Classic Potato Salad Recipe: Perfect Picnic Side Dish

It is my great pleasure to share with you a recipe that is truly a staple of southern cuisine – the Southern Lady’s Potato Salad. As an experienced chef, I can assure you that there are few dishes that can truly capture the essence of southern flavors quite like this one. With its balance of savory flavors and creamy textures, this dish embodies the heart and soul of southern cooking.

In these uncertain times, many of us have been seeking comfort in familiar things. For many southerners, food is a vital part of their identity and heritage, and there is no dish that better captures that heritage than a classic potato salad. Whether it’s for a family gathering or just a cozy evening at home, this recipe is sure to bring joy and comfort to those who enjoy it.

But what truly makes this recipe stand out are the ingredients. From ground cumin to yellow mustard, from cucumber to celery, and even dill pickle – each ingredient works in perfect harmony to create a flavor profile that will delight your taste buds. The combination of fresh vegetables and creamy dressing makes this dish not only delicious but also healthy.

So join me as we explore the world of southern-style cuisine and learn how to make the best lady warm potato salad you’ve ever tasted!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

A Southern Lady's Potato Salad
A Southern Lady’s Potato Salad

My dear reader, I cannot wait to share with you the reasons why you’ll adore this Southern Lady’s Potato Salad Recipe.

Firstly, this recipe embraces the Southern tradition of potato salad and adds a touch of elegance fit for a lady. You will feel like royalty as you indulge in each bite.

Secondly, the ingredients list is simple yet perfectly balanced – a true representation of Southern cooking. The combination of crispy cucumber, crunchy celery, and tangy dill pickle gives the dish an unparalleled texture and taste.

Thirdly, the salad dressing is a harmonious blend of classic mustard, creamy mayonnaise, and tangy apple cider vinegar. The flavors create a perfect balance that will surely leave your taste buds yearning for more.

Lastly, this recipe offers versatility that goes beyond simply serving it as a side dish. It can be accompanied by perfectly grilled meats or even enjoyed on its own for a light and refreshing meal.

This recipe has been passed down from generations of seasoned cooks who have mastered the art of Southern-style cuisine. Trust me when I say that after just one bite, you’ll understand why this recipe has stood the test of time.

So my dear reader, whether you are having a small family gathering or craving some classic soul food, let this recipe be your go-to guide to create a warm and comforting dish that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

Ingredient List

 A bowl of summer memories
A bowl of summer memories

Here are the ingredients you will need to create this revered Southern potato salad recipe.

For the Warm Potato Salad:

  • 3 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 cup diced dill pickle (about 2 large spears)
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 2 boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

For the Salad Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

This recipe yields about 8 servings. Adjust the recipe according to your needs by using fewer potatoes or cutting the recipe in half.

The Recipe How-To

 A heaping helping of southern comfort
A heaping helping of southern comfort

Now that we have discussed the ingredients, it’s time to delve into how to make this delicious southern potato salad. Follow these easy steps to create a dish that will have your taste buds dancing with delight.

Step 1: Boil the Potatoes

First and foremost, boil 3 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes until they are tender, which should take approximately 10-15 minutes. Once done, cool them off until you can touch them without getting burnt. After they have cooled down, cut them into cubes that are roughly 1 inch in size.

Step 2: Add the Salad Ingredients

Mix together your salad ingredients; got your cucumber, celery, diced dill pickles, and onions already chopped up? Great! Add them to the large bowl containing your cubed potatoes.

Step 3: Create the Salad Dressing

Mix together 1 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 cup sour cream in a separate bowl until you get a smooth mixture. In another bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Then pour this mixture over the mayonnaise mixture.

Step 4: Combine and Chill

Add your Salad Dressing to the Potato Salad Ingredients in the large bowl, and stir everything all together until each potato cube is covered. Now put it in a refrigerator for about an hour before serving to let all the flavors meld together.

And there you have it! Your very own mouth-watering lady warm potato salad. This recipe is perfect for any occasion whether it be barbecues, picnics or just any ordinary day. Sharing is caring, so don’t forget to spread that southern charm around by sharing with your family and friends!

