Southern Potato Salad (Best Recipe)

If you have never tried a Southern-style potato salad, you’re about to learn why this dish appears at almost every church potluck and backyard barbecue! It’s a creamy potato salad that’s downright delicious and loaded with flavor in every bite!

Southern Potato Salad

I absolutely LOVE this potato salad. It’s creamy, crunchy and everything in between. I could eat it over and over. It’s the perfect side dish for family get-togethers, holiday meals, cookouts, family reunions, and more! It’s truly the best Southern potato salad recipe! Try it and let me know what you think!!

Did You Know?

  • Potato salad is believed to have originated in Germany and was brought to America by European immigrants in the nineteenth century!
Southern Potato Salad

What’s in Southern Potato Salad?

Well, what exactly makes it a “Southern” potato salad? Down here, we LOVE our mayonnaise, especially Duke’s mayonnaise. Hellman’s is also a wonderful mayo, despite what you might hear down South. Below are ingredient notes, but the key Southern features are the mayo, sweet pickle relish, and lots of yellow mustard!

MAYONNAISE: Like I said, mayo reigns supreme in this dish. Some people ask about using Miracle Whip. I recommend opting for true mayo in this potato salad!

HARD-BOILED EGGS: Don’t skip the eggs! They really add a delicious flavor that can’t be beat!

POTATOES: What kind of potatoes should I use in Southern Potato Salad? I recommend Yukon Gold potatoes for a creamy texture or russet potatoes (slighter firmer) but you can use red potatoes too. If you want to leave the potato skins on, you can! It’s just my personal preference to peel this for this style of potato salad.

YELLOW MUSTARD: This brings a delicious flavor when mixed with the mayo! Don’t swap in Dijon here, yellow mustard is the best in this recipe!

SWEET PICKLE RELISH: I am not even a huge fan of sweet pickle relish, but just 1/4 cup is just magic in this recipe Don’t skip it! You can use a dill pickle relish if you prefer or slice up dill pickles for a similar flavor. If you dice your own pickles, add a tablespoon or two of the pickle juice in too!

CELERY: The perfect crunch to this potato salad, you can add more or less chopped celery to suit your tastes.

ONION: I love to use a sweet yellow onion or a Vidalia onion (if they’re in season) in this potato salad. I use half the onion and dice it finely. You can swap in green onions or a red onion if you prefer, opt for about 1 cup.

GARNISH: To garnish a Southern Potato Salad, keep it simple with a sprinkle of paprika (smoked paprika is great if you have that variety) and chopped chives or other fresh herbs!

SALT & PEPPER: Add thees to taste to suit your preferences.

Expert Tips

  • Use Yukon Gold potatoes for a creamier texture or Russet potatoes for a firmer bite.
  • Don’t overcook the potatoes; they should be tender but still hold their shape.
  • For extra flavor, add a splash of pickle juice to the dressing mixture.
  • Now this isn’t really an expert tip per se, but because you have to cook the potatoes and the eggs, I tend to make it the day before I’m serving it. I also happen to think it tastes even better on the second day!

Can you Make Potato Salad in Advance?

Yes! You can prepare the potato salad a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator (cover tightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 4 days.) I think it happens to taste even better the next day after the flavors meld together. Just give it a good stir before serving! I sometimes like to add fresh herbs on top too (like chives) depending on what I have growing.

Southern-Style Potato Salad with Eggs

What to serve with Southern Potato Salad:

  • Southern potato salad pairs perfectly with grilled meats like barbecue ribs, fried chicken, or pulled pork.
  • Serve it alongside other classic Southern sides like coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread for a delicious meal!
  • You can also just eat it on its own for a light lunch! I like to jazz it up on a bed of lettuce with extra veggies.

There you have it—my recipe for creamy Southern Potato Salad that’s sure to be a hit at your next gathering. Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, picnic in the park, or Sunday supper with the family, enjoy a taste of the South just like grandma used to make!

More Southern Salads We Love:

Southern Potato Salad

Southern Potato Salad

Author: Courtney
A delicious Southern-Style Potato Salad loaded with creamy potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, crunchy celery and more!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 377 kcal


  • 3 lbs Yukon gold or russet potatoes
  • 2 tsp salt for boiling potatoes
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup mayonnaise I prefer Dukes
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion diced
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper adjust to taste


  • Start by washing the potatoes thoroughly. Peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized cubes and place them in a large pot. Cover with water and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and let cool slightly.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the hard-boiled eggs. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10-12 minutes. Once done, drain the hot water and place the eggs into a bowl of ice water. Peel and chop the eggs.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and yellow mustard. Add in the sweet pickle relish, chopped celery, and diced onion.
  • Gently fold in the cooled potatoes and chopped hard-boiled eggs and coat evenly in the mayonnaise mixture. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired!
Calories: 377kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 7gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 1106mgPotassium: 809mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 306IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg
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