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Traditional Red Potato Salad (With My Secret Ingredient!)

Are you ready to learn how to make my mom’s famous red potato salad recipe? I’ve been eating this dish for as long as I can remember, and it never gets old. It’s perfect for all of those summer barbecues and picnics coming up! You only need 7 ingredients to make this traditional southern potato salad recipe (and you probably have most of these in your fridge already). So, it’s really easy to make!

Traditional Potato Salad

Traditional Potato Salad Recipe- A Southern Staple!

I’m so excited to share my mom’s recipe for her famous potato salad with you all!

Growing up, I never was a big fan of cold potato salad, but I have to say that this one made me a fan. It has been a staple at every family gathering for as long as I can remember!

Red potatoes are boiled, hard-boiled eggs are peeled and cut into small pieces, sweet pickles are chopped up finely, mayonnaise is mixed in with Durkee sauce (which is a southern staple!), and then the mixture is seasoned with some salt.

It’s not like any other traditional potato salads that you can find around – it has an extra ingredient that makes it unique!

The secret ingredient? Sweet pickle juice.

The best part about red potato salad is that it tastes even better when it is chilled overnight in the refrigerator – perfect for any potluck or picnic!

I can guarantee this recipe will be your new favorite potato salad!

Ingredients Needed

To make this creamy red potato salad, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Red Potatoes: You can’t make potato salad without potatoes! I used about 6 medium red potatoes and let me tell you- they add this delicious creaminess to the salad.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs: The key to this recipe is getting the hard-boiled eggs perfectly cooked so that they are easy to peel and cut up into small pieces. You’ll need 6 of these as well.
  • Sweet Pickles: I personally like to chop up and add my own sweet pickles to the red potato salad. But, use sweet pickle relish if you don’t have pickles on hand!
  • Mayonnaise: Red potato salad is delicious, all thanks to the creamy mayo in this recipe. But, you don’t want to use too much! I used about half a cup.
  • Durkee Famous Sauce: While some prefer to add plain dijon mustard to their potato salad, my family prefers to add in some Durkee Sauce. It’s this creamy mixture of mustard and mayo that adds the perfect amount of tanginess to the salad.
  • Sweet Pickle Juice: My mom’s secret ingredient for a good homemade potato salad! You will only need about a tablespoon, but you won’t regret the addition.
  • Salt: The final ingredient that I added to this traditional potato salad recipe. You only need a bit.
The Best Potato Salad with Secret Ingredient


This is our family’s traditional red potato salad recipe, but you can always add in your own favorite ingredients. Some of my favorites include:

  • Crispy bacon
  • Chopped Fresh dill (or dried dill)
  • Diced crunchy celery
  • Red onions (or use yellow onion)
  • Sliced green onion

To jazz up some of the seasonings, you can also add in some paprika or celery seed for an extra layer of flavor.


If you want to make a low-fat version, you can substitute the mayonnaise with some sour cream or greek yogurt.

To cut through some of the creaminess, you can add in some kind of vinegar to cut through the potato salad dressing. You can use:

  • Cider vinegar
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar

Not into sweet pickles? Use dill pickles instead!

If you can’t find Durkee sauce, use Dijon mustard instead.

The sky is the limit when it comes to making a good potato salad!

What To Serve With Classic Potato Salad

My mom always makes a large bowl of red potato salad whenever we have a large family gathering or at our family bbq parties.

Besides your classic burgers and hotdogs, she also makes her 5-layer Mexican Taco Dip and homemade fudge brownies with chocolate frosting.

And, you can’t forget Granny’s creamy mac and cheese!

My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Traditional Potato Salad


Whenever I share this red potato salad recipe, I get some of the same questions. Here are the most popular ones that people ask!

If you have a question that isn’t listed here, please leave them in the comments, and I’ll answer them as soon as possible.

Are red or white potatoes better for homemade potato salad?

This is a personal preference, but I typically use red potatoes for my potato salad recipes. I find that red potatoes are creamier and hold up when I gently toss them in the potato salad dressing.

Do you leave the skin on the potatoes?

Again, this is a personal preference. I typically peel the skin on my red potatoes, but you can definitely leave them on if you like them.

Can I make this recipe vegan-friendly?

To make this recipe vegan, substitute mayo with vegan mayo and mustard and leave out the hard-boiled egg and Durkee sauce.

You can also toss the red potato salad with some extra virgin olive oil and vinegar (or lemon juice).

Is there a low-carb version of potato salad?

For a low-carb potato salad, substitute some (if not all) of the red potatoes with radishes. I actually have a potato salad recipe where I use crunchy radishes! It’s so yum.

You can also use cauliflower.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes! This red potato salad recipe is perfect for making ahead of time. Simply store in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy when ready.


If you loved this creamy red potato salad, here are a few other recipes that you should try! They are all delicious and grandma-approved.

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The Best Potato Salad with Secret Ingredient

Traditional Potato Salad

Are you ready to learn how to make my mom's famous red potato salad recipe? I've been making this dish for as long as I can remember, and it never gets old. It's perfect for all of those summer barbecues and picnics coming up! You only need 7 ingredients to make this traditional southern potato salad recipe (and you probably have most of these in your fridge already). So, it's really easy to make!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Laura


  • 6 boiled eggs
  • 6 red potatoes, medium
  • ½ cup sweet pickles, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Durkee Sauce or dijon mustard
  • cup sweet pickle juice
  • salt, to taste


  • Boil the eggs.
  • While eggs are boiling, rinse and dry potatoes. 
  • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover them with water.
  • Boil potatoes for about 45 minutes, or until pierced easily with a fork.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, chop the boiled eggs and sweet pickles.
  • When the potatoes are finished boiling, drain the potatoes and let them cool.
  • Once potatoes are cooled down enough to handle, peel the potato skins and cut into small pieces.
  • Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt.
  • Mix the mayonaisse and Durkee sauce in a large bowl. 
  • Add the potatoes, pickles and eggs to the mayonaisse mixture.
  • Finally, add the pickle juice.
  • Stir to combine. 
  • Store in the refrigerator and serve chilled. 

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