Gluten-Free/ Potatoes/ Salads/ Vegetarian & Vegan

Cold Mashed Potato Salad

This cold mashed potato salad is perfect for your summer feasts! Easy to make, it's wonderfully creamy and tangy, and a real joy to eat!
Mashed potato salad in a bowl garnished with freshly chopped chives.

Last Updated on June 22, 2022 by Betty Davies

Smooth, creamy and rich, this cold mashed potato salad recipe is perfect for your summer cookouts. Simple to make, this deli-style potato salad is a great make ahead BBQ side dish that pairs wonderfully with all of your favorites. Seasoned with pickle juice and Dijon mustard, it’s wonderfully tangy.

Overhead shot of mashed potato salad in a bowl topped with chopped chives.

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Skip buying your summer potato salad at the store, and whip up this deli-style cold mashed potato salad quickly and easily for the perfect BBQ side.

Wonderfully creamy, smooth and rich with a wonderful tang, this is one addictive potato side dish. Simple to make, the potatoes are whipped to create a silky texture, and combined with mustard, pickle juice, mayonnaise and sour cream for one tasty bite.

If you are planning a cookout or BBQ this summer, this is a must make, or, just enjoy it with your favorite weeknight meals!

Be sure to try my Cajun Potato Salad and Roasted Potato Salad too!

Why you will love this recipe!

  • Quick and easy: There’s nothing complicated about this recipe! Just mash your potatoes and combine with the other ingredients.
  • Make ahead: This is a great make ahead side, so it’s perfect if you are hosting a big cookout! Make it a day or two ahead for an easy entertaining option.
  • Basic ingredients: This side is made with simple everyday ingredients. You’re likely to have a lot of things to hand already.
  • Dietary info: This cold mashed potato salad is gluten-free and vegetarian.
Whiped mashed potato salad in a bowl with a spoon.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes: Peel the potatoes before boiling and mashing. Take care not to over boil the potatoes, they should be fork tender but not falling apart. Over boiling the potatoes can cause them to become dry.
  • Butter and milk: to mash the potatoes into a smooth, rich and creamy consistency.
  • Red bell pepper and chives: Very finely diced to add flavor and color to the potato salad.
  • Pickle juice and dijon mustard: For a nice tangy flavor. For a milder flavor, wholegrain or yellow mustard can be used.
  • Mayonnaise and sour cream: For a rich and creamy texture.
  • Seasonings: Salt and onion powder.

How to make mashed potato salad

Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

  • Boil and mash the potatoes til smooth (photo 1).
  • Add the mashed potatoes to the other ingredients in a large bowl (photo 2).
  • Stir or whisk to combine everything together (photo 3).
Three step by step photos to show how to make the recipe.

Recipe Variations

This cold mashed potato salad recipe is pretty darn tasty as it is, but you can easily mix things up to suit your tastes.

  • If you prefer a bit more texture in the potato salad, don’t mash 1/3 of the cooked potatoes. Place them to one side and then stir them into the mash with the other ingredients.
  • I love chives in this recipe, but you can easily use other fresh herbs like dill, parsley or cilantro.
  • You can reduce calories and fat in this recipe by using low fat mayo and sour cream. It will still be tasty, though won’t be as rich in flavor. You could also swap some of the mayo or sour cram for Greek yogurt.
  • Try adding in some cooked bacon pieces or shredded cheddar for extra flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best potatoes to use?

For the smoothest mashed potato salad, it’s best to use starchy white potatoes like Yukon Gold or Russet, these make a light and fluffy mash. It’s best to avoid waxy potatoes like reds or fingerlings which though will create a creamy texture will be much heavier.

Can you serve it hot?

I much prefer to serve this potato salad chilled, once made, let it sit covered in the fridge for 30 minutes to fully cool. If you prefer, you can warm, but be sure to let the mashed potatoes cool a little before mixing with the mayo and sour cream. If added hot, the mayo can separate and the salad can become oily.

Can you make it with instant mashed potatoes?

Fresh potatoes will deliver the best flavor and texture, but if you have a box of instant mash in your cupboard, then you can certainly use that instead.

Close up of mashed potato topped with shives in a blue bowl.

Serving Suggestions

This cold mashed potato salad is perfect for summer BBQs and cookouts served up with grilled foods, it’s also great to serve with your everyday weeknight meals for a tasty potato side. Try it with some of these favorites:

Make Ahead and Storage

Once you have made up the potato salad, let it chill covered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. It can be made up to 3 days ahead of serving stored this way. Because it contains mayo, it’s best not to leave this salad at room temperature for more than 2 hours. It is not suitable for freezing.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Cut the potatoes into fairly small chunks to boil them so that they cook quickly.
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water to add flavor to the right from the start.
  • Don’t over boil the potatoes, they should be fork tender but not falling apart.
  • Mash the potatoes in warm milk and butter rather than cold. The potatoes will absorb the moisture and flavor much more easily.
  • Let the mashed potatoes cool a little before adding the mayo so that it doesn’t split. You can place them in the fridge to cool quickly.
A bowl of cold mashed potato salad on a wooden chopping board.

This cold mashed potato salad recipe is a welcome addition to any summer spread! Creamy and tangy with a smooth texture, be sure to make extra because it will disappear quickly!

More Potato Side Dishes

If you’ve tried this recipe, be sure to leave a star rating and a comment below!

Mashed potato salad in a bowl garnished with freshly chopped chives.

Cold Mashed Potato Salad

This cold mashed potato salad is perfect for your summer feasts! Easy to make, it's wonderfully creamy and tangy, and a real joy to eat!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 215kcal
Author: Betty Davies

Equipment

Ingredients

For the mashed potatoes

  • 2 pounds potatoes (Russets or Yukon Gold) (900g)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup milk (4 tablespoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the salad

  • ¼ red bell pepper (very finely diced)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (plus more for garnish)
  • ¼ cup pickle juice (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (110g)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt to taste

Instructions

To make the mashed potatoes

  • Peel and chop the potatoes into 1 inch cubes and add to a large pot of cold salted water.
  • Bring to a boil, and once fork tender, drain and set to one side.
  • heat the milk and butter in a pan and heat til the butter has melted. Add in the salt (¼ teaspoon) and the cooked potatoes.
  • Mash together til smooth and let cool. You can place teh mashed potatoes in the fridge to cool them quicker.

Make the mashed potato salad

  • Place the mashed potatoes in a large bowl and add in the rest of the salad ingredients.
  • Mix together well til you have a smooth and creamy consistency. Taste and season with additional salt if required.
  • Let chill, covered in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with additional chopped chives.

Notes

  • Cut the potatoes into fairly small chunks to boil them so that they cook quickly.
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water to add flavor to the right from the start.
  • Don’t over boil the potatoes, they should be fork tender but not falling apart.
  • Mash the potatoes in warm milk and butter rather than cold. The potatoes will absorb the moisture and flavor much more easily.
  • Let the mashed potatoes cool a little before adding the mayo so that it doesn’t split. You can place them in the fridge to cool quickly.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 684mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

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