13 Classic Potato Salads From Around The World

Potato salad is potato salad, right? Well, no. Potato salad is so much more than you might imagine. We're talking about one of the most humble and widespread ingredients in the world — a vegetable that's made its way into the national cuisine of countless countries and forms a vital part of millions of families' diets across the globe. It makes sense that as communities evolve and ingredients migrate, we'll see diverse and exciting iterations of potato salad influenced by cultural tastes and local ingredients.

From picnics, cookouts, Christmas banquets, and late-night bar snacks, there's a potato salad for every occasion. Throw away any misconceptions about all potato salads being sloppy, heavy, and drenched in mayonnaise — light, wholesome, and even plant-based traditional recipes are just waiting to be discovered. When we say there's a potato salad for everyone, we mean it.

So, from the creamy, herby American classic to bright and zesty Mediterranean plates, spiced-up Asian bowls, and ingredients you'd never expect, we'll explore the full scope of this versatile dish. There's no doubt in our minds you'll want to whip up some potato salad after reading this article, so grab a notebook and pen (for making a grocery list), and let's get to business.

Greek potato salad

Greece is beloved for its mythical cities, stunning islands, charming coastal towns, crystal-clear sea, endless summers, exquisite olive oil, and, undeniably, its incredible cuisine. The country boasts surprisingly robust foods, like beef stifado or cheesy moussaka — but the meal isn't complete without a light and refreshing salad. While your mind may jump straight to the feta, tomato, cucumber, and onion salad we all know, there's another even tastier option you should consider: Patatosalata is a mayo-free Greek potato salad that's a perfect accompaniment for any Mediterranean-inspired plates.

Chefs toss waxy potatoes with crumbled feta, pungent red onions, and tangy brined capers. Instead of the usual heavy, creamy dressing, patatosalata offers a light and tangy sauce made from grassy olive oil, zesty lemon juice, freshly chopped herbs, and a generous sprinkle of cracked black pepper, bringing the dish together. It coats the potatoes, adding a medley of flavors to every bite: tangy, milky, sweet, herby, and spicy, all at once.

Of course, there's room to play around with the recipe without changing its essence. For example, you could replace red onions with milder scallions, add kalamata olives instead of capers, and stir some minced garlic into the dressing. Patatosalata is naturally vegan, making it a thoughtful and inclusive picnic option, although if you aren't so inclined, it also complements grilled fish and gyros.

Dominican potato salad

Russian potato salad in the Dominican Republic? We know it sounds strange, but Russian salad — also called Olivier salad, after the chef who created the dish, Lucien Olivier — has amassed great popularity elsewhere, particularly in Latin America, where the dish is stripped back to bare-bones and imbued with local flavors.

There are two popular variations in the Dominican Republic: ensalada rusa and ensalada mixta (mixed salad). While both have their fans, the only notable difference lies in one unique ingredient: vibrant beetroot, included only in ensalada rusa. Despite being a simple dish you can rustle up in a few minutes, this Dominican potato salad packs a lot of flavor, which is why it's a must-have addition to any Dominican Christmas dinner table.

Unlike other potato salads, you'll need to boil more than potatoes. This recipe also includes boiled carrots for sweetness, boiled eggs, green peas, sweetcorn, and the colorful beetroot. Finely dice each ingredient, then mix them with creamy mayonnaise, a dash of sour vinegar, and simple seasonings. This preparation is familiarly creamy yet highlights the natural sweetness of the components, making an ideal side to roasted pork, stewed chicken, or other Dominican staples.

French potato salad

Of all the countries in the world, it's undeniable that one has a reputation for fine food that far surpasses any other. France is still associated with haute cuisine — or gourmet fine dining — with countless acclaimed chefs hailing from its cities. However, gems are waiting to be discovered among the simple everyday foods of the country, too, and there's no need to save up for a Michelin-starred restaurant. French potato salad is the perfect middle ground: accessible, affordable, and straightforward to whip up, it still has an air of sophistication that's a notch above your standard potato salad served at the BBQ.

