Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe

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Black folks’ Southern potato salad recipe is a must-have for any Black cookout, family reunion, picnic, or potluck! It’s a creamy yet tangy dressing balanced by soul food seasonings and flavors. 

Most Southerners have their family recipe for potato salad, and there are different versions of it all over the South.

This is my mom’s recipe that calls for main ingredients russet potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, sweet pickles, sweet onion, and celery. Amongst a host of flavorful seasonings. A favorite among children and adults alike. 

You could also add optional condiments that are personal favorites. Like chopped bell pepper, garlic powder, red onion, or green onion.

But no raisins in Black folks potato salad, please.

 

Black Folks Potato Salad Recipe

 

What is a Black folks’ potato salad recipe?

Simply answered – it’s flavorful.

The same way Persian people feel about their beloved fesenjan recipe is also how Black folks cherish soul food potato salad.

If Black folks Southern fried chicken is Michael Jackson.

Black folks’ potato salad is Prince.

Its fans are Die. Hard!

People will wait in line for Black folks’ potato salad. And if it were to ever die, people would mourn it for months. (If not years!)

All of what I just said might be lost on you, so let me explain…

 

Black potato salad vs. White potato salad

People often ask, “What is Southern potato salad?” 

Southern food can be described as down South, home-cooked comfort food recipes where you can taste the hospitality.

But soul food goes way beyond Southern cooking. Which sparks the conversation about “Black potato salad vs. White potato salad.” 

A discussion about why Black people distrust potato salad recipes prepared by hands that are not Brown.

Don’t believe me? 

It’s a real thing. And a whole article dedicated to the conversation HERE (Why We Don’t trust White People’s Potato Salad), backed by SNL and Black Panther King T’Challa.

So if it’s the flavor and seasoning you’re seeking, then a Black folks potato salad recipe is tried, true, full of flavor, and exactly what you came looking for! 

 

What goes in Black folks’ Southern potato salad?

A classic soul food Southern potato salad dish consists primarily of potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, celery, and onion with a dressing of mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip), mustard, and various seasonings. 

There are many ways to season the dressing, and some recipes include relish, pickles, horseradish, or hot sauce.

 

Southern Potato Salad

 

Who made the potato salad?

If you’re African American, you’re all too familiar with this question about potato salad!

This question could also be asked this way: “Who brought the potato salad?”

In essence, what we’re trying to get to the bottom of is this…

Who made the potato salad at the cookout?

 

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Black cookout potato salad recipe

You see, in a Black family, you have to earn the right to bring this iconic Black folks’ recipe

Black people will ask the who, what, when, where, and why about potato salad brought to a large gathering like a cookout or holiday event.

Because it’s a sacred and protected dish. (It ain’t called “Black folks potato salad” for nothing!)

 

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Black Southern Potato Salad Recipe

 

What’s special about Black America’s potato salad?

Soul food is all about seasoning to perfection. The flavor! The same holds true for a Black folks’ Southern potato salad recipe. 

 

Are you a fan of potato salad?

According to The Root’s spot-on pieceWhy Black People Care So Damn Much About Potato Salad, Explained: “There are so many different ways to fuck up a batch of potato salad because it involves so many different ingredients, and there are so many different ways to make it. 

You can not boil the potatoes long enough. Or cut them into big-ass chunks. You can add too much — or too little — mayo and/or mustard.” 

 

Best soul food potato salad recipe

So if you like potato salad, you might agree with The Root that a novice in the kitchen won’t do when it comes to making a soul food best potato salad recipe to please the masses.

Age in the kitchen, which gives a history of your previous recipe performance, has a lot to do with approval ratings to make soul food recipes for family gatherings.

So obviously, approval ratings are high for grandmas, mamas, and aunties being in charge of bringing the coveted cookout potato salad! 

This is the same unwritten rule for most Black folks’ dressing recipesEspecially for the Thanksgiving cornbread dressing and Black folks’ chicken and dressing!

 

 

Does every Black person over 50 know how to make potato salad?

Pretty much. Except for a small batch of 5-percenters. That being not of the 95% of Black people over 50 who know how to make Southern-style potato salad. 

I’m speaking specifically of those who brought a cookout potato salad recipe that made everyone sick. 

Now you understand the question…

“Who brought the potato salad?”

So you may have heard of the Patti Labelle potato salad recipe? 

Yep! It’s a trusted and approved Black Southern potato salad recipe!

