Colorful and hearty, this red skinned potato salad has all the flavors perfectly balanced in one beautiful dish. This is the one to make for every cookout this summer.
Nothing makes us crave potato salad like the warm summer sun, blue skies, and the smell of burgers on the grill. Mmmm mmmmm... Potato salad all summer long, please.
This was inspired by my Great Aunt Wanda. She made the very best potato salad. Unfortunately for us, she made it from memory, and the recipe was never written down.
I believe she used russet potatoes that she peeled and cubed after boiling. Those are delicious, no doubt. When I set out to create my own version, I wanted more color. That's why I leave the skin on my red potato salad. And here we have it: Aunt Wanda-esque red skinned potato salad!
This photo shows (most of) the ingredients I use for this recipe. It was taken after giving the potatoes, parsley, and celery a quick rinse to remove any lingering dirt. A complete list of the ingredients is below the photo.
- red skinned potatoes
- fresh parsley
- yellow onion
- celery ribs
- stone ground mustard
- sweet gherkins in pickle juice
- black pepper
- red vinegar (not shown)
- fine sea salt (not shown)
See recipe card for quantities.
Like potato salads do, this recipe calls for a fair amount of prep. The nice thing about this one, though, is that you can get it all done while the potatoes and eggs are cooking. Efficiency, baby!
Here we've got the potatoes covered in cold water and heating up to boil. The same water will be used to boil the eggs.
Potatoes removed from boiling water and placed in ice water. Room temperature eggs in 8" fine mesh strainer, ready to be boiled.
Eggs after gently lowered into boiling water.
Eggs on stove, boiling for 11 minutes.
Below is a photo of our red skinned potato salad ingredients all prepped and ready to be assembled. You can see here that the potatoes are cut a little larger than the eggs, and the other veggies and herbs are a smaller dice.
Skirting the edges are the measured mustard, sea salt, red wine vinegar, and mayonnaise.
Hint: Once I splat the mustard to the bowl, I pour the pickle juice into the same rectangle measuring spoon... because save a spoon and get that mustard!
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few thoughts on adjusting ingredients to suit your preferences.
- Mayonnaise - Use lite mayo without sacrificing flavor if you want to lighten the calorie load. Use vegan mayo and omit the eggs for a vegan-friendly version (I kinda say the same thing in the vegan bullet below).
- Potatoes - It's easy to substitute yukon gold or russet potatoes, if that's what you have on hand. My only suggestion is to peel the russets after boiling and before dicing. You can leave the skins on Yukon gold potatoes.
- Vegan - Simply omit the eggs and use vegan mayonnaise if you want to make the recipe vegan-friendly. To make up for the eggs, you can add a couple more potatoes and slightly increase the veggies.
As per the ususal, I have my favorite kitchen tools. They're my go-to for a reason, and here's why:
The 8" strainer with its long handle makes quick work of quickly getting potatoes out of the boiling water and into the ice water. It's also wonderful at easing the eggs into the boiling water
I say it over and over again, but my favorite knife for almost all things is the Mercer Culinary Santoku Chefs Knife. It's light weight, has a soft handle, and the blade stays sharp with a few swipes through this sharpener before each use.
I love a nylon cutting board. They are easy to clean and dishwasher safe, which is tops in food safety.
The silicone spoon spatula is a tool I use a lot! It's soft, smooth edges make it great for gently stirring food without mauling it. And silicone won't scratch your pans and bowls. I reach for this spatula so much. It was perpetually in the dishwasher, so now I have a few!
If you see anything else in the post pics that interest you, just ask! I'm always happy to share info on my kitchen tools and why I love them.
This dish is best when served after it sits a few hours or overnight, so the flavors meld. It's still delicious when consumed the same day, though.Try it same day and next day, and let me know what you think.
I also like it not super cold out of the refrigerator, but that is definitely a personal preference.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 7 days.
Freezing red skinned potato salad is not recommended, simply because the fresh veggies in it will not freeze and thaw well. They may actually be a little gross, so don't try it unless you're into that sort of thing.
Get the potatoes into ice water as soon as they are done cooking. We leave the skin on red potato salad for the color (and nutrition, of course!). Placing in the ice water, also called blanching, helps preserve the pretty color.
