Julia Child's American-Style Potato Salad

"This is one of my favorite potato salads! I make this for parties all the time & get asked for the recipe. I have quite a few friends that claim to not like potato salad or anything with mayonnaise but they gobble this up."
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Ready In:
1hr 55mins
6 cups




  • Slice potatoes lengthwise in 1/2 or in quarters if very large; cut crosswise into 1/2 round or 1/4 round slices, about 1/2" thick. Put in a saucepan with just enough water to cover & 1 1/2 t of salt per quart of water. Heat to a simmer & cook for 5 - 6 min until just cooked through. (It is essential that they be cooked through!). Remove from heat & drain, reserving 1 c of the cooking liquid for later use.
  • Transfer potatoes to a large bowl; stir together the cider vinegar with 1/3 c of the potato water or chicken stock & drizzle over potatoes, turning them gently to distribute it evenly. Let sit 10 min to absorb the liquid.
  • Add the onion, celery, bacon, pickle, hard-boiled eggs & chives; season to taste. Top with 2/3 c of mayonnaise (or a mix of mayonnaise & sour cream) & gently fold everything together. Taste & add more salt, pepper or mayonnaise as needed.
  • Cover & refrigerate for at least an hour; if it is refrigerated longer, bring back to room temperature before serving.
  • To serve, line a bowl or platter with lettuce & mound salad on top. Taste again & adjust seasoning if needed. Decorate at the last moment.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I've been using this technique for making potato salad for years, ever since my sister gave me this recipe. I generally use red potatos (I like my potato salad firmer) and I omit the bacon and boiled eggs (due to picky eaters). I use 1/2 mayo, 1/2 sour cream and mix with a little pickle juice to make creamy before adding it to the potatoes. This is requested at bbqs often! Thanks for posting!
  2. So good! I used Paula Deen's recipe for mayonnaise and added some dill pickle juice, but followed the recipe otherwise. I will definitely be making this again soon.



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