Our best potato salad recipes include recipes for a Japanese potato salad that’s part mashed potatoes, a Burmese potato salad with tamarind, chilli, fried onion, and fragrant mint, and my Russian salmon potato salad with jammy soft-boiled eggs, capers, gherkins and dill. While fantastic for summer and spring, these potato salads can be served year-round.
Who doesn’t love a potato salad? Being of Russian-Ukrainian heritage, with mayonnaise running through my veins, I could live on potato salad. Almost. Some of our best potato salad recipes are some of our best summer salads, but they are also fantastic eaten in winter.
One thing I adore about our best potato salad recipes is that they can be eaten year-round. In cool weather, you can serve potato salad warm or at room temperature, while in spring and summer you can refrigerate potato salad overnight and serve it chilled.
Another thing I love about potato salads is that they can easily accompany almost anything, from pork chops and roast chicken to fried chicken to rich curries, as Burmese potato salads often accompany in a family meal.
We have potato salads from everywhere from Japan to Russia, with some of our best potato salad recipes being my Russian potato salad recipes, that include the traditional potato salads my Russian grandmother and mum made, as well as family recipes that I’ve tweaked over the years.
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Best Potato Salad Recipes – 8 Potato Salads You Can Eat All Year
Our best potato salad recipes include potato salads from right around the globe that can be eaten chilled in summer or warmed-up or at room temperature in winter.
German Potato Salad Recipe for a Warm Potato Salad with Bacon, Celery and Scallions
This German potato salad recipe makes a warm potato salad – also called a hot German potato salad – with a dressing of fried celery, scallions or spring onions, and bacon, and it’s another of our best potato salad recipes.
Time things right and you can deliver it hot to the table in autumn or winter or serve it warm-ish or at room temperature in spring or summer. It’s fantastic with chicken schnitzel (or a chicken schnitzel burger) and a side of coleslaw.
While we have the Spanish conquistadors to thank for taking potatoes to Europe in the 16th century – Peru is where potatoes were first cultivated thousands of years ago – and we have the Germans to thank for inventing the classic potato salad.
Northern Germany is where the classic creamy potato salad with mayonnaise originated, which more closely resembles the Russian potato salads I grew up with, such as the Olivier salad.
Southern Germany is the provenance of this German potato salad recipe for a warm potato salad, made with slices of pink waxy potatoes, bacon and onion or scallions, and a hot dressing that was traditionally made with bacon fat, vinegar and mustard.
Of course, the reality is that there are more than just two German potato salads, with regional variations and an infinite array of potato salads made in German homes, in the German diaspora, and in countries where Germans settled, such as the USA.
Japanese Potato Salad Recipe with Cucumber, Carrots, Corn, Eggs and Ham
Our Japanese potato salad recipe makes a quintessential Japanese potato salad and it’s one of our best potato salad recipes. If you’ve travelled in Japan you may have come across it on the menus at Japanese izakayas (drinking taverns), discovered it in that bento box you bought on the bullet train, or enjoyed it as a side served with tonkatsu. It’s also one of the most versatile potato salad recipes you will make.
While a typical Japanese potato salad comprises partly-mashed diced potatoes, finely sliced cucumbers and carrots, corn kernels, boiled eggs, ham, and Japanese mayonnaise, it’s acceptable to add anything to it really. Japanese cooks will often use it as an excuse to clear out their refrigerator vegetable drawer. There are a few things you shouldn’t change, however…
Thanks to starchy potatoes, the texture of Japanese potato salads is somewhere between a classic potato salad and potato mash, although I have spotted some Japanese potato salads that look like mashed potatoes. Finely sliced carrots and cucumbers are essential and can be sliced with your sharpest kitchen knife or you can use a mandoline. You should also use Japanese mayonnaise, such as Kewpie mayonnaise, along with Japanese rice vinegar
Burmese Potato Salad Recipe with Tamarind, Chilli, Fried Onion and Fragrant Mint
This Burmese potato salad recipe makes a light potato salad with tamarind, chilli, fried onion, and fragrant mint. A kick of heat from the mild green chillies, a little sweetness and sourness from the tamarind juice, crunch from the fried shallots, and the perfume of fresh mint make this one of the best Burmese salads to accompany your curries, and another of our best potato salad recipes.
This is a light mayonnaise-free potato salad that can even satisfy potato salad lovers raised on mayonnaise. The simple tamarind-based sweet-sour salad dressing, the crunchy raw onions, fresh perfumed mint, chillies, and crispy fried shallots give this potato salad enough flavour and texture that you won’t miss the creamy mayo one bit.
While this is a fantastic salad for the barbecue or picnic basket, in Myanmar salads typically accompany rich Burmese curries, as they provide such a fantastic contrast to Myanmar’s oily curries, alongside rice and a relish or two. I’ve adapted this potato salad slightly from my favourite Burmese cookbook, Mi Mi Khaing’s Cook and Entertain the Burmese Way, published in 1978, which I highly recommend if you’re a lover of Burmese cuisines.
Fragrant Potato Salad Recipe with Garden Peas, Fresh Herbs and Aromatic Spices
This potato salad recipe with peas, fresh herbs and fragrant spices makes a bright, aromatic salad inspired by some of my favourite potato salads and fresh herb salads. It comes together quickly – you’ll spend more time waiting for the potatoes to boil then cool down than you’ll spend cooking – and is a fantastic side to so many dishes.
