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Tater Salad: How Do You Take It?

Do you like your tater salad dressed with mayo? Mustard? A combination of the two?

I'm not a major mayo guy, but I prefer tater salad with a fairly copious amount o' mayo adulterated by a somewhat smallish dose of Dijon mustard.

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  1. I like a combination of mayo and Dijon mustard - much more mayo than mustard, of course. To me the key to good potato salad is to pour over the roughly chopped HOT potatoes a mixture of olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. I like a lot of chopped hard boiled eggs, celery and parsley in it too. My favorite recipe is the one from the Silver Palate cookbook, with cucumber left out.

    1. I never cared for potato salad as a kid but I've grown to like it as an adult, slowly but surely. I like both mayo and vinaigrette styles - what's most important to me is the add-ins. No large chunks of celery is extremely important (celery is fine if grated or finely minced, but if I have to bite it, NO WAY). Definitely no random vegetables like peas, green beans, etc. Not a fan of Miracle Whip, sweet pickle relish or anything else that adds a lot of sweetness. Tangy things (mustard, capers, etc.) and herbs of any kind are welcome! Oh, and feel free to add hard boiled eggs or bacon - I love protein!

      2 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima

        Ooh, forgot to mention - my most favorite potato salad of all is German potato salad, made with red skinned potatoes, bacon, lots of onions and cider vinegar. This thread has totally sparked a craving for it, too!

        1. re: biondanonima

          amen! this is my favorite too. and i know it's not traditional, but i love mine with a little smoked paprika added.

      2. My latest fab is one made with the addition of eggs, bacon and celery and dressed with a combo of Mayo, sour cream, Dijon and chipotle. Excellent

        1. Darn autocorrect - supposed to be Fav.

          1. I'm a big tater salad fan & enjoy it MANY different ways.

            With mayo, sour cream, & blue cheese; warm German-style; Greek style with Kalamata olives & feta cheese; French style tossed warm with vinagerette - the varieties of delicious potato salads are endless.

            1. mayo (homemade if the stars line up correctly) -- chopped hard-boiled egg, chopped celery, a little onion, a little bread-and-butter pickle (finely chopped), a spoonful of rustic mustard (with the grains), salt, and pepper. If you want to go uptown, a sprinkle of dill.

              1. I adulterate the mix with pickle juice too, which I also use to marinate the potatoes which are then dressed with a heavy mayo/pickle juice/easy ballpark mustard mixture, and blended with chopped celery, relish, green onion, and lots of chopped hard-boiled egg.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mamachef

                  yep mama Ballpark mustard here too not Dijon for this family. not saying it wouldn't be good just not the same but then the amount of
                  mustard to a batch is minimal.

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    I like Dijon for a lot of things - all salad dressings, as a sandwich spread for some, but not all, sandwiches, to coat roasts - but when it comes to hot dogs and old fashioned potato salad, French's is where it's at.

                2. I like Lynn Rosetta Castro's (The Splendid Table) recipe.

                  Thank you to those who say potato instead of tater. Just a personal bugaboo of mine (also tomato instead of mater)

                  1. Mayo, but not too much. The result should be nowhere near sloppy. Then a little Dijon.

                    1. How about neither?

                      My preference is a German potato salad made with white vinegar.

                      If I must eat potato salad made with mayo, I have to be careful to get an honest answer as to whether any mustard has been added, as I am alergic to mustard. I might try it at someone's home, if homemade and I question the cook. I have learned noit toi trust the staff at restaurants to get me accurate answers to this question, one too many visits to the ER after being reassured by the waiter that he checked with the chef and there was no mustard in the potato salad. Seems the sald chef didn't speak English.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bagelman01

                        I'll make it for you anytime and will show you no mustard anywhere in sight:)))

                      2. me too and straight forward.
                        nothing too fancy schmancy just the 9 standard ingredients.
                        it's great when it's made right. but dries out fast which is why MIL always added 1/2&1/2.

