Classic Potato Salad with Bacon

May 04, 2020

Classic American potato salad is the perfect picnic partner to accompany almond-crusted chicken tenders, butter lettuce salad, and homemade lemonade. Its creamy, slightly tangy flavor shines on the side of barbecue faves like pulled pork, smoked turkey or chicken, and salmon sizzling with smoky-sweet barbecue sauce. Bring it into the backyard to serve alongside grilled burgers, chicken thighs, hot dogs, and ribs. 

How to Make Potato Salad

The process seems simple: Boil potatoes, drain and cool them, dice the potatoes, add seasonings and condiments, mix, and sprinkle on fresh herbs and any other toppings. Easy and done! 

But, then why are some potato salads better than others? Why do some potato salads look more like pulverized egg salad than generous forkfuls of creamy potatoes that still hold their shape when pierced by a fork? We'll share our two secrets: 

  1. Select the right type of potato and cook it well
  2. Use high-quality condiments  

Classic American Potato Salad with Bacon

How Long to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad

First, choose the best type of potatoes for potato salad. Potatoes contain different amounts of starch, and therefore behave differently when placed in boiled water. Idaho and russet potatoes contain quite a bit of starch, and they break down more quickly in boiling water when compared to Yukon gold or red potatoes. Save the Idaho and russet potatoes for mashed potatoes, and use Yukon gold or red potatoes for potato salad.

Follow these steps to prepare and boil potatoes with the best texture for potato salad:

  1. Peel potatoes if you'd like. We like to see the skin peeping out of the creamy potato salad dressing, so we didn't bother with this step. Just make sure to wash your potatoes well with water before cooking.
  2. Try to cut your potatoes in roughly the same-sized pieces. This will help ensure they finish cooking at the same time.
  3. Place the diced potatoes in a large pot and cover with an inch of cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water.
  4. Cover the pot and place on the stove. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water is at a boil, reduce the heat to medium and remove the lid from the pot.
  5. Keep a close watch on the potatoes. Test them for doneness by piercing a piece of potato with a fork or sharp knife. You'll want to feel a little bit of resistance in the potato. If the potato immediately falls apart or the knife or fork slides through the potato easily, it's overcooked.
  6. Drain the potatoes. 

Classic Potato Salad with Bacon

Classic American Potato Salad with Bacon

Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Servings: 10 (1/2 cup of potato salad per serving)



  • Cut the potatoes into uniform pieces.
  • Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water for about 15 minutes, or until slightly al dente (see How Long to Boil Potatoes section above for more details).
  • Drain the potatoes. 
  • Mix mayo and mustard together in a large bowl. Add potatoes, bacon, and dill. Mix gently until just combined.

Classic American Potato Salad with Bacon

  • Refrigerate potato salad for an hour before serving.

Nutrition info (per serving):

Calories: 249

Carbs: 24 grams

Net Carbs: 22 grams

Fat: 17 grams

Protein: 5 grams

Can You Freeze Potato Salad

We wouldn't recommend freezing potato salad—technically, you can freeze potato salad (you can freeze just about anything), but it may not retain the same consistency or texture as freshly made potato salad once the frozen potato salad thaws. If you decide to freeze potato salad, follow these steps:

  • Store leftover potato salad in a resealable freezer-safe bag. Squeeze out as much of the air from the bag as possible before sealing (without squishing the potato salad).
  • Write the date and "potato salad" on the outside of the resealable bag. Place in the freezer.
  • Freeze for up to three months. If you don't use within three months, discard.

To thaw frozen potato salad, follow these steps:

  • Remove resealable bag from the freezer and place into a deep bowl that's filled with warm water.
  • Allow the potato salad to sit for 30 minutes. Remove the bag from the bowl of water, and refill the bowl with warm water again, and place the potato salad bag back inside the warm water. Allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
  • Repeat these steps until the potato salad is thawed.

You might also like these other recipes made with mayo:


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