Summer Picnic Potato Salad with Red Onions and Pickles

potato salad with pickles and red onions in a white dish on a marble table with a white napkin and silver fork

I’ve eaten a version of this potato salad every summer for as long as I can remember. It has four key ingredients: cubed potatoes, mayonnaise, pickles and raw red onions.  I added mustard and horseradish to spice things up a little, but I don’t like to veer too far from the traditional picnic potato salad of my youth. It’s a classic potato salad for every picnic.

You can use any white potatoes in this salad. I use russet potatoes. Boil or steam the potatoes, add the best mayonnaise you can find (or make), mustard, kosher dill pickles, and thin sliced raw red onions.

That last ingredient is arguably the most important. It adds a delicious spicy crunch to the salad, without making it either too spicy or too onion-y. I always have red onions on hand. (I like to eat red vegetables, what can I say?) Yellow onions won’t work because you need those pretty pink circles of red onion to make this mostly white salad visually appealing.

You can even freeze this salad, but omit the horseradish if you’re doing so. The onions will get a little mushy, so it won’t be perfect, but if you’re the type who’s always rushing off to a summer picnic or potluck, having a few containers of this potato salad in the freezer can be a lifesaver.

Springhouse Turtle Eats

Summer Picnic Potato Salad with Red Onions and Pickles

By Springhouse Turtle Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes Total Time: 32-35 minutes

Classic picnic salad made with cubed white potatoes, pickles, red onions, mayonnaise and mustard.


  • 2 pounds white potatoes, cubed (I use russet potatoes)
  • Salted water for boiling potatoes
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced and broken into circles
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish (optional)



Bring a large pot of filtered water to a boil.


Add 2 teaspoons salt when the water boils.


Drop in the potatoes, and return the pot to a boil.


Turn down the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, but not mushy.


Drain the potatoes in a colander, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.


In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and horseradish, if using.


When the potatoes are cool, transfer them to a large bowl, and stir in the dressing.


Stir in the pickles and onions.


Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Start with two pounds of peeled, cubed white potatoes. Boil or steam them for 10-15 minutes, or until soft.

cubed white potatoes in a glass bowl on a wood counter

Mix mustard, mayonnaise, salt and horseradish.

mustard and mayonnaise sauce for potato salad in a glass bowl with a spatula

Drain the cooked potatoes and rinse with cold water.

cooked cubed potatoes in a glass bowl

Sliced red onion and pickles add color, tartness and crunch to the potato salad.

red onions, pickles, dressing and potatoes on a wood counter

Refrigerate for at least two hours. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve at your next picnic.

potato salaad in a white dish on a marble surface with a white napkin and silver fork

Springhouse Turtle Eats


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