 

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What is a good recipe for potato salad?

Start here! 

If you don’t know how to make a good Black folks’ Southern potato salad… No worries. 

I gotchu with this cookout-approved easy soul food potato salad recipe! 

Which is why you’re right here in the right place to learn.

 

Black Cookout Potato Salad Recipe

 

What kind of potatoes are best for Southern potato salad?

In this Black potato salad recipe, my mom uses russet potatoes. The official Southern potato of potato salad.

We recommend using waxy potatoes like russet or Yukon gold. They’re high in moisture and starch and have a floury and crunchy texture ideal for this recipe. 

And since russet potatoes do not have a high protein or sugar content, they hold their shape well when cooked.

I also added a few small, colorful potatoes. Purple and red potatoes for an enhanced and colorful presentation. 

Because we eat with our eyes first!

 

Black potato salad recipe

Kitchen equipment for a Black folk’s potato salad recipe 

 

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The Pioneer Woman Instant Pot  |  Instant Pot trivet rack  |  Instant Pot egg rack  |  KitchenAid potato peeler  |  Amazon wood cutting board  |  Amazon similar glass plate  | Anthropologie similar dish towel  |  Anthropologie similar serving bowl  |

 

Southern Potato Salad Recipe

 

Black folks soul food potato salad ingredients

What will you need to make this Black folks potato salad recipe?

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 4-6 small red or purple potatoes (optional)
  • 2 cups of water, divided
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 1 boiled egg, sliced to garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • ⅓ cup of sweet pickles, diced (or sweet relish)
  • ½ a cup of celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow onion, diced 
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • ⅓ cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ a teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika to garnish

 

What's Special About Black America's Potato Salad?

 

Instructions for a Black folk’s potato salad recipe 

  • For an easy soul food potato salad recipe, you can use the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker to quickly boil the eggs and potatoes.
  1. Peel the russet potatoes and leave them whole. (If you’re using the optional small red or purple potatoes, do not peel them.)
  2. Open the Instant Pot lid and place the Instant Pot trivet rack inside the stainless-steel inner pot. (The trivet rack isn’t required – but it keeps the potatoes above the water in the pot, so they’re steaming instead of boiling on only one side.)
  3. Add 1 cup of water and then the potatoes on the trivet rack.
  4. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  5. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  6. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  7. Use an oven mitt to remove the trivet rack with the potatoes.
  8. Allow the cooked potatoes to cool enough so they’re still warm to the touch (but not hot).
  9. Then coarsely chop the potatoes into medium-sized chunks and add them to a large mixing bowl.
  10. Pour the vinegar over the chopped potatoes while they’re still warm, and set the bowl aside.
  11. Add the trivet rack or egg rack inside the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
  12. Add the eggs to the racks and then pour 1 cup of water over the eggs.
  13. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.
  14. While the eggs are boiling, dice the pickles, celery, and onion and add the diced vegetables to the bowl of chopped potatoes.
  15. Add the mustard, mayonnaise, sugar, salt, and pepper to the bowl and set the bowl aside.
  16. When the cooking time for the eggs is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 5 minutes.
  17. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  18. Open the cover immediately after the pressure release. Using tongs (because the eggs will be hot!), place the boiled eggs into an ice bath to cool off.
  19. Once the eggs are cool to the touch, coarsely chop four eggs and add them to the large bowl of potatoes and seasonings.
  20. Gently fold the ingredients into the potatoes so that the vegetables, seasonings, mayonnaise, and mustard are evenly mixed to coat the potatoes.
  21. Garnish this Black folk’s potato salad recipe by sprinkling paprika and then slicing the remaining boiled egg to garnish on top. Serve right away and enjoy!

Pro tip: Some Black folks’ potato salad recipes get really fancy and garnish with deviled eggs for a soul food deviled eggs potato salad!

 

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What do you serve with a Black folks’ Southern potato salad recipe?

BBQ! Or really any cookout food. 

On which occasions do you enjoy eating potato salad, and which foods do you enjoy eating it with the most?

Burgersbuttermilk fried chickensoul food baked macaroni and cheesecoleslaw, tuna steaks, macaroni salad, or baked beans. And of course, Southern sweet tea.

 

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Can you serve potato salad warm?

The Root explains this best: “Since prime potato salad making and eating season occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, temperature is an issue too. If you leave it sitting out in the sun too long and try eating it, you will die. Like, literally.”

