Summer’s heating up and cookouts are looking good this year, so don’t forget this Southern Potato Salad! This recipe has the perfect amount of tang and saltiness in its creamy dressing. A classic side fit for an easy Summer recipe served at BBQs, weeknight dinner, or for lunch.

Over head shot of southern potato salad with seasoning on top in a white and blue bowl.

Do you know what the key ingredient is for southern-style potato salad? Pickle juice, and for this tangy potato salad we use dill pickles and pickle juice. My favorite addition when I want extra tang is green olives. They are deliciously salty and a great contrast to the creamy dressing.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

We have been making this southern red potato salad recipe for almost 20 years! It is a family favorite and always complimented at parties.

This easy southern potato salad starts with a creamy dressing with mayonnaise, yellow mustard, pickle juice, salt, pepper, and a little sugar. A tasty balance of creaminess, tang, and savor.

Tangy – The best part of this recipe is the tanginess from the pickle juice and yellow mustard. This southern-style potato salad recipe also has chopped dill pickles for crunch.

Quick and Easy – While the potatoes are cooking you can prepare the dressing and have this side dish ready in under 25 minutes and cooled to serve in about an hour.

Traditional – We keep to this traditional southern mustard potato salad recipe not only for nostalgia but because it is a tried and true recipe that everyone loves.
I have plenty of potato salad recipes, but for summer BBQs it’s definitely a go-to recipe

Southern Potato Salad pin


Check your pantry and fridge, you most likely have these ingredients already in the house. These simple ingredients come together for the best southern potato salad recipe ever.

Potatoes – Red potatoes are perfect for potato salad. They have a nutty flavor to them and stay firm for a nice bite. Keep the skin on! It adds to the texture, and color, and retains beneficial nutrients.

Boiled eggs – We like are southern tater salad to have a bunch of eggs!

Pickles + Juice – Dill pickles are the way to go. They are perfectly sour and crisp, and adding the juice adds more zing and saltiness to the dressing.

Yellow mustard – A classic ingredient for potato salad with eggs.

Salt and pepper

Sugar – Just a pinch to smooth out the flavors.

Green olives – (optional) Okay, we already have the mustard and pickles, but green olives are so yummy in potato salad. Add whole or chop.

Ingredients for recipe on cutting board: whole red potatoes, mayo and mustard in dish, 2 boiled eggs, salt and pepper, and half a sliced pickle with some chopped.

How to Make Recipe

1. Place eggs in a small pot of water with salt. Boil, cool, peel, and chop the eggs.

2. Rinse potatoes and dice them into bite-sized pieces. Rinse once more and place into a large pot of water. Boil until just fork-tender.

3. Drain the potatoes and return back to the hot pan to dry completely. Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until room temperature.

4. Use a potato masher and mash the potatoes 2-3 times only. Just enough to add texture.

5. While the potatoes are cooling, mix together dressing ingredients.

6. Add eggs and potatoes to the dressing mix. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

4 image collage of prepping potato salad: dice and boil potatoes and mixing up dressing with boiled eggs,

Recipe Tips

As mentioned, this potato salad recipe is easy, quick, and so tasty. Here are a few tips to get the best results!

Mix the potatoes and dressing together while the potatoes are at room temperature. Not too hot because this is a mayo-based dressing and will become greasy when heat is added to the mayonnaise. It will combine together best at room temperature. It’s not too fussy, but for the best results, this step helps.

Use dill pickles for a zesty, sour potato salad that is traditional for southern style.

Start cooking the potatoes AND boiled eggs from cold water, not hot. They cook more evenly this way.

Cook the potatoes where they are just tender enough to pierce easily with a fork.

Do not overcook the potatoes for this salad recipe. It will turn into mashed potatoes, and that isn’t the consistency you want in a potato salad!

What to serve with Southern Potato Salad

White bowl with blue specs filled with southern style potato salad.

Common questions

What potatoes for southern mustard potato salad?

Red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes are best for potato salad because they are firmer and hold their shape.

Why is my potato salad dry?

You may need to add more dressing mix. Squeeze in a little more mayo, mustard, and/or pickle juice to loosen the potato salad.

Why is my potato salad watery?

Water may have transferred over from draining the potatoes. To ensure your potatoes are dry, after draining make sure all water is removed and then add back to the hot pot. The residual heat from the pot will dry the remaining moisture from the potatoes.

Do you rinse potatoes after boiling for potato salad?

No. The starch will dry to the potatoes and will allow the dressing to still to them better.

Is potato salad better the next day?

Absolutely! After chilling overnight the ingredients meld together for a much better tasting potato salad.

How far in advance can I make homemade southern potato salad?

You can make potato salad 1-2 days in advance when stored properly in the refrigerator and within 5 days.

Do you peel potatoes first for southern potato salad?

No, life is simpler when you don’t have to peel potatoes for potato salad. They add a little chewiness and cut down prep time. There’s no need to peel potatoes, but if you prefer you can peel the potatoes first.

How do I make southern potato salad for 25 people?

This recipe is about 6 servings of creamy country potato salad. To make enough for 25 people, multiple the recipe by 4. The serving size is around 1/2 cup.

Here’s an easy reference on how much potato salad to make per person if making from scratch: How Much Potato Salad Per Guest for You BBQ

Close up of potato salad in bowl with spoon.


Apple Cider Vinegar – Instead of pickle juice use vinegar. When I do this, I’ll drizzle the cider vinegar on the potatoes after draining and then toss them into the dressing.

Change out the mayo – If you don’t like mayo or looking for a healthy option, try using Greek yogurt. It’s thick like mayo and still has great flavor. Regular plain yogurt or a plant-based yogurt would also work.

Use a different potato – Red potatoes are a favorite, but Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes would also work. Russets are more tender, so don’t overcook!

Switch out the mustard – Southern potato salad is made for yellow mustard, but if you prefer try using dijon mustard or spicy mustard.


Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

I hope you enjoy this Southern Potato Salad recipe. Let me know in the comments if you tried this recipe. Be sure to tag #ladleandgrain on Facebook and Instagram!

Southern Potato Salad

Recipe by DiannaCourse: All Recipes, Dinner, Lunch, quick and easy, SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3 pounds red potatoes, cubed

  • 4 large eggs, boiled and diced

  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 1 large dill pickle, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Additional Toppings (optional)
  • diced green olives

  • chopped chives

  • chopped bacon


  • In a medium pot, boil eggs. Cool, peel, and chop. Set aside.
  • In another pot, add cubed potatoes and enough water to boil. Cook until tender. Drain and return to pot. Use a potato masher and mash 2-3 times. Allow to cool and dry for about 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine mayo, mustard, pickles and juice, chopped boiled eggs, and seasonings.
  • Toss in the potatoes and cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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