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Easy Potato Salad

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This easy potato salad recipe is made with a few simple ingredients, including potatoes, eggs and sweet gherkins. This classic potato salad is sure to be a hit at your summer cookouts! Cook the potatoes and eggs together in the Instant Pot or separately on the stove.

top view of a bowl of potato salad on a wooden cutting board

Summer is here, which means picnics and outdoor fun!  I like to have quick and easy summer salad ideas that I can bring along when we are visiting a local park or having a cookout.

Some of our family picnic favorites are blue cheese coleslaw and Texas caviar. But the summer salad I make the most often is this is this easy potato salad recipe which came from my mom.

close up of a bowl of potato salad with eggs, celery and gherkins

This potato salad was always a featured dish along with ham at our Easter dinners when I was growing up. This is a simple, old fashioned recipe, but I like to use my not so old fashioned Instant Pot to make cooking this even easier.

Why Use the Instant Pot?

Using a pressure cooker in this recipe is all about convenience, not time savings. This recipe is quick and easy to make no matter how you cook the eggs and potatoes.

I like to use the Instant Pot because it lets me cook the eggs and potatoes at the same time, in one pot. This means less pans to wash, and I hate washing dishes.

In addition cooking the eggs and potatoes on the stove means having multiple pots of boiling water going for different amounts of times. This means I actually have to pay attention and keep track of multiple timers.

I am essentially a fairly lazy cook, so the “set it and forget it” ease of the Instant Pot really appeals to me. Plus I enjoy playing with cooking gadgets – probably because of my engineering training.

But if you don’t have a pressure cooker that is fine too – the recipe card below contains detailed instructions on how to make this on the stove!

Ingredients

This Instant Pot potato salad is an old fashioned recipe with simple ingredients. In addition to the obvious potatoes the other ingredients are:

ingredients for instant pot potato salad
  • Eggs – I love eggs in potato salad and I include more eggs in this recipe than my mom does. And probably more eggs than most people include in potato salad!
  • Celery, onion – These vegetables flavor the potato salad and add crunch.
  • Sweet gherkins and pickle juice – The gherkins and pickle juice give the potato salad its distinctive sweet and tangy flavor.
  • Mayonnaise – A standard potato salad ingredient.
  • Seasonings – salt, pepper and paprika

Peeled or Unpeeled Potatoes?

Whether or not to peel your potatoes for potato salad is a matter of preference. It also can depend on the type of potato you are using.

Russet potatoes have a thicker skin, so I think it works best to peel the potatoes if you are using russet potatoes. Red potatoes, on the other hand, have a much thinner skin.

chopped red potatoes in instant pot steamer basket

Personally I like to use red potatoes and leave them unpeeled. This isn’t really about taste though, it is about hating to peel potatoes! I don’t think there is much difference in taste either way.

Gherkins or Dill Pickles?

My mom always uses sweet gherkins in potato salad instead of dill pickles, so that is what I use.  The crispy pickles add a nice crunch to the salad.

gherkin pickles in a bowl with a jar of pickles behind them

To me gherkins are what makes this potato salad delicious. So if you have always used dill pickles give gherkins a try.

How to Make Easy Potato Salad

These detailed instructions describe how I make this in my pressure cooker. If you aren’t using a pressure cooker boil the eggs and potatoes on the stove and skip to step #3.

1. Prepare the Potatoes and Eggs

Wash the potatoes and dice them into small pieces, with or without peeling them. I like bite sized pieces about 3/4 of an inch square.

Put a cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Then put the potatoes in an Instant Pot steamer basket and use a trivet to place them on top of the potatoes.

Instant Pot with potatoes and eggs ready for cooking

Add the eggs to the Instant Pot by gently placing them among the potatoes. I like to include 6 eggs, which fit in among the potatoes.

2. Cook the Potatoes and Eggs

Put the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the sealing ring is in and the pressure valve is closed. Set it on Manual, High pressure, for 5 minutes.

It will take 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure. Once it has reached pressure and finished cooking let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes.

3. Cool the Potatoes and Eggs

Once the pressure has release for 5 minutes release any remaining pressure and take the lid off. Use a spoon to carefully take out the eggs. Place the eggs in a dish of ice water to chill them.

Take the steamer basket out of the Instant Pot and dump the potatoes in a colander so they can cool also. You don’t have to chill the potatoes, just run them under cold water for a minute or two and let them sit at room temperature.

4. Prep Everything Else

While the eggs and potatoes cool you can start prepping the remaining ingredients. Chop up the celery, onions and pickles.

chopped up ingredients for making the potato salad - pickles, celery, eggs, onions

In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise with the pickle juice and stir in the salt. Let the potatoes and eggs cool for at least 10 minutes before finishing the salad.

5. Finish the Potato Salad

After 10 minutes of cooling place the potatoes in a large bowl. Put the chopped pickles and vegetables in the bowl with the potatoes.

close up of bowl of potato salad after mxing

Take the eggs out of the ice water and peel and chop them. The shell should slide off easily after chilling.

Add the mayonnaise and pickle juice mixture to the bowl and stir it gently. Be careful not to mash the potatoes as you mix the potato salad.

