The Best Classic Potato Salad

Summer Potlucks and BBQs don’t seem complete without a big bowl of this Classic Potato Salad.

Creamy mayo, celery, onion, hard-boiled eggs, and of course plenty of potatoes make up this recipe.

In our family’s opinion, it is simply the best potato salad!

classic potato salad on large white platter next to wooden spoon and blue towel

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Kevin’s parents live about 3 miles away from us and his sister’s family lives about 15 minutes away.

We often get to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and other occasions together.

It has been really fun for me to have this because none of my family lives in Colorado.

I really miss my sister living here. The 9 or so months that she was living here several years ago went by way too fast!

When we get together with Kevin’s family, there is always an abundance of food and so many different good things to eat because because we often do meals potluck-style with everyone contributing.

Everyone in Kevin’s family is a good cook and appreciates good food.

One of the recipes that often makes an appearance during family meals during the summer months is this Classic Potato Salad.

There is absolutely nothing fancy about this potato salad recipe.

It just tastes great and it is easy to make.

Kevin’s family all calls it Grandma Cookie’s Potato Salad.

But I think it has also earned the name of The Best Classic Potato Salad.

It is the only recipe that anyone ever wants to make or eat.

Unfortunately, I never had the chance to meet Kevin’s famous Grandma Cookie because she passed away before I even knew Kevin.

But I love hearing stories about her and I definitely love her easy potato salad recipe and the way it always seems to have a place at summer potlucks in our family.

It has the perfect amount of celery, onion, and creamy mayo along with some chopped up hard-boiled egg.

The original recipe calls for salt and pepper to taste.

If you can find it, Kevin especially loves to season it with Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt, a blend of “salt, dried onion and garlic, and herbs and spices,” according to the ingredients listed on the label.

classic potato salad on large white platter sprinkled with parsley next to wooden spoon and blue towel

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Potato Salad Ingredients

This classic potato salad recipe calls for:

  • Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Paprika, for garnish

How to Make Potato Salad

To make Grandma Cookie’s Potato Salad (aka The Best Potato Salad), first you will boil some peeled and cubed potatoes.

Once the potatoes are tender and have had the chance to cool, you’ll gently stir in some diced celery and onion along with chopped hard boiled eggs and some creamy mayo.

Our copy of Grandma Cookie’s recipe specifically says “Hellman’s Mayonnaise.”

But, last I made it was for Kevin to take to a work potluck lunch and I used some Olive Oil Mayo because that was what we had on had.

It still tasted great and Kevin didn’t comment about anything tasting differently.

I think I’d need to do a side by side comparison to see if it made a difference.

The Best Potatoes for Potato Salad

Grandma Cookie doesn’t specifically say what type of potatoes to use.

Technically, you’re supposed to use waxy potatoes for potato salad (like Red, new, or fingerling potatoes).

But I think you could probably get away with whatever type of potatoes you like the best, or even a mix of Russet and Yukon Gold Potatoes.

I’ve used Russet and Yukon Gold and had success with both.

close up shot of classic potato salad on large white platter next to wooden spoon and blue towel

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Even though it seems like summer is almost over, our kids still have about a month until school starts and we will have plenty of hot, summer-like.

It will be the perfect weather for barbecuing weather for at least 2 more months (and we still have Labor Day weekend to look forward to!).

I definitely plan on eating and enjoying this classic potato salad recipe a few more times before fall weather is here to stay.

Next time that you are having a summer potluck or even a summer bbq at home, you should definitely give this recipe for potato salad with mayo a try.

And then you can say a little thanks to Kevin’s Grandma Cookie for such a great but truly simple and uncomplicated recipe — sometimes those are just the best!

More Summer Side Dishes

Looking for more of my favorite summer side dish recipes to serve alongside The Best Classic Potato Salad Recipe?

Check out some of these delicious recipes, or browse the recipe index archives for even more tasty recipe ideas:

Zucchini Tomato Basil Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette is a light and refreshing summertime salad and perfect when your garden is exploding with tomatoes, basil, and zucchini in the later summer months.

What is a summer barbecue without baked beans?

This recipe for Slow Cooker Baked Bean Trio with Bacon and Peppers is loaded with flavor thanks to three types of beans, bell peppers, poblano peppers, and bacon.

A perfect, easy side dish for game day entertaining, too!

You can never go wrong with a caprese salad during the summer.

For a different take, try this Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad to use summer’s abundant tomatoes and basil.

Now that you have our recipe for The Best Classic Potato Salad, you’ll need a great coleslaw recipe!

Your typical BBQ Coleslaw gets a makeover with the addition of jalapeño for just a touch of heat for your tastebuds in this tasty recipe for Creamy Jalapeño BBQ Coleslaw.

This Cilantro Lime Broccoli Slaw is a tasty alternative to the traditional summer coleslaw recipe.

Pre-packaged shredded broccoli, carrots, red cabbage are tossed with jalapeño, lime, red onion, and red bell pepper for a refreshing side salad.

It tastes great with any Mexican inspired meal.

These Smokey Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges are full of flavor. They’re super simple to whip up and contain only 4 ingredients – Southwestern Pork Rub, Sweet Potatoes, Oil, and Cilantro for Garnish.

Macaroni Salad is another classic summer side dish.

This Macaroni Salad Recipe is easy to make, but a little different than traditional. It’s colorful with additions like diced red bell pepper, and bright green sugar snap peas.

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Saladis a great way to enjoy summer’s sweet and juicy watermelon!

I love the combination of sweet and salty and the way the mint plays off of both flavors.

The syrupy balsamic glaze adds just the right acidity.

What are your favorite summer side dishes?

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The Best Classic Potato Salad

The Best Classic Potato Salad

Yield: serves 6 - 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes

Summer Potlucks and BBQs don't seem complete without a big bowl of this Classic Potato Salad. Creamy Mayo, celery, onion, hardboiled eggs, and of course plenty of potatoes make up this recipe - in our family's opinion it is simply the best!


  • 3 lbs. peeled and cubed Potatoes (personally I love Yukon Gold Potatoes)
  • 2 Stalks Celery, diced
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise, plus extra if needed
  • 2 sliced Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley, optional - for garnish only
  • Pinch of Paprika, optional - for garnish only


  1. Bring a large stockpot of water to boil.
  2. Add the peeled and cubed potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain the potatoes from the boiling water into a colander, then let the potatoes cool to room temperature.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled potatoes, diced celery, diced onion, mayonnaise, and hard boiled eggs.
  5. Stir gently to combine, adding extra mayonnaise if desired to keep the potato salad moist.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the potato salad in the refrigerator; it is best made ahead of time and chill for at least a few hours. Often, I make it the night before and chill overnight.
  8. This isn't in the original recipe, but it makes a nice presentation of an otherwise not very colorful dish to sprinkle some finally chopped fresh parsley and a pinch of paprika on the top just before serving.
  9. Serve cold.


This recipe is best made the night before you need to serve it.

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