I Tried Ina Garten’s 5-Star Potato Salad Recipe, and Now I Understand the Hype

published Aug 13, 2023
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Credit: Image: Amelia Rampe; Design: The Kitchn

When it came time to choose contenders for The Kitchn’s potato salad recipe showdown, Ina’s name was immediately added to the list. For one, her salads helped put Barefoot Contessa, her Hampton’s gourmet food store, on the map. Having thoroughly enjoyed her chicken salad recipe, I was eager to try her potato salad. Plus, Ina clearly knows her way around a potato.

Ina’s potato salad is very highly rated on Food Network’s website, receiving an average of five stars from more than 500 reviews. I was certain it would be good, but would it come out on top? I tried it to find out.

How to Make Ina Garten’s Potato Salad

You’ll start by placing three pounds of small white potatoes and two tablespoons salt in a large pot of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes through a colander, place the colander over the empty pot, and cover with a clean towel. Steam the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, chopped fresh dill, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, cut them in half or into quarters, place them in a large bowl, and pour the dressing over top. Add celery, red onion, and more salt and pepper. Toss to coat, cover, and chill in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Credit: Amelia Rampe

My Honest Review of Ina Garten’s Potato Salad

There’s a reason this potato salad is so highly rated — it’s pretty darn good (and my older daughter’s favorite of the four). If you’re looking for a simple, classic recipe, this is the one to make.

What I love about Ina is that she never holds back on seasoning, and this recipe is no exception. She seizes every opportunity to impart more flavor into her potatoes, starting by boiling them in heavily salted water, which really makes a difference. She was also the only contender to steam her potatoes after boiling them, which gave the interiors their tender, fluffy texture.

While the ingredient list for Ina’s dressing may look sparse, it certainly doesn’t hold back on flavor — the buttermilk adds a delightful tang. As for the mix-ins, chopped celery and red onion make for nice crunchy bits and hits of flavor throughout the salad. And while Ina doesn’t call for pickles, she does bring in that pickle-y essence with a generous amount of fresh dill.

Credit: Amelia Rampe

If You’re Making Ina’s Potato Salad, a Few Tips

  1. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. I mimicked the cut in the recipe video and felt they were just a touch too big. Try cutting the potatoes slightly smaller into bite-sized bits for easier eating and a better dressing-to-potato ratio.
  2. Add your favorite mix-ins. This salad could definitely handle a few more mix-ins. I’d love to try this with bacon!

Rating: 9.5/10

This post originally published on The Kitchn. Read it there: I Tried Ina Garten’s 5-Star Potato Salad, and Now I Understand the Hype