Creamy Potato Salad

Creamy Potato Salad


This potato salad recipe is the one I grew up with. It's simple and easy to make - white potatoes, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, celery, onions, pickles and a few spices.
  • Serves: 8 to 10
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Views: 23,035
  • Success: 95%


Step 1: Preparing the Potatoes

• 3 lb russet potatoes (approx 6 medium)
• salt (1 tsp per L/qt of water)
• 2 tbsp white vinegar


Peel and dice the potatoes into approximately 1" -inch cubes.

Cover the potatoes with cold water and then bring to a gentle boil. Add the salt and then turn the heat down and simmer until tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Just be careful to not over-cook the potatoes or the salad will be mushy.

Once done, drain and place the potatoes into a large, wide bowl. Sprinkle the potatoes with the white vinegar and gently toss. Let cool completely.

Step 2: Preparing the Vegetables

• 2 large eggs (optional)
• 3/4 cup celery (about 2 ribs)
• 1/2 cup white onion
• 1 to 2 pickles (optional, to taste)


Hard boil the eggs if adding them. Once cooked, cool completely. Roughly chop and set aside for later.

Finely chop the celery, onion and pickle(s) and set aside.

Step 3: Gathering the Remaining Ingredients

• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 3 tbsp prepared mustard
• 1/2 cup buttermilk (optional)
• 1 tsp celery seeds


Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard and celery seeds.

I like a creamy-textured potato salad, so I add a bit of buttermilk to the mayo-mustard mixture; however, this is optional.

Step 4: Assembling the Salad

• kosher salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


For food safety reasons, it is very important that the potatoes are completely cool before mixing the salad with the mayonnaise mixture.

Add the mayo-mustard mixture to the potatoes, along with the celery, onions and pickles. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Gently fold to combine and then taste for seasoning. Add more pepper and salt as needed.

Step 5: Adding the Eggs


Next, gently fold in the eggs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

You can finish the salad and serve immediately, but it’s best to let it chill completely so the flavors have a chance to meld together.

Step 6: Finishing the Salad


To finish the salad, finely chop the green onion and toss to combine. Taste one last time for seasoning. You can even add a few more tablespoons of mayonnaise if you think it seems a bit too dry for your liking.

Note: For food safety reasons this potato salad must stay cold as it contains mayonnaise.

Chef's Notes

I like to make this potato salad the day before serving. I think it gets better as time goes on. Sometimes I also like to add a bit of horseradish to the mayo-mustard mixture…just for a little extra kick!


