Make-Ahead Potato Salad For a Crowd

(from jerseyjenny’s recipe box)

This recipe can easily be doubled. If only celery salt is available, use the same amount but omit the addition of salt in the dressing. When testing the potatoes for doneness, simply taste a piece; do not overcook the potatoes or they will become mealy and will break apart. The potatoes must be just warm, or even fully cooled, when you add the dressing. If you find the potato salad a little dry for your liking, add up to 2 tablespoons more mayonnaise.

This variation of our All-American Potato Salad was published in our cookbook The Best Make-Ahead Recipe.

Source: Cook's Illustrated May 2007

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 12 people

Categories: Cook's Illustrated, bbq, potatoes, sides


  • 5 pounds russet potatoes (about 9 medium), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • Table salt
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups mayonnaise (see note)
  • 2 medium ribs celery , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 large hard-cooked eggs , peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (optional)


  1. Place the potatoes in a large Dutch oven and cover by 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occationally, until the potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of the center of the potatoes with very little resistance), about 8 minutes.

  2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and transfer them to large bowl. Gently stir in the vinegar and let stand until the potatoes are just warm, about 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, stir together 1 cup of the mayonnaise with the celery, pickle relish, onion, parsley, celery seed, dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

  4. Using rubber spatula, gently fold the mayonnaise mixture and eggs (if using) into the potatoes.

  5. To Store: Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

  6. To Serve: Let the salad stand at room temperature about 1 hour. Gently fold in the remaining 1 cup mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. To Serve Right Away:

  8. Stir all of the mayonnaise into the potatoes in step 4, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

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