Potato Salad Recipe

potato salad

Potato Salad Recipe

When warmer weather arrives, we are busy planning picnics, backyard barbecues and family get-togethers. One of the most popular side dishes for these events is the old favorite, potato salad--a generic term for any number of concoctions that always involve potatoes, but may be as different in composition as chalk is to cheese.

Please read all the way to the bottom of the potato salad recipe before you go shopping or begin making your potato salad.

Here are the basic ingredients you need to make this potato salad recipe:

Potatoes (boiled)

Hard-cooked eggs (peeled and chopped)

Celery (coarsely chopped)

Pickles (chopped)



Yellow mustard or turmeric

Potato Salad Recipe - Optional additions:

-Chopped vegetables such as: Carrots, Zucchini, Radishes, Cucumbers, Onion or Chives, Green olives, Black olives, Bell peppers

-Fresh or frozen green peas (thawed)

-Fat-free Greek yogurt to replace part of the mayo

-Paprika and/or tomato slices for garnish

A healthier version

If you are watching calories and fat or just trying to eat healthier, you may think of potato salad as being off limits. However, there are ways that you can make this popular summer dish a better choice for both your waistline and your nutritional status. The key is what you put in the salad and how much you eat.


Start with some nice boiled potatoes--organic if you can get them. I prefer to peel them, but you can leave the skins on, if you scrub them well before cooking. Red potatoes work best for potato salad because they are sweeter and moister than white potatoes. You certainly can use white potatoes, but they are flakier and will break up more in the salad, and be blander in taste than their red cousins.

Hard-boiled eggs

Next, hard boil some organic eggs and chop them into bite-size pieces. A rule of thumb is to use 6 hard-boiled eggs for 5 pounds of potatoes, but you can use more or less, depending on what’s available and what you like. (Using organic eggs is a good idea since they taste better and are from healthier chickens that produce healthier eggs.)

Celery and Pickles

Chop up some celery (again, organic if you can find it) and pickles – sweet or dill—but choose ones with no high fructose corn syrup and less sodium, if possible. You can even opt for pickle relish, but you will lose the texture of the pickle bites.

Add some other veggies

You can also add, chopped carrots, green olives, black olives, bell peppers, zucchini, fresh or frozen green peas, radishes or any other crunchy vegetables you like. Finely minced onions or chopped chives can also be included, if you are serving the salad to those who are not sensitive to raw onions. Chives are milder than onions, or you can lightly sauté the onions in a bit of olive oil before adding to the salad to make them more digestible.

Potato Salad Recipe Tip: You can lower the glycemic index value of your salad by adding more low glycemic vegetables with the higher glycemic potatoes. 

For more information on Glycemic Index, click on this link.

Mayo plus fat-free Greek yogurt for dressing

Now that you have all your vegetables combined, you are ready to put on the dressing. You could use just mayonnaise, but a useful tip for making your potato salad more nutritious and lower in fat and calories without compromising on flavor, is to use half mayonnaise and half non-fat Greek yogurt. (You can use regular plain yogurt, but the Greek yogurt has a better texture for this application.)

Sea salt, turmeric, and paprika

Add some good quality salt such as Celtic Sea Salt and some turmeric spice, garnish with tomato slices, and, if desired, sprinkle with paprika and your salad is ready to serve. Adding turmeric will enhance flavor and provide cancer-fighting curcumin. (You can use yellow mustard which has some turmeric in it, but also has some sodium.)

The fun of making potato salad is that the number and variety of ingredients can be based on your taste preference and what you have available. You can use lots of potatoes or a few potatoes, and build your salad from there. You can use bottled mayonnaise or make your own. If you’re a vegan, you can use soy mayo and skip the eggs.

Food safety tips

Although potato salad can be a satisfying addition to your picnic or barbecue, it can be a source of food-borne sickness. Here are some tips for making it a safe food choice:

-Choose potatoes that are firm and discard green potatoes or remove any green parts, sprouts and dark spots.

-Wash your hands before and while preparing salad to avoid contaminating it with bacteria. No licking the spoon and putting it back in the salad, please!

-Wash vegetables with a good non-toxic veggie wash and chop them on a clean cutting board - one that has not been used to cut meat or that has been disinfected in between uses.

-Refrigerate salad immediately after preparation and keep it cold until ready to serve.

-Store leftovers promptly, or discard remains if the salad is no longer cold.

-Use potato salad within a few days.

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