  • Julie N
    Julie N
    And taught to me by my grandmother: roast red peppers, marinated and all; roast favorite potato combine. By roast, I mean on the grill. Done.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    That sounds good Julie, after you combine the peppers and the potatoes do you add some sort of vinaigrette or just use the marinade from the peppers? I like the simplicity of it - sounds delicious! Could I just use these Red Peppers and combine them with the potatoes? Cheers
  • Julie N
    Julie N
    I should have been more clear this morning; use just the marinate from the peppers and yes you may use that Red Pepper recipe. Olive oil, a lovely vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, combined with the roasted peppers added to the roasted potato are just simply delicious. My suggestion is to combine when the potato is still warm, it absorbs the marinade more readily. Nanny knew best, truly.
  • Annette B
    Annette B
    This sounds a lot like my Mom used to make. She used both sweet and dill pickles, what kind are you referring to?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I used dill pickles, but either or even a combo of both dill and sweet pickles would be nice.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    We have many types of mustards here in Canada as well, but for this recipe we are specifically referring to the yellow (mellow) 'American' mustard. Here we have a popular brand called 'French's'. Cheers!
  • Marshann C
    Marshann C
    In step 2, is the reference to white onion the same as a basic yellow onion? Or is it the same as the green onion referred to in step 6? If it is the green onion, do you use only the green part or also the white part? Yeah, I know, probably pretty basic, but that's why I'm here. :-)
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You can use either white or yellow onion. White onions tend to be a bit less pungent but like I said either one will work. Hope this helps!
  • Cheryl P
    Cheryl P
    I like to use red onion in my salads and I also use dill relish,that saves me one chopping step.I think it is just Yummy. Also I most always use crisp fried bacon broken into small pieces to my potato salad.
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    I just made this and a few issues. I opted to add the buttermilk but added nowhere near enough since the result was still a very dry potato salad. Adding more afterward wasn't ideal as the potatoes stop looking like potato pieces and more like mashed potatoes with each toss or fold. I would have like a more specific amount stated in the recipe instead of 'a little bit' so as to avoid over tossing this salad. Anyway, I added more buttermilk and tossed - still dry so added more mayo and tossed - still dry! And,,, why Russets? Seems like these potatoes are less likely to hold together through tossing and folding than other types even with cooking for only 7 minutes. They are also fairly bland IMO. The celery, onion, & pickles - I assume they are added with the mayo mixture? Or is it with the eggs, because it doesn't say anywhere in the recipe when to add them . So I added them AFTER the mayo but before the eggs because I realized after tossing the potatoes with the mayo that the celery, onions and pickles still needed to go in. I wanted the eggs to go in last and alone so they wouldn't get too broken up. They did stay reasonably intact but with the extra tossings the salad has less intact potato pieces than I would have liked. So it's all done and in the fridge now but still quite dry. I decided to stop anyway, because to continue would have led to a very mushy salad. Overall I have had great success with Rouxbe recipes but I'm not so sure I would say this one turned out for me.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Potato salad seems to be a rather personal thing. I know many people have very different recipes that they use and like. This one is a very similar to my mothers recipe, which I quite like. Perhaps this one is just not for you. As for your "few issues" let me see if I can help you out with any of them. Lets start with the potatoes. You could certainly try using a different potato, but I have always used russets when making this potato salad and everyone seems to really like them. Steaming the potatoes seems to help the potatoes to keep their shape. Also, make sure that the potatoes are not overcooked otherwise this can lead to mushy potato salad. As for "exact measurements" for the buttermilk, it is hard to give exact measurements in most things in cooking as there rarely is a time when things or ingredients don't vary in some way. Your potatoes could have been bigger, drier, wetter. The mayonnaise could have been thicker, thinner, more tart, less tart etc. etc. etc. As for when to add the pickles, celery and onions, the picture in Step 4 does show it; however, the text was missing (sorry about that) it was an oversight and that has since been added to the recipe. Cheers!
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    I tasted the salad this morning and it is quite delicious and much better tasting than yesterday. I do understand about the amount for buttermilk and why it would be difficult to give a more precise amount. I am not that intuitive I suppose but was afraid to use too much in case the result was watery instead of creamy. Next time I will be on top of it though. I think the potato issue arose because when I took them off, they were still firm but by the time they cooled they weren't. So obviously some cooking continues until they are cool. Same thing though - next time I will know and take them off even sooner. Thanks for the speedy response Dawn!
  • Carol K
    Carol K
    Hi there, I tried this recipe for the first time yesterday for a big Independence Day party. Despite my initial panic about having overcooked the spuds, it came out pretty well (not as overcooked as I first thought). My mom also used to make her potato salad just like this--I love the mayo-mustard combo. I am curious, though, about the addition of vinegar to the potatoes before cooling them. Does this serve a specific purpose or is it just for flavor? Thanks for the recipe!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Some say that adding the vinegar will help to keep the potatoes nice and white (especially if added while they are cooking): however, in this case, the vinegar is mainly just added for flavor. It is added while the potatoes are warm so that it will soak in nicely. Cheers!
  • Cami B
    Cami B
    Am eating as I type, this is terrific! I used the President's Choice yellow baby potatoes in a bag, very convenient because they are already washed and don't need to be peeled. Used dijon mustard and celery salt (no celery seeds in house). And used almost the full amount of the mayo, and added a bit of sour cream. Pretty flexible recipe and really tasty. Also loved the bacon bit suggestion!!

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