What sets it apart? Wholegrain mustard is the secret to making this rich and tangy potato salad. It's a staple ingredient in French cuisine, and once combined with a tangy vinegarette of champagne vinegar (it's a French potato salad, after all), olive oil, minced garlic, and a healthy helping of freshly chopped dill and parsley, it gives a beautiful bite and subtle heat to the potato dish, creating a bold flavor palette.

Chinese potato salad

Slivers of finely shredded potatoes aromatized with the characteristic numbing spice of Sichuan peppercorns, the warmth of ginger, punchy garlic, and traces of fruity and fiery red chilis. That's the base of a Chinese-style potato salad, which reinvents everything you think you know about the dish. It also goes by the moniker Sichuan stir-fried potatoes, after the region the recipe originates from; it's a prized plate across China but a hidden gem in Western countries, where it remains relatively unknown, even on restaurant menus.

Unlike traditional potato salads, this dish is served hot and showcases unique additions that may surprise you. For lovers and connoisseurs of Asian food, this is an unmissable delicacy. Aside from the stir-fried aromatics, the potatoes soak up a sauce overflowing with complex umami seasoning: salty soy sauce, white vinegar, nutty sesame oil, sugar for balance, and chicken (or vegetable) stock for extra depth of flavor.

While it hits many of the same flavor notes you may be familiar with — sourness from the vinegar and starchy creaminess from the potato — there's additional sweetness, meatiness, spiciness, and saltiness from the various spices. Additionally, due to the flash cooking method, Sichuan stir-fried potatoes have a distinct texture compared to other potato salad recipes, retaining much of the potato's crispness and crunch.

British potato salad

When the skies trade a blanket of moody grey clouds and an onslaught of heavy rain for calm, clear skies and the warmth of the sun, families across the U.K. islands rush to prepare a feast of cold finger foods, stuff a pretty checked blanket into a large bag, and head off to the countryside to sit next to a gently bubbling brook. Picnicking is a quintessential British pastime, and no outdoor feast is complete without a hearty serving of potato salad. Those who don't want to travel far set up portable barbecues in their gardens, invite over friends, and polish off bowlfuls of the creamy dish.

A classic British potato salad is simple, comprising gently boiled baby potatoes dressed in a creamy binding of quality mayonnaise, finely chopped chives, olive oil, sharp vinegar, crisp white onions, plus freshly ground salt and pepper. Recipes vary from household to household; dill potato salad is an in-demand variation, while others substitute vinegar with finely minced cornichons or omit both in favor of a plate highlighting the rich mayonnaise and fresh herbs.

U.S. Southern-style potato salad

Who does barbecue food better, Australia or the Southern U.S.? Well, that's a loaded question, but if it came down to judging the food offerings, classic Southern-style potato salad is a real crowd-pleaser. You won't just find the dish at barbecues, either. It's equally as sought-out for game-day cookouts, potlucks, or special family gatherings.

Like a few others on this list, Southern-style potato salad isn't complete without boiled eggs; chop them for a surprise egg flavor when digging in, or grate the eggs into the salad for an even creaminess — it's the cook's choice. Speaking of that creaminess, Southern home cooks often combine mayonnaise and sour cream to achieve that famous creamy texture, adding in crunchy celery, white onion, and a touch of yellow mustard for more flavor.

There's one more secret ingredient up their sleeves: sweet pickle relish, a chunky condiment with roughly chopped cucumbers, onions, mustard and celery seeds, cider vinegar, and sugar. You'll usually find it spread over burgers or hot dogs, but trust us when we say stirring it through potato salad will be nothing short of a revelation. Bacon is another prominent extra, although some prefer to keep the salad vegetarian. Like most potato salads, it tastes best chilled in the fridge overnight for all the bright flavors to blend into a moreish treat.

