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This Creamy Potato Salad recipe is truly one of the best recipes I have. It’s such a crowd-pleasing classic in my book. Perfect for gatherings of any kind and easy to make well in advance. Plus, with this paired-down recipe, you can omit and add what you want, making it exactly how you like it.
My Grandma’s Potato Salad Recipe (No Eggs!)
This recipe is based on an old recipe card (with no measurements) from my Grandma and a traditional vinegar-based German potato salad recipe.
As I mentioned above, German potato salad is a vinegary, potato side dish served either warm or cold. In northern Germany, the addition of mayonnaise is added in, thus mirroring more of an American spin on this classically European dish.
There are a few things that make this recipe unique:
- marinate the potatoes in a vinegar mixture for 12-24 hours
- exclude hard-boiled eggs, mustard, and pickles
- stir in the mayonnaise right before serving
I love using large Idaho potatoes for most recipes, including this potato salad recipe. Yukon golds, red potatoes, and even fingerlings are great options as well.
Idaho Potatoes? Won’t those fall apart?
I know what you’re thinking: Idaho potatoes for potato salad? Won’t those fall apart?
Well, typically a starchy potato is best for recipes meant for lots of cooking like mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, or baked potatoes. BUT, boiling the potatoes whole until fork tender and dicing up afterward is the trick in keeping the potatoes together in this potato salad recipe.
How to Make Eggless Potato Salad
These steps are very simple, but the trick is giving yourself enough marinating time. The longer this sits, the better it tastes! When in doubt, make this an extra day ahead.
Boil and Peel Potatoes
Boil the potatoes whole until fork tender. Drain and cool in a colander until they are warm enough to handle with bare hands.
Peel potatoes using a butter knife or spoon and dice them into large bite-size pieces.
Make the marinating liquid: stir vinegar, water, salt, pepper, sugar, and onion together in the bottom of a bowl until most of the sugar is dissolved.
Add warm potatoes to marinating liquid and stir gently to coat well. Stir in celery and parsley flakes, cover, and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
Add Mayonnaise and Optional Ingredients
Stir in mayonnaise and any extra add-ins before serving. Serve cold.
What can I add to this recipe?
A typical American potato salad features hard-boiled eggs with a dressing filled with relish, mayonnaise, dijon, or yellow mustard, and maybe even some sweet pickles. This recipe does not have a lot of those ingredients, however, because this is very much of a basic recipe, those ingredients can get added in seamlessly. Here are a few tasty add-ins:
- crumbled bacon
- hard-boiled eggs
- fresh dill
- blue cheese
- chopped dill pickles or relish
- roasted red peppers
- diced ham
For the absolute best results with this eggless potato salad recipe, I’d recommend making it ahead of time! The longer this sits, the more delicious it becomes, so don’t be afraid to make this up to 4 days in advance.
What to Serve with Potato Salad
Next time you have a get-together, give this a whirl and see how many compliments you get because there are bound to be a few!
Creamy Potato Salad Recipe (No Eggs!)
- 3 lbs Idaho potatoes about 12 potatoes
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes if you use fresh, add it in right before serving
- 1/2 large onion diced finely
- 5 ribs celery washed and diced
- 1 1/4 cups real mayonnaise use a full fat good quality one
- any extras: hard boiled eggs, bacon, dill, blue cheese, roasted red peppers, etc..
- Boil (whole) potatoes until soft- a knife should be able to be inserted easily. Drain potatoes and let cool 20 minutes or so.
- In a large bowl, combine water, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, parsley, onion and celery together. Set aside.
- Peel warm potatoes (skin should come off really easily using a butter knife or spoon), cut into large cubes and place into vinegar mixture in bowl. Stir to coat warm potatoes in marinating liquid. Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours.
- Before serving, stir in mayonnaise and any extra ingredients you'd like (crumbled bacon, dill, boiled eggs, dill pickles, etc.). Keep cool until ready to serve.