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May 14, 2012 10:55 AM

Potato Salad for 40!

Could someone help me figure out how many potatoes, how much mayo I need to have for this "project"? Thank you in advance!!

Also...any hints to your favorite ingredient that might kick it up a notch would be appreciated.

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  1. 12 pounds of potatoes would be about perfect, and you'd be using somewhere between 2-3 cups of mayo, you'll really just have to eyeball it.

    1 Reply
    1. Old recipe from my grandpa's German Mennonite farming family is deliberately designed to contract or expand, being expressed more as a formula than a typical recipe: the ratio is one potato to one (boiled) egg to one-quarter of an onion, mayonnaise to bind and S&P to taste.Those folks probably based it on one good-sized potato per person, but I think if this will be just part of a varied menu you can go lighter - we tend to assume that everyone's going to take a big spoonful, and then wind up with leftovers for a week.

      This is about as far as I go with potato salad - the only way to improve it in my opinion is to make a garlicky mayo instead of using Hellman's - but of course it lends itself to additions of chopped pickle or pickle relish, chopped celery, mustard if you insist, maybe fresh chopped dill.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen

        My german family would eat two potatoes per person! :) Thank you. I will make my own mayo.

        1. re: melly

          I was talking about those Illinois potatoes - the 12 lbs. mentioned above would be maybe ten potatoes! Yes, I know that boiling (or "waxy") potatoes are recommended for potato salad, but back in Illinois we used what we grew, and those were big russets. Our only "new potatoes" were baby russets.

          1. re: Will Owen

            "I was talking about those Illinois potatoes - the 12 lbs. mentioned above would be maybe ten potatoes!"

            THose must be ENORMOUS potatoes! I think if the OP figures a one pound potato per guest she will have an INCREDIBLE amount of leftovers. I cant see everyone eating over 16 ounces of potato salad!

            With 12 pounds of potatoes you will get about 5 and a half ounces of potato salad per person once you add your mayo/relish/etc, a more reasonable amount IMHO. If you go up to 15 pounds you are assured some leftovers.

            1. re: twyst

              Sorry, my mistake - I should have been thinking HALF pound, so 10 lbs of big ones would be about twenty spuds. Here in SoCal even those are hard to come by, as ours seem to run maybe five or six ounces. I did find some half-pound plus potatoes at Ralphs when I was wanting to make twice-baked stuffed ones. I must admit, though, I've seen a few in my time that you could probably kill somebody with.

      2. I like to add some Old Bay.

        1. Potato Salad for 50 and 100 servings (school cafeteria recipe)

          USDA School Cafeteria recipes in 50 and 100 serving quantities

          1 Reply
          1. re: Antilope

            cool links, antilope -- as usual.

          2. I think 10 lbs of potatoes would be about right with about 1 doz hard cooked eggs. Maybe 1 big onion, minced (I don't like too much onion, use your judgment.) I always cook my potatoes in the skins and leave the skins on. Then, when just cool enough to handle, I cut them up and sprinkle them generously with cider vinegar. I have made huge amounts of salad in a 5 gal bucket, but If you don't have arms like a wrestler, you might want to mix your salad in 2 or 3 separate bowls, so much easier! I would also add about 6 or more sticks of celery, but that is optional. No idea how much mayo, buy a lot. Now, mix the potatoes, onions, celery and chopped eggs. On top, put a big dollop of mayo and on top of the mayo put a small dollop of yellow mustard. Mix the 2 together a little before stirring into the potatoes. Keep adding mayo and mustard until the consistency you like.