                        1. The best potato salad, IMO, is the Japanese version(they get rave reviews). This in my version:

                          4-5 Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled till tender and mash, but leave chunky

                          1/2 carrot, peeled and sliced into paper-thin circles using a vegetable peeler

                          1 Japanese cucumber also sliced into paper-thin circles

                          1/3 small red onion very thinly sliced

                          2 hard boiled eggs, chopped finely

                          1/2 tsp sea salt

                          3/4 cup mayonnaise (has to be the Kewpie brand)

                          1 tablespoon rice vinegar

                          1 tablespoon lemon jice

                          1/2 teaspoon sugar

                          black pepper to taste

                          few tablespoons crumbled bacon

                          Roughly mix all the ingredients, and always refrigerate overnight.

                          ** Add 1 tbsp bacon fat to the potatoes for a real treat!

                          1. potatoes with the skins on, tons of mayo (Dukes is best for me) added when spuds are still warm, salt and pepper, green onions chopped small and cilantro and or parsley chopped small. That's it and it's the only way I make it.

                            1. Equal number of diced or sliced red potatoes and eggs. Covered with water and boiled together, about 8-10 minutes until potatoes are just cooked. Cool just a few minutes and then peel eggs (because I find them easier to peel when they are warm.) Salt, pepper, lately just chopped chives (because I happen to have them growing) a small dollop of mustard ( lately it's been whole grain, but I have used dijon and yellow) and a bigger dollop of mayo. Toss lightly to coat. Last batch also had fresh dill.
                              I also like I think it's Rachel Ray's loaded baked potato salad, which has you baking russett potatoes, cooling and dicing, adding cheddar and bacon and chives and sour cream and mayo. Whatever version I read also called for butter, which I have never added, and I substitute our homemade plain greek yogurt for the sour cream and only add a tiny bit of mayo.
                              And Emeril has one , called Flo's potato salad, that I love as well, also has bacon and smoked horseradish sauce and hot sauce, as well as mayo.
                              And I like the viniagrette and German ones too:)

                              1. Potatoes with the skin on, yellow mustard, mayo (real stuff), hard boiled egg, onions, peppers, sweet relish, salt & pepper, and time. Always better the next day.

                                1. Potatoes Baked....let-em come to room temperature...
                                  Mayo...Dukes please........
                                  Mustard.....French's please.......
                                  Dill Pickle....That were kicked up at least two weeks ago with lotsa garlic and jalapenos in the jar.
                                  A little onion... grated.......
                                  Boiled Eggs....2 or 3
                                  Salt to taste....not much needed...
                                  Lotsa course ground black pepper..

                                  1. Y'all are a load o' egg-chuffin' fools. I won't touch biled eggs (the better half loves 'em), so they don't get into my tater salad.

                                    1. In public, with Ron White, scotch, and a cigar.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        +1 for Ron White. "They call me tater salad." Brilliant

                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          you all beat me to it - i was going to say on DVD ;) love him!!

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            About my favorite comedian these days. He said this about potato salad>>>>>>>

                                            Do you still like eating tater salad and what’s your favorite recipe?

                                            “I don’t have any recipes. I am a recipe-free man. My only goal when Margo’s not in the house is to not get any dishes dirty, and the other day I made macaroni and cheese and I was eating it out of a skillet with a spatula. I just don’t want to get anything dirty because I know I’ll have to wash it. So my mother’s potato salad is the only one I really eat, and it’s a mustard-based potato salad. So if you’d like to call my mom she’ll tell you how to make it.”

                                          2. Mayo - Hellmans because I live in the midwest and there is no Dukes here
                                            Mustard - creole
                                            onions, celery, dill

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: suburban_mom

                                              That's close to the kind I like. A friend from New Orleans showed me how to make it.