6. Chill

You should put the potato salad in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least an hour before serving. This cools everything down and lets the flavors meld together.

Can I Make This Ahead?

You can easily make this the day or morning before a picnic. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.

How to Serve

This potato salad is perfect for summer parties like Memorial Day or Fourth of July picnics! I like to Sprinkle it with paprika and fresh ground pepper before serving.

Just remember that you shouldn’t keep mayonnaise dishes out at room temperature for more than an hour, especially if it is an outdoor cookout. Keep the salad on ice in a cooler until time to eat and put it away after the food is served.

picture of bowl of potato salad from the top

This potato salad is delicious, with crunchy celery and pickles combined with soft potatoes in a creamy sauce. The gherkins make the potato salad just the right combination of tangy and sweet.

Find More Recipes for Cookouts

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Add titleEasy Potato Salad

This easy potato salad recipe is made with a few simple ingredients, including potatoes, eggs and sweet gherkins. This classic potato salad is sure to be a hit at your summer cookouts! Cook the potatoes and eggs together in the Instant Pot or on the stove.top view of a bowl of potato salad on a wooden cutting board

Summer is here, which means picnics and outdoor fun!  I like to have quick and easy summer salad ideas that I can bring along when we are visiting a local park or having a cookout.

Some of our family picnic favorites are blue cheese coleslaw and Texas caviar. But the summer salad I make the most often is this is this easy potato salad recipe which came from my mom.close up of a bowl of potato salad with eggs, celery and gherkins

This potato salad was always a featured dish along with ham at our Easter dinners when I was growing up. This is a simple, old fashioned recipe, but I like to use my not so old fashioned Instant Pot to make cooking this even easier.

Why Use the Instant Pot?

Using a pressure cooker in this recipe is all about convenience, not time savings. This recipe is quick and easy to make no matter how you cook the eggs and potatoes.

I like to use the Instant Pot because it lets me cook the eggs and potatoes at the same time, in one pot. This means less pans to wash, and I hate washing dishes.

In addition cooking the eggs and potatoes on the stove means having multiple pots of boiling water going for different amounts of times. This means I actually have to pay attention and keep track of multiple timers.

I am essentially a fairly lazy cook, so the “set it and forget it” ease of the Instant Pot really appeals to me. Plus I enjoy playing with cooking gadgets – probably because of my engineering training.

But if you don’t have a pressure cooker that is fine too – the recipe card below contains detailed instructions on how to make this on the stove!

Ingredients

This Instant Pot potato salad is an old fashioned recipe with simple ingredients. In addition to the obvious potatoes the other ingredients are:ingredients for instant pot potato salad

  • Eggs – I love eggs in potato salad and I include more eggs in this recipe than my mom does. And probably more eggs than most people include in potato salad!
  • Celery, onion – These vegetables flavor the potato salad and add crunch.
  • Sweet gherkins and pickle juice – The gherkins and pickle juice give the potato salad its distinctive sweet and tangy flavor.
  • Mayonnaise – A standard potato salad ingredient.
  • Seasonings – salt, pepper and paprika

Peeled or Unpeeled Potatoes?

Whether or not to peel your potatoes for potato salad is a matter of preference. It also can depend on the type of potato you are using.

Russet potatoes have a thicker skin, so I think it works best to peel the potatoes if you are using russet potatoes. Red potatoes, on the other hand, have a much thinner skin.chopped red potatoes in instant pot steamer basket

Personally I like to use red potatoes and leave them unpeeled. This isn’t really about taste though, it is about hating to peel potatoes! I don’t think there is much difference in taste either way.

Gherkins or Dill Pickles?

My mom always uses sweet gherkins in potato salad instead of dill pickles, so that is what I use.  The crispy pickles add a nice crunch to the salad.gherkin pickles in a bowl with a jar of pickles behind them

To me gherkins are what makes this potato salad delicious. So if you have always used dill pickles give gherkins a try.

How to Make Easy Potato Salad

These detailed instructions describe how I make this in my pressure cooker. If you aren’t using a pressure cooker boil the eggs and potatoes on the stove and skip to step #3.

1. Prepare the Potatoes and Eggs

Wash the potatoes and dice them into small pieces, with or without peeling them. I like bite sized pieces about 3/4 of an inch square.

Put a cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Then put the potatoes in an Instant Pot steamer basket and use a trivet to place them on top of the potatoes.Instant Pot with potatoes and eggs ready for cooking

Add the eggs to the Instant Pot by gently placing them among the potatoes. I like to include 6 eggs, which fit in among the potatoes.

2. Cook the Potatoes and Eggs

Put the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the sealing ring is in and the pressure valve is closed. Set it on Manual, High pressure, for 5 minutes.

It will take 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure. Once it has reached pressure and finished cooking let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes.Steamer basket plus trivet native ad

3. Cool the Potatoes and Eggs

Once the pressure has release for 5 minutes release any remaining pressure and take the lid off. Use a spoon to carefully take out the eggs. Place the eggs in a dish of ice water to chill them.

Take the steamer basket out of the Instant Pot and dump the potatoes in a colander so they can cool also. You don’t have to chill the potatoes, just run them under cold water for a minute or two and let them sit at room temperature.

