Effortless to make in less than 25 minutes, this is a delicious potato salad recipe with crispy bacon bits, tangy gherkins and a creamy homemade dressing. We love to share this with friends and easily doubled when feeding a crowd so it is the perfect entertainer!
Why You’ll Love Our Classic Potato Salad with Bacon
I am not always a fan of potato salads. Sometimes I find it too gluggy, too creamy or the potatoes are not cooked properly.
After experimenting with a few different types of potato salad combinations and salad dressings like our roasted potato salad with anchovy dressing, I have now found a good balance for a creamy potato salad recipe that is delicious without the overbearing gluggy mess.
What makes this a great potato salad is the perfect union of ingredients with the right balance of homemade potato salad dressing. Nothing overly fancy, just good simple classic flavours.
Bacon and potatoes are a classic pairing. Plus with a blend of mayonnaise and sour cream as a base, this potato salad with bacon is very tasty.
You can make this delicious potato salad recipe in advance for your next BBQ, potluck gathering or during the holiday season like Christmas and Easter. Easily doubled when feeding a crowd so it is the perfect entertainer.
Best Potatoes for Potato Salad
In general, a waxy potato is more suited to potato salads.
Waxy potatoes are low in starch, slightly firmer and hold their shape when cooked. Something like a Dutch cream, kipler, nicola or nadine are considered waxy potatoes and good for potato salads.
If you love roasted potatoes, you will have to try using Dutch creams for our Hasselback potato salad.
Avoid starchy potatoes in potato salads as they will break down too much. They will become mushier when mixed with a creamy homemade salad dressing.
Flavour/Texture: I love the creamy flavours of the mayonnaise salad dressing with the crispy bacon bits and tangy chopped gherkins.
The texture of this potato salad with bacon recipe is soft but still with a bite. I like to cook the potatoes until just fork tender so the bite size pieces hold shape but are not crunchy.
Ease: This potato salad with bacon is easy to make. Two cooked components of potatoes and bacon and then tossed together with a few other ingredients.
Getting the right texture of the cooked potatoes is probably the hardest part of the salad.
Time: A recipe easily completed in under 30 minutes.
These are the ingredients you need for Classic Potato Salad with Bacon:
Potatoes: Go for a waxy potato so it doesn’t break down when mixing the salad together.
Bacon: I prefer short cut bacon as it has less fat, but middle/centre cut bacon is good too.
Gherkins/Dill pickles: To balance and help cut through the richness, I love adding gherkins/dill pickles to the salad. You can adjust the volume of gherkins according to your taste.
Mayonnaise: The creamy base of potato salad is a good quality mayonnaise.
Sour cream / Dijon mustard: Both sour cream and Dijon mustard is to help balance the creaminess of the salad dressing. I love the tartness and zingy flavours of the sour cream and Dijon mustard.
Variations and Substitutions
Egg free option: This recipe does not have eggs in it per se, but mayonnaise is, of course, made with eggs. So if you need to have an egg-free salad dressing, you can substitute mayonnaise with Greek yoghurt or use our creme fraiche and chives dressing instead.
Vegetarian version: Substitute regular bacon with your favourite plant based version or can omit it from the salad.
Other herbs: If you don’t have chives readily available, you can use other herbs like parsley or dill.
Step by step instructions for how to make potato salad with bacon:
How to Make Potato Salad
Peel and chop potato into bite sized pieces.
Add potatoes to a large pot of water. Season with a good pinch of salt.
Bring water to boil and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until fork tender.
Slice bacon into 1-2cm pieces.
In a large fry pan, sauté the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towel.
Finely chop red onion, pickles and chives.
How to Assemble the Salad
In a large bowl, add mayonnaise, sour cream and Dijon mustard. Mix well.
Add warm potatoes to dressing and mix well.
Add sauteed bacon, chopped pickles, red onion and ¾ of chopped chives to the potato mix.
Sprinkle remaining chopped chives to serve.
How to Make This Salad Perfectly (Expert Tips)
Choose the right kind of potato: This is very important when trying to avoid a mushy potato salad. Use a waxy or all-rounder potato variety for potato salad.
Do not overcook the potatoes: Even if you have the right kind of potato, make sure you don’t overcook them in the boiling process. You want to get to just fork tender but not too soft.
Dress when the potatoes are still warm: This is a new technique I discovered whilst testing different potato salads. By adding the salad dressing to warm potatoes, I found that the potatoes absorbed the dressing well, adding more flavour.
Homemade potato salad dressing: Don’t use store bought dressing. Homemade potato salad dressing is so easy. Adding sour cream to mayonnaise makes it lighter but still creamy.
The hit of Dijon mustard in the salad dressing will help cut through the richness. This is the best potato salad dressing recipe.
Great Mains for This Salad
A classic potato salad deserves some rich flavours meats. Here are some great main recipes to try:
These slow cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ ribs are to die for and you’ll n doubt be lickin’ those fingers!
If you love your air fryer you can’t go past these chicken quarters rubbed with garlic powder and paprika. Alternatively, you can also try out this bourbon marinated grilled flank steak. Perfectly cooked and still pink on the inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make potato salad in advance. You can even make it the day before. One type of salad that will not go soggy if you dress in advance!
Potato salad is one of those salads where I love eating leftovers. The moreish flavours of potato and bacon are so comforting the next day. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
This fantastic potato salad recipe is effortless to make in 25 minutes. And if you need to make it in advance, you can! Easily transported for BBQs, picnics, pot luck gatherings even festive holiday celebrations.
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Classic Potato Salad with Bacon
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Peel and chop potato into bite sized pieces. Add potatoes to a large pot of water. Season with a good pinch of salt. Bring water to boil and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain potatoes.
- Slice bacon into 1-2cm pieces. In a large fry pan, sauté the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towel.
- Finely chop red onion, pickles and chives.
- In a large mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, sour cream and Dijon mustard. Mix well.
- In the mixing bowl with the dressing, add warm potatoes, bacon, pickles, red onion and ¾ of chopped chives to the salad dressing.
- Toss together.
- Sprinkle remaining chopped chives to serve.
- Choose a waxy or all-rounder potato for the best results. Do not use a starchy potato.
- Make sure you don’t overcook the potatoes in the boiling process. You want to get to just fork tender but not too soft.
- Dress when the potatoes are still warm so they are fully coated with creamy salad dressing and absorb the flavours.
- For an egg-free salad dressing, substitute mayonnaise with Greek yoghurt or use our creme fraiche and chives dressing instead.
- For vegetarian potato salad, substitute regular bacon with your favourite plant-based version or can omit it from the salad.
- If you don’t have chives readily available, you can use other herbs like parsley or dill.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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