Southern potato salad is a creamy delicious potato salad with a classic mayo and mustard dressing. Simply seasoned, this is the old fashioned potato salad that is often served at potlucks. With creamy Yukon Gold potatoes that hold up well, make this potato salad ahead of time for the best flavor.
Add water (enough to put 1 inch over the potatoes) to a saucepan. Season with salt. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once boiling, carefully add cubed potatoes to boiling water. Because boiling water can splash when potatoes are added, it's sometimes a good tip to use a ladle to lower potatoes into boiling water slowly and carefully. Make sure there is enough water to cover the potatoes by 1".
Boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until a fork pressed into a piece goes in easily. You do not want potatoes to be mushy, but hold shape. 2-3 pounds of cubed potatoes take me about 14 minutes but please begin checking yours around 10 minutes. See the recipe video for a clip of a fork-tender potato if needed.
Drain boiled potatoes and rinse with cold water to stop the potatoes from continued heat cooking. Let cool and drain COMPLETLY. It's best to leave potatoes in a colander for about 15 minutes to make sure all excess water is out before moving on.
In a large mixing bowl, add cooked and cooled potatoes, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, and ranch powder. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Season potatoes well with salt and pepper. Mix again.
Add in cooked bacon and shredded cheese and mix well. While this recipe has a specific amount listed, it's fine to add more cheese and/or bacon to your liking.
Refrigerate potato salad for about 4 hours or overnight before serving.
For a less creamy saladThis Southern Salad is super creamy and depending on the size of the potatoes, can really smother the potatoes in dressing. It is fine to cut the sour cream from 1 cup to 1/2 cup if desired. Also, as a side note, I would recommend boiling 3 pounds of potatoes so you have extra potatoes ready if you want to alter the consistency of the salad. Potato salads can be really personal, with some liking a creamier and some liking less dressing, so we recommend as little as 2 pounds of potatoes and as much as 3 pounds. Can potato salad be made ahead of time or the night before?Yes! In fact, I highly recommend making potato salads and pasta salads in advance as it allows flavors to really settle together.How long does this recipe last as a leftover?Because this salad has dairy, it has a shelf life. I would not recommend keeping over 3-4 days. Take care to tightly cover potato salad and keep cold at all times. As with many recipes that are left in the fridge, they may lose moisture. It is fine to add a bit more mayo and mustard to bring it back to life if needed.Is potato salad healthy?Potatoes are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, thiamine, zinc, copper, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, choline, selenium, molybdenum, iodine, calcium, sodium, and vitamins A and B6. What are the Best Potatoes for Southern Potato Salad?Potato salads made with waxy potatoes tend to be creamier because they don’t get as mushy from cooking. This means that they’re less likely to fall apart during preparation. They also keep their color better after being boiled, so they look prettier on top of a plate.If you are making a Southern Potato salad, we recommend Yukon potatoes. While red potatoes go great in potato salads, they are more complementary to Dijon Red potato salad and red potato salad with dill (both on this site).