Potato Salad is a very popular side dish in South Louisiana. This recipe originated as our family potato salad recipe going back a couple of generations, tweaked and modified along the way. Chunky potatoes and eggs blended with the crisp snap of fresh celery, the creamy and tangy contribution of mayo and mustard, and the kicker, purple onions marinated in tangy red wine vinegar. Don’t be surprised if this becomes your family recipe.
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Potato Salad in South Louisiana
Not only is this a cool and quintessential side dish during the hot summers months, it’s also a go-to side dish for gumbo, poboys, and fried seafood and almost always on the menu at outdoor cookouts. Many Cajun families serve their potato salad in gumbo, not just along side. Like many staple dishes in South Louisiana, there seem to be as many recipes for potato salad as there are cooks. It should not come as a surprise, there can be some pretty strong disagreement on what's the best recipe and whether or not it should be eat in gumbo or along side.
Here’s What You Need
Here are some of the key ingredients for this recipe:
Here is some of the equipment I used to prepare this recipe:
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Here’s What You Do
First...you have a beer. Grab a beer and the recipe. While you sip, read the recipe all the way through and make sure you have all the ingredients and you know what to do with them. Plan enough ahead so the onions have ample time to marinate and the potatoes have time to cool after boiling.
Mise en place
All the work in this simple recipe is in the preparation.
Chop the onions and place them in a glass measuring cup. Pour on enough red wine vinegar to cover the onions by about ½ inch and stick them in the fridge. This step is what sets this potato salad apart from all others.
Slice the celery into small pieces.
Place the potatoes and eggs in a large stockpot and bring it to a boil over high heat.
After 10 minutes of boiling, remove the eggs and place them in an ice bath for 10 minutes.
Continue boiling the potatoes for another 5 to 10 minutes or until soft, but firm, when probed with a wood skewer or fork.
Here’s a Tip: The time it takes for the potatoes to boil depends on their size. When done, remove the potatoes to a bowl and allow them to cool.
The amount of mayonnaise and mustard you use will depend on how wet you like your potato salad. Measure approximate amounts of the mayonnaise and mustard to start. You can add more when you're mixing to get it just right.
MIx the Potato Salad
When cooled, peel the potatoes and cut them into approximately ½ inch squares. Place them in a bowl large enough to mix all the ingredients.
Peel the cooled eggs, chop them into small (about ¼ inch) pieces and add them to the potatoes.
Drain the purple onions, discard the vinegar. Add the celery and purple onions to the potatoes and eggs.
Next add the mayonnaise, yellow mustard, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Combine all the ingredients gently. I use a large plastic spatula for this, but the idea is to not break up or smash the potatoes. Taste to see if more mayo, mustard, or salt and pepper is needed and make the necessary adjustments.
Hints and Tips.
This potato salad can be served immediately or covered and held in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
This recipe is developed using red potatoes which are lower in starch than other varieties. It's recommended to use a "waxy" potato, which is explained as such by bonapetit.com: "Because waxy potatoes are relatively low in starch and high in moisture, their cells stay intact when they’re cooked, meaning that slices or cubes hold up when boiled or baked." That being said, you can use white (also waxy), or the starchier Yukon Gold or Russets if you prefer. They all make great potato salad.
Sure. Substitute some Zatarains Creole Mustard for the Yellow Mustard and sprinkle between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of Sweet Daddy D's Le Bon Papa Creole Seasoning. These mods will give it an interesting South Louisiana vibe.
You can substitute other types of vinegar for red wine vinegar. Tarragon Vinegar is also good in this recipe. If you use Tarragon vinegar, consider adding a little chopped, fresh tarragon to the potato salad for an interesting flavor dimension
The actual amount of mayonnaise and mustard will depend on personal preference. Some people like their potato salad a little on the dry side and some people like it a little on the wet side. The yellow mustard provides a tangy contrast to the sweet onions and mayonnaise. Remember, you can always add more mayo and mustard to an individual serving, but you can not remove what you have added.
There is no one right size to cut the potatoes and eggs. I prefer them a little smaller than bite-size, but you can experiment and find what works for you.
Leftover potato salad can be stored refrigerated for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container.
Yes, homemade potato salad can be frozen, but I don't recommend it. Dairy, eggs, and mayonnaise tend to degrade when frozen. But, if you have more than you can eat, it's okay to freeze it for 3 or 4 months. Make sure to use an airtight container and leave a little "headroom" for any expansion. When you are ready to eat it, defrost it in the fridge overnight, mix well before serving to re-combine all the ingredients.
I am always extra careful with foods containing mayonnaise. Potato salad should not sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the potato salad develops an “off” odor, flavor, or appearance, chances are that it is bad. Throw it out, have another beer and make some more.
Potato Salad is a great side dish that would be perfect alongside these popular recipes:
If it's a cookout you're looking at, this Potato Salad makes a perfect companion for Sweet Daddy D's Baled Beans:
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Yeah You Right!
Potato Salad with Marinated Purple Onions
Here's What You Need
- 4 pounds red potatoes See Notes
- 8 large eggs Hard cooked
- 1 medium purple onion about 1 cup
- 1 cup celery
- 1 ½ cups mayonnaise See Notes
- 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard See Notes
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Here's What You Do
- Chop the purple onion into small pieces and place in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Add enough red wine vinegar to cover by about ½ inch. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight.
- Place potatoes and eggs in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.
- After 10 minutes of boiling, remove the eggs to an ice bath for 10 minutes.
- Continue boiling the potatoes for another 5 to 10 minutes or until soft, but firm, when probed with a wood skewer or fork.
- Remove the potatoes to a bowl and allow to cool.
- Chop the celery into small pieces.
- Peel the cooled potatoes and cut into approximately ½ inch squares. Place them in a large bowl.
- Peel the cooled eggs and chop into small (about ¼ inch) pieces. Add the chopped eggs to the potatoes.
- Drain the purple onions. Add the celery and purple onions to the potatoes and eggs.
- Add the mayonnaise, yellow mustard, kosher salt and black pepper.
- Combine all the ingredients gently. Taste to see if more mayo, mustard or salt and pepper is needed.
- This can be served immediately or covered and held in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.