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This summertime staple is truly my FAVORITE potato salad recipe!  Plus tips on how to get the perfect potato texture, prevent a "wet" potato salad, and how to add extra zing that will make everyone want the recipe! | #potatosalad #potluckrecipe #summer #salad #sidedish #picnic
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4.78 from 84 votes

Perfect Potluck Potato Salad

The perfect potato salad truly does exist, and it's incredibly easy to make!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: picnic, potato salad, potluck
Servings: 6 - 8 servings
Calories: 605kcal
Author: The Chunky Chef



  • 1 1/2 lbs petite (or baby) red or white potatoes, cut into 4ths
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 12 oz package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3-4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery (2-3 stalks)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet pickles (or a few tablespoons of sweet pickle relish)


  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp whole-grain dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp bacon grease (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • pinch ground celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  • Add sliced potatoes to a large saucepan.  Cover with cold water, about an inch above the tops of the potatoes.  Bring to a boil over MED-HIGH heat.  Covering the pan helps this happen faster, but pay attention that it doesn't boil over!!
  • Once boiling, add 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and stir.  Boil, for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.  Watch out for the foam on top of the water, it can boil over if you're not careful.  Adjust the heat so that the potatoes are still boiling, but not so hot that they're roaring.
  • Drain potatoes in a colander, then return potatoes to the same hot pot you boiled them in.  Add vinegar and stir to combine.  Let sit a minute or two, then return to the colander to cool slightly.
  • While potatoes are cooling, add dressing ingredients plus remaining 1 tsp kosher salt to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together and set aside.
  • Chop eggs, red onion, celery and pickles.  Add cooked potatoes to the dressing in the mixing bowl and top with chopped eggs, onion, celery, pickles and crumbled bacon.  
  • Gently stir it all together, until well combined.  Cover tightly and refrigerate until cold, at least 3-4 hours.



This potato salad can absolutely be made the night before.
Leftovers can be kept for 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
If you prefer a less sweet potato salad, omit the sweet pickles, and reduce the granulated sugar to 1 tsp.  The little bit of sugar counters all the bold savory flavors and makes for a smoother tasting salad.


Calories: 605kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 1642mg | Potassium: 690mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg