American Potato Salad Recipe - Ingredients & Instructions | USA

American Potato Salad

American Potato Salad Recipe - Ingredients & Instructions | USA
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 8


American Potato Salad
American Potato Salad

American Potato Salad is a classic dish that has graced picnic tables and family gatherings for generations. This beloved recipe combines tender potatoes with a creamy dressing and a mix of crunchy vegetables, creating a balance of flavors and textures that's hard to resist. Whether it's a summer barbecue, a potluck dinner, or a cozy family meal, American Potato Salad is a versatile side dish that complements a wide range of main courses.


The origins of American Potato Salad can be traced back to European immigrants who brought their traditional potato salad recipes to the United States. Over time, these recipes evolved, incorporating ingredients readily available in America. The version we know today, with its mayonnaise-based dressing, became popular in the early 20th century. It reflects a blend of culinary traditions and the creativity of home cooks across the country.


How to prepare

  1. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with a generous amount of cold salted water.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 30 minutes or until tender.
  3. Drain and peel the hot potatoes.
  4. Cut into 1 inch cubes.
  5. Mix the vinegar and sugar, then pour over the hot potatoes.
  6. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Set aside for 1 hour.
  8. Toss the celery, green pepper, and celery seeds into the potatoes.
  9. Mix in the mayonnaise.
  10. Correct the seasoning.
  11. Decorate the top with the sliced eggs and sprinkle with the paprika.


  • There are countless ways to customize American Potato Salad. Some popular variations include adding bacon, using different types of mustard in the dressing, or incorporating fresh herbs like dill or parsley for added flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your American Potato Salad turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Choose the right type of potato. Waxy potatoes like red or Yukon Gold hold their shape well after cooking.

- Cut the potatoes into even sizes to ensure uniform cooking.

- Cool the potatoes slightly before adding the dressing to help them absorb the flavors better.

- Adjust the seasoning and dressing according to your taste. The salad should be flavorful but not overly wet.

Serving Suggestions

American Potato Salad is best served chilled or at room temperature. It pairs wonderfully with grilled meats, sandwiches, and other picnic or potluck dishes. For a lighter meal, serve it alongside a green salad and some grilled chicken or fish.

Cooking Techniques

The key cooking technique for American Potato Salad is boiling the potatoes until they are just tender. Avoid overcooking them, as they can become too soft and mushy. Cooling the potatoes before adding the dressing helps to prevent the mayonnaise from becoming too runny.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're looking to make substitutions, consider using Greek yogurt or sour cream in place of some or all of the mayonnaise for a tangier, lower-fat dressing. For a different flavor profile, try using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.

Make Ahead Tips

American Potato Salad can be made up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. In fact, letting it sit allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the overall taste. Just be sure to give it a good stir before serving.

Presentation Ideas

To make your American Potato Salad stand out, garnish it with additional sliced hard-boiled eggs, a sprinkle of paprika, and some fresh parsley or chives. Serving it in a colorful bowl can also make it more visually appealing.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs beautifully with barbecue ribs, fried chicken, or any grilled meat. It also goes well with vegetarian options like grilled portobello mushrooms or veggie burgers.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. American Potato Salad is best enjoyed cold or at room temperature, so reheating is not necessary.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of American Potato Salad contains approximately 250 calories. The majority of these calories come from the carbohydrates in the potatoes and the fats in the mayonnaise.


A serving of American Potato Salad contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of these carbohydrates is the potatoes, which are a good source of energy. The sugar added to the dressing contributes a small amount of simple carbohydrates.


The mayonnaise in the recipe contributes to the fat content, with a serving of American Potato Salad containing about 15 grams of fat. While mayonnaise does contain some saturated fats, you can opt for a low-fat or olive oil-based mayonnaise to reduce the overall fat content.


American Potato Salad provides a modest amount of protein, with about 4 grams per serving. The hard-boiled eggs are the primary source of protein in this dish, making it a more satisfying side dish.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C from the potatoes and green peppers, and potassium, which is important for heart health. The celery and onions also contribute valuable nutrients, including Vitamin K and folate.


The main allergens to be aware of in American Potato Salad are eggs and mayonnaise, which can contain eggs. Those with egg allergies should look for egg-free mayonnaise alternatives.


Overall, American Potato Salad is a relatively balanced dish, providing carbohydrates for energy, fats for satiety, and a range of vitamins and minerals. However, it should be enjoyed in moderation due to its calorie and fat content.


American Potato Salad is a timeless dish that combines simple ingredients into a flavorful and satisfying side. With its creamy dressing, tender potatoes, and crunchy vegetables, it's a versatile recipe that can be adapted to suit any taste. Whether you're serving it at a summer barbecue or as part of a family meal, it's sure to be a hit.

How did I get this recipe?

I vividly recall the moment I first laid eyes on this recipe for American Potato Salad. It was a warm summer afternoon, and I was visiting my dear friend Martha at her home. Martha was a wonderful cook and always had the most delicious dishes to share with her guests. On this particular day, she had prepared a spread of barbecue dishes for a family gathering, and the American Potato Salad caught my eye.

As Martha handed me a generous helping of the salad, she explained how she had learned the recipe from her mother, who had learned it from her mother before her. The salad was a simple yet flavorful combination of potatoes, eggs, mayonnaise, and various seasonings. The creamy texture of the mayonnaise mixed with the tangy flavor of the mustard and vinegar created a perfect balance that complemented the hearty potatoes and eggs.

I savored each bite of the salad, marveling at the way the flavors melded together so harmoniously. As I finished my serving, I knew that I had to learn how to make this dish for myself. Martha graciously agreed to share the recipe with me, and I eagerly took notes as she walked me through the steps.

The first step was to boil the potatoes until they were tender but still firm. Martha explained that this was crucial to ensuring that the potatoes held their shape and didn't turn mushy in the salad. While the potatoes cooked, I hard-boiled the eggs and prepared the dressing by mixing mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Once the potatoes were cooked, I drained them and let them cool before cutting them into bite-sized pieces. I then peeled and diced the eggs and added them to the potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Next, I poured the dressing over the potato and egg mixture, gently stirring to ensure that everything was evenly coated.

As I took my first bite of the homemade American Potato Salad, I was transported back to that warm summer day at Martha's house. The flavors were just as I remembered – creamy, tangy, and oh so satisfying. I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen, a dish that I would proudly serve to my family and friends for years to come.

Over the years, I have made this American Potato Salad countless times, each batch as delicious as the last. I have shared the recipe with my own children and grandchildren, passing down the tradition of this beloved dish from generation to generation. It has become a symbol of family gatherings, summer barbecues, and cherished memories shared around the dining table.

As I sit here now, reflecting on that fateful day at Martha's house, I am filled with gratitude for the simple pleasures of good food and good company. The recipe for American Potato Salad may have come to me from a friend, but it has since become a beloved part of my own culinary repertoire. And for that, I am truly thankful.


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