Grandma’s Potato Salad

This recipe was originally posted last summer.. but with recent weather, BBQs, and a wicked craving for it.. figured it’s about time to drag it back to the spotlight!

Lately, I’ve been on a mission to translate my family favorite “recipes” (no, that’s not a misuse of quotation marks!) into actual recipes.

It’s a bigger endevor than it sounds to be – my family writes down recipes like we cook. By that, I mean that “a handful of” or “some” are used as actual units of measurements, or any indication of actual quantity is left out completely. We add an ingredient till things look or taste right, which is fine when you’re comfortable with what you’re doing.. but not so hot for conveying a recipe to my blog readers!

Take, for instance, my grandmother’s potato salad recipe. She makes the most amazing potato salad I’ve ever had, but this is her recipe, in its entirety:


boil red potatoes, cut in 4
Don’t overcook them
Cool them
Put in fridge, cover with italian dressing, let sit overnight
Take them out, add chopped green onion, celery, radishes, eggs (hardboiled and sliced)
Use Hellman’s full fat mayo, don’t use too much


See what I’m dealing with? LOL.

The recipe is far too great to NOT share with the world, so here it is:

Potato Salad

3-5 lbs red potatoes, chopped into 3/4″-1″ cubes
1.5 cups Italian salad dressing
3 green onions, sliced thin
4 celery stalks, sliced thin
8 radishes, sliced thin
3/4 – 1 cup full fat mayo
5-6 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
Black Pepper

Boil potato cubes until tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, but still firm – about 30 minutes. Strain, and place into a large non-metallic bowl.

Pour Italian dressing over warm potato cubes, gently stir to coat, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Several hours before serving, add green onion, celery, and radish slices. Fold into potatoes.

Add mayo (3/4 cup if you like a drier salad, more if you like it creamier), gently stir until potatoes and vegetables are evenly coated.

Gently fold in the egg slices, season with pepper to taste.

8 thoughts on “Grandma’s Potato Salad

  1. Is that creamy Italian or regular Italian dressing? Normally I would assume the non-creamy, but in a potato salad, I’m not sure.

  2. Sorry, the non creamy! (I don’t think I’ve seen creamy Italian before… then again, I’m either buying ranch, or making dressing at home!)

    The creaminess comes from the mayo at the end. The dressing is just to marinate the potatoes!

  3. This is very similar to my family’s potato salad as well. I am SO glad that someone else knows how to make this style of potato salad. I was starting to think that I was a freak!

    We do try to use the red potatoes now, but when I was young the potato option at the store near us was often Russet or Nothing. As Nothing Potatoes make a pretty boring potato salad, we used Russets and ended up calling it “Smashed Potato Salad” as the Russets are more fragile when hot.

    Mom always made her own dressing because she thought that the bottled Italian dressings of the time were too sweet. The onions, and chopped egg also went in with the hot potatoes to give them more flavor.

    The hardest part was keeping my dad and I away from the marinating potatoes as they were cooling. We loved the finished product, but those potatoes sure did taste good.

    Thank you so much for putting this up. I can’t believe I missed this when you first posted, but I am so glad to see it now.

  4. What Angie said! A rite of spring – and summer – and fall – and any excuse. Fights would ensue IF there were leftovers.

  5. Thanks for this! My mom has been marinating her potatoes for potato salad at least since the early 90s. This will help me approximate what she does. I believe, because she likes her salad more mushy, she also uses russets, and then passes them through a really old potato masher (with a grate on the end). Just grated carrot, mayo, salt and pepper after that – delish!

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