How to Make the Best Potato Salad: Easy Recipe
Make it Flavorful!
Fabulous homemade potato salad is the crowning touch at any picnic or barbeque. You can get the compliments of the crowd with this easy recipe. Best of all, you can make it this potato salad fat-free and it is so flavorful, no one will know the difference.
Step by Step PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
7 Secret Tips
- Don't cook the potatoes too long, so they remain firm and not mushy.
- Peel the warm potatoes, dice them and immediately put on a marinade of Italian dressing.
- Try making Nicole's Homemade Italian Dressing using my simple recipe and fresh herbs.
- Chill the mixed potato salad overnight for the best flavor.
- Use more salt, pepper, lemon juice, and/or Italian dressing to add more flavor if you are doing a fat-free version and your final mix seems too bland.
- You can vary the taste by using different types of Italian or French Dressing (I like Newman's Light Balsamic).
- Try adding olives, capers, celery or carrots for a unique twist.
- 6 medium potatoes, or 4 cups boiled, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing, bottled or use Nicole's Homemade Italian Dressing (recipe below)
- 3 eggs, hardboiled, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1/4 cup sweet relish
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise or sour cream, regular, light or fat-free
- 1 tea garlic salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tea pepper, or to taste
- 1 TB lemon juice, or to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup any combination of: olives, chopped celery, capers or grated carrots, optional
- Boil potatoes and eggs: Put potatoes in one pot, and eggs in another. Cover both with water and put at a medium temperature on the stove until boiling. Boil eggs 12 minutes. Take off heat, pour off the hot water. Fill with cold tap water until eggs are cool to touch. Peel eggs and dice with a knife. (See below for step by step photo instructions on preparing eggs and potatoes).
- Boil potatoes 20-30 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily and skin peels back. Pour off hot water and fill the pan with cold tap water until potatoes can be handled. Peel with a knife (skin should come off easily). Dice with the knife and put in a bowl.
- Pour 1/2 cup Italian Salad dressing on warm, diced potatoes, and mix together. Add eggs and mix.
- Add 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup sweet relish, and 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or sour cream).
- Add 1 tea. garlic salt, 1/4 tea. pepper, and 1 TB lemon juice--adjust these ingredients to your taste.
- Optional: add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of any combination of olives, chopped celery, capers or grated carrots.
- Chill before serving. Tastes best if chilled overnight.
Tips for Quicker and Easier Prep
- Boil the potatoes and eggs at the same time.
- Gather your other ingredients while potatoes and eggs are boiling.
- Drain eggs and potatoes, and then cool them with tap water (add ice if you want to), so that peeling is easy.
- Use bottled Italian dressing and sweet relish.
- Buy already chopped onions.
- Mix everything in while potatoes are warm and then set in refrigerator to cool (or, marinate potatoes and eggs in Italian Dressing overnight and add the rest of your ingredients the next day).
Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe
Want a really superior potato salad? Make your own Italian Dressing with fresh herbs.
My mother-in-law, who was French, never used bottled dressings. Instead, she always made her own. She called it "French Dressing" but it is just like what I call Italian or vinaigrette. Especially if you use fresh herbs, there is nothing better. It only takes about 10 minutes to make, so if you really want an impressive potato salad, you might want to whip this up and use it instead of bottled dressing.
Nicole's Homemade Italian Dressing
Place in the bottom of a jar or bottle:
- 1/2 tea. salt.
- 1/8 tea. pepper
- 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice
- 1/2 tea. mustard (dijon is best)
Shake together and add:
- 3/4 cup olive, walnut, or vegetable oil
- 1 TB chopped garlic
Add and Mix:
2 TB chopped fresh or 2 tea. dried herbs such as:
- or Italian herb mix
- or Herbs de Provence (my favorite)
Mix it all up and use in my best potato salad recipe, or on a green salad.