Easy Potato Salad

This easy potato salad, made with everyday ingredients like potatoes, mayonnaise, hard-boiled eggs, cider vinegar, red onion, and herbs is an easy and classic summer side dish. Great for cookouts, barbecues, picnics, you name it.

A cardboard bowl filled with easy potato salad an a plastic fork resting on top.

The best potato salad recipe means different things to different people. To some, it’s whatever their mom or grandmom made. To those who’ve tasted this easy recipe made with mayo, vinegar, red onion, egg, and herbs, it’s this potato salad. Hands down.

Though it’s not exactly traditional or old-fashioned or even Southern, it’s spectacular. Don’t trust us? Take a look at our recipe testers’ reviews below. You’ll find comments such as “The best I’ve ever had.” “A++” “Beautiful.” “Perfect.” “Easy peasy.” “A great addition at any party.”

But don’t take our word for it. Try this easy and, dare we say, elegant riff on potato salad and experience for yourself why we consider it the best.–David Leite

Potato Salad FAQs

How long can mayonnaise-based potato salad sit out at room temperature?

According to the FDA, no more than 1 to 2 hours at room temperature. Check out this article on how to store salad made with mayo for more tips.

What does the herb ‘savory’ taste like?

Savory is a member of the mint family. It’s an herb with small green leaves. There are two types of savory: summer and winter. The summer version is sweet and spicy, and is lighter in flavor than it’s wintry sibling. Winter savory, on the other hand, boasts holiday-esque flavors, with hints of sage and pine.

What are the best type of potatoes for potato salad?

Stick with waxy potatoes for salad, such as red or new potatoes. They hold their shape the best when boiled. All-purpose potatoes, such as Yukon Gold will also work here, but avoid starchy varieties like Russets.

Easy Potato Salad

A cardboard bowl filled with easy potato salad an a plastic fork resting on top.
This easy potato salad is made with everyday ingredients like potatoes, mayonnaise, hard-boiled eggs, cider vinegar, red onion, and herbs. It is an easy and classic summer side dish that's perfect for cookouts, barbecues, and picnics.
Jacqueline Goossens | Tom Vandenberghe

Prep 20 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs
Total 2 hrs 20 mins
6 servings
276 kcal
5 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the New York Street Food cookbook

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  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped marjoram leaves
  • 1 tablespoon thyme or savory leaves
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup thinly sliced or finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 2 pounds boiled or steamed potatoes peeled if desired, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs chopped (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • In a small bowl, stir together the basil, marjoram, thyme, and mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  • If using the vinegar, in another small bowl, combine the onion and vinegar and let them mingle at room temperature for 15 minutes. Drain the onion.
    If not using the vinegar, continue with the next step and simply use the plain raw onion.
  • In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onion, eggs, if using, salt, and pepper. Add as much of the mayonnaise mixture as desired and gently toss. Serve the potato salad immediately or cover and refrigerate until chilled through, at least 2 hours.
Print RecipeBuy the New York Street Food cookbook

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Potato Salad Variation

Upon first glance, it may appear as though this recipe provides you with a single amazing potato salad. But in actuality, it bestows upon you a blueprint which you can tweak in any of many ways to create an infinite number of potato salad magnificence. So, potato salad lovers, let’s talk stir-ins, shall we? We’ll show you ours if you show us yours.
~ Smidgen finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, dill, or chervil leaves
~ Spoonful coarse-grain mustard
~ Untold amounts of crisp, crumbled bacon
~ Some chopped apple
~ Little pieces of puckery chopped pickles
~ Chopped olives—pitted, natch—of your choice

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 276kcal (14%)Carbohydrates: 28g (9%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 16g (25%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 70mg (23%)Sodium: 149mg (6%)Potassium: 692mg (20%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 2g (2%)Vitamin A: 219IU (4%)Vitamin C: 32mg (39%)Calcium: 43mg (4%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This easy potato salad recipe got an “all hands raised” vote today. Not only does it have that perfect potato salad taste and texture, but it’s pretty to look at sitting in the bowl! The flavors are crisp but mellow, like all great potato salads should be.

This is a three-step, easy-peasy recipe that everyone can make. I added fresh basil, fresh thyme, and oregano (sometimes known as wild marjoram). I did marinate the onion in the cider vinegar. I think this qualifies as a magic, secret ingredient.

