This Southern Mustard Potato Salad recipe is exactly what to expect when dining at any Southern home or "home-cookin'" restaurant. Diced russet potatoes, yellow onion, bell pepper and celery nestled in a creamy, yet slightly tangy mustard-mayonnaise dressing.
Potato Salad is the quintessential Southern side dish because it goes with just about everything from Easter ham to barbecue and even fried catfish!
The best version I've ever had was my Grandmother's recipe. Naturally, she didn't measure any ingredients, but just "eye-balled" the correct proportion of each ingredient and it always came out perfect!
The secret to this delicious Southern side dish is to use the right kind of potatoes and let them cool before you dice them.
What kind of potatoes should I use?
I recommend the big brown russet for the best potato salad. Russets soften and absorb the flavors better than their waxy cousins, namely Yukon Gold and Red Boiling or Red Creamers.
While waxy potatoes hold up best in soups and stews, in a dish like this, (where you want both creamy and chunky bites,) the Idaho russet works best.
Typical ingredients for Southern Mustard Potato Salad are: russet (or Idaho) potatoes, diced onion, celery, and green bell pepper.
The creamy-tangy dressing consists of: mustard, mayonnaise, a hint of celery salt, oil and white vinegar; some cooks add a few teaspoons of sweet (or dill) relish.
Most often, Southern cooks add chopped boiled eggs to the mixture. This recipe doesn't include eggs, simply because I don't like boiled eggs in mine:) If you do, go ahead and add one or two.
You'll often see red sprinkles of paprika on the top. It's a nice finishing garnish that enhances the visual appeal, but doesn't really impact the flavor.
How to make Southern Mustard potato salad
Homemade potato salad is pretty quick and easy to make!
- First, rinse and scrub russets then, put the unpeeled spuds in a big pot of water and cook them until tender. (If you want a boiled egg in your salad, boil it now.)
- Drain and place the potatoes in the fridge to cool--leave the skins on! Don't peel them yet.
- Once they're cool, peel and dice into small pieces.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion, celery and bell pepper.
- Place diced potatoes and cut vegetables in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, make the dressing which is: mustard, mayonnaise, celery salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. Combine well. Peel and dice an egg if you're including one- but don't add it yet!
- Using a spatula, fold the dressing into the potato/vegetable mixture (don't add the chopped egg yet!); once combined, taste for seasoning.
- This mixture will definitely need salt, so sprinkle some in with a little pepper; gently combine and taste again. Use a potato masher to mash the diced potatoes a little.
- If you're adding a chopped boiled egg to the salad, do it now.
Lightly fold in the egg, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. When ready to serve, allow to sit about 10 minutes at room temperature. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish and serve!
Here's a quick visual breakdown of How to Make Potato Salad:
Can I make this in advance?
Make this "favorite side dish of the South" in advance if you want! Since it contains egg-based mayonnaise, you'll want to make sure it's stored in a secure container in the fridge for no more than 3 days.
When it's time to serve, transfer the salad to a pretty crystal bowl and garnish with paprika.
Unfortunately, mayonnaise does not freeze well...the eggs and oil separate and it turns to mush. Plus that, fresh potato salad tastes best!
I like to serve Southern Mustard Potato Salad with ham, barbecue ribs, fried catfish and Hot Pastrami sandwiches!
Pin It for Later!!
Southern Mustard Potato Salad
- Potato masher
- 3 lbs. russet potatoes
- ¾ cup green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 medium pepper)
- ¾ cup yellow onion, chopped (about ½ a medium onion)
- ¾ cup celery, chopped (about 4-6 stalks)
- 1 boiled egg (optional) chopped (See Recipe Notes: Egg)
- paprika for garnish (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Potato Salad Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup yellow mustard
- ¼ cup oil canola or vegetable
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Heat a large stockpot of water on high
- Scrub and rinse potatoes; place potatoes in water and allow to cook until tender
- Place cooked potatoes in fridge for 30 minutes (don't peel them yet)
- Chop green bell pepper, onion and celery
Make the Potato Salad and Dressing
- Remove potatoes from fridge; use a sharp paring knife and gently slice away potato peel
- Slice potatoes and cut into smaller than bite size pieces; place potatoes in large bowl
- Add chopped vegetables; combine with spatula
Make the Dressing
- Combine mayonnaise, mustard, celery salt, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl; whisk until combined
Assemble Potato Salad
- Pour half of the dressing over the potatoes and vegetables; use a spatula to combine
- Taste for salt and pepper; add more if needed
- Add remaining dressing and combine
- Use a potato masher and gently mash the mixture; don't mash the potatoes too much
- (If you're adding a chopped boiled egg, add it now; combine using a spatula)
- Taste for salt and pepper; adjust seasonings as desired; place in fridge for 15 minutes
- When ready to serve, plate in pretty bowl and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and/or chopped green olives (optional)
- If you like a chopped boiled egg in your potato salad, boil the egg while the potatoes are cooking. Let the egg cool while the potatoes cool.
- Add the chopped egg after you've mashed the potato salad a little with the potato masher
- Fold the egg in using a spatula