People take their potato salad very seriously here in the south. I learned that quickly after moving to southern Louisiana from northern Michigan (I know, right?). I was never a fan of potato salad in my youth but after living in here for nine years, I not only love it but I crave it often. And boy, was I craving some potato salad this week! I made a lighter fresher tasting version of potato salad for the blog last summer but today I wanted the real stuff. Heavy, creamy, tangy, no holds barred Southern Style Potato Salad.
Originally posted 3/12/2010 updated 6/27/2017
Old-Fashioned Southern Style Potato Salad
What is “Southern Style” Potato Salad?
Southern Style Potato Salad has a creamy and tangy dressing that has both mayonnaise and mustard, plus plenty of texture from the finely diced celery and sweet relish. I do like my potato salad with slightly less dressing, rather than super goopy, so if you like yours more “wet” you may want to make more dressing.
What Kind of Potatoes are Best for Potato Salad?
You want the potatoes in your potato salad to hold their shape and not break down into a mashed potato-like mush, so make sure to choose a waxier variety of potato, like Yukon Gold, or red potatoes.
How Long Does Potato Salad Stay Good?
This is kind of a large batch, so make sure to store your leftovers properly. Refrigerate your potato salad as soon after making it as possible. It should stay good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. If you can not finish a full 8-cup batch within that amount of time, consider making a half batch. Simply change the number of servings in the recipe below and all the ingredient amounts will adjust accordingly.
Southern Style Potato Salad
- 3 lbs yukon gold potatoes ($3.00)
- 1 tsp. salt ($0.05)
- 2 large eggs ($0.54)
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.99)
- 2 green onions ($0.28)
- 1-2 stalks celery (1 cup chopped) ($0.16)
- 1 Tbsp sweet relish ($0.06)
- 1 Tbsp mustard ($0.06)
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.10)
- Freshly cracked pepper to taste ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp Tony Caschere’s seasoning salt ($0.05)
- Peel, wash, and cut your potatoes into one inch cubes. Place them in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tsp of salt to the water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes until they are tender (about ten minutes). Test the doneness by piercing the potatoes with a fork, then drain them in a colander and let them cool.
- While the potatoes are boiling, begin to hard boil the eggs. Place the eggs in a small pot and cover them with cold water, then bring the pot to a boil over high heat. If your eggs were cold (just out of the fridge), let them remain boiling for one minute before turning off the heat. If they were room temperature, turn the heat off as soon as it reaches a rolling boil. After turning off the heat, cover the pot with a lid. Let the eggs sit for exactly 15 minutes (use a timer), carefully pour out the hot water and run cool water into the pot to stop the cooking process. Adding a few ice cubes doesn't hurt either. If you don't replace the hot water with cool water the eggs will continue to cook and your yolks risk turning green.
- Rinse and finely dice the celery, and slice the green onions.
- To make the dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, relish, and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Add a 1/2 tsp Tony’s or seasoning salt, mix and taste test for more. You want the dressing heavily seasoned because it will taste diluted once mixed with the potatoes.
- Peel and dice the hard boiled eggs. Add the cooked and cooled potatoes to a large bowl along with the diced celery, sliced green onion, diced eggs, and dressing. Stir until everything is combined and coated in the dressing. If you prefer a softer, less chunky potato salad, mash the potatoes slightly.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!
How to Make Southern Potato Salad – Step By Step Photos
Peel and cube 3 lbs. of potatoes. Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot and cover with cool water. Add 1 tsp salt to the water. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes until tender (about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes), then drain in them in a colander and allow them to cool. Make sure the potatoes are completely tender before draining. Use a fork to pierce one of the larger pieces to test the doneness.
While the potatoes are cooking, hard boil the eggs. Add your eggs to a small pot (I cooked extra just to have on hand) and cover with cool water. Bring the pot up to a boil and then let the eggs boil for one minute before turning off the heat. Let the eggs sit in the hot water with a lid on top and the heat turned off for exactly 15 minutes, then carefully pour out the hot water and run cold water over the eggs to stop the cooking process. Once cool enough to handle, peel the eggs and dice them.
Make the dressing for the potato salad by combining 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp mustard, 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp sweet relish, 1/2 tsp Tony Cachere’s or your favorite seasoning salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Whisk the ingredients together, taste, and add more seasoning salt if desired. Remember, you want the dressing to be heavily seasoned because the flavor will be diluted once mixed with the potatoes.
Place the cooked and cooled potatoes in a large bowl along with the diced celery, sliced green onion, and diced eggs.
Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl and then stir until everything is combined and coated in dressing. To make the Southern Style Potato Salad slightly less chunky, mash the potatoes as you stir.