Traditional Potato Salad

“Potato salad!”, exclaims Danny Kaye repeatedly in the 1945 movie, Wonder Man.  Our family stumbled on to this movie on TV years ago when my kids were little.  They laughed their little guts out over Danny Kaye’s antics and the expression “potato salad” has always stayed with us.  We showed the movie to my grandson when he was 2 years old and he, too, laughed and laughed.  Of course we laughed at him laughing at the movie.  You can find clips from the movie on You Tube, but if you ever get a chance to see the whole thing, then make yourself a big bowl of popcorn and have some family fun watching it together.

Now back to potato salad.  The potato salad posted here is a traditional potato salad with which I grew up.  Everyone has their own favorite version of a traditional potato salad, but for me, this is the one that makes me remember hot summer days in the South, family reunions, and church pot-lucks.  The potatoes and other ingredients are infused with the flavors of salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar.  Classics.

Traditional Potato Salad
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
Printable Recipe

  • 3 pounds of small, red potatoes
  • 1 medium sweet onion (such as Vidalia), diced 
  • 3-4 stalks celery, sliced into 1/4″ wide pieces or smaller (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped dill pickles, depending on personal taste preference
  • 1 1/2-2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  1. Scrub potatoes, leave whole with skins intact.
  2. Place whole potatoes in large pot of cool water.  Bring to a boil and cook until just soft enough to be pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove potatoes from heat and pour off cooking water.  Cool potatoes by running cool or cold water over them.  I often allow the potatoes to sit in cool water, changing the water as necessary until the potatoes are cool to the touch.
  4. Depending on the size of the potatoes, slice them into 1/4’s, 1/6’s, 1/8’s and put into large mixing bowl.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add onion, celery, pickles and chopped eggs.  Toss together with potatoes.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and paprika.  Pour over potato mixture and mix well.  If potato salad seems too dry, add more mayo and/or vinegar and mix well.
  8. Cover and put in refrigerator for several hours to allow salad to cool and for flavors to blend.


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