Picnic Potato Salad

$5.93 recipe / $0.74 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
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This recipe is a hybrid recipe from both Whole Foods Market and Epicurious. I like this version of potato salad because it tastes much lighter due to the use of sour cream in the dressing. Don’t get me wrong, I love a spicy mustard/mayo potato salad (and I will, without doubt, post a recipe for one some day) but this time I was in the mood for something light and refreshing. This salad definitely hit the spot!

Picnic Potato Salad

Potato salad in a white bowl, overhead view, garnished with parsley.

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Total Recipe cost: $5.93
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Cost per serving: $0.74
Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 12 min. Total: 27 min.

3.5 lbssmall red potatoes$3.27
8 oz.light sour cream$1.12
1/2 cuplight mayonnaise$0.64
1/4 bunchfresh parsley, chopped$0.17
1/4 bunchgreen onions, chopped$0.29
2 ribscelery, chopped$0.34
1/2 tsplemon juice$0.05
to tastesalt and fresh cracked pepper$0.05
TOTAL $5.93

STEP 1: Thoroughly wash the potatoes and cut them into one inch cubes. Make sure the cubes are as uniform in size as possible to assure they cook at the same rate (you don’t want some large hard pieces and some small pieces that turn to mush).

STEP 2: Fill a large pot half way with water and add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice. Bring the liquid to a boil then add the potatoes (be careful! you will get burned if it splashes up at you). Set a timer for ten minutes then test the potatoes by piercing one with a fork. You want the fork to slide in easily but the potato chunk should not crumble. If they are still stiff, let them boil longer, checking their consistency at one minute intervals.

STEP 3: Drain the potatoes then spread them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer to cool.

STEP 4: While the potatoes are cooling, clean and finely chop the celery, parsley and green onions. Place all of the chopped vegetables in a bowl. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Stir well, then taste test. Remember, the mixture will be mellowed out by the starchy potatoes after they are mixed. If you like a more vibrant flavor, try adding a little bit of lemon juice (1 tsp or so). You can also add a kick with a few drops of hot sauce.

STEP 5: Once the potatoes have cooled, add them to the vegetable and dressing mixture. Stir well, slightly mashing about 1/3 of the potatoes. I found that my hands worked best for this step. I stirred and “squeezed” to mash ’em up (this was fun!).

STEP 6: Chill the mixture for at least half an hour or until it is chilled through and the flavors have mixed. Enjoy!

Side view of a bowl full of picnic potato salad, garnished with parsley, window in the background.

NOTE: I used light sour cream and light mayonnaise because, personally, I don’t find the flavor that compromising and I really don’t think anyone needs that much saturated fat in their lives (so there!). I would not, however, try this recipe with fat free dairy products. Once all of the fat is removed the flavor and texture are changed dramatically!

There are so many different potato salad recipes out there, so many different vegetables, additives and dressings. Share your favorite by posting a comment so that I can give it a try!

I am eating the Picnic Potato Salad this week as a side!

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  1. Great Recipe, even a friend that doesn’t like potato salad loved it. The only thing I changed was added a lot more lemon juice. Perfect summer snack!