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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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110 thoughts on “Southern Potato Salad”

  1. The taste of commerically produced pickle relish puts me off. There is a chemical element that I do not like. Instead, I use homemade sweet pickles–a Southern staple. The spices used in the pickles add a subtle flavor to the potato salad.

  2. this southern Potato salad recipe is so yummy, I make it alot, and people love it. I do add extra mayo, and mustard..5 stars

  3. Kathy Pechavar

    I think this is delicious. The dressing part is so good. I did put my potato’s in warm and that lets some mash up. Great consistency. I also stuffed some egg whites with the potato salad. My husband thought they were wonderful.

  4. Dave Cearley

    I make one minor change for personal preference. I use Kraft India Relish instead of sweet relish. Sweet relish is overkill.

  5. Jeanne Lawson

    I haven’t made the recipe yet but I am a fan of Duke’s mayo. I discovered it when I lived in Tennessee. When we moved to Maine I realized they don’t sell it locally so I have been able to order it online at Walmart.com or directly from Duke’s. My mother-in-law made her potato salad like yours so to keep my husband smiling I adopted her recipe. Very similar to yours but she added red pimento peppers.

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

  7. 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!

  8. Loren Mccune

    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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. Margaret Smith

    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.

  14. 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 🙂

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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