Best Ever Southern Style Potato Salad + Video

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Nana’s famous Southern Style Potato Salad recipe is so good it is bound to become a tradition in your house too. It’s a rich and creamy summer salad that tastes like home to me. And trust me, care was taken to really bring this classic over the top.

Every family gathering I can remember (at least since I was about 10) there was always my mom’s potato salad and macaroni salad.  I moved away more than 19 years ago and every time I went back home it was one of the things I asked her to make.

Funny thing is, as the story usually goes…  The recipe was slightly adapted from her best friend of 30 years, Susie Q (Munchkin calls her Zoo. LOL)! We spent just about as much time at Susie Q’s house as we did our own growing up and she is like a second mom to me.  That makes the recipe even more special.  So after all these years how did I finally mange to get my hands on one of my favorite recipes?

A few years ago my mom and dad came out to Arizona to visit.  It was probably our best vacation together. We hung out and spent a lot of quality time together. We grilled on my new barbecue grill and my mom and I stayed up all night making strawberry jam and really enjoyed talking, laughing our heads off and bonding. Then we headed off to Sedona for a few days.


It was during that visit that my mom wrote down her potato salad and macaroni salad recipes for me.  Need I tell you, I cherish those hand written recipes, especially now that she has passed.  My mom was diagnosed with cancer shortly after that visit.  The next year went really fast.  It is probably one of the most impactful years of my life.

The things I learned from my mom (Nana to her grandkids) the last year of her life will stick with me forever. She truly lived as an example and I miss her every day. You see that big beautiful smile???  It was a permanent one that graced her face and I tell you it lit up the room.  Those squishy eyes that have been overtaken by that huge smile…  Thankfully, she passed that fantastic feature on to me and Munchkin. Every time my daughter laughs or I look in the mirror, I see her.

She loved our website and was thrilled that I would someday share her recipes with you. Of course her recipes are family meals I grew up on like her Beef Stew and this fabulous potato salad.

My mom wanted us to write a cookbook and I am sure she is cheering with the angels in heaven over the upcoming release of The Simple Kitchen. I even tell the story of how it all came to be and I am sure it is no surprise that it was all because of one ‘everyday phone call and one recipe that shared with me’. The rest is history. You can read the story in the book, I won’t spoil it.

Naturally the recipes in our book are inspired by our lives and include Mexican, Italian, Southern and Midwestern inspired recipes and you are going to love them all!

Southern Style Potato Salad

So back to the recipe at hand…  This Southern Style Potato Salad tastes like home to me.  It is true comfort food.  Rich and creamy with eggs and bits of onion throughout it is my favorite potato salad and I am sure it will be yours too.  Cooked with the skins on (and peeled once cooled), it creates a perfectly cooked potato that holds its form much better.  It is really good served right away, but down right addictive if first chilled overnight.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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southern potato salad in striped bowl

Check out more of our favorite summer salad recipes: 

The Best Ever Broccoli Salad 

Nana’s Southern Style Macaroni Salad

Greek Tortellini Salad


Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make this recipe!

bowl of potato salad

Best Ever Southern Style Potato Salad + Video

Donna Elick
Nana’s famous Southern Style Potato Salad recipe is so good it is bound to become a tradition in your house too. It’s a rich and creamy summer salad that tastes like home to me. And trust me, care was taken to really bring this classic over the top.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 40 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 16



  • 5 pounds Russet potatoes, unpeeled and washed
  • 30 ounce jar Hellman’s/Best Foods mayonnaise
  • 15 ounces Miracle Whip salad dressing spread, 1/2 of a 30 jar
  • 3 large eggs, hard boiled and diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional: replace 1 teaspoon kosher salt with 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • Paprika, garnish


  • Place potatoes in a large pot covered with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove cover and continue boiling for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through. Pierce with a fork to check doneness. Drain and cool potatoes.
  • In the empty pot add mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, eggs, onion, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Smash the eggs while mixing. If you like the egg chunks you can just stir.
  • Using the back of a butter knife peel skins from potatoes and cut potatoes into bite size chunks and add to mayonnaise mixture as you cut them.
  • Mix to combine. Sprinkle with paprika. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Serve and enjoy!



Serving: 1 | Calories: 512cal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 858mg | Sugar: 4g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Originally published 6/20/14 

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.


