Potato salad ready to serve
BBQ,  Recipes,  side dishes

Picnic Perfect Potato Salad Recipe

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Grilling season is right around the corner – well for us it started last month but not everybody jumps to the grill the second it warms up a little bit. What would a picnic be if you didn’t have a great potato salad recipe? It is a classic that is at almost every cookout.

This one took a few tries to perfect and we made minor adjustments from the normal ingredients you would expect, but I am sure it will be a hit! This is the favorite here along with my Aunt’s recipe – she has an amazing potato salad recipe also but I don’t know it so I am not able to share it.

What Makes This so Different

Most often when you make or you see potato salad it has celery and carrots in it. Besides the potatoes, usually the celery and carrots are the only vegetables. I am a big fan of peppers and well the store literally had no celery the last time I made this potato salad so I mixed it up. Turns out we liked it better with the added veggies!

We put stop light peppers in. It gives your salad more color and also a nice flavor while adding more healthy ingredients. If your kids do not like green peppers you can use the yellow, red and/or orange peppers. They are sweeter and most kids like them better then the green.

When it comes down to it if you are more comfortable with just the celery and carrots, you are welcome to make it that way too. It is the dressing that helps make it or break it!

Making the Potato Salad Recipe

You can pick which potatoes you want to use here. I have used red, gold and white potatoes. Russet potatoes are good as well, but I usually prefer them for baking and grilling. I honestly pick them by what is on sale and what bags look the best. Sometimes your favorite just doesn’t look great at the store.

Now you want to boil the potatoes whole with the skins on. Seriously, this is the secret to a great potato salad that isn’t falling apart when you mix it. If you have different size potatoes then cook the bigger potatoes for a little longer before adding the small potatoes. Cook until you can stick the fork into the potato fairly easily. I wish I could offer you cook times but it really depends on the size of your potatoes and different potatoes seem to cook at different temps too. Boil your eggs now too and put them in the fridge after cooling down.

Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool down. Probably about 20 minutes or so. You need them to be touchable without burning yourself. I like to run a little cold water over them because it helps to stop the cooking faster – they will still cook slightly as long as they are hot.

Peel them and cut them into cubes. Make sure they have cooled to room temperature, cut up your scallions and add them to the potatoes. Put them in a container and place them in the fridge until closer to dinner.

You can put this salad together once the potatoes are cold, but I usually wait until shortly before turning the grill on or leaving for a picnic. When you are ready to make the rest of salad, add in the peppers, the shredded carrot and the eggs.

The Dressing

What makes a potato salad recipe great? The dressing! You can mix the vegetables up a little bit but without a great dressing, it will be blah.

In a bowl mix together the mayo, apple cider vinegar and sugar. Next add in the spicy mustard (you can use yellow mustard as well), garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and add to the potatoes and vegetables.

Sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Enjoy!

Potato salad ready to serve

Picnic Perfect Potato Salad

Potato salad is a classic at most cookouts.  Making the perfect salad is all about the way you prep your potatoes and the dressing you add.  This will be a favorite!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ, Potato salad recipe
Servings: 10
Calories: 483kcal


  • 5 lbs potatoes
  • 3 scallions chopped greens and all
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped
  • 1/2 yellow pepper chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 2 cups mayo
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 eggs hard boiled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley for garnish
  • 1 tsp celery seed


  • Boil potatoes whole with the skin on until you can stick a fork into them fairly easily but you don’t want them mushy.  Drain and cool to a touchable temperature.
    Peel and cut them up into bite size pieces.  Chop your scallions and mix them into the potatoes and put them in a container with a lid.  Place in the fridge until close to time to go to the picnic or before turning grill on.  
    You can put the dressing on sooner, but be sure that the potatoes have cooled down in the fridge first.
  • Add in the shredded carrot, the peppers and eggs.  Stir to combine
  • In another bowl mix together the mayo, vinegar and sugar.  Then add in the celery seed, garlic, spicy mustard, salt and pepper.  Stir the mix into the potato mix.  Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.  Enjoy!


Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 478mg | Potassium: 1045mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1480IU | Vitamin C: 50.2mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 8.1mg

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