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Mama’s Potato Salad

This old-fashioned potato salad recipe doesn't have many ingredients, so it isn't as colorful as many that you find nowadays. But Mama made it the way her mother did, and that's the way I still make it today. Try it and see if it isn't one of the best-tasting potato salads you have ever eaten! —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 3 to 3-1/2 pounds potatoes (about 10 medium)
  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Additional hard-boiled large eggs, sliced
  • Paprika


  • In a large kettle, cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and cool. Peel potatoes; cut into chunks. Separate egg yolks from whites. Set yolks aside. Chop whites and add to potatoes with onion.
  • In a small bowl, mash yolks. Stir in mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes; toss well. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Spoon into a serving bowl. Garnish with egg slices and paprika. Chill until serving.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • To prevent potatoes from mushing out and losing their shape, add a small amount of vinegar to their cooking water: 1/2 teaspoon is plenty.
  • For salads, we find that firm and flavorful Yukon Golds, new potatoes and redskin potatoes yield great results. Starchier russet potatoes can work, but they tend to fall apart.
  • The beautiful thing about this type of salad is that it's very easy to customize. Start with half the amounts of ingredients such as sugar, mustard and vinegar, then adjust levels to your personal taste.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 231 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 113mg cholesterol, 323mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • SUSAN
      Jun 1, 2020

      It's a no for me. The sugar ruined it and made it sweet. If you like New York style this is not the recipe to try.

    • April
      May 21, 2020

      Potato salad MUST have sugar!! I wouldn't dare bring bland potato salad to our family gatherings! Mayo, mustard, vinegar, sugar , salt and milk....that's the ticket!

    • SandyFritz
      May 20, 2020

      Very similar to our family recipe, we did add celery and peppers for some color. My mom always added a little sugar and brine from bread

    • Carol
      May 20, 2020

      This reminded me of when I was growing up, great trip down memory lane.

    • Julie
      May 20, 2020

      My mom passed two years ago and with her went her best potato salad recipe. She always used sugar

    • Sandie
      May 20, 2020

      The recipe says to separate the 6 eggs and chop the whites with onion. What about the yolks?

    • s_pants
      May 16, 2020

      Very good potato salad. Substituted soy milk for the evaporated milk and it turned out just fine. I refrigerated it overnight. In my opinion, it needs more salt and pepper, but I just added it to my serving at the table.

    • stu
      May 8, 2020

      Very good. Don't like the taste of evaporated milk - can use 1% milk together with fat-free or 5% sour cream for a creamy sauce - a sprinkle of sugar - added chopped celery and a few sliced radishes for a little crunch. Top w/egg slices and paprika.

    • afoth73
      Apr 2, 2020

      This is our favorite potato salad ever! It's so easy and delicious!

    • Robin
      Nov 3, 2019

      My husband loved this. It took me back to when my sister made potato salad and it was delicious.