  1. I love this post, Donna and I have tears in my eyes now. I remember sitting around the kitchen table in our house playing spoons with your parents, your mom smiling and laughing as we flung spoons all over the place. ~hugs~

    1. That is such a great memory. You, me and my mom drove to Costco and did some light shopping and picked up pizza. What an awesome day. I am so happy you got to meet her. <3

  2. Donna, please accept my heartfelt sympathies regarding the passing of your mother! Prior to reading today's blog, I first noticed the picture realizing just how very much you resembled that smile. Much gratitude for sharing such cherished treasures as your mom's recipes, thank you 😉

  3. Pinning this and remembering my Wonderful Mother!! She made the best potato salad!! I would have to cut this in half at least…just cooking for two. Thanks!!

  4. Donna this is truly one of the nicest stories I have ever read. Actually it brought tears to my eyes.
    Boy how we cherish those things that our loved ones have shared with us! Well my mom and sister have both passed and have given me recipes that I will cherish and pass on to my children.
    I know that your moms potato salad is delicious because this is the same exact recipe my mom had taught me(other than using some chopped celery also). Keep up the good recipes I love them!

  5. to make a healthier potato salad, quit using all that mayonnaise and miracle whip. Instead us half mayo and half plain yogurt. Delicious!!!

    I'm sorry for your mom's passing, but it appears as if you are her mini me, so you really didn't lose anything because it's already within you. GOD Bless!

  6. I love this tribute to your Mom, Donna. And those hand-written recipes from her are treasures that you'll be able to pass along to Munchkin. xo

  7. Ahhh, Donna, such a joyous tribute to your mom!! I have only a few of my mother's handwritten recipes — the few that survived the years. She had the most beautiful penmanship and it gives me such pleasure to read her recipes. I will some day soon frame this few recipes and hang them in my kitchen.

    As for your mother's potato salad — I too mix mayo and Miracle Whip — in the same proportions. I think it gives the dressing just the right tang. I never make my potato salad the same, though the dressing remains constant (mine is just like your mom's dressing!) I will give her salad a try with my meatloaf this week. It sounds the perfect side dish.

    Thank you for sharing her recipe and your memories. 🙂

  8. Thank You Donna for reminding me of these memoriesof your Mom…..I loved her like a sister and I will Miss and Love her everyday for the rest of my life…..We had such great times together….and the pot that we made the salads in was your Great Grandmothers and now it hangs in mykitchen as your mom wanted me to have that pot just weeks before she passed away…..and when I'm gone it is yours…..I am going to use this recipe this weekend….and will keep watching….Love you all

  9. Deepest sympathies on the passing of your mom Donna, I am going through a similar experience with my mom right now. Can t wait to try this recipe and would LOVE if you would include her macaroni salad recipe in your blog. Hello & thank you all the way from Nova Scotia, Canada.

  10. One of my most cherished recipes is for the BBQ sauce to the first bbq I ever ate. My grandmother got the recipe for me shortly before she died. I have the recipe still but sadly the index card in her writing is misplaced somewhere inside of this house. I have been looking for it for 6 years now. I know it is stuck in some pages somewhere of some cookbook or something like that. 🙁

  11. Thanks for sharing, my Mom who has also passed away made a very similar potato salad recipe. I never knew exactly how much mayo or miracle whip to use, just take a guess by how it looks. I actually think that is what my Mom did too! 🙂 The amount you show in your recipe seems like a lot! Do you really use 45 ounces total for 5 pounds of potatoes?

  12. Beautiful tribute to a loving mother. I made the potato salad yesterday and didn't like the flavor Miracle Whip gave it. Back to my old recipe.

  13. Only 1/2 of a large onion for 5 lbs of potatoes? Needs a lot more!! I was also taught that Russet potatoes were for baking or making soup, and too starchy for cold potato salad. Maybe I'll break with tradition and try it. But to me it's seems as bad as baking a regular white potato…it just doesn't work.

  14. I love this recipe as I've gotten older I like mine cold also. As long As I can remember we always ate ours warm. We always put bacon fried nice and crisp. Then we cute back alittle on mayo and use some of the bacon drippings mustard sweet relish lots of eggs. I also now use the gold potatoes. Oh my the flavor its out of this world. I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your MOM. I loved cooking with my DADDY. He was such a wonderful man. He sure could cook. I thank God everyday I was lucky to of had him for my father. He's been gone 3 years now.

  15. 5 stars
    Who doesn’t like a good potato salad… this came out great, my family ate all of it… may have to make a double batch next time.

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