                                              Boiled red potatoes (mostly skin-on but ick stuff removed)
                                              Boiled eggs
                                              Green onions
                                              Fresh parsley
                                              White pepper
                                              Little salt
                                              Creole mustard (zatarains)
                                              Mayo (dukes)
                                              Sea salt and white pepper

                                              I also make "mom style" potato salad for my mom and brother. With Miracle Whip. And EXTRA SUGAR if you can believe that. (Mom put sugar in E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.) She also boiled the potatoes whole, put them in fridge to cool, then cubed them so the cubes are distinct cubes.

                                              1. re: Bliss149

                                                Extra sugar!? Oh my ever-lovin insulin receptors!

                                                My mother grew up in a Miracle Whip house, but my dad wouldn't touch the stuff so she switched. Now they only use Duke's and their lives have been forever changed. :D

                                            2. Potato salad is one of the things I'll use dry powdered mustard in. The old yellow tin.
                                              Mayo, finely minced celery & onion, fresh ground pepper, a bit of thyme, sometime a couple of chopped hardcooked eggs. Have even been known to use half Miracle Whip once in a while in potato or mac salad- but it'll never touch my sandwiches.

                                              The other one I like is my grandmother's German style potato salad, where the potatoes are boiled the day before and mixed with oil and chopped onion to sit overnight. Next day I add vinegar, parsley and black pepper to finish it.

                                              1. I prefer a vinegar based potato salad, with chopped onions and celery, and ideally bacon bits, and some of the bacon grease mixed in to the dressing for flavour. Red wine vinegar and a bit of dijon mustard, plus some chopped fresh herbs and a bit of garlic in the dressing.

                                                1. Best purtator salad I've ever had is this one (i've not yet made it myself, as I'm not a huge potato eater, but a friend made it for a potluck and I could. not. stop. eating it.):

                                                  Potato Salad with Lemon, Mint and Chili
                                                  Serves 6
                                                  750 g salad potatoes such as Anya
                                                  1/2 green pepper
                                                  1/4 red chilli
                                                  6 to 8 mint leaves
                                                  Small handful parsley leaves
                                                  6 spring onions
                                                  Freshly ground black pepper
                                                  4 tbsp olive oil
                                                  2 tbsp lemon juice
                                                  1 tsp sea salt
                                                  1. Boil the potatoes for 10-12 minutes, or until just tender. Drain well. This can be done
                                                  a day ahead, if liked.
                                                  2. Very finely dice the pepper and chilli. Finely chop the mint and parsley, and slice the
                                                  spring onions. Add to the potatoes with the seasoning, oil and lemon juice, and toss
                                                  well to serve. Pack into a serving dish and cover tightly with clingfilm.

                                                  The clingfilm part giving it away as some British concoction '-)

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    I use ranch dressing for my potato salad plus chopped onion and celery.

                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                      This sounds quite good and refreshing - although I would probably leave out the green pepper (not because I don't like it, but because it doesn't seem like it goes well with the rest of the ingredients). Thanks for sharing!

                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                        I'm generally not crazy about potato salads (sssh, don't tell), but this has got to be the most 'fresh' tasting one I've ever had. And it had a nice kick to it as well -- what's not to love?

                                                    2. I'm not a fan of mayo based salads at all - coleslaw is acceptable, just, and will get eaten if it comes as part of a meal, but I don't make it at home. Standard potato salad just isn't something I can face.

                                                      At home, I halve tiny new potatoes still in their skins and steam them, and toss with vinaigrette while still warm - with finely chopped spring onions. Sometimes I use honey mustard dressing instead of vinaigrette - makes an interesting change.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: DunkTheBiscuit

                                                        Mayo is not my favorite either. I like to take a good store bought coleslaw or potato salad........ Divide it in half and wash all the mayonnaise out of one half. Drain it dry dry dry, you can let it sit in the strainer, then reassemble with the other half. Sometimes I wash out 2/3 of these mayonnaise bombs

                                                      2. My latest favorite is with mayo, no mustard and then seasoned with dried dill.

                                                        Shamelessly stolen from local bbq joint.

