Important, nay Imperative Summer Topic


Hot days and warm summer nights mean barbecue, picnic, and potluck season is upon us (even though some of us are still waiting to see the sun). One dish in particular seems to find its way to all of these events. Like or hate it, I’m talking about potato salad. Even people who dislike potato salad still have plenty to say about it.

I’m not talking about German Potato Salad or French Potato Salad either, just regular ol’ deli-style potato salad. It’s mayonnaise-based with potatoes and eggs. Some people add onions or celery, while others add pickle relish. Others, like me, prefer it simple.

Here is my recipe along with a few tips to make a great, basic potato salad:

    • boiling potatoes–figure one potato per person plus a few extras for good measure
    • hard-boiled eggs*–the number of eggs should match the number of potatoes
    • mayonnaise (real mayonnaise not imitation)
    • yellow mustard, nothing fancy here
    • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Potatoes should be about the same size. If you have a huge one, cut it in half or quarters. Place potatoes in their jackets (that’s fancy talk for unpeeled) in salted water. Bring the water to a boil, then boil about 20 minutes or until a fork inserted into the potatoes easily push through but does not break the potato apart. Don’t overcook them or you will end up with mashed potatoes.
  2. Strain and cool. Peel, dice, and place in a bowl.
  3. Peel eggs. Slice or chop them, then add to the potatoes.
  4. Add a large spoonful of mayonnaise. Always start with less than you think you’ll need. Stir to coat. Add more mayo if you need it. A light coating is best.
  5. Add just a squirt of mustard and some salt and pepper. Stir to coat.
  6. Taste. Add more mayo, mustard, salt, or pepper if needed.

*Place uncooked eggs in a pot with lots of room temperature water. Bring it to a boil. Then, remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 15 minutes. Remove the lid and flush pan with cold water and ice.

My mom put whole black olives in her potato salad. It’s still my favorite add-in to this dish. I haven’t run across anyone else who does this. It adds a complimentary flavor and a nice color component. Kids seem to find it especially exciting, and people who don’t like olives can easily pick them out. It’s hard to pick out chopped onions or pickle relish!

There you have it, my kick-off summer recipe.

Now tell me, what do you like in your potato salad? Anyone else use olives?

photo by me!
Share! It will make you happy, trust me.

While you’re here…

Sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you my Double Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe free. Other benefits include being the first to know exciting news, first to receive sneak peeks and sale information. Mailers are sparse.


  1. I was with you until the olives. Just looks wrong. Maybe I should be more adventurous and give it a go (shows you where my life is when adventure mean adding olives).

    Moody Writing

  2. I think that looks good with olives. Hmm. Gotta try that.

    I don't mind celery in my potato salad, but I know a lot of people hate it.

  3. That's amazing salad. I have never thought to put black olives in but that's yummy. I might make some potato salad soon.

  4. Love potato salad. Was thinking about making it last week but never got around to it. And I love organic whole wheat spring and carrot pasta salad.

    So nummy.

    Hope you're having a groovy day 🙂 Tim and I are on staycation. Me for 12 days and starting tomorrow, him for 10.


  5. The plainer, the better. I like only a little egg, and a little celery too. Other than that, I'm happy with the basic potato-mayo mix. Bring on the bbq's 🙂

  6. My wife loves to make potato salad.

  7. It's just not summer without potato salad. I'm not an olive fan but don't mind celery and onion.

  8. I love ANY kind of potato salad. Yum! 🙂

  9. honestly? I've never really eaten potato salad…

  10. I haven't had potato salad in years – can't do mayonnaise. But if I do eat it, I like it with onions, eggs, mayo and mustard.

  11. I'm always trying to trim calories when I can, so I use the light mayo and not very much when I make potato salad. The other day I caught my husband adding about a cup of mayo to the salad behind my back. Apparently he prefers to eat it in a bowl with a spoon like melted ice cream. I think I have trust issues now. 🙂

  12. Mmm, potato salad. Yes, I've used olives. I also like to mix in dried herbs.

    With macaroni salad, diced dill pickles add a nice zing.

    Sadly, I only get to eat mayo-based salads at group events. My hubby only likes oil-vinegar dressed salads. His potato salad is kind of Mediterranean style I guess.

  13. I don't eat eggs, so my potato salad is usually vinegar based and with Miracle Whip.

  14. Potato salad, staycation, a new book, sunshine and a hubby on staycation at the same time. Now that's good livin'.

    Hope you have a groovy day.

