Perfect Potato Salad

Potato Salad Recipe

This particular potato salad is full of awesome memories for me. Making it in the bright white kitchen of Laurel’s old house on Cherrywood, Emily tasting and tasting and tasting as it came together. See, Laurel didn’t like raw white onion, so Emily used green onions. Emily didn’t like big chunks of egg, so Laurel grated the eggs. Minced dill pickles and some pickle juice got added, as Emily’s Goggie used to do. Pimentos sometimes but not usually. Celery was chopped fine and the mustard/mayo ratio favored the mustard to give the whole thing a pretty sunshiny color. Celery seed is a key ingredient, although as you can see in the video, celery salt can be used in a pinch.

Then we’d be grilling sausages and Slip’n’Sliding around and drinking beer after beer under the cedar elms in the back yard until everyone was fast asleep in their wet swim suits, which is a bad idea for health reasons, but fun and carefree nonetheless.

Perfect Potato Salad Video

Perfect Potato Salad Recipe – Printable!


Perfect Potato Salad

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5 from 7 reviews

An easy, classic potato salad recipe. Tastes best if allowed to sit overnight in the refrigerator

  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 3 pounds Russet potatoes
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin (or 1/4 cup minced white onion)
  • 2 tablespoons minced dill pickles
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Boil the potatoes whole in their jackets for 15-20 minutes or until each can be easily pierced through with a skewer.
  2. Chop the rest of the vegetables while the potatoes cook and place them in the bottom of a large bowl. Set aside
  3. Drop the cooked potatoes into an ice water bath for 5 seconds.
  4. Peel off the skins and chop into 1″ chunks.
  5. Add the hot potatoes to the other vegetables and then stir in the pickle juice, celery seed, and mustard.
  6. Grate or mince the eggs and add them along with the mayonnaise.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. If it seems too dry, add more pickle juice, mustard, or mayo, depending on how you like it. Don’t be afraid to taste as you go!


Lacking celery seed, you may use celery salt. Start with 1/2 teaspoon but you may need more. The celery salt will take the place of celery seed and salt. I will tell you that celery seed is preferred, and tastes better in the final dish than celery salt.

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  1. Scott Kursk on April 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    “The Perfect Potato Salad”
    That’s might big claim their Hilah. That’s kinda like calling out something as the “One True Religion” or “The Best Thing About Texas”.

    • Hilah on April 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      I stand by my claim, Scott!
      And I encourage everyone to keep tasting it as they go until they get it just right, until it’s perfect for them! 🙂

  2. Great Stone Face on April 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    The trick of boiling the potatoes in their jackets is brilliant; same with grating the eggs and the pickle juice. I like a little red in my potato salad, so I’d probably put in the pimentoes or small dice red bell pepper (the latter adds crunch).

    Using the celery salt is a great idea. (I also like to sprinkle it on corn-on-the-cob with unsalted butter. But corn’s another episode.) I actually prefer it to celery seed.

    If you want to fancy up the onion in the potato salad, you can replace the green onion with minced shallots. That’s pricier, but very tasty.

    Good for you on conserving the cooking water to use on plants!

    • Hilah on April 13, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Oh goodness, that corn with butter and celery salt sounds divine! I do like the flavor of celery salt. I bet it would be good on popcorn, too!
      Shallots do sound nice. I was even thinking about maybe chopped pimento-stuffed green olives…

      • RON on May 23, 2014 at 7:04 pm

        i make almost the same one ,but adding mustard and pickle juice ,must really give it life ,will let you know for sure ,have yourself a good night , and thanks

  3. David on April 12, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    My mom prepared potato salad this exact same way (although she used sweet pickle, not dill). Anyway she too boiled the taters with the skin on so I continued doing that myself without questioning this method until one day I started wonderin…why don’t I just peel those suckers right quick and THEN boil em. That way they are ready to cut up right out of the water. I began doing that years ago and never looked back. So why WOULD one take that extra step of chillin in ice water and hand peeling when they could be all ready to go straight out of the water pre-peeled?

    • Hilah on April 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Hi David!
      The reason I do it is to conserve nutrients. By boiling them whole with their peels, they retain much more of the vitamin content (which admittedly, is not much to begin with). Also, depending on what texture you like, they stay a little firmer, or maybe are just harder to overcook, when boiled whole.
      But, either way you wanna do it is fine! Thanks for writing!

  4. Carol on April 13, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I tried it and it’s great. It’s easy to cook, very tasty and great to eat in the evening.

    • Hilah on April 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Thanks, Carol! I’m happy you enjoyed it!

  5. Amber Boegly on April 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Sounds very similar to how my mom makes it. Shame I hate pickles, but if I left them out, this could be pretty good.

    • Hilah on April 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Hate pickles?!?! Well, you’re not the first person I’ve met who hates pickles. I’m sure you could leave them out, and maybe just add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice for that bit of tang.

      • Amber Boegly on April 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

        I’m rather sensitive to the taste and texture of food, so I became a very picky eater. I’ve gotten better, but there are still foods I don’t care for. 😛 A splash of the juice doesn’t bother me, I just don’t like pickles themselves.

        • Hilah on April 16, 2012 at 11:26 am

          Oh well, great then! Pickle juice it is! (As long as you keep them around, I guess 😉

  6. Topper on April 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I use Greek yogurt (mixed with a bit of tumeric) in place of the mayo, and it gives the potato salad a great yellow color!

    • Hilah on April 20, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Hi Topper! That sounds great! I am always looking for new ways to use turmeric, too, since it has so many antioxidants; you know it’s always on those lists of “healthiest spices”. 😉 I’m definitely going to try that this summer. Thanks!

  7. tiras on May 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Toda Raba, really enjoyed your video. Going to use your potato salad recipe. By the way, I hope you, if you wish that, get your own TV show. You are funny, sharp, beautiful and all around enjoyable to watch. Thanks for making your videos informative and fun to watch.

    • Hilah on May 3, 2014 at 8:54 am

      Thank you, Francis! Send me a picture of the potato salad if you can. 🙂

  8. John B on June 7, 2016 at 11:13 am

    My wife and I love you Hilah, every summer we hit you for this recipe. You make cooking fun instead of a chore. Best wishes to you your family.

    • Hilah on June 7, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you, John! Happy summer to you and your family!

  9. John B on June 7, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Whoops, typo. Meant hit you up not hit you.

  10. Yvonne C on June 17, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Hilah, I love to watch your demo’s — They are so entertaining and fun! I always wanted to learn to make potato salad, but never learned how. It looks like you do it the same as my mom did, and hers was SO good. I can’t wait to try this out. Thank you so much!!

    • Hilah on June 17, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks, Yvonne! I hope it’s the same, or at least very similar. Let me know how it compares!

  11. Tiffany on April 20, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

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