                                                        1. I'm one of the no egg gang...they have a happy salad all their own. I am pretty old school. Hellmans, Grey Poupon (a smidge), black pepper, chives, paprika, finely diced celery.

                                                          1. Two favorites: southern style with mayo, durkee sandwich spread, hb eggs, onion celery. And Emerils small red potatoes, mayo, grated raw garlic, cilantro, celery.

                                                            Truth be told, it's all good to me.

                                                            1. I've repeated repeatedly the Kuntz Family Formula: 1 potato : 1 HB egg : 1/4 onion + mayonnaise to bind. S&P as needed. Homemade mayonnaise or Hellman's/BF, made with some garlic if I'm doing it. A little finely-chopped celery or dill pickle or green onion is okay, as is some fresh dill, and I have been known to stir some sour cream into the mix.

                                                              Alternatively, Julia's recipe for Pommes de Terre à la Huile, to which I also like to add some HB egg. Not a big fan of mustard, and please no pickle relish, though I do like some in Mac salad. But that's another chapter.

                                                              1. My all-time favorite potato salad is very non-traditional: it's a curried peanut potato salad. Wonderfully different flavor profile and very addictive.

                                                                The salad consists of red potatoes, sliced green onions, diced celery, Spanish peanuts, and a dressing made from a mixture of mayonnaise, peanut putter, curry powder, and a little white wine vinegar. Combine, chill, allow to warm a bit before serving - and pass around additional Spanish peanuts to sprinkle over the top.

                                                                I think that the original recipe also included raisins and crisp bacon (crumbled), but I don't add 'em.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: ElsieDee

                                                                  Interesting. I'd probably give that a whirl.

                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                    It's addictive - tried it on a whim and now it's a regular staple around here, especially during the summer months. I have been thinking about using a curry paste instead of the generic curry powder to see what that does to the flavors.

                                                                    Do try it - it's good!

                                                                  2. re: ElsieDee

                                                                    This sounds wonderful ElsieDee...

                                                                    I've never thought about doing this but it all makes delicious sense.

                                                                    1. re: ElsieDee

                                                                      It may be untraditional, but OMG does that sound faboo. I'd try this in a heartbeat.

                                                                    2. lightly dressed with mayo/mustard/sweet pickle juice, with hard boiled egg and finely chopped celery and onion.

                                                                      1. Mayo is on the short list of things I will not eat, even to be polite. For most of my life, I didn't think potato salad was even an option. I'd only had German potato salad out of a can, and didn't care for that either. Then I had homemade German potato salad, and later a salad of warm potatoes, green beans, and Italian dressing. Both were wonderful.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                                                          I'm the same way about mayo, give ranch dressing a try on potato salad if you eat that. I know it either has mayo or a mayonnaise like substance in it but it's somehow different to me.

                                                                          This weekend I think I'm going to try making some potato salad with my homemade Cesar salad dressing which is just egg yolks, garlic, lemon and olive oil.

                                                                        2. my favorite is a Frenchy version: warm boiled red or fingerling potatoes, skins on, cut in halves or quarters, good extra virgin olive oil, a handful of minced shallots, half a handful of minced fresh thyme, s&p. i wish i was having this right now.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                            I've made that exact salad several times. Not bad.

                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                              Had one the other day with tarragon instead of thyme. Loved it. Living in Texas I will substitute Mexican mint marigold for tarragon.

                                                                              1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                mmm...i'll have to try it with the tarragon. what does mexican mint marigold taste like?

                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                  "Mexican Mint Marigold" is the "new" tarragon. Unlike perennial French Tarragon, "Mexican Mint Marigold" (aka "Mexican Tarragon") is an annual. Stems are longer, leaves are larger & a bit lighter green, & it has a tiny little orange-yellow flower. Flavor is pretty much identical to French Tarragon, if a tiny bit milder. In fact, many of the supermarkets around here are now selling it in those plastic clamshells instead of French Tarragon, because - being an annual & less temperamental than perennial French Tarragon - it's easier & cheaper to grow, thus cheaper to buy. Of course, that means that legally it can't be sold as "French Tarragon", but is frequently just marked "Tarragon" or "Mexican Tarragon" (which obviously isn't really true either).

