Nothing says warmer weather like the perfect potato salad. Sadly, so many are dry, or overcooked, bland, or too sweet (womp, womp). Not this one! Say hello to your new favorite southern potato salad recipe!

bowl of homemade potato salad, from Shelf Cooking

If you've been hunting for the perfect side dish to take to that next summer cookout, then stop scrolling now. This southern potato salad is everything you've been dreaming about, and then some.

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The first bite will hook you! And making this salad? It's EASY! Just boil those potatoes, and after 15-minutes of prep work, you'll be done. We can't wait any longer to share this recipe, so here we go!


ingredients to make southern potato salad, from Shelf Cooking

We're obsessed with this recipe exactly as it's written, but if you're feeling adventurous or need to swap out an ingredient or two, we can help! Here are some simple modifications you can make to this southern potato salad recipe:

  • Dijon Mustard – We use dijon, but any mustard will do! Try brown, yellow, or even honey mustard.
  • Sweet Relish – No sweet relish? That's okay! You can use diced pickles instead. Sweet or sour will work, so choose what your family prefers.
  • Baby Red Potatoes – We like using baby reds because we're too lazy for peeling, but any potato will work! If the type you use has thicker skin, we do suggest peeling, though!
  • Mayonnaise – If you're running low on mayo, you can use sour cream, or you can do half mayo and half sour cream.
  • Capers – If you don't keep capers around, don't panic! Just dice some green olives. And whatever you do, don't toss that olive juice!
  • Add-Ins – Try adding a little pickle juice to your dressing for a nice zing! You can also add a handful of bacon bits because, well, bacon!

What, what?! Now you're all set! No matter what you have in the fridge or pantry, you can whip up a batch of this potato salad in no time. Before we get to that recipe, though, let's talk about a few ways to serve up this salad!


mixing a batch of potato salad, from Shelf Cooking

Potato salad is the perfect side for a covered dish meal, neighborhood cookout, or family reunion. It really pairs well with just about any main dish, but if you're looking for meal planning inspiration, try serving your southern potato salad with one of these:

  • Pulled Pork – We like to cook our pulled pork in the slow cooker because it's so dang easy, and it falls right off the fork!
  • Grilled Pork Chops – Summer is prime time for grilling, but you can cook up juicy pork chops any way you'd like!
  • Meatloaf – Have you tried grandma's famous meatloaf recipe yet? It's a fan favorite around here.
  • BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Go ahead and hit the easy button. These BBQ chicken sandwiches cook themselves.
  • Chicken Wraps – We're slightly obsessed with this copycat Red Robin chicken wrap recipe, and we think potato salad is the perfect side!
  • Ham – Remember this potato salad when Easter rolls around! Ham + potato salad are the perfect pair.
  • Rotisserie Chicken – Grab that leftover rotisserie chicken from the fridge, heat up some green beans, reach for the potato salad, and dinner is served!
  • Chicken Zucchini Casserole – This chicken zucchini casserole is one of our favorite spring and summer dishes, and it tastes amazing with a big helping of potato salad on the side!

Now you've got a feast in the making! Can we come over?! Kidding. (Kinda)


bowl of a potato side dish, from Shelf Cooking

This potato salad will last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator, so feel free to make a big batch! Warning: your family will want to sneak a bite, so plan accordingly. Cover tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap, or store your salad in an airtight container.

Can you freeze it? Well, we're glad you asked! Most people don't know this, but you can freeze potato salad. It lasts up to three months in an airtight container. We suggest using a freezer bag and letting out all the air before you drop it in the freezer. While the flavor and texture may change slightly, here's a trick: serve it warm after you thaw it.

Heat it on the stovetop, allowing the potato edges to slightly brown and crisp. It will make up for any mushy sogginess that happened during the thawing and freezing process.


Ready for the recipe we've been teasing?! We kept the prep simple and the flavors complex. Every bite is perfectly dressed and full of different textures and flavors.

bowl of homemade potato salad, from Shelf Cooking

Southern Potato Salad

This potato salad is practically perfect! From the crunchy fresh celery to the creamy dressing to the soft egg, eating this potato salad is a delicious journey. Yes, we are that passionate about this potato salad.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 2 lbs baby potatoes (mix of red and yellow)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup sweet relish
  • ½ cup celery, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red onion, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • 2 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup dijon
  • ½ tbsp dried dill (or ¼ cup fresh)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  • Begin by putting the potatoes and eggs into a large saucepan. Cover them with cold water and season well. Bring it up to a simmer. After 12 minutes, remove the eggs and place them in a small bowl of ice water. Peel and chop them when they are cooled. After 3 more minutes, or when easily pierced with a fork, drain the potatoes and rinse with cool water. When they are cool enough to handle, gently break them up and place them in a large bowl.
  • For the dressing, simply stir all ingredients together.
  • Place the rest of the potato salad ingredients in the bowl with the potatoes and pour the dressing over the top. Stir to combine and season to taste. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


A couple of fun tricks: use baby potatoes so you don't have to peel the potato.
Bonus: boiling unpeeled potatoes leads to a far more preferable texture in the finished potato salad. No more soggy potato salad! We also cook the eggs right in with the potatoes. Yes, you can do that! Holla!
Keyword southern potato salad

Is your mouth watering yet? Because we're over here drooling on our keyboard! This recipe is just so stinking good, you guys.

You have to give this southern potato salad a try, and let us know what you think! We hope it becomes your new family go-to for cookouts and get-togethers.

Now: time for a quick poll. Do you prefer sweet or savory potato salad? Let us know in the comments!

potato salad in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Want to try a few more of our favorite summer recipes?

Later, tater!