Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

carol's potato salad for a crowd

a recipe by
Fran Miller
Parkersburg, WV

Mom made potato salad often in the summer and always for Christmas Eve. When we saw potatoes cooling in their "jackets," we knew we were in for a treat! Since Mom didn't measure ingredients when she cooked, we only have this recipe because my sister, Kathy, asked her to measure it out one time. I'm so glad she did since it just wouldn't be summer without Mom's Potato Salad! =^..^= P.S. This recipe is easy to make your own. Change up the ingredients to suit your family & comment below to let us know what you like in YOUR Potato Salad.

serves 15-20 servings, depending on serving size
prep time 20 Min
cook time 20 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For carol's potato salad for a crowd

  • 4 lb
    white or redskin potatoes
  • 4
  • 3 stalk
    celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2
    large onion, finely diced
  • 8-10
    sweet pickles, chopped
  • sprinkle
    paprika (for pretty)
  • 1/2 qt
    (2 cups) hellman's mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    yellow mustard
  • 4 Tbsp
    apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp
    white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp
  • 1/4 tsp
    celery seed, optional

How To Make carol's potato salad for a crowd

  • 1
    The night before you want to make the potato salad, or earlier in the day, boil the potatoes until JUST done. Set aside to cool or refrigerate overnight.
  • 2
    While you're at it, hard-boil the 4 eggs and cool.
  • 3
    When it's finally time to make the potato salad, peel the potatoes and cut into chunks into an extra large bowl. (Mom often used a roasting pan for mixing up her potato salad.) If you use redskin potatoes, you can leave the skins on, if you want. The size of the chunks is purely up to you. I've even seen potatoes cut into slices for potato salad, but not at my Mom's house.
  • 4
    Peel the boiled eggs. Save one boiled egg to decorate the top later. Chop the other 3 into the bowl with the potato chunks.
  • 5
    Add the sliced celery, diced onion, and pickle pieces to the potatoes and eggs.
  • 6
    FOR THE DRESSING: Spoon out 1/2 of the quart of Hellman's mayo (2 cups) into a large measuring cup or jar. Add the mustard, vinegar, milk, sugar, and celery seed. Then mix or shake until well-blended. Taste and adjust any ingredients to make it perfect for you, as to sweetness/sourness. The final taste of the dressing will be tweaked by the onion, celery, and pickles.
  • 7
    Pour SOME (maybe half?) of the dressing over the potatoes and other ingredients, then mix thoroughly, taking care not to "mush" the potatoes too much. Unless you like them that way, then mush away! Was this enough dressing or do you like more, remembering that the potatoes will soak up some of the dressing? Add more dressing, as to your personal preference. In our family, we like a LOT of dressing in our potato salad, so we use most or all of what's made. If you are unsure, use less, then chill the potato salad for awhile and taste it again. You can always add MORE salad dressing, if you want it, but you can't use LESS after the fact. Right?
  • 8
    Once Mom was satisfied with the potato salad vs. dressing ratio, she would spoon the potato salad into her big yellow bowl, then decorate the top with slices of that last boiled egg and sprinkles of paprika "for pretty." I also like pimento-stuffed green olives on top of the potato salad, but I'm a rebel that way. =^..^=
  • 9
    Cover with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours or more until serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.