Dad’s Famous Potato Salad

The summer months bring back so many fantastic childhood memories.

In the summer…

You could catch me hiding with my dad under the dinning room table, chowing down on dipped Oreos in milk right before dinner.

I could also be found doing flips in the lake with my little sister screaming “free willy!” [Weird? Maybe. But, if you were as obsessed with Free Willy as I was at 7, it will all make sense!]

It was normal to see me waking up at 4am and dragging my dad to the boat for an early morning water ski session before everyone else woke up.

Although it’s been a couple of years since I’ve attempted a cartwheel in the water, I can tell you that one of our summer activities has stuck around.

Enjoying my dad’s potato salad.

I’m not even kidding you when I say his salad is the best in the land. And lucky for you, he’s willing to share the mystery ingredient that makes it absolutely mouthwatering.

The secret’s in the pickle juice… shhh

Now, you’re probably thinking – pickle juice? What the hay?

Trust me, this salad will change your life. I promise. Neighbors will offer to mow your lawn, your significant other will do the dishes, and you can count on your daily meditation being uninterrupted for at least a week… if there’s a batch of salad in the fridge! It does magical things, I tell you!

I’ve added a bunch of veggies to his original recipe, cause let’s face it, that’s what I do!

Dad’s Famous Potato Salad

Vegan [option], Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

My dad’s famous potato salad with a secret ingredient that changes it all!

Yield: 6 cups of potato salad


  • 5 white russet potatoes, cubed – do not peel! [yield - 6 cups]
  • 5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces *see note
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 dill pickles, finely chopped [yield: 1/3 cup]
  • 1/2 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onions, finely diced
  • 5 radishes, sliced
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1/2 cup canola mayonnaise *see note
  • 2 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbamare
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Fill a medium sized saucepan with water, cover, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a fork and place on a paper towel [or cloth]-lined plate and pat dry.
  3. Combine mayo, pickle juice, mustard, dill, herbamare, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the bacon, celery, pickles, pepper, red onions, and radishes. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and stir to evenly coat. Drop in cooked potatoes and mix gently. Spoon salad into a 1 1/2 qt. or 1.4L casserole dish and top with hard boiled eggs.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

note: to make vegan, switch canola mayonnaise with veganaise, remove eggs, and try these “bacon” bits

My setup… more on this tomorrow!

What are your most memorable summer activities?

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Looks delicious! Having barbecues and playing in the garden – all a bit hazy but in a good way :)

  2. This sounds so amazing! I really want to try it :) I am also very intrigued and impressed by your set-up, can’t wait for that post!

  3. I have loads of potatoes in my pantry so this salad is absolutely perfect right now, it looks great!!

  4. My setup… more on this tomorrow! = YAY!!!!!!!!!!

    I cant wait. That alone makes me REALLY HAPPY to see other bloggers’ setups, photo nooks and corners, what and how they do what they do.

    That’s xmas to me :) CANT WAIT!

    My dad loveeeees potato salad. And hardboiled eggs.

    I am soo pumped for a photography post!

  5. For me, it is all about the picnic(s); I love talking my girlfriend or my husband into going on a little picnic for lunch instead of hitting one of the 10 restaurants in town! (6500 people and only 10 restaurants, plus b.o.r.i.n.g.!!!)

  6. Definitely want more info on your set up! I love foods that have childhood memories. Pizza, doughnuts and wings are childhood memories form me. Sounds healthy right? I love that you put pickle juice in there. Tony always wants to put pickle juice in things. I bet that added great flavor!

  7. Love seeing your setup! I’m so curious to see more :D

    That potato salad looks yummy! I actually don’t usually like pickles but for some reason they taste awesome in potato salad. My mother in law makes an awesome potato salad but I’m going to suggest pickle juice to her because I don’t think she does that :D We especially love the fresh dill in it. Yum!

  8. Playing in the street and backyard with neighbors, eating corn on the cob with watermelon, playing with friends and neighbors….ahhhhh the good times!

  9. TELL ME EVERYTHING! haha I cannot wait for tomorrows post! =)

    and the secret is totally the pickle juice! i’ve tried it… its life changing! but now i need to try THIS!!!! omggg! i’m drooling a little – how did you know i had a major potato salad craving? <3

  10. Oh, gosh – your set-up is going to make me jealous, I can tell just from looking at that pic! I don’t have anything special for food, and keep saying I need to pick up some nick-nacks for props and really put together a “photo spot” but I keep…putting it off, I guess. I think the logical side of me says it’s better to invest in the part of my photography that I actually make money with, not just what I do for fun! (food, but arguably, shooting events and portraits is fun, too.) Can’t argue there, I suppose. Although when I think about it, I figure it can probably be done pretty thriftily, so I think it might just come down to pure laziness…
    …anyways. This potato salad looks awesome. Pickle juice…SO trying that next time!

  11. your set up looks VERY similar to mine! :D can’t wait to see the details.

    I love this post and all the stories, and the potato salad looks great! I love pickles in potato salad…

  12. oh my! i love potato salad….ps i am sooo intrigued by your ‘set-up’…never knew how much goes into doing food photography

  13. This looks like a great potato salad! Pickle juice looks like a great idea, will try it in my potato salads!

  14. So yeah, about Free Willy. I may or may not have done exactly what you described when I was 7, too. :-P
    But about the potato salad, I love the radishes in there. Will definitely have to try that!

  15. I recognize the picture setup ;-) But mmm, what a great potato salad! I’m so going to make this this month! Have a great weekend! And thanks to your dad for the secret ;-)

  16. I’m sorry, but I don’t know what herbamare is. That’s the mystery ingredient for me. Btw, my dad and I used to drink shots of pickle juice together when I was a kid. Good times!

    • Pickle juice shots = awesome! Herbamare is a flavored sea salt. It can be replaced with plain ‘ol sea salt or other salt. Whatever you have on hand will work 1 to 1.

  17. I am obsessed with this potato salad! I have made it twice already and am making it this weekend for a family potluck! thanks so much (plus, this is the first time I have liked radishes!)

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