Secrets to a perfect (and gluten free) potato salad

On my list of favorite foods! Photo by Oxmoor House, found here.

Every time I make a potato salad, I remember why I never make potato salad. Although the results are usually fabulous, it is a messy, time-intensive process no matter how I slice it. That said, with this last go-round, I’ve figured out some time-saving and flavor-enhancing tips you might enjoy for a perfect potato salad! I’ve also included brand names to indicate gluten-free products that are safe.

NSFD Ranking: ***
*= Good nutritional value, not outrageously high in fat and calories
**= Decent nutritional value, relatively high in fat and calories, to be eaten in moderation
***= Nutritional value, what’s that?! Really high in fat and calories, should never appear in a healthy person’s diet, but way too damn good to resist on occasion.

(Do note: This recipe made 20+ servings. Halve it for a normal sized gathering)

– 5-6 large potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
– 10 eggs
– 2 cups mayonnaise (Best Foods)
– 1/2- 3/4 cup mustard (French’s)
– 3-4 tablespoons vinegar (I used red wine vinegar. Anything but malted should be gluten-free)
– 1- 1.5 cup(s) chopped celery
– 1 cup finely chopped red onion
– 6-7 sprigs Thyme, chopped
– Teaspoon or two of dill
– A tablespoon each: pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika
– Salt to taste

Starting the night before:

1. Cut unpeeled potatoes into large chunks and cook in boiling well-salted water until tender. Drain
potatoes and allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, hard boil the eggs (Cover eggs with one-inch cold water, bring to a roiling bubble,
immediately cover and turn off the heat. Let sit 12 minutes. Then drain and rinse with cold
water/ice cubes to stop the cooking process.)
3. Refrigerate cooled eggs and potatoes over night.
4. Peel and chop potatoes into chunks. (At this point, the peels should pull off easily)
5. Peel eggs under cool water (I delegated this to Mr. T.  Best decision ever.)
6. Chop eggs roughly. (To cut down on fat and cholesterol, I tossed half of the egg yolks out.)
7. Combine potatoes, eggs, celery and onion in a large bowl. (I actually used two bowls because of
the large quantities)
8. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar and spices. Whisk until well-
9. Pour mayo mixture onto the potato mixture, stir until combined.
10. Taste. Add spices or moisture as needed.
11. Refrigerate for a few hours for maximum tastiness.
12. Optional: Before serving, sprinkle with paprika for color


  • I typically add a bunch of chopped dill pickles and dill pickle juice instead of vinegar, but my pickles weren’t gluten free and we had a bunch of whiney pickle-haters at our BBQ. 🙂
  • To cut fat, sometimes I sub some of the mayonnaise with fat free sour cream. Thus far, no one’s been able to tell
  • I usually err on the side of extra mustard
  • To increase flavor without adding extra fat or calories, try adjusting spices first before adding mayonnaise.
  • Mixing the liquids and spices separately ensures better distribution in the salad.
  • The spice amounts listed above are an approximation. I probably added more as I tasted.
  • The cayenne adds a bit of spice, but it’s not “hot” per se. Don’t be shy!
  • Like many things, the salad really is better the next day when the flavors have a chance to meld.
  • When I’m feeling crazy, I add chopped black olives because I’m just that kind of girl.
  • Add salt last because with the salted potatoes, you may not need much


P/S Bonus yumminess: I made a flourless chocolate cake, too. TO DIE FOR. It blew the regular cake we had out of the water. It’s part cake, part pudding, part truffle. Just heavenly. It would probably get 15 NSFD stars though. Definitely a special occasion-only treat.

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