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Here’s another Really Simple recipe for a summer staple: potato salad.

I know, the easiest way to get potato salad on a hot day is to visit the store and have the deli guy fill a big plastic container with the store creation.

It might be fresh. It might be from last Wednesday. And pretty often the taste will remind you of that paste you used in the second grade. I’m not saying it’s awful stuff. After all, maybe you liked that paste. But honestly, here’s a quick potato salad recipe that needs just five ingredients. It’s not an “immediate” recipe because you have to chill the cooked potatoes, but this one is really simple to make and certainly healthier.

Really Simple Potato Salad

Yield: serve 4 to 6 people


10 medium red potatoes, or two pounds
1 medium onion
1 cup of mayonnaise
¾ cup of pickles, plus juice


Put the potatoes in a sauce pan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-20 minutes until a knife easily slips through the potato. Remove from the heat. Strain the potatoes. Allow to cool to room temperature — which you can accelerate by rinsing with cold water. Then refrigerate for two hours.

Please do not put warm, or even worse hot, potatoes in the refrigerator. It’s bad for the refrigerator and for the food inside. It’s good for any germs and bacteria.

Remove the chilled potatoes from the refrigerator and dice. I prefer to leave the peel on. Put the potatoes in a large bowl.

Dice the onion and add to the potatoes. Dice the pickles and add.

In a small bowl, put the mayonnaise and 2-3 tablespoons of the pickle juice. Whisk to mix. Pour over the potato mixture. Salt to taste. Chill and serve.

It’s easy, and it’s better than anything in the store.


I said you could do this with five ingredients, including salt. If you want a richer dish then you can do any of these things:

  • Add black pepper
  • Add red pepper flakes [careful, one tablespoon or less, or the next day …]
  • Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar [my favorite addition]
  • Sprinkle parsley
  • Mix in diced hard boiled eggs

Lastly, I said to use “pickles” but what kind? We use hot and spicy pickles from Arizona that have a Southwestern kick. You can use normal pickles, your old favorites, and go even hotter with spicy jalapenos. Look in that refrigerator and make room for you own, personal salad.

Source: Brian O’Rourke