All in all, this is an A++ recipe that will be a great addition at any party—dress up or casual.

Potato salad is a standard at our home in the summer, and this one ticks all the boxes for becoming the new favorite. This is an easy, flavorful dish that’s a nice change from regular potato salad. It’s easy to prepare, and with a little planning, is sure to become a favorite in your home, too.

Using the right potatoes is the key to good potato salad. I used new baby reds, both to eliminate the peeling and because they hold their shape well after boiling.

While it’s nice to make homemade mayonnaise, this recipe worked just as well with store-bought mayonnaise.

I used basil, dill, oregano, and parsley as the herbs for my salad. (I was unable to find marjoram in any of the stores or markets I went to.) I used a large red onion, as our family is partial to the flavor of onion in salads, and I marinated it in the cider vinegar.

I popped the raw eggs into the pot of boiling potatoes for the last 5 or 6 minutes to save dirtying another pot. I drained the potatoes and let the eggs rest until they were cool enough to peel and they were perfectly hard-boiled. The planning comes in now, as the herb and mayonnaise blend rests in the fridge for a couple hours to blend the flavors. This is a step you really don’t want to miss, as the herbs infuse the mayonnaise and really enhance the finished dish. Chill it for as long as you can, even if you don’t have the 2 hours suggested.

We were invited to a BBQ with extended family, so I doubled the recipe quite easily. Since I was taking the salad with us and it would be some time before serving. I chose to loosen the dressing with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar that I marinated the onion in so it wouldn’t become too thick.

The additions you like to put in your potato salad are a matter of personal taste. One of my testers missed the diced pickle I usually add. Another thought that the potato salad could have used a little more salt—but that it was the perfect side dish if a salty meat was being served. That said, everyone liked it enough that there wasn’t any left at the end of the meal.

I just made this potato salad for a Labor Day cookout and it was the best I’ve ever had. I used basil, lemon thyme, and summer savory from my herb garden, and added some chopped dill pickles I made. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. It’s perfect but easily adaptable. Try it!

This beautiful potato salad has so much going for it, although all this can be summed up in a couple words: simplicity and flavor. It’s so easy to make and has only a few ingredients that combine wonderfully.

This salad has a lovely herbal boldness to it, so if you want to personalize it, your other choices for additions should also have a fairly bold flavor. Chopped pickles or capers, for instance, would be good additions, and maybe even chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

I think this recipe is quite fine as written—not too much dressing with well-balanced flavors and textures. If you want it creamier, you could add up to 1/3 cup more mayonnaise, but only mix in a little at a time until you reach your idea of perfection.

Originally published July 1, 2014


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  1. I adore potato salad–especially the leftovers when I’ve “accidentally” made too much! I like a sprinkling of dry pan toasted mustard seeds, finding one later on in between your teeth is a bonus. If I do a crispy bacon salad, I also add the zest from thick-cut orange marmalade–in fact this is the only reason I buy marmalade.

  2. Good looking recipe and well seasoned. Thankfully, mashed potato free. I have notice a disturbing trend in potato salad recipes to mash the dickens out of the potatoes, what’s with that? All it does is make a mushy bland mass. OK, off the soapbox, other add ins that are good chopped capers, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing to replace the mayo, chipotle seasoning. and toasted sunflower seeds (yep, a nod to the 70’s) to top it off with.

    1. Ha! Anne, I’m not really a fan of the mashed-potato potato salad, either. And I love the wink at the ’70s with the sunflower seeds. God, I lived on those in seventh and eighth grades.

  3. I love potato salad. Have you tried 1,000 Island Dressing in potato salad with sweet pickles, mayo, eggs, onions, bell pepper, and regular spices, also italian dressing?

  4. I’m a potato salad girl. This one sounds good and has a german potato twang to it. I’ll have to try it. When I was growing up my family had a deli and one of the items we sold was potato salad. Can’t even count how many pounds of potatoes I’ve peeled, diced and mixed. A lot!

    My recipe is pretty simple but oh so good.
    The key is to use name brand products, don’t skimp.

    Here’s the ingredients I use-Best Food Mayonaise, French’s Mustard, sugar, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, hard cooked eggs that have been grated, diced celery, diced sweet onion. I pretty much do it by eye balling and looking at the texture when mixing and of course tasting. If you want to know how much of each let me know and I’ll put something together.

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