This Red Potato Salad recipe is the perfect potluck side, or lunch side for work or a picnic. It’s an easy recipe to make and has lots of fresh flavor and texture. 

Red Potato Salad - In a Gray Bowl with Fresh Herbs and Scallions

What makes or breaks a potato salad is whether there’s lots of flavor incorporated into the dish. Otherwise, potatoes can be quite bland and boring.

That won’t be a problem for us today! We’ll use minimal dressing ingredients but have a great balance of flavor and freshness.

When I go to parties in the summer or on a picnic, I’ll almost always bring some sort of sturdy salad like this. It’s the perfect side dish for a summer cookout.

Salmon Salad, Cranberry Chicken Salad, Caprese Pasta Salad, and Egg Salad are some of my other go-tos. It’s truly one of my favorite recipe categories. This is also a great side for dishes like Buttermilk Fried Chicken or Oven BBQ Pork Spare Ribs.

What Makes This Recipe The Best

Seasoning the water – By seasoning the boiling water heavily with salt, just like when you make pasta, that allows the salt to penetrate the potato. This is great because the salted water seasons the flesh on the inside and makes for tender red potatoes.

A knockout dressing – We’ll make a quick homemade dressing that has a great balance of creaminess and tang. It’s delicious! This is creamy potato salad that isn’t drowning in mayo.

Fresh herbs and vegetables to add crunch and texture – Because potatoes are so neutral, it’s important to add other ingredients for flavor, and to ensure a delicious recipe. The bits of crunchy celery, scallions, chives, and more add both texture and flavor that is absolutely heavenly.

Red Potato Salad Recipe - In a Gray Bowl with Fresh Herbs and Scallions

Step by Step Overview:

Start with the dressing so it’s ready to go for when the potatoes are hot. That way they absorb the tangy dressing and flavor really nicely.

Combine mayonnaise, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, red or white wine vinegar, kosher salt, and black pepper in a large bowl:

Mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper in a Bowl with Whisk

I love the combination of fats here, with the fruity flavor and aroma of the olive oil, and the creamy classic flavor of the mayonnaise. It’s so much better than a mayonnaise-only dressing.

Also, if you have 10 minutes to spare, I recommend making some homemade mayonnaise for optimal flavor.

I think red or white wine vinegars are by far the best acids here, but champagne vinegar, sherry vinegar, and apple cider vinegar work too.

Whisk that together until creamy and smooth:

Whisked Creamy Mayonnaise Dressing In Bowl

What variety of potatoes should you use?

The best kind of potato to use for potato salad is any of the “waxy potatoes,” like red bliss potatoes or yukon gold, over the starchy ones like russet. They hold up better, whereas russets can fall apart into mush.

Slice (or chunk) some red skin potatoes and put them in a large pot. How I cut them totally depends on my mood, and both work great.

Cover the potatoes completely with cold water:

Pouring Water Into Pan with Red Potato Slices

Next add a couple tablespoons of salt to the water:

Adding Salt Into Pan with Red Potato Slices

I know it seems like a lot of salt, but the potatoes will only absorb a small amount of this water, and it will help season the potatoes “on the inside.”

Bring the potatoes to a rolling boil over high heat.

How long do you cook red potatoes for potato salad? It depends on how you cut them up, but about 5 minutes of cooking time after the water is boiling, or until fork tender.

Then drain them in a colander, and let them sit for a few minutes at room temperature to let the steam escape a bit.

Boiled Red Potato Slices Draining In Colander

While the potatoes are still warm, toss them with the dressing, then add chopped celery, scallions (aka green onions), and chives:

Red Skin Potato Slices in Bowl with Celery, Chives, and Scallions On Top

You can either serve this warm (which I love) or you can chill it for a few hours before enjoying.

Red Skin Potato Salad - Served in Gray Bowl with Scallions and Celery

Potato Croquettes, Steak Fries, and Potato Gratin are some of my other favorite potato dishes.

I have a whole section of potato recipes in my recipe index if you want more ideas. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

A great potato salad is one that caters to your preferred tastes and ingredients. Here are some ideas for variations you can try.

Herbs – You may use other herbs that you enjoy here, such as fresh dill.

Sour cream – For a more heavily dressed and creamy red potato salad, add 1/4 cup of full fat sour cream to the dressing.

Hard boiled eggs – Combine the greatness of an Egg Salad with potato salad by adding hard-boiled eggs to the mix. Double the dressing and add up to 12 hard boiled eggs.

Onion – Instead of green onions, you can thinly sliced or chopped red onion instead. Or try pickled red onion or shallots to reduce the bite.

Lemon – Swap the white or red wine vinegar out for fresh lemon juice in the creamy dressing for extra fresh flavor.

Bacon – Add crispy bacon bits to the dressing, and extra on top for garnish.

FAQ and Tips

How do you make this red potato salad for a large crowd?

You can absolute scale the recipe as needed, you are really only limited by the size of pot you have. You may need to boil the potatoes for longer since it may take longer for the pot of water to reach a boil.

Is this potato salad healthy?

That means different things to everyone, but it is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and paleo.

Can red potato salad be made ahead?

Yes, but I recommend only making it up to 1 day ahead though, so the flavor is still fresh and at its peak.

How long does Red Potato Salad keep?

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. After that the flavor starts to deteriorate too much.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. Or, follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!

Red Potato Salad In a Gray Bowl with Fresh Herbs and Scallions

Red Potato Salad

This Red Potato Salad recipe is packed with flavor, easy to make, and perfect to take to potlucks and picnics!

Leave a Review »


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2.5 lbs red potatoes, sliced or chunked
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup sliced chives


  • In a large bowl, whisk to combine the mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
  • Place the cut up red potatoes into a large pot, and fill with enough cold water to cover the potatoes, plus an inch.
  • Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, and season with enough salt that it tastes like ocean water, about a couple tablespoons. Then cook the potatoes until fork tender. The time will really vary depending on if you sliced the potatoes or cut them into chunks, and how large, but for me it usually only takes about 5 minutes once the water is boiling, about 10-15 minutes total.
  • Once the potatoes are fork tender, drain them in a colander and let them sit for a few minutes for the excess steam to come off.
  • While the potatoes are still warm, toss them well with the dressing.
  • Stir in the celery, scallions, and chives, then serve warm or chill for several hours before serving. Enjoy! 


Make-ahead instructions: You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge, but I recommend only making it up to 1 day ahead for peak freshness and flavor.
Storing leftovers: Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Know that the flavor deteriorates a little more each day.


Calories: 252kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 320mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated with new pictures, writing, and more tips in August 2018. Originally published July 2014.