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Our Loaded Potato Salad is an easy, creamy potato salad chock full of toppings you’d put on a loaded baked potato!
The Best Potato Salad
What do you get when you cross a potato salad with a loaded baked potato? THIS incredibly delicious Loaded Potato Salad!
It’s a creamy and delicious potato salad on its own – made even better with all kinds of extra toppings you might add to a baked potato including crumbled bacon, chives, red onion, and shredded cheddar cheese. These “extras” are mixed into the salad, with more sprinkled on top when served.
After one taste – I think you’ll agree that this Loaded Potato Salad needs to be on the menu at all of your summertime dinner parties and cookouts.
Why you’ll love Loaded Potato Salad
- The savory flavors of this salad are simply incredible – and a perfect addition to any cookout menu!
- This potato salad can be made ahead of time – in fact, I think this salad tastes even better after the flavors have a chance to meld together for a few hours.
- You can swap in other potato toppings to suit your tastes.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Potatoes – We suggest New Red potatoes for any potato salad recipe, including this one. Their slightly waxy texture stays firm when cooked. This also allows the potato to hold up well under a thick and creamy dressing.
- Oil – The hot, cooked potatoes are coated in both canola and olive oil to seal the cut pieces before the dressing is added. This helps the potato pieces stay together and prevents it from getting soggy.
- Mayonnaise – Our preferred brand is Hellman’s, or you can make your own homemade mayonnaise.
- Chopped Celery
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Granulated Sugar – Just a little to balance the flavors of the vinegar and mustard.
- Celery Salt
- White Pepper – While black pepper can be used instead, we use white pepper to avoid the appearance of black specks in the salad.
- “Loaded” Ingredients – Suggestions include cooked and chopped or crumbled bacon, chopped chives, shredded white sharp cheddar cheese, and diced red onion.
Special Tools Needed
- Large pot, to boil the potatoes
- Skillet to cook the bacon, or follow this recipe and bake the bacon on a sheet pan
- Spoon and paring knife, to peel the potatoes (see instructions below)
- Small bowl, to mix the oils together
- Cutting board and knife
- Large bowl, to mix the salad
- Medium bowl and whisk, to mix the dressing
- Sheet tray, to chill the potato salad
How to Prevent a Soggy Potato Salad
Similar to this very popular Potato Salad recipe, we boil the potatoes whole, then cut and coat the potatoes pieces in oil right before they cool. This seals the moisture into the potatoes, and also prevents them from getting soggy once you start to add the dressing.
How do I make Loaded Potato Salad?
- Place the unpeeled, whole potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then add the salt. Boil about 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the whole potatoes.
- Cook the bacon to crisp while the potatoes are cooking. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess oil, then crumble or chop. Set aside.
- Mix the two oils together and set aside.
- Move each cooked potato to your cutting board one at a time as each one becomes tender and remove skin and dice. (Use a spoon to hold the potato while you use the blade of a paring knife to scrape the skin off.)
- Place each cut up potato into the large bowl and drizzle on some of the mixed oil and toss to coat. Repeat with all of the cooked potatoes and mixed oils.
- Mix the dressing, then add in some of the cooked bacon, some of the shredded cheese, some of the diced red onion and some of the chopped chives.
- Add the dressing to the oiled, hot potatoes and mix. (Adding the dressing while the potatoes are warm, will allow them to absorb some of the dressing flavors as the salad cools.)
- If serving cold, spread the mixture onto a sheet tray that will fit inside your refrigerator and cover with parchment paper and plastic wrap, then chill for 3-4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, scrape into a serving bowl.
- If serving warm right away, scrape into a serving bowl.
- Top the cold or warm salad, as well as each portion, with remaining crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, chopped red onion and chopped chives. If serving warm, any leftovers must be refrigerated immediately – see Tips & Tricks below.
Tips & Tricks
This potato salad is delicious served warm or cold – but a word of warning here. Mixing mayonnaise with hot, oiled potatoes, plus other ingredients like celery is fine – IF handled correctly.
Mayonnaise is a high-protein product and very stable. However, once you add ingredients (such as celery which contains naturally-found bacteria) it can become an issue if not handled correctly. The key is paying attention to time and temperature.
The general rule is that it is OK to make a potato salad using hot potatoes, jarred mayonnaise and fresh cut celery, as long as the finished salad does not stay above 40 degrees F for more than four hours. You could serve it warm, but it must immediately be refrigerated after serving to get it below 40 degrees F as quickly as possible.
Spread the warm potato salad out on a pan so more of the salad is exposed to cold air in the refrigerator – which brings the temperature down quicker. Once chilled, you can transfer to a bowl with a lid and store refrigerated.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Loaded Potato Salad ahead of time? Yes, we recommend making it ahead of time so the flavors can meld. Chill on a low sheet tray so the cold air of the refrigerator is able to evenly penetrate all of the salad, then chill overnight.
- How do I store leftovers? You must keep the potato salad refrigerated, and only allow the potato salad to sit above 40 degrees F for no more than four hours. This salad should be safe to eat for three to four days after preparing, as long as you’ve kept it correctly chilled.
You might like these other Potato Salad Recipes:
Click here for more delicious Salad recipes!
3 pounds medium-sized New Red potatoes
2 teaspoons kosher salt to salt the water
1/2 pound bacon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/2 cups good quality mayonnaise, see here for a homemade recipe or use Hellman’s
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
3 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 1/2 cups red onion, diced small and divided
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped and divided
- Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil and add the two teaspoons of kosher salt. Depending on the size of the potato, they will take between 30 and 45 minutes, less if small.
- While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon to crisp, pat dry and crumble or chop. Set aside.
- Mix the two oils together and set aside.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the other ingredients by mixing mayonnaise in a medium bowl along with the vinegar, sugar, celery salt, white pepper, Dijon mustard and chopped celery.
- Add one of the three cups of cheddar to the dressing along with a half cup of the red onion, two tablespoons of the fresh chives and half of the crumbled bacon. Set aside.
- Use a paring knife to check to see if any of the potatoes are cooked through. As each one becomes ready, use a slotted spoon and move the hot potato to your cutting board. Use a spoon and a paring knife to hold the potato and scrape off the skin (skin peels right off). Discard skin and dice the hot potato into bite sized pieces and place into the large bowl.
- As soon as you add a cut up potato to the bowl, drizzle on a little of the oil and toss to coat.
- Continue this process until all of the potatoes and cut up and all of the oil has been used.
- Add the dressing to the hot oiled potatoes and mix to coat. (See chef tip about serving warm or cold).
- Once mixed, lay out the warm potato salad onto a flat pan that will fit in your refrigerator such as a sheet tray or jelly roll pan and cover with parchment and plastic wrap and chill for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, scrape chilled (or warm) potato salad into a serving bowl and top with some of the reserved crumbled bacon, reserved shredded cheese, reserved red onion and reserved chives, saving the rest to top each serving.
- Any leftover potato salad must be placed back under refrigeration as quickly as possible after serving.
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