Southern Potato Salad

What makes a potato salad Southern? Well, this version includes Vidalia onions, Spanish olives, hard-cooked eggs, parsley, and mayo (Duke’s, please!).

A blue bowl filled with Southern potato salad and a wooden spoonful of salad lying beside it.

Some things are sacrosanct. For many of us, that includes our mom’s potato salad. And yet one taste of this compelling potato salad made the Southern way with Vidalias, olives, and Duke’s mayo and you may begin to lose your religion.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Southern Potato Salad

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 6 to 8
Print RecipeBuy the A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen cookbook

Want it? Click it.



In a pot or Dutch oven, bring the potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and enough water to cover to a boil. Cook just until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Place the onion in bottom of a large serving bowl. Top with the warm potatoes and let stand 5 minutes.

Top the potatoes with the olives, eggs, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, and pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt and gently toss until blended, being careful not to break apart the potatoes. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (If the potato salad seems dry when you’re ready to serve, stir in more mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, if you prefer).

Print RecipeBuy the A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This is a lovely potato salad that's easy to make and has the perfect flavor and texture. I served this salad alongside smoked beef ribs and brisket. So I wanted it to be on the cool side. I made it in the morning, refrigerated it, and took it out of the fridge about an hour before serving. I did not need to add more yogurt or mayo. I simple stirred it again.

The way the salad is "built" is very smart and important. The hot potatoes soften the onions in the bowl and reduces their sharpness. Then the rest of the dressing goes on top with no need to get another bowl dirty. I like that.

The only thing I would change is to cut the potatoes a bit smaller next time, around 1/2 inch. This will help to get a better potato to mayo ratio for me. Another idea is to include maybe an additional egg. I like more eggs in my salad. These personal preferences really and not a criticism of the recipe.

This is my new “go to” potato salad recipe. It's easy-peasy—no peeling of potatoes and a nice mild onion flavor created by topping Vidalias with just-cooked potatoes. We liked this dish when it was slightly warm after just being prepared. We liked it right out of the refrigerator. And we still liked it 3 days later as we polished off the last bits of it.

The brininess of the olives is a nice contrast to the creaminess of the mayonnaise and the eggs. After I prepared the recipe, the salad seemed a little dry. Since I really didn’t want to add more mayonnaise and I didn’t have plain Greek yogurt on hand, I added a couple tablespoons sour cream which finished off the dish perfectly.

Have you had food that gave you a sense of nostalgia even though you didn’t grow up eating it? This potato salad was exactly that kind of food for me (my mom’s potato salad didn’t have mustard or Spanish olives). It's all it needs to be—unpretentious, comforting, and delicious.

I like the technique of letting the hot potatoes sit over the chopped onion; I think the heat took the edge off the raw onion a bit. The easy-to-follow recipe yields enough potato salad for 8+ people, especially when it's served with a substantial main dish like barbecued ribs. The leftover portion kept well for a few days in the refrigerator.

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish