Best Ever Potato Salad
This BEST EVER Potato Salad (with bacon!) is straight from grandma’s recipe box! It is easy, creamy, and loaded with bacon, and a secret ingredient in the dressing puts it over the top. It converted me to being a potato salad lover! Please don’t go through the entire summer without making this at least once!
Why You’ll Love This Potato Salad with Bacon
I long disliked potato salad because of how over-the-top mayonnaise-y it typically is. That is, until this recipe. It was life-changing, and I am so happy to share the recipe 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, I tend to trust old 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. Well-deserved!
This classic potato salad relies upon these basic ingredients:
- Red Potatoes – You can substitute Yukon gold potatoes; both hold their shape really well in potato salad.
- Bacon – Regular sliced bacon is perfect!
- Hard-Boiled Eggs – A classic potato salad add-in.
- Celery – For crunch and flavor!
- Onion – A small yellow onion; you can substitute a shallot.
- Mayonnaise – This is the base of the dressing. You can substitute all or part with either sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. These will both impart more of a tangy flavor, but will still work well here.
- Dijon Mustard – Adds a little bite to the dressing.
- Sugar – Classic granulated sugar for a little sweetness in the dressing.
Many potato salad recipes call for vinegar of some type in the dressing, but the Dijon mustard here does a great job of adding tang and acid and goes incredibly well with the creaminess of the mayonnaise and the sweetness of the sugar.
The Secret Ingredient that Makes This Potato Salad THE BEST
The bacon drippings!
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 of tablespoons of the bacon drippings and whisk in a modest amount of mayonnaise, some Dijon mustard, a bit of sugar, and a smidge of salt.
It is ah-mazing. The flavor is robust, not terribly mayonnaise-y (a huge bonus in my book), and a perfect accent to all the flavors and textures in the salad.
How to Make This Potato Salad
First things first… if you haven’t hard-boiled your eggs yet, do that first so they have time to cool down before being added to the potato salad. Then…
- Boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender, then drain.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Drain off the bacon drippings, reserving a couple of tablespoons.
- Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the skillet and whisk to combine.
- Toss together the potatoes, eggs, celery, and green pepper. Pour the dressing over and stir to coat, then gently mix in the bacon.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.
Making it Ahead of Time
Potato salad is the perfect candidate for making in advance! You can safely (and easily) make this potato salad up to 1 day in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator before serving.
I have served this to people who claim to hate potato salad because of the mayonnaise factor. 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 ever potato salad they’ve ever had.
If You Like This Potato Salad Recipe, Try These Summery Salads:
- Chinese Coleslaw
- Loaded Baked Potato Salad
- Thai Peanut Cabbage Slaw
- Seven Layer Salad
- Broccoli Salad
Watch the Recipe Video:
If you make this potato salad recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe! ❤️️
Best Ever Potato Salad
- 1½ pounds red potatoes, cut into small cubes (about 4 cups)
- 12 ounce package bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¾ cup (170 g) mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- ½ medium green pepper, finely diced
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar and salt to the reserved bacon drippings in the skillet and whisk to combine.
- 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.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Potatoes: You can substitute Yukon gold potatoes; they also hold their shape well in potato salad.
- Onion: You can use one shallot in place of the chopped onion.
- Mayonnaise: You can substitute all or part with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. These will both impart more of a tangy flavor but will still work.
- Storage: Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Make-Ahead: You can prepare this potato salad and keep it covered, in the refrigerator, up to 1 day in advance of serving it.
[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]