Dill pickle potato salad: This easy potato salad recipe is filled with crunchy dill pickles and pearl onions. A creamy mayonnaise and mustard dressing brings this salad together as the perfect side dish for a whole range of main courses in both winter and summertime.
Are you looking for a delicious yet simple potato salad recipe which is easy to make and is the perfect crowd pleaser? Have you been overwhelmed by the countless variations of ‘best potato salads’ out there? Look no further, I’ve got you covered. This dill pickle potato salad has been our family favourite for many years. It is very easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. As a side dish, for me, this is the best potato salad recipe out there.
Why you will love this potato salad recipe
- It uses easy-to-find ingredients: This recipe only uses a handful of ingredients, which you will most likely already have at home. I always have a jar of dill pickles in the pantry, since I absolutely love eating them, same goes for potatoes and onions. And if not, it won’t take up too much time to find these at the grocery store.
- There is hardly any cooking involved: Apart from boiling the potatoes, there is no cooking involved. Just a bit of chopping and mixing and the potato salad is ready to serve.
- The ingredients go well with most dishes: This potato salad is a great side dish since it doesn’t have any bold flavours to overpower the main dish. The creamy potatoes and the crunchy pickles will instead enhance the flavours of your main dish.
- It’s a year-round dish: I make this salad in summer as well in wintertime. In summer, it works well with any barbecue and in winter it can be served alongside raclette or fondue cooking to balance the meat and cheese dishes.
Which ingredients to use
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This potato salad with dill pickles only uses a handful of ingredients. However, an optional variation of toppings can be added according to your personal preference and taste.
- Potatoes: I prefer using waxy potatoes for making a salad. They hold their shape really well after boiling and don’t become mash when mixing in the other ingredients. The skin is also very thin, so they can either be used with or without skin in the salad. I have used red skin potatoes for this recipe.
- Dill pickles: Dill pickles come in various sizes, of which the smaller ones have a more sour taste. I have used these ones, but feel free to use other types of pickles, as long as they are crunchy.
- Onions: Finely diced onions give extra crunch to a potato salad. Use just a small amount but feel free to add more if you love the taste of raw onion in your salad.
- Pickled pearl onions: These small onions from a jar go really well with this potato salad. They add crunch and provide a bit of sweetness to this dish. If you don’t have these available, you can leave them out, as long as you add the normal onions.
- Salad dressing: I make a very easy and simple potato salad dressing by just mixing Dijon mustard with mayonnaise.
- Garnish (optional): You can keep the garnish simple or go wild. Generally, I use fresh parsley, but for this recipe I added spring onions and fresh thyme leaves.
- Seasoning: The seasoning is very simple, just add salt and pepper to taste.
How to make potato salad with dill pickles
This recipe is so quick to make in just a few easy steps:
- Prepare the potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut them in to bite-size pieces. I usually cut them in 1 inch or 2,5 cm chunks, but feel free to use the size you love in a salad. Bring water to boil in a large pot and cook the potatoes until tender. Make sure not to overcook them. Drain the water, then leave the potatoes to cool in a colander.
- Cool the potatoes: This is an important step. Since this is a mayo-based dressing, the potatoes should be cooled properly before adding the dressing, otherwise the dressing will melt into the salad and will get very watery if you add it to hot potatoes.
- Prepare the other ingredients: Cut the dill pickles into small pieces. Finely dice the onion and half the pickled pearl onions.
- Mix together: Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper and toss gently until all is combined.
- Refrigerate: This dill pickle potato salad with onions tastes much better when served cold. Place in the fridge in an airtight container (or cover the mixing bowl), and preferably for a good few hours before serving.
- Add garnish: Add the garnish, like parsley, thyme or spring onion just before serving. If you add it to the potato salad before you put it in the fridge it will become soggy and won’t look as fresh anymore.
Tips & Tricks
If you use baby or thin skinned potatoes there is no need to peel off the skin. However, and as much as I love eating potato skin when roasting potatoes, I personally prefer to peel it off when making a salad, before I cook the thicker skinned potatoes. The reason is that often the peel comes off anyway when mixing all the ingredients together and you end up with bits of peel in your potato salad, which isn’t always very presentable.
How to avoid ending up with watery potatoes
You can opt to first boil the whole potatoes with the skin then peel and cut them afterwards. The advantage is that the potatoes won’t get soggy. However, I always cook the potatoes peeled and cut. I just make sure to not overcook them and to then drain the water properly and leave them to cool for enough time in a colander to get rid of excess moisture.
Can I make this potato salad ahead of time
Yes you can, and you should. I always find that this salad tastes so much better the next day. So feel free to make this side dish a couple of hours or a day ahead of time.
Can I use an alternative for the mayonaise?
I always make this specific potato salad with mayonaise. If you would like to use an alternative, consider this honey mustard dressing.
How to serve this salad
This potato salad with pickles is a great side dish for a summertime barbecue. It is very refreshing and light and combines perfectly with the heavy meats that are usually served with a barbecue. When on a road trip or picnic it’s so easy to pack this salad and have a wonderful lunch out in nature. This make ahead side dish is great when going camping. You could make it at home and eat it when arriving the first day. Just light a fire for the barbeque and sit back and relax since your salad is already done. Also check out my other camping recipes for more inspiration.
It also goes really well with a meat or raclette fondue which is usually eaten in winter or around the Christmas holidays. In my family, we won’t have fondue or raclette without this potato salad.
Dill pickle potato salad
- 1.5 lb (or 700 grams) red skinned potatos peeled and cut into bite size pieces
- ¼ cup (or 50 grams) dill pickles chopped
- 1 tablespoon pickled pearl onions
- ¼ white onion peeled and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- spring onion cut in rings
- fresh parsley chopped
- fresh thyme
- Peel the potatoes and cut in to bite-size pieces. Bring water to the boil in a large pot and cook the potatoes until tender. Drain the water and leave to cool in a colander.
- Peel and finely dice the onion, cut the dill pickles into small pieces and halve the pickled pearl onions.
- In a mixing bowl, add the cooled potatoes, onion, pearl onion and dill pickles. Add mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper and toss to combine evenly.
- Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day in an airtight container.
- Serve in a bowl and garnish with fresh parsley, fresh thyme leaves or spring onion.
- Depending on the size of the potatoes, they may need a longer or shorter time to cook. Check with a fork if they are tender and ready.
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