Save on Pinterest

Mama’s Potato Salad

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


12 servings

This old-fashioned potato salad recipe doesn't have many ingredients, so it isn't as colorful as many that you find nowadays. But Mama made it the way her mother did, and that's the way I still make it today. Try it and see if it isn't one of the best-tasting potato salads you have ever eaten! —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York


  • 3 to 3-1/2 pounds potatoes (about 10 medium)
  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Additional hard-boiled large eggs, sliced
  • Paprika


  1. In a large kettle, cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and cool. Peel potatoes; cut into chunks. Separate egg yolks from whites. Set yolks aside. Chop whites and add to potatoes with onion.
  2. In a small bowl, mash yolks. Stir in mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes; toss well. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Spoon into a serving bowl. Garnish with egg slices and paprika. Chill until serving.

Potato Salad Tips

What type of potato is best for potato salad?

Waxy potatoes, like red or fingerling potatoes, have much less starch than many varieties of potatoes and hold their shape well when boiled. This makes them the best choice for this quick and easy side dish. Grab the smallest ones you can find. The next best choice are Yukon Golds or white potatoes. Russet potatoes are best for when you want to a baked potato recipe for dinner.

What if I only have Russet potatoes?

If you have to use russet potatoes try adding a half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the boiling water. The vinegar causes the potatoes to form a protective crust or film helping them hold their shape. Only a little vinegar is needed so don't go overboard.

What goes well with potato salad?

Potato salads and grilling just go hand in hand. Can you imagine a 4th of July picnic without a big bowl of it? Anytime you're looking to make a grilled dinner is the best time to make potato salad.

How long does potato salad last in the fridge?

If you can make your potato salad recipe a day ahead of time, you'll find the flavors will blend nicely and it will taste that much better. However, you want to make sure you use it up in 3 to 5 days. Our handy food storage guide can also help you figure out how long other leftovers can last.

Can I freeze potato salad?

Yes, you can but your results will vary depending on the type of dressing and potatoes you use. Mayonnaise-based dressing don't react well to freezing and thawing. You will probably see the dressing separate and breakdown as it thaws. If you have an oil-based dressing you'll have a little better luck popping this in the deep freeze, just make sure to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and not set it on the countertop.

Do I need to peel my potatoes?

This is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I like to leave them on for added color, texture and nutrients. Just scrub them well under cold-running water to make sure they're absolutely clean before cooking.
Research contributed by James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 231 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 113mg cholesterol, 323mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.