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Perfect Potato Salad for your Summer BBQ & Entertaining

It’s almost SUMMER!!!  And I, for one, can’t wait. I’m ready for some potato salad.  Right now.  There are a lot of marginal potato salad recipes out there. You know the ones I’m talking about. The potatoes are waxy or undercooked, there isn’t enough creamy stuff to bind the whole thing together, the flavor or texture is too uniform, or – worst of all – the potatoes, which are supposed to be the star of the show, are bland and uninspiring.

Don’t get me wrong. I love potatoes.

Really love them.

If it’s got potatoes in it, I’m your girl!  But I’m often disappointed with potato salads.

This potato salad recipe is the culmination of many years of small improvements. I started with mom’s recipe (which was pretty great already) and modified it to include crunchy dill pickles for added zing. Next I switched out the new red potatoes for Yukon golds.  As you’re gently mixing the ingredients together some of the Yukon gold potatoes break down into a wonderful tangy mash.  That’s what gives it that great creaminess.

Then I added some green onions for color and flavor.   It was very good, but something was still missing. Although their texture was perfect, the potatoes were still bland.

Finally, several years ago I found the secret.

The secret ingredient?   Pickle Juice.

Yep. Pickle Juice. I picked up this trick from reading the Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats, a fantastic site. He’s a wonderful cook and I’m consistently impressed with his recipes.

Along with all of the great ingredients that give this salad a wonderful depth of flavor and lots of texture, the pickle juice when mixed with the hot potatoes infuses them with a wonderful tang. Combined with the creamy texture created when some of the potatoes break down and mix with the mayonnaise, this potato salad is insanely special.

This Potato Salad can, and should, be made in advance. In fact, it’s best served the next day. Or you can cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.  I love to use one of our family’s old green or yellow Pyrex bowls.  As you can see from the pictures below, it’s been through A LOT of rounds of Potato Salad.  Do you have a favorite family serving bowl or dish?

Pin for Later

Or Make Now.

 

Hungry Yet??

Me too.  Let’s get started!

 

Potato Salad
Print
Potato Salad
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

It might seem like a lot of salt in the water to boil the potatoes, but that, along with the pickle juice is what gives the potatoes more flavor.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18 people
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 4.5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks, that’s about 10 – 11 med/large potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 red onion diced
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 5 spears Kosher dill pickles cubed (not Polish)
Instructions
  1. Measure dill pickle juice into a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside.

  2. Add potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt to 3 quarts water in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 - 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, red onion, green onions, pickles and 1 teaspoon salt.
  4. When potatoes are tender, drain thoroughly and add hot potatoes to a large bowl. Sprinkle pickle juice over potatoes and stir gently to coat.

  5. Gently fold mayonnaise mixture into potatoes.
Make Ahead Note:
  1. Potato Salad can, and should, be made in advance. It’s best served the next day. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

 

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Potato Salad for a Crowd

5 Reasons this is a Fantastic Large Group Potato Salad Recipe:

  1. It makes 5 pounds of potato salad.  This works out to 16 (5 ounce) servings or 20 (4 ounce servings).  If you are serving this as one of 4 or more items on a buffet, the average person will take a 4 ounce serving.
  2. It’s a great make in advance recipe.  In fact, it’s better the next day.
  3. It holds up well on a serving line.
  4. It’s very easy, it always turns out great and can be assigned out if you’re cooking in large quantities.  It’s far better than anything you can buy.
  5. Everyone loves it.

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