4. Prep Everything Else

While the eggs and potatoes cool you can start prepping the remaining ingredients. Chop up the celery, onions and pickles.chopped up ingredients for making the potato salad - pickles, celery, eggs, onions

In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise with the pickle juice and stir in the salt. Let the potatoes and eggs cool for at least 10 minutes before finishing the salad.

5. Finish the Potato Salad

After 10 minutes of cooling place the potatoes in a large bowl. Put the chopped pickles and vegetables in the bowl with the potatoes.close up of bowl of potato salad after mxing

Take the eggs out of the ice water and peel and chop them. The shell should slide off easily after chilling.

Add the mayonnaise and pickle juice mixture to the bowl and stir it gently. Be careful not to mash the potatoes as you mix the potato salad.

6. Chill

You should put the potato salad in the refrigerator and let it chill for at least an hour before serving. This cools everything down and lets the flavors meld together.

Can I Make This Ahead?

You can easily make this the day or morning before a picnic. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.

How to Serve

This potato salad is perfect for summer parties like Memorial Day or Fourth of July picnics! I like to Sprinkle it with paprika and fresh ground pepper before serving.

Just remember that you shouldn’t keep mayonnaise dishes out at room temperature for more than an hour, especially if it is an outdoor cookout. Keep the salad on ice in a cooler until time to eat and put it away after the food is served.picture of bowl of potato salad from the top

This potato salad is delicious, with crunchy celery and pickles combined with soft potatoes in a creamy sauce. The gherkins make the potato salad just the right combination of tangy and sweet.

Find More Recipes for Cookouts

bowl of Instant pot potato salad from a 45 degree angle

Yield: 12

Easy Potato Salad

picture of bowl of potato salad from the top

This easy potato salad combines potatoes, eggs and sweet gherkins for a classic potato salad. Includes both Instant Pot and regular instructions.

Prep Time/Cooling Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Reaching/Releasing Pressure 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs potatoes
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/2 cup red onion or green scallions
  • 12 sweet gherkin pickles
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Tablespoon pickle juice from gherkins
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • paprika or black peppers to garnish

Instructions

Cooking the Potatoes and Eggs in Instant Pot

  1. Wash the potatoes, and then dice them into bite sized pieces.
  2. Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add a trivet. Place the potatoes in a steamer basket and put it on top of the trivet. Stick the eggs on top, nestled among the potatoes.
  3. Set the Instant Pot on Manual, High pressure, for 5 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to reach pressure.
  4. Once it has finished cooking let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then release any remaining pressure manually and take the lid off.

Cooking the Potatoes and Eggs without a Pressure Cooker

  1. Wash the potatoes, and then dice them into bite sized pieces.
  2. Add the potatoes to a sauce pan. Cover with water and boil for 10 minutes until just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, put the eggs in another saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a full rolling boil.
  4. Turn the burner to low and cover the saucepan with the eggs with a lid and let it sit, covered, for 10-12 minutes.

Once the Potatoes and Eggs are Cooked

  1. Put the hard boiled eggs in a bowl of ice water to chill. Drain the potatoes and run them under cold water for a couple of minutes to cool them off.
  2. While the eggs and potatoes cool chop the eggs, celery, red onion or green onions and gherkins. Add all the vegetables to a a bowl.
  3. Let the potatoes and eggs cool for about 10 minutes before finishing the potato salad.
  4. Put the potatoes in a large bowl and add the chopped pickles and other vegetables.
  5. Take the eggs out of the ice water, and peel and chop them into bite sized pieces.
  6. Mix the mayonnaise, pickle juice and salt in a small bowl and stir until it is not lumpy.
  7. Pour the mixture over the potato salad. Stir gently so you don't accidentally mash the potatoes.
  8. Refrigerate for an hour or so until time to serve.
  9. Garnish with paprika or fresh ground pepper.

    Notes

    I like to use red potatoes because I can chop them and use them without peeling. But if your prefer you can use a different type of potato or peel them.

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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 613mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g

    Nutrition facts are estimates.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    bowl of Instant pot potato salad from a 45 degree angle
    collage of potato salad - closeup on top, and view looking down on bowl on the bottom
    By on June 5th, 2020

    16 thoughts on “Easy Potato Salad”

    1. Ohhh no BBQ is complete without a wonderful Potato Salad dish, this sounds relish, will bring it to my next BBQ party for sure. Thanks for sharing, looks amazing

      Reply
    2. Would of never thought of using sweet pickles in potato salad! May have to try it. Who knows I could love it!

      Reply
    3. Oh my what an easy and mouthwatering recipe! I love a good potato salad , not a big fan of the store bought one, I\\\’m glad to find this recipe. I would love if you can link up this recipe over at Saturday Dishes. Our theme is POTLUCK. I think this will be a good potluck recipe too!Hope to see you there !

      Reply
    4. I love potato salad and making it with crunchy gerkin pickles is the best as it flavors the salad so well and you can dice it to your desired size, thank you fro sharing this recipe, kids are coming over next week and I think we will try it with our burgers, thank you

      Reply

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