  15. I'm with you on the simple thing and to me nothing is more simple and pleasing than a potato. I need to make some for this weekend, they say we will have sun. 🙂
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  16. Summer would not be summer without potato salad. I've never thought of adding whole black olives. Yum! 🙂

  17. Hi, Holly,

    What a easy and simple recipe…. I never saw the black olives…. You're right, It give texture and color.

  18. I like the idea of black olives. You've made me hungry for potato salad! I'm going to add it to my shopping list.

  19. I am really looking forward to all the summer barbecues and good food! We LOVE potaotoe salad at our house : ) Yours sounds great Holly!

  20. Potato salad just tastes like summer. I'm going to have to try this recipe. I haven't had any luck making a decent potato salad.

    My father in law is famous for his potato salad. He gave me the recipe, but mine has never turned out as well as his… and I'm beginning to think he missed a step on purpose so that it wouldn't. Hmph.

  21. Olives in potato salad – YUM! I do love potato salad. It's been ages since I've had it.

  22. Hi Holly .. I bought the ingredients yesterday .. ie a chicken to make chicken stock .. and potatoes .. so I'll be giving the recipe a whirl this weekend ..

    Let's see if this goes through .. cheers and talk anon .. Hilary

  23. Black olives sound interesting in potato salad…only I'd be the only in my family who would probably like it that way.

    My potato salad is pretty simple…the boiled, peeled, cut-up potatoes of course to start. And I'm a miracle whip girl, so that's what I use instead of “real” mayo. And to season it, I use honey mustard and a packet of Good Season's Italian dressing mix. Nothing crunchy, like onions or celery or anything. And I don't care for boiled eggs in anything but egg salad sandwiches…so I leave those out. My hubby who likes mine but also likes it with eggs and real mayo gets to enjoy his mom's when she make hers.

    Personally, I like my potato salad when it's first made and still on the warm side. I've even been known to warm up my own portion in the microwave for a few seconds to take the chill off of it!

  24. This recipe looks yummy! I wonder if it will go with the bbq we're planning. 🙂
    Have an awesome memorial day weekend!

  25. Phew, I'm glad those are olives, I thought they were blueberries and was slightly grossed out until I read the recipe!

  26. You have to have potato salad at Memorial Day. Baked beans too! I like the plain ol' potato salad from the grocery store deli. Nothing fancy. A little relish in it too. Good times!

  27. The photo looks so yummy, apart from the olives hehe Funny little things olives are. blah!

  28. I grew up on potato salad but whenever I had a choice I opted for macaroni salad. & mustard is a very necessary ingredient!

  29. I've been having a hankering for potato salad. I guess I'll be whipping some up today or tomorrow. Black olives are an interesting choice (and I agree easier to pick out than onions – which I hate).

  30. Yummy. I'll eat any type of potato salad but must admit I have a weakness for one containing mustard!

    Ellie Garratt

  31. I buy mine. But there was a time when I loved to cook.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  32. Ahh, now I can comment on wonderful Holly's blog 😀

  33. Sounds like a great recipe! I've never added black olives, but I can imagine it works well.

    Thanks. 🙂

  34. From Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Holly .. I love potato salad – it is so delicious – and like you I've had it all ways, but prefer the plain version .. and I don't like too much raw onion, I use spring onions quite often to get a bit of green.

    But I saw a recipe for Jersey Royals, spring onions, hot chicken stock (50ml), mayonnaise, creme fraiche and chervil/flat leaved parsley ..

    Put the cooked potatoes in the warm stock, stir – they will absorb some of the stock .. cool a little .. then add rest of ingredients while still lukewarm. Sounded good to me and slightly different ..

    It's waiting for me to try .. cheers Hilary

    Blogger's being a pain again ..

    Cheers – enjoy the week .. Hilary

  35. Moody, “Just looks wrong” that made me laugh!

    Lee you got to post today! Yeah!

    Whisk, a staycation would make me really happy .

    Alex, I noticed how you left out your feelings on eating it. *shifty eyes*


    L.G. that was a very descriptive picture. The visual imagery made me shiver.

    Laurel, the vinegar ones are “probably” healthier. Sigh…

    Hilary, that recipe is calling to me too!

  36. Blogger is still having comment issues.

    M Pax contacted me and said:
    “I love German potato salad best because my Grandma made it all the time. I like the other kind with pickles and green olives. Yummy.”

Comments are closed.

H.R. Sinclair © 2016
Scroll Up