato Salad.

Southern Potato Salad
Watch the short video below to see how to make Southern Potato Salad.

Southern Potato Salad

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Southern Potato Salad is super creamy with a blend of mayonnaise and mustard, hard-boiled eggs, sweet onion, sweet pickle relish, and celery.
Print Recipe


  • 3 pounds medium russet potatoes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, 3 chopped and 1 sliced
  • paprika


  • Cut each potato in half. Place in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer until fork tender all the way through, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Let cool and then peel and discard the skins.
  • Place potatoes in a large bowl. Run a knife through them until they are cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and onion powder. Pour over potatoes and mix in well. 
  • Add relish, celery, onion, and the chopped eggs. Mix in.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with sliced egg and sprinkle with paprika. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

More Potato Salad Recipes

Jalapeno Popper Potato Salad

Jalapeno Popper Potato Salad

Loaded Ranch Potato Salad with Bacon

Loaded Ranch Potato Salad

 Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

80 thoughts on “Southern Potato Salad

  1. Cooked this for my family they loved it! We are a southern food highly critical family and this potato salad received high praise.

  2. This is the best potato salad I ever made! It reminds me very much of my mom’s potato salad, which she made without a recipe. I made this according to recipe, but halved it since there are only two of us. Now I wish I’d made the whole recipe to have leftovers for a few more days, especially since it improves with time in the fridge. Thanks for this, Christin. It’s sure to continue to be a favorite for a long time to come!

  3. I found this some time ago and have prepared it several times. This week was the first time my daughter’s family had tried it. They all loved it and my son-in-law was distraught when he learned I had eaten the left-over salad. So he requested it again. It’s in the fridge now.
    I made no changes worth mentioning as this very much resembles the potato salad of my youth.

  4. Thank you for this recipe. I just made it and had more than a couple of bites before putting it in the fridge to chill. This was so delicious! I was low on Russet potatoes so my only substitution was using 2 Russet potatoes and 2 sweet potatoes. SO GOOD! Thanks again!

  5. I haven’t prepared side dishes for nearly 15 years since my husband took over the kitchen 😉. This Memorial Day I decided to cook. It’s been a while and searching the web for recipes instead of trying to remember my mom’s recipes or botch up our meal was my solution. There are a variety of recipes to choose from. When I perused the ingredients to your recipe, I knew right away this was the one. It’s just how I remembered my moms, except we substitute the mayo with Miracle Whip. Thank you for sharing! My mom told me the secret was the paprika and garnishish with the sliced egg. She felt presentation was also important.

  6. Excellent recipe to start; I watched my mom make potato salad for years and from that I had my own “undocumented” version. Found this one to be very similar. The tweaks I make:

    1. When cooking the potatoes toss in the top of the celery stalk and a piece of onion; toss it out when potatoes are done.
    2. I add chopped red bell pepper and carrots to the onion and celery. I add a pat of butter to a pan and cook the vegetables until they just start to soften on medium heat. Pour on top of the potatoes and let that cool .
    3. I start with 2 tbsp of mustard, taste as I go to customize the to my audience, I add more a tbsp at a time, not to exceed the 1/4 cup.
    4. I reduce the sugar to 1 tsp (unless I add the full 1/4 cup of mustard).
    5. I add 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper to the “dressing”. Again, more or less depending on my audience’s taste for a bit of spice.
    6. 2 tbsp chopped green onion tops. I sprinkle on the top before adding the “smoked paprika”.
    7. I love to use vidalia onion.

  7. I’ve been making potato salad over 40 and this is the best recipe ever. Thank you for sharing. The ratio of ingredients is perfect!

  8. I made this potato salad because it reminded me of a salad my sister in- law use to make. When I made I left out the pickles and it was exactly like hers. This was wonderful, because my sister-in-law pasted away a couple of years ago and this was one of the recipes I didn’t get from her, but the family loves. We now all have a copy of the recipes.

  9. This was the first time I have made potato salad this way and with sweet relish. Was a little hesitant as my family is so so picky! But alas!!! It was a HUGE HIT! They said it was the best potato salad I have ever made 🙂

  10. I just made this today. So far I think it tastes great but we will see when my family tries it who btw has southern roots. Lol

  11. Great recipe! I am making it a second time and had many compliments the first. The only thing I don’t like is how I have to scroll through all the commentary at the top and have a video trying to pop up every time I look it up to check ingredients, etc. can you add a “jump to recipe” feature? I will probably refer back tot his one many times.

  12. I made this today for a 4th of July picnic and it was eaten up in less than 30 mins!! Two ladies asked for the recipe! Thank you, it’s so delicious, I’m almost sad there’s none to take home …almost 😄

  13. Great recipe but do NOT try to visit this site on an android or apple device because of all of the constant ads and videos popping up. Its bad enough on a pc but on a device as I stated above its to much if a head ache. Im a 35 year pc tech.

