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Perfect Potato Salad

Chef John

"This is my mother Pauline's recipe. It's pretty much a classic American salad but remember, if you add onions, use sweet onions and chop with a very sharp knife, allow potatoes to cool to room temp before dressing them, and always taste for salt."
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15 h 40 m servings 279 cals
Original recipe yields 12 servings

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  1. Place whole potatoes in a pot with 1/4 cup kosher salt. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until tender, about 40 minutes (depending on size). Transfer cooked potatoes to a plate. Allow them to cool to room temperature.
  2. When potatoes are completely cooled, peel off the skin. Cut into larger than bite-size pieces as the pieces will break down slightly when you toss with the dressing. Transfer potato pieces to a mixing bowl. Add celery, onions, parsley, chopped hard-boiled eggs. Combine ingredients, breaking up larger pieces of potato.
  3. Place mayonnaise in mixing bowl. Add cider vinegar, mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour mayonnaise mixture onto potatoes; stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, 2 to 3 hours. Taste for seasonings and texture. Salad may need a bit more salt and another spoonful of mayonnaise.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • Choose potatoes of uniform size so cooking time is the same for all.
  • You can make the dressing while waiting for the boiled potatoes to cool. But remember, they absolutely must be room temperature before you dress them.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 279 calories; 19.6 g fat; 22.4 g carbohydrates; 4.3 g protein; 62 mg cholesterol; 2282 mg sodium. Powered by the ESHA Research Database © 2018, ESHA Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Read all reviews 5
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I have been on the search for cracking the code on how to make the "perfect" potato salad for most of my life... and I've found it! This recipe is that "classic" potato salad that is served at ...

Most of the time I love Chef John's recipes, but this one just didn't thrill me.

I left the potatoes in chunks, used red onion and added some chopped dill pickle, and it is one of the best potato salads ever in MHO. I also had to adjust the measurements down a little as I di...

I made this just as Chef John has here and it was fantastic! There is nothing I would change. THIS will be my go to potato salad from here on out.

We loved it! I found it made a big difference using russet potatoes and using the 1/4 cup Kosher salt! I followed the recipe as written. I used to cover my boiling potatoes with a lid. Just had...