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American Potato Salad

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Haus and I grilled a ton of meat last Saturday (we feel like we’re wasting the charcoal if we don’t load the grill up at least twice) and while it was grilling, I made up a batch of this potato salad from the current issue of Cook’s Illustrated. Reader Kerry C. gifted me with a subscription to Cook’s Country (LOVE it!) for Christmas, and they sent me a complimentary issue of the regular Cook’s Illustrated mag this month-lucky me!

We were starving since we started grilling late, and as soon as the potato salad was mixed together, I took a big bite and hollered for Dennis to come taste it. We agreed it was the best potato salad EVER! We polished off the entire batch, which equals about a pound of potato salad each, and ended up skipping the meat. This potato salad was so good, it turned into our dinner for the night and we just refrigerated all the meat to eat as leftovers throughout the week.

The potato salad was so good I made a second batch within an hour of making the first one, because I knew we’d want it to go with our leftover meat. Luckily we made the second batch last for two whole days, which is like a miracle, people. This potato salad is good. If you don’t have a great recipe for classic American potato salad, Cook’s Illustrated has got you covered. They tested every ingredient, every method, and every amount to get it just so for us. Thank you Cook’s Illustrated!

American Potato Salad

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 lbs. (3-4 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 medium celery rib, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons minced red onion
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup mayonnaise (see note)
3/4 teaspoon powdered mustard
3/4 teaspoon celery seed*
1/2 teaspoon salt*
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (optional)

*You can use celery salt in place of the celery seed, omitting the 1/2 teaspoon salt from the dressing.

Place potatoes in large saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon salt, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring once or twice, until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.

Drain potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Add vinegar and, using rubber spatula, toss gently to combine. Let stand until potatoes are just warm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together celery, onion pickle relish, parsley, mayonnaise, powdered mustard, celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Using rubber spatula, gently fold dressing and eggs, if using, into potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour; serve.

Veronica’s Notes: We actually ate the first batch warm and I prefer it that way, though it’s great cold too.  Cook’s Illustrated says the salad can be refrigerated up to one day. Well ours was just fine after two days and I’m sure it would be great after three or four days.

Recipe source: Cook’s Illustrated

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

26 responses »

  1. thebetterbaker11

    Your plateful of YUM looks wonderful! Pretty funny that you two gobbled down the first batch so quickly. I rarely ever make potato salad because my sis in love is the ‘queen of tater salad’ in the family, but we do love it. What a great recipe to have for summertime meals. Pinning! Thanks for sharing – this is a great post. LOVE all your gorgeous photos.

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  2. I’m the potato salad girl in our family. I make it like my mom did…..no recipe, but mine looks much like yours when finished. I like it when it is first made too and still slightly warm. I have to take lots of tastes to make sure the seasonings are right….tastes by the tablespoons..

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  3. I can’t wait to try this, Veronica! I LOVE potato salad served warm right after mixing it up! But I also love it cold or however I can get it. The problem has always been that my mom just adds a little of this and a little of that. Also I seem to have a problem with overcooking the potatoes and it all turns to mush. I was thrilled to see your recipe so that I will have actual recipe to use. Also hoping that the cooking instructions helps me also!

    I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks again! Lookin good!

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  4. Love me some good potato salad! Looks as amazing as you say. Pinning.

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  5. We are potato salad freaks around here and LOVE our southern potato salad. That one looks delicious! Cooks Illustrated is an awesome magazine and they test those recipes over and over again until they are perfect. Have you ever watched their show on PBS, “America’s Test Kitchen”? You would love it, they demo recipes and do food brand and equipment reviews. I’m gonna try this potato salad, but I’m just not sure about that sweet pickle relish in it… we’ve always used dill pickles in our potato salad, but I’m keeping an open mind, lol.

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  6. BBQ chicken, corn and potato salad – doesn’t get any better than that V!! Looks delicious. I will pin too! :D

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  7. Potato salad is one of those quintessential American summer foods. Perfect for a BBQ. Recipe looks delish!

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  8. I just sent your baked potato salad recipe to a friend yesterday on fb :) Now you go and post another fabulous one!

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  9. Potato salad comes in so many different variations. I wonder why this is “American” but I see that it has celery seed in it—-my grandmother’s potato salad always utilized celery seed or it wasn’t grandma’s! :)

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  10. Cool! I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never made American potato salad. My mother-in-law was always so good at it that I just lett that up to her. She’s now given up cooking but I know where to go for a super recipe, thanks Veronica.

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  11. Potato salad is the ultimate summer bbq food! Sounds like a superb recipe.

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  12. Potato salad is definitely a summer favorite for me, but Tom is not into it. I will cut this in half and give it a try!

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  13. i love warm potato salad! mine looks like yours, except i use my mom’s recipe which isn’t measured at all. but i rarely make potato salad because ben doesn’t like it and i just don’t need to eat a whole recipe by myself :)

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  14. I discovered warm potato salad by accident and what a happy accident it was…wish we could all have a bbq together!!

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  15. Cook’s Illustrated has a cookbook called “The Best Recipe”. Veronica said that in this recipe they tested every ingredient and every method. That is MAJOR! That is what they tell you about every recipe in the book. New cooks to seasoned cooks learn how to solve every problem in cooking. I just bought my 14th copy and will be ordering 2 more this summer for new brides.

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  16. You have me crave for warm potato salad! This looks mouthwatering and satisfying!

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  17. I love this potato salad make me feel hungry!!!

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  18. I just may have to get over my dislike of potato salad, I mean if you’re saying this is the best there is, then it’s gotta be true!

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  19. An entire meal of potato salad sounds fine by me, Veronica! We grill the same way, too — anything & everything until the coals go cold. :) Loved your “picnic” photos — so vibrant and tasty-looking!

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  20. I have been craving this so bad…. I make mine similar but like dill pickles instead of sweet. I will have to remember to add celery seed next time, ( in about 2 days, lol)
    I just got a free mag for them… love it!

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  21. I **love** potato salad!! Havent had any in a long time…your recipe looks so good! =)
    Love your photos!
    Have a great weekend!

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  22. It seems like some of the classic recipes are hard to find just the right version. This sounds like my kind of potato salad. I would totally eat potato salad as dinner. YUM.

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  23. I love potato salad and sadly, it’s not something I ever make on my own. I need to change that!!

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