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Classic Potato Salad

A blue bowl full of creamy potato salad with hardboiled eggs and a large spoon.
This make-ahead recipe abbreviates the waiting time of ordinary potato salad and offers flavorful, tender potatoes and crunchy bits of onion and celery, accented by a creamy dressing.
America’s Test Kitchen

Prep 20 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 2 hrs
Sides
American
6 to 8 servings
287 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes peeled and cut into 3/4-inch (18-mm) pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt plus salt for cooking potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade mayonnaise
  • 1 stalk celery chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons store-bought or homemade sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or fresh chives
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon celery seeds*
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs peeled and cut into 1/4‑inch (6-mm) pieces (optional)

Directions 

  • In a large saucepan, combine potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt and add enough water to cover by 1 inch (25 mm). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and paring knife can be slipped in and out of potatoes with little resistance, about 8 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes and gently dump into a large bowl. Add vinegar and use a rubber spatula to toss gently to combine. Let sit until potatoes are just warm, about 20 minutes.
  • While the potatoes sit, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, celery, relish, onion, parsley, mustard, celery seeds, pepper, and salt.
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently fold mayonnaise mixture and eggs, if using, into potatoes. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Serve.

Notes

*What do celery seeds taste like?

Small and light brown in color, celery seeds seem unassuming but actually pack a bit of a punch. Aromatic and astringent, too many of them will impart a burning sensation, but in the right amount they'll add a ton of earthy, grassy flavor. Not used often outside of pickling or brining, we encourage experimentation as they're terrific with both potatoes and tomatoes. Celery salt is a combination of ground seeds and salt, so if you sub that instead reduce the salt in the rest of the recipe.