Other than color, there are definite differences between between red-skinned, Yukon gold, and russet potatoes. The main difference is the amount of starch in each variety, and that affects how they perform in recipes.
Russets tend to be fluffier, which makes them the perfect baked potato. Yukon golds are a little sweeter with a buttery, creamy texture -- exactly why these are my top pick for Creamy Mashed Potatoes. If you're looking for an all-star in your soups and salads, it's the firm red-skinned potato every time!
Eatingwell.com has a super article that compares these three potato varieties in detail. Check it out!
The answer depends on how well done you like the yolk. For a yolk that is cooked through, perfectly yellow, and doesn't have the green ring around it, the answer is 11 minutes.
My easy answer (after much researching and testing) is this: room temperature eggs slowly added to boiling water. Starting eggs in cold water is like starting to fry an egg in a cold pan. It's gonna stick!
Plunge in ice water after boiling, if you want to avoid the dimple. Crack shell all around and rinse under cold water while peeling. Works every time.
I perfected my technique after getting down in the science-y weeds of an article written by Chef J. Kenji López-Alt. He authored a wonderful post on Serious Eats, if you want to nerd out about it.
Kinda neither, in my experience. I let my eggs warm to room temperature or place them in a bowl of room temperature water for 20-30 minutes before adding them to the boiling water.
Chef Kenji says to add cold eggs to boiling water. And I tried that many times. No matter how slowly or carefully I placed cold eggs into the boiling water, they would crack and the whites would seep out. Sometimes I would lose half my eggs! The cracking isn't an issue if I take the chill off the eggs first.
Like I said, works every time.
It's a reaction between the yolk and white when eggs are boiled too long. It's not pretty, but it's harmless to eat.
Yes, but here's the thing: grocery store eggs are typically old enough. According to Chef Kenji, eggs could be up to 30 days old before they reach your US grocery store, and the sell-by date could be 30 days from that. So unless you have super fresh eggs from back yard hens, boil whatcha got.
Uh, no. No, it doesn't. But it helps if you have a severe aversion to the smell of boiling eggs. Save that vinegar for salad dressing or removing lime deposits around your kitchen faucet.
Looking for other salad recipes? Try these:
Planning a summer cookout menu? These are some of my other favorite summer recipes you may want to pair with Red Skinned Potato Salad:
- 2 pounds red potatoes about 9 medium-sized
- 6 eggs room temperature
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 3 celery ribs sliced thin or chopped
- ½ cup sweet gherkins chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons pickle juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh parsley minced (or 2-3 tablespoons dried parsley)
- Wash potatoes and place whole potatoes in a large pot; cover with cold water. I leave the skins on for nutrition and color.Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until just tender enough for an inserted paring knife or fork to come out easily (15-30 minutes, depending on size of potatoes).
- While potatoes are cooking... Place eggs in a bowl of warm water to bring them up to room temperature.Prepare a large bowl of ice water for potatoes.Chop celery stalks and leaves, onion, gherkins, parsley (if using fresh).
- When potatoes are fork tender, scoop potatoes out of hot water and place in bowl of ice water. I use my 8" sieve for this. This stops the cooking process and helps the skins retain their color.Let potatoes cool in ice water until able to handle. Cut into ½"-¾" cubes, leaving skin intact but removing any eyes. Set aside.
- Using the 8" sieve, slowly lower eggs into the boiling water just used for the potatoes. Boil for 11 minutes.Tap egg on counter to break shell, roll eggs between hands or on counter under light pressure to loosen shell, then peel. Rinse under cold running water to remove bits of shell. Chop to desired size and set aside.
- While eggs boil...In large bowl, prepare dressing by whisking together vinegar, mayo, mustard, pickle juice, salt, pepper and parsley.Reserve a couple teaspoons of parsley for garnish, if desired.
- Stir in potatoes, then gently stir in eggs. Garnish with reserved parsleyThis can be served immediately and is very good warm or refrigerate overnight, so the flavors can mellow.Enjoy!
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When serving pasta salads, they usually taste the best at room temperature or slightly colder. HOWEVER, always be mindful of food safety!
Cooked food should never stay at room temperature for more than TWO HOURS.
Read more about food safety on the USDA web site.