Substitutions and Variations

 A classic side dish for any occasion
A classic side dish for any occasion

Ah, dear reader! Should you wish to add your own flair to this delightful southern potato salad recipe, you may substitute or modify certain ingredients to suit your taste. Fear not, for I shall provide some recommendations.

Firstly, if ground cumin is not easily found in your pantry, you may swap it with a tablespoon of dried thyme or even a teaspoon of smoked paprika to add some smokiness to your salad. Yellow mustard, known for its tangy and mild taste, can be replaced with dijon mustard or honey mustard if you prefer a sweeter kick to your dish. If cucumber is not readily available, then feel free to leave it out or substitute it with another crunchy vegetable like bell pepper or radishes.

For the celery and dill pickle, you may adjust the amount based on how much you enjoy their distinct flavors. If you prefer a crunchier texture for your vegetables, opt for more celery and less dill pickle. On the other hand, adding more dill pickle will give it a stronger sour taste that some find quite pleasant.

As for the potatoes themselves, though I highly recommend red potatoes for their firm texture and slightly sweet taste that pairs well with the tangy dressing, you may use various potato varieties such as the Yukon gold potato or russet potato as long as they are cut into small pieces approximately 1-inch in size. Similarly, hard-boiled eggs are not everyone’s cup of tea. If boiled eggs do not tickle your fancy, omit them from the recipe altogether or substitute them with some mashed potatoes to achieve that creamier texture.

In the end, substitutions and variations are all about personal preferences and experimentation. So go on my dear reader, put on your apron and try out different ingredient combinations until you find the one that speaks to your soul!

Serving and Pairing

 Grandma's favorite recipe
Grandma’s favorite recipe

Now that you have prepared this warm and flavorful Southern Lady’s Potato Salad Recipe, it’s time to serve and enjoy it. This dish makes an excellent side dish for any summer barbecue, potluck or even a holiday meal.

I suggest pairing this potato salad with your favorite barbecue meats such as ribs, brisket, pulled pork and chicken. It also goes well with hot dogs, hamburgers, or grilled vegetables. Adding some fresh fruits like watermelon or cantaloupe will complement its taste and refresh your palate.

You can also add some protein to this recipe by adding diced bacon, shredded chicken or ham. In case you want to make it vegetarian-friendly or healthier, you can add some nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews or sunflower seeds.

For a complete meal, you can serve this warm potato salad with some freshly baked bread and butter. I recommend some cornbread muffins or buttermilk biscuits to add richness in texture.

It is important to remember that the Southern Lady’s Potato Salad Recipe is best served warm. However, if you have leftovers, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Just make sure to reheat it gently on low heat before serving again.

In conclusion, this recipe is versatile and easy-to-make that will surely please any guest. Whether for a summer picnic or indoor gathering, this classic southern-style potato salad makes a perfect addition to any meal!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A mash-up of flavors in every bite
A mash-up of flavors in every bite

One of the best things about potato salad is that it can be made ahead of time, making meal prep a lot easier. You can make this Southern Lady’s Potato Salad recipe up to one day in advance, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To reheat, simply bring the potato salad to room temperature and add a little bit of extra mayonnaise or sour cream to help moisten it up. You can also heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until warmed through.

If you have some leftover potato salad and want to store it for later, make sure that it is stored properly. If you leave it out at room temperature for too long, it can become unsafe to eat. Instead, refrigerate the potato salad as soon as possible after serving and store it tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

When making ahead or storing leftovers, keep in mind that the flavors may intensify over time. This means that if you plan on making the recipe ahead of time, you might want to hold back on some of the more pungent ingredients like onions or pickles. That being said, leftovers will still divine and have all of the delicious flavors of this classic Southern-style dish.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Tastes like the South in a bowl
Tastes like the South in a bowl

To ensure that your Southern Lady’s Potato Salad stands out and receives compliments, there are a few additional steps to follow. Here are some expert tips for perfect results:

Firstly, make certain to boil the potatoes properly. Overcooked potatoes can become mushy and undercooked potatoes will be difficult to cut and chew. I suggest boiling the potatoes until they are just tender, which usually takes 10-15 minutes.

It’s essential to cool the boiled potatoes completely before adding any other ingredients, such as mayonnaise or sour cream. If hot potatoes come in contact with mayonnaise, it will cause the mayonnaise to spoil and will result in an off-flavor potato salad.

