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Ina Garten’s Potato Salad (Easy Recipe)

Guaranteed to be a hit at your next backyard barbecue!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated August 19, 2022

Fresh Ina Garten Potato Salad
Ina Garten potato salad is creamy and tangy, with the perfect hint of freshness. This savory side salad goes well with hotdogs, hamburgers and anything off the grill! It’s simple to make and a crowd pleaser, so it’s a great addition to any summer meal.

The herbed dressing includes bright zesty dill, and chopped dill pickles for crunch. Buttermilk is the secret ingredient that makes this potato salad so irresistibly creamy. Red potatoes are less starchy than typical russet potatoes, and give this dish a pop of color.

The best part is that this delicious potato salad can be made in under an hour. Prepare it a day in advance and the flavors will be even better. Your guests will be shocked it’s not the main course.

All About Ina Garten Potato Salad Ingredients

Potatoes

There are dozens of types of potatoes out there, but not all of them are suited for potato salad. The key is to pick a potato that is fairly firm, and won’t get mushy after being boiled.

Ina Garten uses red potatoes for this recipe. They are nice and dense, and their waxy texture maintains their shape. They also have a delicious buttery flavor.

You can use any other waxy variety of potato for this salad. Fingerling potatoes or new potatoes work well.

Seasonings

Since the main ingredients are already very flavorful, this potato salad doesn’t need much seasoning. Just make sure you use high quality ingredients. I use cracked black pepper, Kosher salt and fresh dill for a punchy flavor!

Of course you can always add whatever other seasonings you prefer. Chives provide a great pop of color. Garlic powder and paprika make this dish more savory.

Dressing

The basis for most potato salads is mayonnaise. Real mayonnaise is my preference. It has a much richer flavor than Miracle Whip or other whipped salad dressings.

What gives this potato salad its tangy, slightly spicy flavor is the mustard. Whole grain mustard has a nice texture and is generally pretty spicy. You can use dijon or yellow mustard if you don’t like whole grain mustard.

As we mentioned before, the secret ingredient in Ina Garten’s potato salad is buttermilk. Buttermilk is slightly tangy, and thicker than regular milk. It packs so much flavor, you’ll never make potato salad without it again!

I like to add some crunchiness to my potato salad to keep things interesting. This recipe includes chopped celery, green pepper and dill pickles. These crisp and juicy vegetables help add an element of freshness.

Easy Tips for the Best Potato Salad


  • Cut your potatoes into similarly sized pieces. This ensures they all cook at the same time.

  • Leave the skins on your potatoes. Red potato skins look nice, and they’re flavorful. Potato skins are also packed full of fiber and potassium.

  • Add salt to your boiling water when you cook the potatoes. The potatoes will absorb this salt and have more flavor.

  • Use fresh herbs. They have a stronger flavor than dried herbs. The texture is also nicer in a fresh salad.

  • Soak the onions in a bowl of icy water before using them. This helps get rid of that sharp spiciness that onions have, and also makes them crisper.

  • Stir in the dressing while the potatoes are still hot. This lets the potatoes absorb all those delicious flavors.

  • Refrigerate the potato salad for several hours before serving. This way the dressing can fully soak into the potatoes.

  • Boil, then steam your potatoes. Steaming eliminates a lot of the excess water in the potatoes, leading to a fluffier texture.

Ina Garten Potato Salad Recipe

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time1 hr 10 min
  • Servings6 to 8
  • Yield8

Level: Easy.
Chilling: 30 min.

Ingredients













 

Materials





Method


  1. Boil the Potatoes

    Wash the potatoes under cold water to remove any dirt. Salt a pot of water and add your potatoes. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

    I check if the potatoes are finished by sticking a fork or knife in them. Cooked potatoes will slide right off. When the potatoes are barely tender, drain them into a colander.

    Place the colander over the empty pot and let the potatoes steam. The heat should be off. Steam the potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until they are tender and fully cooked.

    Tip: Do not overcook the potatoes or they will get mushy in the salad.


  2. Make the Dressing

    In a small bowl, whisk together the dijon mustard, grainy mustard, mayonnaise, buttermilk, pepper and salt.


  3. Chop the Vegetables

    Dice the red onion, pickles, celery and green pepper into small pieces.

    At this point, the potatoes will be cooled. Cut potatoes into quarters, or even smaller pieces if you prefer.


  4. Mix Everything Together

    In a large bowl, add the dressing to the quartered potatoes. Mix well, but be gentle so the potatoes don’t get mashed.

    Add all the chopped vegetables. If you plan to eat the potato salad at a later date, omit the onions for now.


  5. Chill and Serve

    Refrigerate the potato salad for about 30 minutes. This will let the potatoes absorb the dressing.

    Stir in some freshly chopped dill before you serve. Season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Delicious Variations to Try

While this Ina’s potato salad recipe keeps things pretty traditional, you can always adjust the ingredients however you like.


  • I like to add some sliced radishes for a beautiful pop of color. They also have a similar spiciness to red onion, so they go well together.

  • For the meat lovers, try adding some chopped bacon on top. It provides some extra saltiness and crispiness. And who doesn’t love bacon?

  • This recipe uses dill for seasoning, but parsley or even coriander would be delicious as well.

Make Ina Garten Potato Salad Ahead, Eat Later

You can make Ina Garten potato salad without any doubt. In fact, cold potato salad usually tastes better the next day. A night or a few hours in the refrigerator allows all those flavors to blend together and soak into the potatoes.

For best results, avoid adding the red onion until the day of serving. If they sit in the dressing for too long they will start to taste really pungent. Nobody wants onion breath after eating your potato salad.

It’s also a good idea to add the fresh herbs just before serving. They tend to turn color and become soggy if they sit overnight. Plus the flavor is much more pronounced when they’re freshly chopped.

Storage Instructions

It’s best to eat this potato salad within 3-5 days of making it. Since it contains dairy, you need to be careful about spoilage.

Use an airtight container to store your potato salad. It will keep your potato salad much fresher than using cling wrap. Airtight containers also prevent the potato salad from absorbing any smells from the fridge.

Don’t let the potato salad sit at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Bacteria start to grow between 40°F-140°F and can make you sick. When you’re serving the potato salad, only take out what you need, and leave the rest in the fridge.

If you’re making this potato salad a few days in advance, keep the dressing separate from the potatoes. Then, mix it all together the day of serving.

Don’t Freeze Ina Garten Potato Salad

While this dish does well in the refrigerator, the same cannot be said for the freezer. When potatoes get frozen, their texture becomes grainy and unappetizing.

Mayonnaise and buttermilk also shouldn’t be frozen. When they thaw they separate and get watery. You’ll also notice an overwhelmingly acidic flavor.

Potato salad recipes with a vinegar-based dressing hold up much better in the freezer. Just make sure you don’t add any crisp vegetables like celery or green pepper, as they’ll get soggy.
Ina Garten_s Potato Salad Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 260Calories
  • 10.7g Fat
  • 38.6g Carbs
  • 4.8gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories260
% Daily Value*
Total Fat10.7g 14%
Saturated Fat1.6g 8%
Cholesterol8mg 3%
Sodium470mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate38.6g 14%
Dietary Fiber4.1g 15%
Total Sugars4.6g
Protein4.8g
Vitamin C0mcg 0%
Calcium94mg 7%
Iron3mg 17%
Potassium941mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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