  14. Made your recipe. Using apple cider vinegar and Five hard boiled eggs as we love eggs. I’ve never made sweet potato salad before, so this was new for me. My kids love it. Really nice comfort food. Good flavor. I’ll definitely make it again. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Peggy, what makes this Sweet is the sugar and relish. You use regular white Russet Potatoes. Hope’s this helps😊

  15. I just finished making this for my mom, sisters, brother-in-law and family. It is great. Like all potato salad, I can’t wait until tomorrow when it is chilled and ready to eat. Thanks!

  16. I give this recipe 5 stars because it’s a very good base!!! I followed recipe exactly and it was delicious. Hubby wanted me to throw in some bacon and it was amazing! Because bacon makes everything taste better. thanks for the recipe!!! Definitely a keeper

      1. I have made this many times. Russets are good in this, but I prefer firmer potatoes like Reds or Gold.
        My favorite potato salad recipe.

    1. Quick question:
      The recipe says 8 servings. Can you tell me what amount constitutes a portion size per person? I’m trying to batch it up for a crowd. Thank you in advance?

  17. I remember my momma would make it basically the same except: she would substitute with green onions and are you ready for this …black olives! She would throw a can (or two) of drained, jumbo whole, black pitted olives in the salad. The olives mildly and delightfully accented the overall taste and caused havoc among siblings fighting for the olives!

  18. hi. russet potatoes for this recipe. I was always told waxy potatoes for salad. Yours looks and sounds great. Want to try this weekend. Thanks

  19. Looks fabulous. One thing I grew up with in my mom’s potato salad was radishs! They give it a nice color and extra crunch! I always use them in mine!

      1. Chop the radishes, but slice some up to lay on top with a couple sliced eggs. Then sprinkle with paprika.

        1. I also add chopped radishes to mine. I hate radishes, but they they add a great taste to potato salad.

  20. I had not seen sweet relish used in potato salad, but in the past, I had diced up whole dill pickles. When at the store, side by side were the sweet pickle relish and dill pickle relish. I chose the dill and like the result. I also substituted white wine vinegar for the apple cider vinegar.

  21. I made this because I was hungry for picnic food. The best potato salad I’ve ever made. Had it with some fried chicken. Thanks for sharing 👍

        1. Celery is more for the texture. Celery seed has the real flavor. So maybe a cup of finely chopped celery. I cook for 10 so I start wit a 10 lbs of potatoes.

          1. Hi! I use sweet jerkins in a food processor then squeeze out all the liquid instead of relish. I also use a 1/4 cup green olives in the food processor the same way. Green olives contrasts the sweet pickle:)

  22. Made this a few weeks ago for a party. Thankfully the party was held at my house so I got to keep the leftovers! This was fantastic. Thanks

  23. Tip for eaters that “claim” not to like eggs in their potato salad. Put boiled eggs in plastic bag or baggy and mash until mushy (no chunks). They blend well with the yellow mustard color! I’ve been cooking for over 50 years and my family members and friends still don’t know they are eating eggs! Nice to be able to sit back and watch them enjoy eating, knowing what I know. I’ve been saying for years that “one day I will let them know.”

          1. Hell, we all die. I prefer this happens on a full stomach of southern style potato salad.

  24. I made a few alterations thanks to my Great Great Grandmother

    First, no celery. Not everyone like celery. Next finely dice 1/2 of a yellow onion

    The key is the sauce. Peel the eggs and separate the yokes. Component all the ingredients for the sauce then fold in the eggs yokes. You will need to add additional mayo and apple cider vinegar to taste. Add dry spices to the dice and mix thoroughly.

    Combine the ingredients adding the sauce last and attaining a nice creamy consistency.

    One other HUGE point. Never use Miracle Whip

    Cover and place in refrigerator so the flavors mix. It is best to let it set overnight

    This has been a family staple for 5 generations in my family. Three back and 2 forward

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  26. Made it and it tastes great now…..cant wait until tomorrow when I add bacon and some spice to my own small container……lol.

  27. Thanks Christin for this excellent recipe ! I have been making close to this for years, but I needed you to quantify the amounts to 2x,3x,and 4x which makes things so much easier when planning for different size gatherings. When I was a little kid, I used to sit on my stool in my momma’s kitchen on rainy days, when I couldn’t go outside and play football, baseball, etc.. Those were the days that I received my first cooking lessons, but I just didn’t know it at the time. Mom had a few little quirks that I still do today, like always putting the salt and pepper on the potatoes before mixing in the remaining ingredients. She believes that it allowed the spices to work into a somewhat bland canvas like a potato, before covering it up with the mayo and preventing them from doing their work. I still do the same today, and I am not sure it really makes a difference, but I know that I really like it when made that way. Your recipe is the best potato salad recipe that I have ever tasted…period. One of the things I enjoy about this recipe so much, is that you can do so many variations if you choose. My mother’s favorite version was using sliced, green, olives and another was with skin-on red apples (very tasty). I have added all or some of bacon,fresh dill, cayenne,black olives, grated carrots, sweet chutney, grated tamarinds, allspice, all three colors of bell peppers,raisins of any color, walnuts, pine nuts,pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds (all unsalted). When you have such an excellent base as your recipe( and I cringe at calling it a base recipe, it is just too good to call it that), it is endless what you can do if you like to experiment. Thank you again for sharing this wonderful recipe with us !