While you can serve potato salad both warm or cold (German potato salad is served warm). Black people eat potato salad as a cold side dish during summer. 

 

So how long can potato salad sit out?

Because it’s a moist recipe made with eggs, potato salad should be refrigerated overnight. However, it can be left out for several hours at room temperature without going bad.

 

Black Potato Salad Recipe

 

Black folks Southern potato salad FAQs

Why is potato salad called salad?

It’s called a salad because of the dressing. The definition of salad is a variety of cold dishes from pasta, meats, vegetables, or fruit mixed with a mayonnaise or dressing.

 

Can you cook the potatoes and eggs in an Instant Pot?

People often ask if you can steam the potatoes in your Instant Pot?

Yes, the potatoes and the eggs. You can use the Instant Pot to quickly pressure cook them. 

 

Should you leave the yoke from the eggs or take them out?

You’ll use both the egg white and the yolk from the hard-boiled eggs.

 

How many russet potatoes do you recommend?

4 russet potatoes and optionally 4-6 small red or purple potatoes.

 

Best Soul Food Potato Salad Recipe

 

What kitchen tools are needed to make this?

For the white potatoes, you’ll need a potato peeler.

If you’re using an Instant Pot pressure cooker, the Instant Pot trivet rack (comes with the Instant Pot) or egg rack will be very convenient.

Otherwise, a large pot will still work effectively.

 

How long do you boil potatoes to make potato salad?

With an Instant Pot, close the lid and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.

 

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How do you make potato salad not mushy?

Because you want potato salad. Not mashed potatoes!

So, waxy potatoes like a russet potato or Yukon Gold potatoes work best for potato salad. They do not break down or turn mushy when boiled or overcooked. 

It’s best to use these long-cooking potatoes because they’re good for baking or boiling and hold their shape well when cooked. 

 

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Should you peel the potatoes?

Potato peeling is totally a personal preference. In a soul food potato salad recipe, both ways work perfectly fine – peeled or un-peeled. 

The russet potatoes are peeled in this Southern Black folks potato salad recipe.

 

One of the biggest potato salad controversies is, do you cut potatoes before boiling for potato salad?

I think it’s easiest to cut the potatoes after they cook because they’ll get softer.

 

Should the potatoes cool first?

Yes, then it’s easier to cut them.

 

How do you know when the potatoes are done?

Pierce the middle of the potato using a fork. If you can pierce the potato easily, then it’s ready. 

 

What are your thoughts on boiling the potatoes in broth instead of just plain water?

Boiling the potatoes in chicken or vegetable broth can only intensify the exquisite flavor!

 

Soul Food Potato Salad Ingredients

 

What type of mayonnaise should you use?

What folks really want to know is “Is it OK to use Miracle Whip in potato salad?” Or can you use mayo instead of Miracle Whip?

The answer is yes. Either is acceptable. 

It’s a personal preference, and the amount to use is the same whichever one you choose.

 

What mustard do you use?

Yellow mustard. Nothing fancy.

 

How many servings does this recipe make?

This recipe serves 6.

 

How much potato salad for a crowd?

Suppose you want to make more of this recipe. In that case, you can use the dynamic recipe card below to adjust the serving size for the proportionate amount of ingredients you’ll need.

 

Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe

 

Can you make it in advance?

Yes, you can prepare this potato salad in advance. It can be made one day in advance, which lets the flavors blend more, so it’ll taste even better! 

Just keep it refrigerated until you are ready to serve.

 

What if you only have celery salt?

You can substitute with celery salt or celery seed if you don’t have fresh celery. 

 

What other substitutes will work in a Black potato salad recipe?

Dill pickle relish can be used in place of sweet pickle relish. Using chopped dill pickle or dill relish is a personal preference to add more tang to the recipe. 

Either sweet or dill, you won’t need the pickle juice.

Just don’t get overzealous when swapping ingredients. Because this isn’t a loaded baked potato salad recipe!

Excessive swaps will take away from your dish being a soul food recipe. 

Instead of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip salad dressing, you used olive oil or sour cream?

Using those substitute ingredients would no longer qualify your potato salad as a signature Black folks’ potato salad recipe.

 

How long will potato salad keep in the refrigerator?

How long does potato salad last?

Salads made from potatoes can be kept for approximately one week if stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Can you freeze this recipe?

Yes, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. But most Southerners will tell you that this is one of those Southern recipes best enjoyed right away!

