Level Up Potato Salad With One Flavor Packed Ingredient

All it takes is one (perhaps unexpected) ingredient to take your potato salad game to the next level: Whip out a packet of dry soup mix. French onion soup (not to be confused with "regular" onion soup) is a mouth-watering crock of savoy flavor. As such, think of its dry mix equivalent as a two-in-one seasoning blend and thickener, lending warming, knockout flavor to mild, cold salads and creating a more luscious texture.

With this one ingredient, it's easy and affordable to add a rich caramelized onion taste to your potato salad. A 1.4-ounce packet of Knorr French onion soup mix runs for just $1.99 via Amazon. The main ingredients include powdered onions, cornstarch, salt, sugar, onion powder, citric acid, and beef fat. It's like dehydrated astronaut food, and chances are you can find any brand of the stuff in your local grocery store's soup aisle.

To pack your potato salad with bold caramelized onion flavor, simply stir a little French onion soup mix into your regular mixture of ingredients like mayonnaise and olive oil before folding it in with the potatoes. The average dry soup mix packet contains about 4 tablespoons of powder, so feel free to add the whole packet into your potato salad for stronger flavor, or start with 2 tablespoons of dry mix and adjust to taste from there. If you're pulling from a larger, bulk batch of homemade dried powder mix, scoop out 2 tablespoons and go from there just the same.

A packet of French onion soup mix is the key to backyard barbecue stardom

At a Walmart in New York, a 2-ounce packet of Great Value generic brand onion soup mix runs for just $0.98. Or, you could skip the trip to the store and make your own batch of shelf-stable French onion soup mix by mixing together five pantry staples: Dehydrated minced onions, onion powder, garlic powder, beef stock powder (aka beef bouillon), and smoked paprika. Plus, if you make the blend yourself, you can customize the proportions of each ingredient to tailor the flavor profile to your liking. Store it in an airtight Mason jar and stash it in your pantry for easy access in future potato salads and other recipes.

To keep a familiar favorite from getting predictable, you could stir some French onion soup mix into this Classic Southern Potato Salad with Yukon golds, yellow mustard, mayo, pickle relish, celery, and hard-boiled eggs. Or, amp up the onions and stir both French onion soup mix and caramelized onions into your next batch of potato salad. This Bacon and Egg Ranch Potato Salad is just crying out for a few shakes of savory French onion soup mix. To really drive that umami bomb home, swap the regular mayo for lush, umami-rich Kewpie mayo, perfect for sweet-savory summer snacking. It doesn't even have to be potatoes. You could totally stir a lil' French onion soup mix into a bowl full of ordinarily mild cauliflower salad to rock the cookout.