  28. Almost an exact recipe that I got from my Uncle Bill 15 years ago & he’s a phenomenal cook!! Except I grate my sweet onion because we don’t care for chunks of raw onion. Even better the second & third day if it lasts that long! I also add a bit more sugar bc that’s a lot acid to offset. A good hint to make the salad dressing smooth: I remove the egg yolk as if making deviled eggs, then I mash well w/a fork & add in the mustard slowly to make a smooth paste. Then once I’ve got it as smooth as I want, I add the rest of the ingredients in & add to my hot potatoes. I also have my dressing made BEFORE I even boil my potatoes so I can mix it immediately. I also add a lot of salt to the potatoes boiling water so they’re not bland. Now I’ve got to go make some!!

  29. Cut potatoes small pieces, I never measure but put my dukes mayonnaise, small amount mustard, add pickle juice and sweet cubes, I cut 3 boiled eggs and stir.. I can not eat chunky potato salad.. salt pepper to taste. Everyone says award winning, I always have to make for gatherings. The key is the sweet pickle cubes and lots of juice from the pickles.

  30. This is the best potato salad I have ever tasted. My husband was really impressed and asked that I make it often. I have tried various recipes in the past but this is superior.

  31. Thanks for having this available i had to make potato salad for 50+ people so i used two 5lb bags of potatoes! Overall but following the ingredients needed and tasting prior to mixing it was a huge hit!

  32. Great recipe, I never knew the measurements when I was taught how to make potatoe salad so I’ll hold on to this version. I would add dill weed, omit the pepper or use white. My mom also never used vinegar or onion powder but I found the taste to be just as I remembered from childhood. I use a spatula to mix and I also use red potatoes and I don’t get the mashed potatoes effect.

  33. This came out delicious. The only change is I didn’t include celery because I didn’t have any, I garnished with smoked paprika and bacon. The flavor reminds me of my friend’s potatoe salad, she’s originally from Virginia. Thanks so much!!!!

  34. I typically hate potato salad with a passion….more a texture thing than taste. I made this recipe for my son who requested potato salad be on the meal plan for this week. In place of pickle relish I used zucchini relish instead…yum yum. Thankyou for an inspiring recipe, my son loved it

    1. I’m going to make this for the 4th of July celebration & plan on using my home canned zucchini relish. Thanks for the heads up it should be just as fantastic!

  35. I am not good in the kitchen but made this for a potluck this weekend. Best I ever had!!! Lots of compliments and sent them to your link. When the potatoes were done cooking I put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar on the potatoes and mixed it in. I added the dressing when the potatoes were still warm so it would soak through the potatoes. I peeled and cut my potatoes in cubes before I cooked them instead. Great recipe thanks!!!

  36. Thank you so much Christ in for this easy and delicious potato salad. It reminds me a lot of my mother’s potatoes minus the celery. I have been trying yes to get it like hers. She tries to show but she cooks without measuring. She’s a really great cook, but I’m not so much. But your recipe has help me to get it as good as her. Keep the good and simple recipes coming!!!!Your a great cook!!

  37. I made this potato salad ,and we all loved it . I added a little bit of bacon , you no everything taste good with bacon. Thanks for the recipe

  38. I peel and cut my potatoes, cook them and then cool before mixing in the wet ingredients. This way they stay whole and do not get mushy. It’ way easier cutting them into the size you want before cooking.

  39. I don’t peel my potatoes but I don’t use russets either. I use red potatoes. Russets get too mushy and are too starchy. The rest of the recipe is what I use.

    1. Yukon gold potatoes are excellent for this bc they hold their shape but have a great buttery flavor. Also, the skins are thin enough that as long you scrub them, you don’t necessarily need to peel them but I do prefer them peeled myself. Happy cooking

  40. I love freshly made potato salad, still warm from the potatoes. Tastes so much better before it gets refrigerated.

  41. I’ve used this recipe several times for family get togethers and everyone loves it! Thank you for sharing!

  42. I peel and cube my potatoes first, keeps them firmer when you get ready to mix everything instead of having something like mashed potatoes with all the stuff in it.

  43. This basically the recipe I learned from my Mom and her Mom many years ago. Back in the early 60’s. However we never put sugar, vinegar, onion powder or sweet pickles in our salad. We would finely chop a whole small to medium onion and at least one large dill pickle for ours. We also used a half dozen hard boiled eggs. Four to dice to go in the salad and two for decoration on top. Sometimes the celery was added and sometimes not. While the salad can be eaten right away it’s so much better when it’s left covered in the fridge at least 4 hours. We usually made it the day before.

    1. Yes me either my mom and grandma never put onion powder or vinegar they would put sweet relish and mustard etc

    2. Read about the Author of this recipe. She enjoys trying new things and experimenting. That’s an awesome trait to have as recipes are forever changing. We can’t be stuck back in Plantation Platter days.

      1. Plantation Platter days are very often better than the gruel that is offered up these days pretending to be food.

          1. Pretty much same Southern recipe I always knew, except no vinegar, onion salt, or sugar.
            We do sometimes add a little chopped bell
            pepper and pimento, for color. It’s good any
            time, even breakfast!

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