Karren’s Famous Potato Salad

Karren’s Famous Potato Salad

Now, THIS is a summer recipe!

It’s the potato salad from my childhood, when my grandma made it to accompany my grandpa’s family catfish fry a few times each summer. Through experimentation, research and trial-and-error, I’ve tweaked the recipe over the years, and it’s become even more of a crowd-pleaser. It’s perfect for a pot luck or cookout.

Potato Salad (Karren’s Famous)

Karren Doll Tolliver
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 16 people


  • Large, heavy pan for boiling potatoes
  • Colander to drain the potatoes


  • 5 pounds Idaho russet potatoes peeled (if desired) and cut into uniform, 1-inch (2.54 cm) cubes 2.5 kg
  • 2 tablespoons salt plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 8 eggs boiled, cooled, peeled and chopped; reserve one whole egg for garnish
  • 10 ounces sweet pickle relish 285 g
  • 1 large white or red onion diced
  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika


  • Fill a heavy pan with cold water and stir in 2 tablespoons of salt and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Put the cubed potatoes in the water as soon as they are cut. The water should just cover the potatoes in the pot. When all the potatoes are in the water, turn on the heat to high and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until potatoes are done and fork-tender. Do not overcook.
  • While potatoes are cooking, make dressing by combining pickle relish, chopped onion, mayonnaise, pepper and mustard in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  • When potatoes are done, drain into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Place potatoes in large bowl and add chopped eggs and dressing. Stir rather vigorously to coat the potatoes. Corners of the potato cubes will be bashed off a little and make the dressing creamier.
  • Add more salt, relish, mayo, pepper or mustard to taste.
  • Place in a 9×13 (23×33 cm) non-metal serving dish, cover and chill.
  • Just before serving, slice remaining egg and place slices on top of the potato salad. Sprinkle entire dish lightly with paprika.


Use russet potatoes instead of the waxier white, gold or red potatoes. The softer, more open texture of a russet allows the flavors of the dressing to permeate more completely than with other types.
I leave the skins on my potatoes for texture and nutrition, but you can peel the potatoes if you want.
Adding a little vinegar to the cooking water prevents overcooking and ending up with mashed potatoes. Cutting uniformly-sized cubes is essential for even cooking.
Add some garlic powder or a cup of cooked, crumbled bacon for even more flavor.
Keyword potato salad

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