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How Much Potato Salad Per Person ? Best Serving Size In Pounds

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Ah, the classic potato salad. It’s one of the most iconic picnic dishes, and surely one that will please just about anyone at your table. Especially when holiday or picnic season come around, potato salad seems to be something we all have at least 2-3 times a month.

There’s just something about it, so creamy and filling and delicious !

But how much should you make when serving a whole table ? What if the whole family and their pets and neighbors come ? Well then you may want to know just how much potato salad to serve per person.

We’ve got the answer right here, along with how to make sure your potato salad come out just right. And yes, we’ve taken into account potato salad as a side dish, and as a main dish. We just love you like that.

potato salad per person

How much potato salad per person ?

You can serve about 0.4 pounds of potato salad per person, or about a cup if using that measurement. This is for potato salad as a side dish, not as a main dish.

Assuming you’re adding almost as much meat or main dish, you can comfortably serve half a pound of potato salad for each person at your table. So for 10 people, you’d need 4 pounds, or 64 oz, or about 10 cups.

If serving just potato salad

If all you’re serving is just potato salad, maybe with a bit of greens on the side, you’ll have to up the serving to 0.6 lb per person. That’s 1.5 cups of potato salad.

Some families just love potato salad and would eat it on its own, so if your friends and family are like that then you may have to serve this much.

Keep in mind that no matter how you serve potato salad – as a side dish or main dish – there will always be someone asking for seconds. So you may want to cook as much as 30% more

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What to serve with potato salad

If you’re wondering what to serve with potato salad there’s a few options you have. For one thing, this is a typical picnic or barbecue dish, so feel free to add grilled meats, grilled corn, and a summer salad on the side.

Another option is with roast beef, like brisket or maybe at a Thanksgiving dinner.

If you’re going to a vegan option, you can make your potato salad with just vinegar and olive oil, and skip the mayo (or use vegan mayo). Then you can add grilled oyster mushrooms, or cut thick slabs of extrafirm tofu and throw them all on the grill.

How to make potato salad more filling

You can make potato salad way more filling by adding some flavorful ingredients. Here’s a few examples of what to use.

Bacon bits, they add more flavor and some nice color to your potato salad. If you’re planning on serving just potato salad then adding bacon is going to make it even more filling, and it won’t be a bland potato meal.

Peas, corn, or chickpeas are all viable options. Cook them lightly, and they’ll ass a wonderful sweet and earthy flavor.

Mushrooms, especially if very well cooked and possibly browned. You’ll never get crispy mushrooms but they can develop some really beautiful colors, and deliver some extra protein.

Add boiled eggs, don’t be shy. They add a lot of flavor and texture to potato salad, and the egg yolk make everything even creamier.

Don’t add watery veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes (unless tomato paste), zucchini, eggplant or the likes, as they will make the salad too thin and you’ll get a pool of juice at the bottom.

Of course, don’t forget to add plenty of seasoning ! Play around with spices like chili flakes, cumin, onions, garlic, turmeric, curry, and herbs like rosemary, dill, cilantro, celery, or basil.

What’s the best potato for potato salad ?

For potato salad you’re going to need waxy, firm potatoes. Some of the best firm potatoes are Yukon gold, red potatoes, yellow fin, Anya, Charlotte, Cornish kings, Jersey Royals.

These potatoes will keep their shape and stay reasonably firm even after cooking. They’re done in about 15-20 minutes after the water has started boiling, but you might like to stop them a little faster.


After you drain them the residual heat will cook them through a little more, so stop them 2-3 minutes sooner than normal.

Of course if you’d like a creamier, more ruffled looking potato salad you can use floury potatoes but you risk turning them into mush. If a softer potato salad is more your style then go for it.

Potato salad tips

A few tips to get the perfect potato salad always help. To be fair the perfect potato salad doesn’t exist, it’s all in what you like. You’re going to dress it and season it however you like, be it with mayo or with a light vinaigrette. And it will be amazing !

Before you get to the best dressing and seasoning though, let’s talk about the best tips for making sure your potato salad is just right.

Cut potatoes before boiling, it ensures even cooking

To make sure your potatoes are cooked evenly and you don’t get mushy strays, cut them before cooking. This will ensure you get all your potatoes cooked through at the same rate, and is actually easier than cutting warm, cooked potatoes.

This is especially true for the waxy potato type, which can be really sticky and cling to the knife when cooked.

If you want to keep the skins on please do, they add some nice color and flavor. Just be very sure to scrub them clean !

Mix when potatoes are warm, not hot

Whether you dress you potato salad with mayo or with vinegar and olive oil, we recommend you wait a bit. Hot potatoes will absorb some of the sauce, which is nice, but it won’t look good in the end.

A warm potato will not cook the egg in mayo, which is a bonus, and it won’t make a watery mess of all the dressing.

If you prefer your potato salad warm, keep the dressing and seasoning at the very least minute. If you like the salad cold you can even dress the potatoes cold.

Let potatoes dry before mixing

Whether you dress the potatoes warm or cold, be sure to let them dry. This means letting them cool a little, but also using a strainer. Let all the water drip out of the strainer, and make sure the are no water pockets.

A dry potato (not very dry, but just not wet or moist) will absorb the dressing and seasoning much better. If you’re worried about them getting too dry, place aluminum foil loosely on the top of the strainer.

Or, you could just make a slightly thinner dressing and let the potatoes sit in it for about 10 minutes.

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Add colorful seasonings and garnishes

We eat with our eyes first is what everyone says, and it’s true. If we don’t like the way a dish looks, we won’t really want to eat it. So we recommend you add some nice seasoning or garnish to your salad.

For example pops of color against the creamy potatoes could be: chili flakes, corn, chopped herbs, a sprinkle of pepper and pink salt, peas, fried mushrooms, a drizzle of bacon fat, or even just arranging a set of lettuce leaves under the salad, so it looks presentable.

potato salad bacon

A bit of color variation goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to use it !

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