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Perfect Picnic Potato Salad Recipe

Posted June 26, 2019 by Stephanie

The other day I got a text: can you send me your potato salad recipe? I mean, it was totally plausible that it was from a friend, but I didn’t recognize the number so I asked, “who dis?” Turns out it was a wrong number text but I offered them a potato salad recipe anyway because, why not? I thought it was hilarious and cute and so so perfect because I love potato salad so much and it reminded me that there isn’t a classic picnic potato salad recipe on the blog.

So, the next day I bought some potatoes and here we are, perfect picnic potato salad. I’m a creamy mayo potato salad kinda girl. Don’t get me wrong, I like potato salads with yogurt and sour cream too, but something about barbecues and picnics means classic creamy potato salad with lots of crunchy things.

The key to a good potato salad is the potatoes, of course. I like to use yellow flesh potatoes (Yukon golds are my potato of choice) and I always boil them skin on so they don’t get too soggy. Plus it’s really easy to peel potato skins off after they’ve been cooked. I learned that one from my mom – I remember her peeling potatoes after cooking them and now I do it too. Cooking them skin on also helps keep the potatoes more potato-y flavored, probably because the potatoes don’t get water logged.

Make this classic perfect picnic potato salad and bring it to ever summer gathering! Creamy potatoes, crunchy celery, onions, and eggs combine into a salad you’ll be making and eating over and over again thanks to a secret ingredient: rice vinegar for tang. #potatosalad #potatoes #recipes #potatosaladrecipe

Make this classic perfect picnic potato salad and bring it to ever summer gathering! Creamy potatoes, crunchy celery, onions, and eggs combine into a salad you’ll be making and eating over and over again thanks to a secret ingredient: rice vinegar for tang. #potatosalad #potatoes #recipes #potatosaladrecipe

Anyway, after peeling the potatoes and roughly chunking them up, sprinkle on a bit of rice vinegar while the potatoes are still hot so they can absorb that awesome tartness and have a secret hidden punch. Rice vinegar is my favorite of all the vinegars, just the right amount of tart.

You definitely need crunchy celery and a bit of onions as well. I go between red onions and green onions. If you like a milder onion flavor, do the green onions and if you like more crunch and sharpness, do the red onions. Sometimes I even do both. I also like using kewpie mayo because it is just so much more delicious than regular. It really adds that extra something!

Happy potato salad making :)

Make this classic perfect picnic potato salad and bring it to ever summer gathering! Creamy potatoes, crunchy celery, onions, and eggs combine into a salad you’ll be making and eating over and over again thanks to a secret ingredient: rice vinegar for tang. #potatosalad #potatoes #recipes #potatosaladrecipe

Make this classic perfect picnic potato salad and bring it to ever summer gathering! Creamy potatoes, crunchy celery, onions, and eggs combine into a salad you’ll be making and eating over and over again thanks to a secret ingredient: rice vinegar for tang. #potatosalad #potatoes #recipes #potatosaladrecipe

Make this classic perfect picnic potato salad and bring it to ever summer gathering! Creamy potatoes, crunchy celery, onions, and eggs combine into a salad you’ll be making and eating over and over again thanks to a secret ingredient: rice vinegar for tang. #potatosalad #potatoes #recipes #potatosaladrecipe

Perfect Picnic Potato Salad
serves 6


  • 2 pounds small yellow potatoes, skin on, scrubbed
  • 1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped, about 1/3 cup
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mustard of choice
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup mayo, or to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Note: I love using kewpie mayo – it makes a huge flavor difference!

Add the potatoes to a large pot of water and cover with water. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a fork, 25-30 minutes, depending on size.

When the potatoes are done, drain and let cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, peel the potato by pulling the skin away. Roughly chop the potatoes into bite sized chunks and place in a large bowl.

Sprinkle the rice vinegar over the potatoes and toss. Mix in the onion, celery, chopped eggs, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the mayo, a bit at a time until the salad is creamy and dressed to your liking. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Chill, covered for at least an hour before enjoying!

2 Comments

  1. Jeanine says:

    This is the cutest story every :) plus, I love your idea of using rice vinegar, yum!

    1. Stephanie says:

      so HILARIOUS. i almost died when they texted asking for the potato salad. and rice vinegar is the best, isn’t it? :) hope you’re doing well jeanine!! ♡♡

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