My recipe makes a fragrant potato salad that’s something of a fusion salad. It’s inspired by a perfumed herb salad by chef Chalee Kader of one of our favourite Bangkok restaurants, the zesty Burmese potato salad above, a Persian salad by Lucy and Greg Malouf which I came across in Australia Gourmet Traveller from their book New Feast, and Russian potato salads, and it’s absolutely delicious.
A lover of potato salads, I’ve been pondering whether I could combine a potato salad with Chalee’s herb salad since we first fell in love with it at his restaurant, 100 Mahaseth, some years ago, but I didn’t think it would work. It took a few other potato salads, each of which provided food for thought, to convince me it would. Fortunately, it did, and now I’m hooked.
Russian Salmon Potato Salad Recipe with Soft-Boiled Eggs
One of my favourite potato salads, my Russian salmon potato salad recipe with soft-boiled eggs, capers, gherkins and dill makes a filling salad that you can definitely eat year-round. In the cool season, you can serve it with warm potatoes and seared salmon straight from the pan, while in summer it can be refrigerated for warm weather meals, such as barbecues and picnics.
In summer and spring, I suggest dressing it with little else but extra virgin olive oil, quality sea salt and good ground black pepper, but in winter, I strongly recommend adding creamy mayonnaise and combining everything well. In that case, the runnier the eggs the better, but otherwise, in warm weather, soft jammy eggs are what you want. Terence has an excellent guide to boiling perfect eggs every time.
This Russian salmon potato salad recipe is another of our best potato salad recipes. It was a bit special and generally only made appearances on holidays, such as Russian Orthodox Easter and Russian Christmas (which is today!) when baba and mum would top it with spoonfuls of Russian caviar. If you enjoy this, you’ll find more of my Russian family recipes here.
Russian Beetroot Potato Salad Recipe
This Russian beetroot potato salad recipe makes vinegret (ВИНЕГРЕТ in Russian), a creamy pink potato and beetroot salad that is fragrant with dill and delightfully tangy, thanks to the gherkins and capers. Based on my Baboushka’s recipe, it was a staple at family meals and holiday feasts, Sunday lunches and summer picnics, and it’s another of our best potato salad recipes.
I’ve been making it for as long as I can remember, and always make it for Russian Christmas and Russian Easter when I spend some days cooking the Russian food I learnt to make in the kitchens of my mother and grandmother as a child growing up in western Sydney. There would rarely be a family meal without this Russian beet potato salad and my mum made it every time we had a backyard barbecue.
Despite the fact I can make it in my sleep, this beetroot and potato salad turns out a little differently each time and the main difference is the colour. It could be a pale pink like the salad below or a deep dark ruby-pink in this photo. Fresh beetroots always result in a more vibrant colour than tinned beetroots. I definitely recommend the former.
Russian Potato Salad Recipe for the Olivier Salad
This Russian potato salad recipe for Olivier Salad is another of our best potato salad recipes. It makes a Russian salad dating to the 1860s, when it was invented at a celebrated Moscow restaurant. Served at family meals, especially at Russian Easter and Christmas, it’s another fantastic potato salad for barbecues and picnics but is also a filling winter salad served as a side to steak, sausages or roast.
My potato salad recipe makes the modern take on the Olivier salad, which was invented by the chef of a famed Moscow restaurant in the 19th century, and popularised in the 20th century during the Soviet period. The potato salad recipe would then go on to travel the world, becoming known as ensalada Rusa (see below) everywhere from Madrid to Mexico, Barcelona to Buenos Aires.
The typical Soviet-era Russian potato salad ingredients list included potatoes, carrots, onion, peas, gherkins, and mayonnaise, which was ever-present. Mayonnaise was considered to be the glue that bound the Soviet states together.
The original Olivier salad was more luxurious, comprised of seasonal ingredients such as crayfish tails, caviar, smoked duck, veal tongue, grouse, and capers. While ingredients were diced, it didn’t contain potato.
Spanish Potato Salad Recipe for Ensaladilla Rusa
This Spanish potato salad recipe makes ensaladilla Rusa or ensalada Rusa, one of the most popular Spanish tapas dishes found in tapas bars in Spain and abroad, and it’s another of our best Spanish tapas dishes.
‘Ensalada’ means ‘salad’ in Spanish and when you see ensalada Rusa on a menu, it will usually come as an appetiser size that’s called ‘raciones’. ‘Ensaladilla’ means little salad and is a smaller size potato salad in the typical tapas snack size. And ‘Rusa’ of course means Russia.
My recipe is based on an ensaladilla Rusa recipe by British born chef Marc Fosh who has lived in Spain for decades. In his original recipe, the chef boils the potatoes, carrots, peas, and beans. I don’t love soft olive-coloured peas and beans, so I blanche the beans and peas so they’re still bright green and firm.
The chef includes green olives in his recipe but I like more tang, crunch and acidity, so I’ve included a teaspoon of pickled onions (see my recipe for pink pickled shallots), which I’ve chopped finely, and tiny capers in brine. If you can only find the larger capers, best to chop them in thirds.
In Spain, this creamy potato salad is typically served with crunchy mini breadsticks called picos, but we mostly serve it with toasted baguette slices brushed with extra virgin olive oil.
Do let us know if you make any of our best potato salad recipes in the comments below, by email or tag us on social media if you share them. We’d love to know how they turn out for you.