If you’re looking for the best potato salad recipe that is a little different from the classic recipe, you must give this one a try! It features a few secret ingredients that give it a unique and irresistible taste and texture.
Best Potato Salad Recipe? Yes, Please!
This is a go-to homemade potato salad that I have been making and tweaking over the years. When I say ‘best potato salad’, I base it on the fact that every time I make it, people say it’s the best one they’ve tried, and they all want the recipe.
It’s not a classic potato salad recipe, it doesn’t have eggs but it’s fabulously delicious and creamy with salty, sweet, and sour flavours and lots of crunchy bits.
I like to think of it as a loaded potato salad. It features ingredients like crispy bacon, green apple, fried capers, and dill, to mention a few, that give it a unique and memorable taste and texture.
This potato salad is great for picnics and barbecue gatherings, potluck parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, and so on. You can make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using egg-free mayo to make it vegan-friendly. Enjoy!
Best Potatoes For Potato Salad
Let’s talk about the key ingredient in this salad – potatoes! Which should you use to make a salad? In truth, you can use any but the type will affect the texture of the salad.
Waxy potatoes like new potatoes/baby white potatoes or red potatoes are low in starch and hold their shape during cooking, plus their skin doesn’t need to be peeled, so they are often the preferred choice for potato salads.
If you want a starchier, creamier, thicker potato salad in which the spuds are a little mushier and absorb the dressing, then go for Russet, Idaho, or other starchy varieties.
I usually use young baby potatoes that are more on the waxy side but honestly, you can use any kind in this particular salad.
This is a more detailed article on which potatoes are best for potato salad.
Other Ingredients For Potato Salad
Here is what else you will need to make my ‘best’ potato salad.
Bacon – you can use bacon rashers or middle bacon and it has to be pan-fried to crispy!!! Pancetta or other cured pork meat can be used and if you don’t eat pork, replace it with a beef alternative. Crispy bacon adds salty notes and a crunchy texture. PS. Using smoked chicken is another hot tip!
Capers – you will need baby capers, ideally in salty brine, which need to to be drained and paper-dried to remove excess liquid. If the capers come in salt, rinse them well before draining. Capers are pan-fried to crispy as well, which gives them a salty, nutty flavour – it’s the bomb.com, a secret ingredient and a MUST in this salad
Green apple – this is my second secret ingredient and adds a sweet crunch that works well against all those salty bits like bacon and capers. Green apple is best but any other kind will do.
Cucumbers – fresh cucumber and sweet pickled gherkins or dill pickles are used; one adds freshness and the other adds a little acidity and sweetness once again. Do use both if you can.
Fresh dill – I mean, I love dill with potatoes so this was a no-brainer for me. If you dislike dill, I would suggest trying parsley or omitting the herb altogether. You can add little chives if you want something green.
Spring onions – also known as green onions or scallions give the salad a little sharpness and savoury notes and I use the white and green parts of the onions.
For the dressing – I use a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream (often light or Greek yoghurt). I find using just mayo is too heavy. Plus, a little mustard and black pepper. The potatoes are salted during cooking and there are lots of salty ingredients already so I typically don’t add any extra salt but it’s totally to your taste; feel free to add a little if you feel like it needs it.
How To Make Potato Salad
You will find the full recipe card with ingredients and nutritional breakdown below. Here are some step-by-step photos to guide you along.
Step 1. Cut potatoes into halves and place them in a medium pot. Cover with cold water and season with about a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then cook for about 10-12 minutes until just tender. Don’t let them cook for too long or they will get too soft and mushy to hold their shape in the salad.
Step 2. Once cooked, strain the potatoes and leave them in the sieve to cool. I will often put the sieve outside if it’s cooler than indoors. Once cooled down, cut potatoes into large cubes. I recommend cutting each half into quarters or even smaller so that they get well coated in the dressing.
While potatoes are cooking and cooling, prepare other ingredients.
Prepare Other Ingredients
Step 3. Dice bacon into small pieces and pan-fry in a little oil over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes. Stir a few times. Bacon should be nice and crispy with most of the fat rendered off. Set aside.
Step 4. Rinse the capers and place on a paper towel to drain. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the capers and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute, until crispy and slightly browned. Set aside.
Step 5. Dice the remaining ingredients and prepare the dressing.
Mixing The Salad
Combine everything in a large bowl together with the dressing ingredients and mix through. I like to reserve a few crispy bacon bits and capers to garnish the top of the salad. Finish with extra dill and voila!
More Potato Recipes
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes & Salsa Verde Peas
- Braised Cabbage & Potatoes With Chilli
- Salmon Fish Cakes With Sweet Potatoes & Peas
Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.
- 1 kg baby white potatoes or red potatoes, cut in halves
- 170 g bacon rashers or middle bacon, diced (6 oz.)
- 90 g baby capers drained and rinsed (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of capers)
- 1 medium green apple peeled and diced into small cubes
- 1 medium Lebanese cucumber diced small (about 1 cup when diced)
- 1 cup gherkins or dill pickle, 4-5 small gherkins, diced
- 2 spring onions diced (scallions)
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream can be light/low-fat
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard
- Extra salt to taste once mixing the salad
- Cut potatoes into halves and place them in a medium pot. Cover with cold water and season with about a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then cook for about 10 minutes until just tender. Don't let them cook for too long or they will get too soft and mushy to hold their shape in the salad.
- Once cooked, strain the potatoes and leave them in the sieve to cool. I will often put the sieve outside if it's cooler than indoors.
- While potatoes are cooking and cooling, prepare other ingredients.
- Dice bacon into small pieces and pan-fry in a little oil over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes. Stir a few times. Bacon should be nice and crispy with most of the fat rendered off. Set aside.
- Rinse the capers and place them on a paper towel to drain. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the capers and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute until crispy and slightly browned. Set aside.
- Dice the remaining ingredients and prepare the dressing.
- Once cooled cut potatoes into cubes. I recommend cutting each half into quarters or even smaller so that they get well coated in the dressing.
- Combine everything in a large bowl together with the dressing ingredients and mix through.