New York Deli Potato Salad

"I have only found my favorite potato salad in delicatessens in New York City and Long Island and in some Italian and Jewish delis elsewhere. After much searching, a friend on Long Island sent me this recipe which comes as close to perfection as any I've tried. The recipe may be cut down as the quantities are for a party."
photo by scancan photo by scancan
photo by scancan
Ready In:




  • Steam potatoes over 32-40 oz. water.
  • Peel while hot. (You can actually scrape off the skin by hand under cold water.).
  • Cool in refrigerator for at least one hour.
  • Mix next seven ingredients in a bowl, adding oil last.
  • Slice the potatoes in 1/4" slices into a very large bowl.
  • Fold in the mixture.
  • Chill overnight.
  • Add Hellman's mayo to desired consistency.
  • Spread in large, flat serving dishes and garnish. (I used fresh parsley and finely grated carrots for color.).

Questions & Replies

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  1. Steve P.
    Why does the picture for this recipe not match the recipe itself? One of the most important aspects of this recipe, is that the potatoes are sliced thin. The recipe says 1/4 inch, it could probably get by with 1/8. But the picture loooks chunked or diced!
  2. chris
    if making about 3 lbs how many potatoes do you microwave at one time on 4 power and how long do you microwave them???? Thanks
  3. djdimaggio2330
    What type of potatoes ?


  1. joannetk
    Yes, this is the one! If you grew up in Queens NY and long to taste that great vinegary, peppery thin sliced potato salad you had as a child then look no further. Every time I make it someone asks for the recipe. It takes two days to make it, but worth every minute. Also, gets better each day. Be sure to not over cook the potatoes and then slice them thin. Don't forget the parsley.
  2. Robert A.
    This is very close but NOT PERFECT. It is the closest I've seen and now there's nothing close to this recipe that is sold in stores. I have a 100 year old recipe that was given to me by a German woman that worked in a deli in Queens I was in the food business in the 1971 and the recipe was 60 years old then. I'll dig it out and post it here one day. Someone commented it should sit for several days and that's one of the secrets. My recipe takes 2 days to make, it sits for 2-3 days and then WOW, it's Deli Heaven. BTW, this recipe is Better than Zabars' in NYC.
  3. jfmulholland45
    Yup, the one and only!!!! This is the real McCoy. No eggs, no mustard, no relish,no green peppers, no peas. If you insist on eggs make egg salad. Unfortunately it is now next to impossible to find this unique potato salad that was only found in NYC and Long Island. Like pizza, bagels, pastrami, a kaiser roll, a 2 cent plain, a chocolate egg cream and pretzel stick, Hebrew National frankfurters a native New Yorker knows the best the rest of the country can do is try and imitate. Don't rush this salad. Let it sit. It just improves with aging a few days. By the way through the years I must have asked 10 deli's how to make it. They ALWAYS said it was a secret. Like others have posted, every time I introduce it to someone who has never had it, THEY WANT THE RECIPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. goaks260
    This receipe is amazing. I left New York city (Queens) when I was in my twenties. For Thirty years I've been looking for New York Potato Salad. It is not sold anywhere else in the U.S. I've lived in many cities and have traveled to dozens more. I've tried to make it at home with other recipes and they all have failed. This recipe is perfect. I do remember that some deli's had chopped pimento and others had a hint of finely chopped celery. I've added those 2 ingredients and it made a slight difference. It is still just like I remember. Brad, thanks for bringing this recipe to the world once again.
  5. Rob M.
    My cousin made 50lb batches working LI deli's going back to the 50's and you nailed the recipe. The only additional info: Finely chop the onion rather than puree, I've never used veg oil in this (and neither did my cousin) and specify red jacket potatoes.....Voila! BTW back in the day giving out this recipe might put you big trouble....Ha Ha...


  1. CrazyTony
    I've owned, managed, cooked, clerked in delis in the Bronx and Westchester, N.Y. for over 35 years. I have been away from it for around 16 years, so I use the internet to refresh my memory, mostly, so I don't forget an ingredient! This recipe makes a perfect potato salad as instructed. For those of you who to get it done in less time, my fellow workers use to call me "The Chef of the Future". for my shortcuts, and excessive use of the microwave. I needed to have this done in a couple of hours, plus I only had three to four pounds of potatoes. First, I cut the ingredients to 1/3. And then I microwave the potatoes ( I nuked 3 decent sized potatoes at a time on a setting for 4); peeled them with a paring knife under cold water, and the put the in an open container into the freezer. After twenty minutes, I took them out, sliced them, put them in the brine, gently tossed, put into a Tupperware , and back in the freezer for another twenty minutes. Take out, drain the brine and serve, or refrigerate, if you did everything so fast that you have now earned the title "The Chef of the Future!" P.S. Not necessary, but I added a little celery seed ( I grind mine to fine in a small coffee grinder! Also I chop my onion, and put in the other ingredients, and then put them in my magic bullet blender. And if the brine doesn't cove the potatoes, I add water until it does! ,
  2. Heather U.
    This is really great NY potato salad. Worked fine to scale it down to 2 lbs of new potatoes (skin on for color, vitamins, and fiber). I used black pepper (not a fan of white) and a quarter of the sugar that's called for (I prefer tangy to sweet in potato salad). I might reduce the amount of oil and use dill pickle juice instead of white vinegar next time. Nevertheless, the taste was fabulous as is. Thanks!


I'm retired in Astor, FL Favorite cookbook: "Too Good to be True" by Chet Beckwith. I enjoy cooking in the kitchen and on the grill; boating; reading; home improvement projects; partying with friends. Pet peeve: bad drivers. Month off - stay on a South Seas island.
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