Japanese potato salad

Much like other celebrated Japanese culinary delights such as tonkatsu, croquettes, or curry rice, Japanese potato salad traces its roots back over a century ago, influenced by the prevalent Western cuisine of the era. Over time, Japanese chefs adapted the recipe to local tastes, and it's become a mainstay of traditional Japanese cuisine, appearing in bento boxes and casual dining spots called "izakaya" (similar to a pub or tavern).

One of the small changes in Japanese-style potato salad is the sauce, which uses Kewpie mayo. If you're wondering what the difference between Kewpie mayo and regular mayonnaise is — and whether it affects the taste of this recipe — the answer is yes, it does. Exclusively made with egg yolks, the sauce is more sumptuous and silkier. It's also notably tastier, as it uses a blend of vinegar. These factors contribute to a pronounced depth of flavor, even before introducing the additional ingredients, which include thinly sliced cucumbers, chunks of carrot, onions, and deli ham.

Furthermore, don't expect chunks of potato or even thin slices. No — a defining marker of Japanese-style potato salad is its texture. The potatoes are roughly mashed with a fork until they become soft and creamy, with a few chunks remaining. It's best served cold alongside karaage, Japanese crunchy fried chicken.

German potato salad

We've got another addition to the no-mayonnaise classification of potato salads. This time, our recipe is from the Swabia cultural and historic region of Germany, a large area encompassing one of Germany's largest cities, Stuttgart. The country offers a few varieties of potato salad, but this Schwäbischer kartoffelsalat, as it's called, is the most ubiquitous of the bunch.

In this recipe, home cooks boil, cool, then slice the potatoes before placing them in a bowl. Meanwhile, a large pot with beef broth, oil, mild mustard, sugar, strong white vinegar, salt, and cracked black pepper simmers on the stovetop. Once infused, the aroma should be heady and rich — ripe for pouring over the potatoes. Let them sit in the liquid overnight, covered, then drain any excess and serve with fresh herbs.

The magic formula for creating restaurant-standard authentic German potato salad is using the correct potatoes. Because the potatoes must sit in the umami-rich seasoned broth, it's vital you use a variety capable of soaking up that intensely rich piquancy. Here, the potato salad doesn't rely on the dressing or the sauce — all the flavor must be within the potato itself. Consequently, we suggest hunting down firm, waxy potatoes with yellow flesh and a smooth, buttery flavor. Charlotte or Nicola potatoes are ideal; in a pinch, use Yukon golds.

Korean potato salad

Who would think combining fruit salad and potato salad could be so mouth-watering? That's the beauty of looking beyond our familiarities and exploring new cuisines — It often leads to the tastiest discoveries. If you haven't made a Korean-style potato salad (gamja salad) before today, this is your sign to get cooking.

At its base, the dish is quite similar in nature to the Japanese variety; both contain mashed (rather than boiled) potatoes and finely chopped vegetables like cucumber and carrots, all coated in a glossy, silky mayonnaise dressing. However, Korean potato salad takes the delicacy one step further, adding grated boiled eggs for extra nutrition and creaminess.

Moreover, as mentioned, Korean potato salad has a sweet twist. Rather than relying on sugar to offset the tanginess and richness, Korean cooks opt for a blend of fruits in their salad. Apples, raisins, grapes, dried cranberries, and sometimes even pineapple are incorporated, imparting natural juiciness and sweetness while enhancing the crunch of the accompanying vegetables. It's a refreshing choice, particularly ideal for those balmy summer afternoons.

South African potato salad

You might have noticed two camps for potato salad fans: the light, zesty, and bright salad with a mellow dressing and, conservatively, the creamy, buttery, and heavy potato salad. If you lean towards the latter option, adding South African-style potato salad to your weekly meal lineup might be just the ticket.

