Best Ever Potato Salad Recipe

The BEST EVER Potato Salad recipe from a friend’s grandmother, with a special secret ingredient in the dressing! It converted me from being a potato salad hater to a potato salad lover!

An overhead view of a plate of potato salad.

Potato salad falls into the same camp for me as egg salad. It’s a mayonnaise-based salad that I have long disliked because of how over the top mayonnaise-y it typically is. Until this recipe. It was a life changing experience and I neeeeeed to share it with you.

This recipe comes from a friend’s grandmother and on the recipe card she gave me it is titled “Best Ever Potato Salad”. A bold statement and one that always gives me pause, but it is absolutely, 100% warranted in this case. First of all, I tend to trust old-school family recipes over others; second, the grandma was confident enough to call it the best, and lastly, it has a secret ingredient that takes it over the top. So I am totally comfortable in telling you that it is, indeed, the best ever.

Watch How to Make the Best Ever Potato Salad!

A plate of potato salad made with red skinned potatoes.

The secret ingredient? Bacon drippings. Ahhhhhh.


Along with all of the great ingredients that give this salad a great depth of flavor and lots of texture, the dressing on this potato salad is what makes it insanely special. After frying up the bacon, you save a couple tablespoons of the bacon drippings and whisk in a modest amount of mayonnaise, some Dijon mustard, a bit of sugar and smidge of salt. It is ah-mazing. The flavor is robust, not terribly mayonnaise-y (huge bonus in my book), and a perfect accent to all of the flavors and textures in the salad.

I have served this to people who, like me, claim to hate potato salad because of how gloppy it can get with mayonnaise. I have also served it to people who claim that they only like their mom’s/grandma’s/aunt’s recipe and no others.

All of these people? They have tripped over themselves raving about this recipe, declaring it the best they’ve ever had.

So there you have it. The best potato salad, ever. You’ll want to keep this recipe stashed away for all of your summer parties and picnics! Be prepared for lots of recipe requests!

If You Like This Potato Salad Recipe, Try These:

A close up shot of potato salad on a fork, with a plate of potato salad in the background.

Three years ago: Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars
Four years ago: Hamburger Buns

Best Ever Potato Salad

Servings 6 to 8 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 1 hour
Course:Side Dish
Author: Michelle
The BEST EVER Potato Salad recipe from a friend's grandmother, with a special secret ingredient in the dressing! It converted me from being a potato salad hater to a potato salad lover!


  • pounds
    red potatoes
    (cut into small cubes (about 4 cups))
  • 12
    package bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¾
  • 1
    Dijon mustard
  • 2
    granulated sugar
  • 1
  • 4
    hard-boiled eggs
    (peeled and chopped)
  • 1
    stalk celery
    (finely diced)
  • 1
    small yellow onion
    (finely diced)
  • ½
    medium green pepper
    (finely diced)


  1. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. (If you're not sure how to boil the potatoes, this is a good resource.) Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the skillet and remove the pan from heat.
  3. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar and salt to the reserved bacon drippings in the skillet and whisk to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, onion and green pepper. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and gently stir to evenly coat. Stir in the bacon.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes:

Nutritional values are based on one serving


Calories: 574kcal
Fat: 47g
Saturated fat: 11g
Cholesterol: 173mg
Sodium: 1032mg
Potassium: 714mg
Carbohydrates: 22g
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 14g
Vitamin A: 5%
Vitamin C: 23.1%
Calcium: 3.7%
Iron: 9%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!