Perfect Potato Salad

Creative takes on this classic side dish just in time for picnic season

While researching old cookbooks for a story, we came across a recipe for Perfection Salad. It sounded tempting enough, but called for gelatin, olives, and cabbage—anything but perfection. That name seems better suited to the summer picnic backbone: potato salad. When made well, potato salad is flavorful and filling, and succeeds equally as an afternoon snack or an accompaniment to fried chicken. Here are our favorite varieties.

Potato Salad with
Peas and Mint
A loose riff on pasta carbonara—a Roman pasta dish with egg and bacon—this recipe folds potatoes into a cream sauce with sweet peas, crisp bacon, and refreshing mint for a savory-sweet flavor. Great for picnics because it’s best served at room temperature.

Mock Potato Salad
Like every all-American potato salad, this one is made with onion, celery, mayonnaise, and mustard. But here we swap the potatoes out for kohlrabi, a vegetable with hints of cabbage and broccoli. Your guests won’t notice the difference.

Marinated Purple Potatoes
In this stunning variation from the American Southwest, purple potatoes are bathed in a sherry vinaigrette, then topped with a hint of chile and crumbles of fresh cheese.

Warm German
Potato Salad
This dish is everything potato salad should be—sweet, tart, and easy to make—and it’s just as suited to a fine meal of brisket as to a paper plate with a burger.

Marinated Potatoes
and Fennel
Chef Traci Des Jardins gave us this Euro-influenced recipe, and it has quickly become a favorite. She likes it served with her Cured Salmon, but its fresh, herbal flavor would pair well with nearly any summery dish.

See more articles