 

What do you think about this recipe for Black folks’ potato salad?

How do you make potato salad with a base of potatoes and pickles?

You make it easily with this recipe! Classic soul food potato salad ingredients and a host of flavorful seasonings. 

Have you had a Black folks’ potato salad recipe?

What’s your favorite way to eat it?

Or have you tried this recipe and have a question?

Lemme know in a comment below, and subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

 

With so many African American soul food recipes to choose from, what’s your favorite?

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Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe

 

Black Folks Potato Salad Recipe

Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe

Black folks Southern potato salad recipe is a must-have for any African American cookout, family reunion, picnic, or potluck! It’s a creamy yet tangy dressing balanced by soul food seasonings and flavors. AKA Black cookout potato salad! 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Keyword: Black cookout potato salad recipe, Black folks potato salad recipe, Black folks Southern potato salad recipe, Black Southern potato salad recipe, Instant Pot recipe, soul food potato salad recipe, Southern potato salad recipe, vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 399kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole

Equipment

  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker optional
  • Instant Pot trivet rack (comes with the Instant Pot) or egg rack
  • Potato peeler

Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 4-6 potatoes small red or purple potatoes (optional)
  • 2 cups water divided
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 1 boiled egg sliced to garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • cup sweet pickles diced (or sweet relish)
  • ½ cup celery diced
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika to garnish

Instructions

You can use the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker to easily boil the potatoes and eggs.

  • Peel the russet potatoes and leave them whole. (If you’re using the optional small red or purple potatoes, do not peel them.)
  • Open the Instant Pot lid and place the Instant Pot trivet rack inside the stainless-steel inner pot. (The trivet rack isn’t required – but it keeps the potatoes above the water in the pot, so they’re steaming instead of boiling on only one side.)
  • Add 1 cup of water and then the potatoes on the trivet rack.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Use an oven mitt to remove the trivet rack with the potatoes.
  • Allow the cooked potatoes to cool enough so they’re still warm to the touch (but not hot).
  • Then coarsely chop the potatoes into medium-sized chunks and add them to a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour the vinegar over the chopped potatoes while they’re still warm, and set the bowl aside.
  • Add the trivet rack or egg rack inside the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
  • Add the eggs to the racks and then pour 1 cup of water over the eggs.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.
  • While the eggs are boiling, dice the pickles, celery, and onion and add the diced vegetables to the bowl of chopped potatoes.
  • Add the mustard, mayonnaise, sugar, salt, and pepper to the bowl and set the bowl aside.
  • When the cooking time for the eggs is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 5 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Open the cover immediately after the pressure release. Using tongs (because the eggs will be hot!), place the boiled eggs into an ice bath to cool off.
  • Once the eggs are cool to the touch, coarsely chop four eggs and add them to the large bowl of potatoes and seasonings.
  • Gently fold the ingredients into the potatoes so that the vegetables, seasonings, mayonnaise, and mustard are evenly mixed to coat the potatoes.
  • Garnish this Black folk’s potato salad recipe by sprinkling paprika and then slicing the remaining boiled egg to garnish on top. Serve right away and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Some Black folks’ potato salad recipes get really fancy and garnish with deviled eggs for a soul food deviled eggs potato salad!
Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe Card

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 611mg | Potassium: 1288mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg
Save it so you can make it!Pin this recipe to remember it later.
Nutrition Facts
Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
399
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
14
g
22
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
161
mg
54
%
Sodium
 
611
mg
27
%
Potassium
 
1288
mg
37
%
Carbohydrates
 
58
g
19
%
Fiber
 
5
g
21
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Protein
 
12
g
24
%
Vitamin A
 
360
IU
7
%
Vitamin C
 
38
mg
46
%
Calcium
 
72
mg
7
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Kate
    June 4, 2022 / 4:01 pm

    5 stars
    Made it for a church potluck & I received many compliments plus a request for the recipe,
    Thank you very much. This is now a must to prepare.

    • June 5, 2022 / 3:33 am

      5 stars
      Thanks so much for coming back to share your success with my Southern potato salad recipe. Your feedback warms my heart and makes my day!

  2. Debi
    June 7, 2022 / 6:55 pm

    5 stars
    So good. Easy to prepare and very flavourful!!! Thank you for this recipe!!:)

    • June 8, 2022 / 2:44 am

      5 stars
      I’m so glad you love it! Thanks so much for coming back to share.

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