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Traditional Potato Salad Recipe

This traditional potato salad recipe is truly a classic. Made with hard-boiled eggs, green onions, dill pickle juice and mustard, this classic potato salad is a family favorite!

Potatoes love me and the feeling is mutual.

I can eat potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and of course, in between.

My favorite junk food is potato chips or fries, but I haven’t had many of those lately.

I’ve often felt that if I had too, I could live on potatoes, just potatoes, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

It is hard to mess up the potato, though I suppose it’s been done.

Greasy, limp fries aren’t too good nor are burnt hash browns.

And I don’t really like soggy potato pancakes.

But I guess the worst mess is store bought potato salad. The sweet kind.

The kind filled with more mayo and tiny red pieces (which I think are pimento), than potatoes.

Stores try to throw in  mustard but somehow, at least to me, that just makes it seem sweeter.

potato salad/blue bowl and small white bowl/red napkin


No, I’m not a big fan of store bought potato salad.

As a child I remember my dad running across town to buy fried chicken from a grocery named Lloyd’s.

 Dad would drive over every Sunday afternoon and buy fried chicken, potato salad and DAD’s root beer with a blue and yellow label.

We were only allowed milk on most days so Sundays were a special treat.

I think they even sold tapioca pudding which he loved, but could never get me to eat.

He also brought home fried chicken livers and gizzards.  I remember fighting over the livers but he ate the gizzards all by himself.

It was a meal to look forward to.

I might have even been allowed to sit in front of the TV and watch The World of Disney on NBC which always had some movie about animals, that inevitably made me cry.

Old Fashioned Potato Salad that Dad's love is made with mustard, eggs, green onions, celery for crunch and a touch of pickle juice. It is so not sweet! Just good! #potatoes #potatosalad #sidedish

It is weird what we remember. And food is a good trigger for my memories.

Sometimes I think I don’t remember much, but when it relates to food I think I remember a lot.

In this case, I remember the potato salad. It was good. It had crunchy pieces of celery and onion and a hint of mustard, too.

Lloyd’s disappeared early in my childhood and then I remember Kentucky Fried and Popeye’s.

They just weren’t the same. And they didn’t sell Dad’s.

But back to potatoes. I believe my first bite of potato salad came from Lloyd’s.

Though I honestly can tell you I don’t really remember it well, but believe it was a traditional potato salad.

It didn’t have funny herbs or spices. I don’t know if it had sugar.

But this recipe is what I think it tasted like. And this traditionalpotato salad is perfect for dads.

Real dads. Real dads that drink Dad’s root beer and go get fried chicken and stuff, because their wife doesn’t want to cook.

The thing is (now that I’m thinking about it), I think my dad preferred macaroni salad and I don’t like macaroni salad.

Sorry dad! Love you and Happy Father’s Day!

Classic Potato Salad/spoon/blue bowl/white bowl/red napkin

A Few More:

Potato Salad with Dill

potato salad with capers

Roasted Potato Salad

Roast Garlic Potato Salad

Old Bay Potato Salad

Old Bay potato Salad


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traditional potato salad recipe

Traditional Potato Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 - 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Salads/Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale

23 lbs red jacket potatoes boiled in salt water (Don’t let them get to soft)
4 hard boiled eggs
3 green onions chopped or 1 cup
3/4 c chopped celery
3 T chopped parsley
2 T dill pickle juice
2 T yellow ball park mustard
1 t salt
1/3 c Hellman’s or Blue Ribbon mayo


Cover potatoes with salted cold water in a large pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium and cook until potatoes are just tender-about 15-20 minutes. Remove potatoes and set aside to cool.

Bring water back to boil and boil your eggs until hard.

Peel and chop potatoes in medium size pieces suitable for real potato salad.

Now chop the eggs somewhat fine.

Mix chopped eggs, onions, celery, parsley, pickle juice, mustard, salt and mayo in bowl.

Add warm potatoes and fold gently into mixture. Enjoy with real dads! Or not!


(I prefer fresh potato salad. In other words, try not to plan for leftovers. I think it gets mushy if it sits to many days in the fridge.)


Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Saturday 12th of November 2022

This turned out well. I don't like store-bought or even deli potato salads for the most part because they use vinegar instead of pickle juice. This was great (though I did add twice the mayo.)


Monday 14th of November 2022

Mayo is a funny thing isn't it? Some like more, some like less. I'm so glad you liked it and never be afraid to mix things up a bit!

Abbe Odenwalder

Tuesday 18th of June 2013

That's a great tip! Thanks so much for telling us about it!


Tuesday 18th of June 2013

Hello! I have one hint for you if you like that little tingly zing on the sides of your tongue as you eat each bit. As you let the potatoes drain and when they are still piping hot, sprinkle the pickle juice over them. They will absorb the juice and have great flavor. Then leave the pickle juice out of the dressing part. My mom used pickle juice, but I use red wine vinegar for a SUPER tingle :)

Abbe Odenwalder

Monday 17th of June 2013

Hey youngest bro! I'm not even sure you were around when he bought chicken at Lloyd's. And if you were you didn't have teeth. Hope you had a great trip!


Monday 17th of June 2013

Dads? Perhaps, A and W, then Jaenikes?

Your youngest bro.