                                                                                  All of our local garden centers are now selling it as well, but if you're tempted to buy plants, just do keep in mind that it's an annual - it won't come back next year like perennial French Tarragon.

                                                                            2. as far as white- and yellow-fleshed potatoes go, i stated above that German style is my favorite. but i also love salads made with sweet potato...though i don't like my potato salad sweet!

                                                                              1. I go heavy on the sweet pickle relish. I can't help myself. I made a recipe from the New York Times once that had ketchup in it. I was skeptical but it was great.

                                                                                1. Red potatoes - skin on - cut into large chunks then steamed until tender. For the dressing I use equal amounts of mayo and sour cream, some whole grain Dijon mustard, chopped dill, and S&P. Delicious.

                                                                                  1. Regardless of the other ingredients you use, you can substitute soaked and slightly overcooked large dry lima beans (which would be butter beans if you bought the canned version) for the spuds, for a "fauxtato" salad that packs a better protein and fiber load than potatoes do. I defy anyone to taste a difference between the beans and traditional potato.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                      I also am a "switch-hitter," using a vinaigrette with herbs, salt, pepper, and mustard to infuse the potatoes while warm and then mayo to finish it off. My secret ingredient, thanks to Joy of Cooking, is celery seed--it adds a 'je ne sais quoi" to the final product. I prefer chopped cornichons to sweet relish. I love eggs in it, but they are not essential. My pet peeve: Too many onions or too much celery: I like both, but they should be in the background.

                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                        No potato substitutions in my kitchen... I tried subbing some of the potato with cauliflower once. went over like a lead balloon. blech. :)

                                                                                        1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                          You're right - cauliflower won't fool anyone who hasn't drunk the kool-aid. But the beans are a superb doppelganger. I discovered this serendipitously when I accidentally overcooked plain dried large limas, then tasted them.. Now I use them for a slower rise in blood sugar.

                                                                                        2. re: greygarious

                                                                                          i made this the other day, from a post of BabsW - and she credited you, gg!
                                                                                          my only complaint with the dish is that i used the canned and then forgot to rinse them first. very rookie error. otherwise, it was fantastic.

                                                                                        3. I mix a dressing for my potato salad with Helmman's mayo, mustard (often ground mustard seed, but sometimes Pommery or even French's), juice from the pickles I use in the salad (usually sweet pickles), celery seed, a dash of Lawry's season salt, fresh ground black pepper, a pinch of sugar, and salt. Sometimes I add sour cream as well. I pour this over a mixture of diced potatoes, chopped celery including some leaves, diced sweet pickles, diced or minced onion (sometimes I use dehydrated onions if I want to limit the bite of raw onion, it rehydrates and still has some crunch), and toss to mix well. When it's well mixed, then I add diced hard boiled eggs and mix lightly trying not to break the eggs up too much. Pour it all into a serving bowl, smooth the top, decorate with slices of hard boiled egg, then finish with a sprinkling of paprika. It's my momma's recipe! Oh, I use Russet potatoes because they absorb more flavor than waxy potatoes.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            Pickle juice -- yes! It's my secret ingredient.

                                                                                            1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                              Great minds make great cooks! '-)

                                                                                          2. Potatoes have been dirt cheap this year and lower than the last few years prices for 5 and 10 lb bags. Potatoes have something addictive in them be it French Fries or tater salad or baked potatoes au gratin. Could be because they are in the nightshade family? This proletarian favorite can be made so delicious! Better for me than a lot more expensive things.

                                                                                            How simple is it to simmer small red potatoes in well salted water then eat them with some butter (or oil) and black pepper. Great side to hamburger or steak