Make sure that the consistency of your potato salad is balanced. You don’t want it too dry or too wet. Be cautious to not add too much dressing and avoid mashed potatoes, which may alter the texture of the potato salad.

Don’t hesitate to add extra spices such as ground cumin or yellow mustard if you want a bolder flavor. Taste frequently throughout cooking and adjust salt and pepper measurements as necessary.

Lastly, allow the salad to sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving, preferably longer if possible. This time allows all of the flavors to meld together and cures any lingering raw onion taste.

Follow these recommendations, tailoring them to your preferences, and you’ll end up with a memorable Southern Lady’s Potato Salad that everybody will thank you for!


As you become more familiar with the recipe, there will likely be specific questions popping up in your mind. Maybe you’ll be curious about ingredient substitutions or have queries about serving and storing the dish. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help guide you through the process of making this Southern Lady’s Potato Salad Recipe.

How do you make Paula Deen’s potato salad?

For this southern-style potato salad recipe, you will need a bag of small red potatoes, weighing around 3 pounds, which should be quartered. In addition, the dish requires ½ cup of mayonnaise and ½ cup of sour cream, complemented by one tablespoon of minced fresh dill. To season the ingredients, add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of ground black pepper. The salad is finished off with toppings of crispy bacon and chopped hard-cooked eggs.

How does Rachael Ray make potato salad?

To start off, we’ll need to prepare the potatoes by submerging them in a mixture of stock and water, with just enough to cover them by 1-inch. Once the pot is brought to a boil, patiently wait for the potatoes to cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are tender enough to be mashed.
While the potatoes are boiling, take the time to prepare the dressing for the salad. In a small bowl, mix in the scallions, celery, vinegar, sugar, horseradish and olive oil. Make sure they are evenly combined to achieve the perfect flavor balance.
Once the potatoes are ready, drain any excess water and let them cool for a moment. Then, pour the dressing on top of the potatoes and gently toss them together. Be sure to season the salad with celery seed, dill, salt, and pepper to bring out the rich flavors of the dish.

How to make a special potato salad?

For this recipe, you’ll need around 6 medium-sized round red or white potatoes. I recommend peeling them first. In addition, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of either mayonnaise or salad dressing, along with some white or cider vinegar, yellow mustard, salt, and pepper. To add some crunch and flavor, this recipe also calls for 2 chopped stalks of celery (about 1 cup) and a chopped onion (about 1/2 cup).

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern Lady’s Potato Salad Recipe is a true taste of tradition, and is sure to delight your guests at any gathering. With the blend of flavorful ingredients, such as dill pickles, yellow mustard, and ground cumin, your taste buds will dance with Southern delight. This recipe is also highly customizable, making it versatile and perfect for any backyard barbecue or family picnic.

Whether you are hosting a get-together for friends or simply in need of a comforting meal at home, this recipe is perfect for any occasion. So go ahead and try out this recipe for yourself! With the clear instructions and helpful tips provided, making this delicious warm potato salad will be a breeze.

Remember to use fresh and high-quality ingredients for best results. Also, feel free to experiment with substitutions and variations to fit your own personal taste. The possibilities are endless!

Finally, I must say that this recipe is truly an essential part of Southern cuisine. So give it a try and let me know how it turns out. I am confident that you will love the mouth-watering flavor of this warm Southern-style potato salad just as much as my family and friends do. Happy cooking!

A Southern Lady's Potato Salad

A Southern Lady’s Potato Salad Recipe

My southenr grandmother said every good southenr lady has her own recipe for potato salad. Well, this nice southern girl makes one hell of a potato salad
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 1 pounds
Calories 203.4 kcal


  • 1 lb red potatoes, cubed with skin on
  • 1 cup diced dill pickle
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cups thousand island dressing
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds


  • Cook potatoes until tender but still kind of firm.
  • after you drain put back into hot pan for a second to steam away extra moisture.
  • add all extra ingriedients and chill for at least an hour.
  • You can find the recipe for Big mac sauce on my page, I use it instead of 1000 Island.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 90gCalories: 203.4kcalCarbohydrates: 13.9gProtein: 3.4gFat: 15.8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8.1mgSodium: 451.9mgFiber: 2.4gSugar: 6.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Potato, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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