Boiled Potato Salad: My Family's Recipe for Potato Salad With Mayonnaise

by DerdriuMarriner

Potato salad has year-round appeal. Delicious for buffets, formal/informal meals and picnics, it serves as a popular side dish and, with easily added meat or seafood, a main dish.

Potato salads are internationally acclaimed side dishes. A simple combination of essential ingredients evokes endless creativity in family recipes throughout the world. My family's recipe features mayonnaise and vinegar and therefore is reminiscent of northern and southern German potato salads respectively.

Endearing associations and memories often cling to family recipes.

My earliest potato salad memory connects to a picnic that my parents organized for us at a local park with a renowned sunken garden. The picnic lunch included my mother's potato salad and my father's fudge. The food was delicious, the garden along the river banks was spectacular, and the occasion was fun-filled.

Sinnissippi Sunken Gardens: situated serenely along Rock River, a perfect picnic place
Sinnissippi Sunken Gardens: situated serenely along Rock River, a perfect picnic place

My Family's Recipe for Boiled Potato Salad With Mayonnaise

Prep time: 10 minutes -- Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients for 6 servings

Total active time for this recipe is 30 minutes, with 10 minutes for preparation and 20 minutes for boiling potatoes. In addition, however, the salad needs to be refrigerated overnight, after which mayonnaise, dill, paprika and Parmesan cheese are added.

This salad yields 4 to 6 servings, depending upon portion size.



2-1/2 pounds potatoes

  • Note: my personal favorites are reds

1/2 red onion, finely grated

1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 cup sugar

  • Note: my personal favorite is turbinado sugar [sugar in the raw])

1 cup water

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

2 dashes black pepper

2 dashes white pepper

1/4 cup fresh chopped chives

2 parsley sprigs, fresh chopped, to measure about 1 Tablespoon

1/4 teaspoon fresh, minced tarragon

  • Or:  dash (= 1/8 teaspoon) dried tarragon

1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise

1-2 dashes paprika

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tablespoon fresh, chopped dill

  • Or: 1 teaspoon dried dill



Recommended Utensils


  • bowl, large, with cover
  • colander
  • grater
  • knife, slicing
  • pot, large, with lid
  • spoon, large slotted:  for folding potatoes into herb-vegetable solution




1. In covered pot, boil potatoes until knife goes through easily, about 20 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and drain.

2. In a large bowl, form solution of chives, parsley, pepper, salt, sugar, tarragon, vinegar, and water.

  • Grate onion into solution.
  • Slice potatoes into the solution.
  • Add celery and olives.
  • Stir carefully to immerse potato slices.

3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. Gently fold in mayonnaise.

  • Dust with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with dill and paprika, according to preferences for taste and coloring.


Dill and potato salad tend to be inseparable.
Dill and potato salad tend to be inseparable.



Variety is achieved easily in my family's mayonnaise-based boiled potato salad recipe with the selection of 'Salad Blue' potatoes, which contribute a blue violet pastel to the palette.

The colorful variety of bell peppers -- orange and traffic light (green, red, yellow) -- may be included to add richer coloring and crunchy texture.

Chives' flowers are as edible as the leaves, so pluck the herb's fresh flowers in season and scatter their minced tidbits for interesting visual appeal and tastiness.


Chives (leaves) are essential ingredient for potato salad; for an interesting variation, separate floral petals, mince, and sprinkle throughout salad.
Allium schoenoprasum flower: known commonly as the herb chives
Allium schoenoprasum flower: known commonly as the herb chives



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Image Credits


Sinnissippi Sunken Gardens: situated serenely along Rock River, a perfect picnic place: Roger Wollstadt (roger4336), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr @[email protected]/4269398612/

Dill and potato salad tend to be inseparable: cyclonebill, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons @

Allium schoenoprasum flower: known commonly as the herb chives: fly (ButterflySha), CC BY 2.0, via Flickr @

parsleyed potato salad: Erich Ferdinand (erix!), CC BY 2.0, via Flickr @


the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Scanwood Beechwood Swedish Hasselback Potato Cutting Board

These Swedish baked potato fans were popularized as the namesake dish of the restaurant at the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. Designed in Denmark. Made by Nature! ~ Strong beechwood construction ~ Measures 4.75" x 3" x .75"
potato cutting board

The Coffee Shop Vats of New Jersey - New Yorker Cartoon by Roz Chast

The Coffee Shop Vats of New Jersey - New Yorker Cartoon

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 03/02/2023, DerdriuMarriner
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