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Classic Potato Salad

Updated On: May 23, 2024

Classic Potato Salad is just as you’d imagine it. Creamy mayo, chunks of Yukon gold potato, hard-boiled egg, and herbs. This recipe does not contain celery but gets a slight boost of celery flavor from the addition of celery seeds. This is the perfect side dish for hot dogs, summer backyard barbecues or anytime you want an easy recipe for potato salad. 

classic potato salad recipe

Classic Potato Salad

This summer staple recipe is simple to make and only requires a few ingredients and some fresh herbs. Day 2 is always tastier, but you can absolutely serve this right away.

I started making this recipe when we lived on the farm because it used up fresh herbs from the garden. I also always grew several varieties of potatoes like Yukon Gold potatoes, Red potatoes, and russet potatoes. Yukon Gold’s work best for this recipe, but you can experiment with your fave potatoes. Make sure you don’t skip the “deflaming” portion of this recipe where you soak the onions in apple cider vinegar for a little while. Do this step even if you’re using a sweet onion. This makes the onion not as “hot” or raw and adds that little vinegar hit that makes potato salad so delicious.

creamy potato salad with fresh herbs

Ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe

Simple ingredients can make the best recipes. Get creative with other herbs like fresh summer savory, fresh marjoram, or fresh thyme. 

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes – unpeeled, or potato of your choice (see below for other options)
  • Hard Boiled Eggs – make them ahead and chill them before assembling for best results
  • Mayonnaise – this recipe is best made with real mayonnaise vs an egg free variety
  • Onion – yellow onion or sweet yellow onion is best
  • Apple Cider Vinegar ​- to deflame the onions
  • Basil Leaves – fresh basil leaves that are chopped
  • Oregano Leaves ​- fresh oregano leaves that are chopped
  • Sage Leaves​- fresh sage leaves that are chopped
  • Celery Seeds – used in place of chopped celery
  • Salt & Black Pepper ​- to taste

Tips for Making a Classic Potato Salad recipe

Deflame onions in apple cider vinegar for 20 minutes. Apple cider vinegar is less pungent than white vinegar and will add a light flavor. Drain the onions and squeeze out the extra liquid.

Cook potatoes until they are just fork tender. ​Cooking potatoes too long will make them fall apart easily which will result in a potato salad that is more like mashed potatoes.

Kick it up. Add to your classic american potato salad by adding other ingredients like: chopped salami, crisp bacon, Dijon mustard, capers, sweet or dill pickles, green olives, bell pepper, green onions, crunchy celery, fresh dill, fresh parsley, mustard seeds, caraway seeds, or sweet pickle relish.

Best potatoes for traditional potato salad. You can use any type of potatoes for this recipe just make sure you don’t overcook them and that they are just fork tender and still holding together. Some kind of potatoes that will work great: new potatoes, waxy potatoes like: red skin potatoes or gold potatoes, white potatoes, fingerling potatoes, or purple potatoes.

the best potato salad with no celery

How to make Creamy Potato Salad

Boil potatoes. Salt a large pot filled with cool water. Add the cut potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook just until fork tender. Drain the warm potatoes well and rinse in cold water to cool them down faster. Add to a large bowl.

Soak onions. Finely chop 1 medium yellow onion and place the raw onion in a small bowl. Add apple cider vinegar to cover and set aside. When it’s time to assemble, drain the onions discarding the vinegar and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Make hard-boiled eggs. Add 2-3 eggs to a small saucepan filled with cold water. Bring to a boil for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and place a cover on the saucepan and rest for 7 more minutes. Drain and run under cold water or submerge into an ice bath. Peel and coarsely chop.

Chop herbs. ​In a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise and chopped herbs. Stir to combine and set aside.

Assemble this old-fashioned potato salad. Add the drained & squeezed onions, chopped eggs, a big pinch of celery seeds, salt & black pepper, and the mayo herb mixture to the cooled potatoes and stir lightly to combine. Taste it, then add more salt & black pepper if needed. Serve right away or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

classic potato salad recipe without celery

Classic Potato Salad

A simple Classic Potato Salad recipe that uses only a few ingredients and is easily customized to your liking.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 Servings


  • 1 medium onion diced small
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 5 medium potatoes Yukon Gold or other thin skinned potato, cubed
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seeds
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  • Place the onion in a small bowl and add apple cider vinegar to cover. Set aside.
  • Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water until fork tender. Drain well and cool. Add to a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and chopped herbs. Stir to combine.
  • Drain the onions, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Discard the vinegar.
  • Add the onions to the potatoes, the celery seeds, chopped eggs, and mayo herb mixture. Season with salt and black pepper and stir lightly to combine. Serve immediately or chill for up to 2 days.


Calories: 431kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 7gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 17gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 268mgPotassium: 812mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 145IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 2mg
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Recipe By:

Heather is a recipe developer and content creator living in Vancouver, Washington. She started Farmgirl Gourmet in 2006, almost 20 years ago, as a way to share recipes with friends and family. Heather is also the co-founder of Spiceology , a unique spice company, which she started in 2013. She shares family friendly recipes for easy everyday meals with a gourmet twist.


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