How To Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad
Jul 11, 2022, Updated Feb 05, 2023
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Need to know how long to boil potatoes for potato salad? We have you covered. Learn how to cook the perfect potatoes for your potato salad along with a super simple and delicious recipe.
Potato salad is a classic side dish perfect to serve at any BBQ, holiday, or pot luck. It’s a simple to make but we are sharing some tips and tricks to make sure it turns out delicious every time.
Simple Potato Salad Ingredients
- Potatoes – Use the potato of your choice like gold or red skin potatoes.
- Mayonnaise – You can use your favorite mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.
- Mustard – This recipe calls for yellow mustard but you can also use Dijon.
- Vinegar – Use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. This adds a wonderful layer of flavor to the potatoes.
- Salt, pepper, celery seed – Basic seasonings for the salad. You will also want extra salt to salt the potato water.
- Green onions – You only need 2-3 green onions for this recipe.
- Hard boiled eggs – These are optional but I think are key to a classic potato salad recipe.
What are the best potatoes for potato salad?
Small, waxy potatoes, like red skinned potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, are considered to be the best type of potato to use because they hold shape while staying soft on the inside. Fingerling potatoes also work well.
Many people do use potatoes like a classic Russet. These are fine to use but have a more soft, mushy texture.
Dressing: Don’t like mayonnaise, substitute with sour cream or Greek yogurt. You can also substitute yellow mustard with Dijon mustard for a spicier flavor.
Vegetables: You can substitute the green onions with sweet Vidalia onions or red onion. Chopped celery is a nice add-in if you like extra crunch. Pickles are also a delicious addition. Use either diced dill pickles or sweet pickle relish.
Herbs: Try adding some fresh herbs like fresh dill or chives.
How to long boil potatoes for potato salad
The time to boil potatoes will depend on the size of the potatoes. This recipe is using small gold potatoes. Boiling them whole will take about 20 minutes.
If you are using a large potatoes, it could take 20-25 minutes to get them fork tender and if you decide to boil them already cut, it could take more like 15 minutes.
You will know the potatoes are done boiling when you can easily push a fork through them.
Step one: Make sure to start your potatoes in cold water. Fill a large pot with cold water. Add the potatoes to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add in salt to the boiling water which helps preseason the potatoes.
Step two: Boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Depending on how large the potatoes you are using. Typically 15-20 minutes.
Step three: Drain the potatoes. Cut into about 1/2-inch chunks. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and then pour on vinegar. Let the potatoes cool.
Step four: Make the dressing. Mix together mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and celery salt. Pour dressing over cooled potatoes and stir to coat.
Step five: Stir in green onions and diced boiled eggs. Serve or store in the refrigerator.
Tips for Boiling Potatoes for Potato Salad
- Pick the right potato. Use a potato like Yukon gold, red potato, or fingerling potato.
- The trick to make a good potato salad great is to salt the water. Make sure to salt your water because it helps to season the potatoes while they are boiling.
- Don’t skip the vinegar. This adds so much flavor and will have your guests asking about the secret ingredient.
- Wait to add the dressing until after the potatoes have cooled.
Boiling Potatoes FAQs
I recommend not cutting your potatoes before boiling. Keeping them whole helps to maintain their texture and also taste.
If you only have large potatoes, you can cut them into chunks before boiling to help reduce cook time. Just be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t turn to mush. Check them at 15-20 minute mark.
You do not need to peel them before boiling. Cook with the potato skins on and then carefully remove the skin once they are done. You can also choose to leave the skin on, it depends on your personal preference.
Add the potatoes into cold water before it starts boiling. This will help the potatoes cook evenly.
Starting the potatoes in cold water will help them not get mushy. You also want to make sure to not over boil the potatoes so they don’t get mushy.
How to store Potato Salad
Store: Store any leftover potato salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Freeze: I would not recommend freezing because the dressing does not have a food consistency after thawing.
Make sure not to let potato salad sit out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
More potato recipes
Did you try this great recipe? Let me know in the comments what you like in your potato salad.
How Long To Boil Potatoes For Potato Salad
- 1 lb small gold potatoes
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 boiled eggs, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- Fill a large pot with cold water. Add the potatoes to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add in salt to the boiling water.
- Boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Depending on how large the potatoes you are using. Typically 15-20 minutes. They will be done when you can stick a fork through the potato.
- Drain the potatoes. Cut into about 1/2-inch chunks. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and then pour on vinegar. Let the potatoes cool.
- Make the dressing. Mix together mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and celery salt. Pour dressing over cooled potatoes. Stir to coat.
- Stir in green onions and diced boiled eggs. Serve or cover and store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.