5 Tips for the Best Potato Salad

Making potato salad is easy enough, but making a great-tasting potato salad that people will go back for seconds on is something else. Many people make a plain potato salad with potatoes and mayonnaise. While it might taste good, it’s boring. Potatoes go with just about everything, so you can get really creative with a potato salad.

Spice It Up

Adding spices to a potato salad that doesn’t use vinegar can spice it up. Consider adding salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. If you really want to kick it up a notch, add a bit of cayenne pepper or Badia redfish seasoning. Even if you make mustard potato salad, you could add the same seasonings. Adding a fresh green, such as parsley or cilantro also adds color to the salad.

Mix the “Sauce” First

When using spices, always mix the spices with the mayonnaise before you start adding the rest of the ingredients. Otherwise, you may not get all the spices evenly mixed. You’ll get a bite that is bland and a bite that is overly spicy. If you are making mustard potato salad, mix the mustard in with the spices. If you use a whisk to mix it, you’ll ensure the spices and mustard are mixed thoroughly and evenly.

Use Prepared Mustard

If you’re making mustard potato salad, you’ll want to use quite a bit of prepared mustard. However, if you don’t want mustard potato salad, adding a couple of teaspoons of mustard per cup of mayonnaise will round out the flavor without giving the salad a vinegary or mustardy taste.

Add Lots of Goodies

Because most everything goes well with potatoes, you can add just about anything you want. If you add meat, choose one. You can add a can of drained tuna, diced hotdogs, bologna, olive loaf, P&P loaf or even spam.

You might also consider adding peas, diced cheddar cheese, onions, sweet green peppers, hard-boiled eggs and celery. You can add more color by using multi-colored sweet peppers. Pimentoes also give the salad a bit of color if you don’t like sweet peppers.

If you add hard-boiled eggs, wait until they cool slightly before peeling them under a slow stream of running water. Cut them into bite-size pieces. Mix everything else first, then add the hard-boiled eggs and gently fold them into the salad mixture.

Prepping the Potatoes

To some people, it is a crime to leave the peels on the potatoes; to others, it’s a crime to peel them. Whichever way you like the potatoes, the best way to cook them for potato salad is to cut them into bite-size pieces before cooking them. They’ll cook faster and more evenly. Drain the potatoes well, then rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process if you want the potatoes to stay cubed. Some people like the potatoes to mash up a bit when mixing the salad.

If you want to add more color to the salad, use red potatoes and leave the peels on. Just wash them thoroughly, cut them into bite-size pieces, boil until just fork-tender, drain them and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process.