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Southern Potato Salad

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

What Is Southern-Style 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. Everyone has their own way of making Southern-Style Potato Salad, but they are usually very creamy, heavy on the mayo, with a little mustard. They also typically contain hard-boiled egg, pickle relish (typically sweet), and paprika sprinkled on top.

Another great southern-style potato salad to try is this Southern Mustard Potato Salad.

Southern Potato Salad

What Are The Best Potatoes To Use?

I most like to use Russett Potatoes. They get kind of crumbly and I love the creamy texture of a potatp salad made with russetts. Yukon Gold or red potatoes can be used instead but the texture will be different.

I start my 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 recipe.

Recipe Tip

Be sure to drain the potatoes really well before adding them to the other ingredients.

How Far In Advance Can It Be Made?

Potato salad is a recipe that is best made in advance. The flavor gets better with time. I recommend making it at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours in advance.


Will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days.

Southern Potato Salad

What To Serve Potato Salad With?

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

Southern Potato Salad

Southern Potato Salad

Southern Potato Salad is super creamy with a blend of mayonnaise and mustard, hard-boiled eggs, sweet onion, sweet pickle relish, and celery.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes


  • 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.
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: potato salad

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113 thoughts on “Southern Potato Salad”

  1. Monica Jones

    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 😄

  2. 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.

  3. 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😊

  4. 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!

  5. Layton Veira

    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?

  6. 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!

  7. ronald brown

    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

  8. 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. Geraldine Williams

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

        1. Carol Schnell

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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:)

  11. Braxton Greer

    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

  12. 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. Carroll Thompson

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

  13. 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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  15. Anthony Hall

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

  16. Mike Egleston

    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 !

  17. Yvonne Manley

    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!!

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