As opposed to the usual mayonnaise, sour cream, or even the innovative option of yogurt, South African potato salad uses a more unexpected ingredient: evaporated milk. It serves two purposes: Firstly, to add a thick, velvety creaminess with a distinctly milky flavor, and, secondly, to provide a hint of sweetness to the recipe. If you're concerned about the balance of the recipe being off, don't worry; evaporated milk is unsweetened, although you should avoid condensed milk, which contains additional sugars.

Other components, such as onions, citrusy celery seed, and a hint of black pepper, add further contrast to the palette. Of course, the seasonings are adaptable. Some people prefer to add smoky spice and garnish the dish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika, while others keep the dish at a minimum number of ingredients. If you want to increase the savory notes even further, some traditional recipes involve adding an almost equal amount of boiled eggs to the South African potato salad.

Italian potato salad

Crunchy, juicy, and fresh green beans; buttery, firm, and creamy Yukon golds; cherry tomatoes bursting with flavor; mildly fruity white wine vinegar or a squeeze of zesty lemon juice; briny and salty black or green olives, grassy extra virgin olive oil, tangy capers, red onions, and a touch of dried oregano are a few of our favorite things. Why? That's everything you need for a classic Sicilian potato salad.

The dish is so interconnected with the Sicilian summer months that all local farmers' markets and neighborhood grocery stores will order extra stock of bright green beans and young potatoes in expectation of the dish being prepared up and down the island.

In Sicilian, "insalata vastasa" roughly translates to "uncouth salad." While the moniker likely refers to its cheap, accessible, and extraordinarily uncomplicated ingredients list, we think it deserves a rebrand. Confident, strong flavors are at the forefront here, making it perfect for serving with pan-fried seafood, stuffed peppers, or simply alongside a basket of fresh summer fruits.

Russian potato salad

The tale of Russian potato salad starts in the late 1800s, when the Russian-born chef Lucien Olivier, who had French and Belgian ancestry, co-owned the famed "Hermitage restaurant" in central Moscow. His salad, later dubbed "Olivier salad" as a namesake, was the premier attraction of the eatery, which would entice Russians from far and wide. He took the recipe to his grave, and little clues remain as to the original dish, except a few notes in historical documents claiming the recipe included game meat like grouse, luxurious crustaceans such as crawfish, olives, and a sauce made from sour and spicy pureed soybeans.

Of course, this doesn't sound much like what we know as Russian potato salad today. The confusion around the conception of the dish has resulted in many variations throughout the years, some of which spread to far-off countries in Europe, Latin America, and beyond. But there is an agreed-upon recipe for Russian potato salad now. While it doesn't resemble its earliest form, cooks still include meat — most commonly ham (although chicken and even salted salmon are sometimes spotted).

Other ingredients with a star role include potatoes, alongside finely diced carrots, fresh green peas, boiled eggs, pickles, and a few large spoonfuls of mayonnaise. Although prevalent year-round, the best time to enjoy Russian potato salad is during the New Year celebrations, like a local.

Norwegian potato salad

While some of us have grown used to importing fruits and vegetables year-round, seasonal eating still holds the utmost importance in Norway, where the winters drop below freezing, and much of the northern area experiences a polar night season when the sun doesn't rise for months. Since its introduction in the mid-1700s, potatoes have slowly become a staple in the country, as the plant can weather cold weather conditions and provide vital energy, essential for the harsh climate. But when midsummer arrives, a specific variety of potatoes is in season: new potatoes, also known as young potatoes (Jersey Royals are the best known worldwide), with thin skins and a waxy, firm texture perfect for making potato salad.

The Norweigan potato salad is lighter than its North American or British counterparts but still features plenty of creamy dairy; in addition to mayonnaise, you'll commonly find sour cream or crème fraîche also stirred into the mixture, adding a characteristic milky richness and mellow tartness. Everything else is straightforward and classic: pickle liquid, scallions, and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or citrusy dill. It's just one of many Scandinavian potato dishes you must try, and it tastes best when eaten outside in the cool mountain breeze.

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