Best Potato Salad Recipe for Picnics

Best Potato Salad recipe (with fresh corn, bacon, peas, and chives!) is the ultimate spring and summer potluck, picnic, or side dish to bring to any party!

This Best Potato Salad recipe was originally shared with you in June 2014. I’ve updated it with a video and photos. It’s one I love making for spring and summer entertaining – leftovers are always relish, too. Enjoy!

Best Potato Salad Recipe

Don’t you love a good potato salad? One that is full of color, veggies, a mixture of potatoes, with a little spunk to it, like  maybe sweet red pepper, or a sweet, tangy sauce, or savory bacon, or a sweet bread and butter pickle, and fresh corn!?

In the summer, farm stands and backyard gardens burst with produce, perfect for making this Best Potato Salad.

I’m not too keen on a gooey, too-mayonnaisey dressing though. For me, that can ruin a good potato salad.

My fondest potato salad memories go back to my mom’s recipe, which we always said was “the best,” because she cooked the dressing. It was scrumptious, but was also full of eggs and mayonnaise – drenched in dressing.

Best Potato Salad

This recipe is sweet, and even sweeter with the bread and butter pickles (I used Farmer’s Garden by Vlasic, Bread and Butter Chips). The  yummy dressing (you add pickle juice and sugar), and then the garden veggies with fresh summer corn–oh, my!

Best Potato Salad Recipe

Since we’re talking “sweet” here, I found this lovely picnic photo of a holiday 20 years ago in my parents’ backyard (1994). I love how carefree we all are, no phones (yay!), looks like a VCR, and a few of us getting ready to partake in a lovely holiday meal together. (Back in the day when we all drank too much soda:) I can guarantee that mom’s potatoe salad is in that yellow bowl! :)

Best Potato Salad Recipe

Potato salad reminds me of camping, church picnics, family get togethers, and holiday dinners. (That’s me in the early 90’s floral shirt, very pregnant with our first son, 25 years ago!)

Rarely did my mom make it for a casual, weeknight meal. It always seemed to be for a special occasion.

Today I’m sharing my spin, and I hope you’ll enjoy it this summer as well.

What’s your secret ingredient for putting in the “best” potato salad recipe?

Best Potato Salad Recipe

Best Potato Salad

You can make 1 day ahead prior to serving. Garnish with fresh chives!


  • 2 pounds mixed fingerling potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. pickle juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 cup peas, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup corn, cooked, cut off the cob
  • 8 slices fully cooked bacon, chopped in large pieces
  • 1/2 cup bread and butter pickles, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red sweet peppers
  • 1/4 cup chives


  1. Bring water to boil in a large pot; add in 1 Tbsp. of salt plus the chopped potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for abut 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain well.
  2. In a small bowl, make the dressing by adding the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, sugar, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.
  3. Cook the peas and corn and allow to cool. Chop the bacon, pickles, celery, sweet peppers, and chives.
  4. Toss the potatoes gently with the dressing; allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add in the remaining ingredients; salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss until mixed together.
All images and text ©

Picnic ideas:

Summer Picnic Recipes and Tips {Two Peas and Their Pod}

Picnic Tablecloth Cookies Recipe {Katrina’s Kitchen}

Ultimate Manly Picnic Sandwich {Noble Pig}

Best Potato Salad: Delicious potato salad with not a ton of dressing!

22 comments on “Best Potato Salad Recipe for Picnics”

  1. now! That looks yummy…and so appealing to the eye!

  2. My mother also made the best potato salad and now my niece makes it from her recipe. One year my niece decided to change it up a bit but her cousins quickly put a stop to that! Got to love those traditions:)

  3. Oooh, this DOES look like the best. Love your picnic photo!

  4. Your bowl full of potato salad looks like pure goodness!

  5. YUM! I”ll have to try this…I don’t make Potato salad often because I’ve never been good at it…lol…compared to others I’ve tasted…I like your twist though.

  6. You’re always sharing new ideas for combinations of ingredients. What a unique mix with the Bread & Butter pickles and juice in the dressing. If you say this is “The Best” – I’ll be trying it! Thanks! I just made an Old Faithful recipe for potato salad that uses olive oil & plain yogurt with mustard and lots of fresh herbs. Thanks Sandy.

  7. Wow, made this last night and loved it, thank you!

  8. Thank you for a potato salad that isn’t covered in mayonnaise. This is usually the reason I don’t eat potato salad. This looks great so I cant wait to try it for 4th of July. :)

  9. This looks so delicious! It’s like a loaded delicious potato salad! I wish I had a bowl now!

  10. Love the potato salad, it looks beautiful! Love the picture of your family even more!!

  11. Sandy, your potato salad looks wonderful! I will be making it for the 4th. I use a little pickle juice in mine too…it really makes a difference.

  12. I made this recipe for my son’s birthday dinner on June 25 served with steaks, wedge salad, rolls, and a purchased ice cream cake for dessert. We were going to go to a restaurant, but there was a change of plans the day before. Lit candles and a bouquet purchased from the supermarket divided into small vases were used for table decoration (I loved that hydrangeas were included in the mix!). Iceberg lettuce was cut in wedges & dressing prepared in the morning, along with shredded cheese and reserved bacon bits which made for easy salad assembly right before dinner. Steaks were prepared on the grill while guests chatted over drinks of choice and Gardetto snack mix placed in small bowls. I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen on the day of, so this colorful potato salad, prepared earlier in the day, was the perfect solution. Little did I know the guests would be talking about this salad days later! People who don’t usually like potato salad absolutely LOVED it. I followed the recipe exactly, using applewood smoked style bacon. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I enjoy this blog and appreciate your tips and recipes.

  13. I’d also add slices of radish and plenty of red onion. And don’t forget the cider vinegar to give it that tang. Maybe even a hint of horse radish, too. I’ll be trying this recipe this week.

  14. Thank you for this colorful recipe. It is one of the best salads we have tried lately and a Veritable rainbow of pure flavor.

  15. I just made this and it is amazing! Thanks for sharing! 

  16. Can you make this ahead of time? Like a day? Or does it make it too soggy? Thanks!

  17. Do you cook the corn on the cobb first and then cut it or before? For the peas is it best to use frozen, canned or fresh?

  18. Love the new pics and video. I don’t make potato salad often, but this one looks amazing.

  19. I myself like canned peas. Cauliflower would be a nice substitution for potatoes for those that are carb conscious, although corn and peas are good for you they contain extra carbs. Do you have the nutritional values for this recipe???

  20. I made this potato salad for a summer cook out. It was amazing! Everyone loves it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *