Amish Potato Salad (Gluten Free)

8 servings
35 min

Enjoy the best, homemade Amish potato salad recipe, made famous by Walmart! This gluten free potato salad has a classic, old fashioned taste dotted with pimentos, sweet pickles, and hard boiled eggs.

overhead shot of potato salad in a white bowl with a blue linen next to it.

gluten free potato salad – amish style!

Of course it’s easy and convenient to pick up a deli tub of potato salad when heading to summer picnics, BBQs, or potlucks, but there is a trade off for that convenience!

First off all there is the matter of freshness. I find Walmart potato salad to have a strong apple cider vinegar taste, which becomes more pronounced as it sits.

Plus, the ingredients and preparation may not be safe if you are looking for a gluten free potato salad recipe. You run the risk of cross contamination where it is prepped and possible unsafe ingredients, like barley or malt from preservatives.

Making a homemade recipe not only guarantees the best potato salad taste, but like sun dried tomato pasta salad, is an ideal, make-ahead gluten-free side dish.

amish potato salad versus original old fashioned

There’s a difference between amish potato salad recipes and regular potato salad. While both old fashioned and amish-style may contain similar additions, like celery, hard boiled eggs, and relish, the difference comes in the dressing.

Both types are mayonnaise based, but gluten-free Amish potato salad recipe has a sweeter flavor than its savory classic counterpart. The amount of added sugar varies per recipe, but I find the sweetness from the pimentos, pickles and pickle juice adds adequate sweetness.

If you are aiming for a copycat Walmart recipe, add 1-2 tablespoons sugar to mayo dressing, otherwise omit the sugar for hint of sweet taste!

a close up of the top of potato salad in a white serving bowl.

Ingredient Notes

This recipe makes enough for about 8 side dish servings. If preparing for a large gathering or crowd, the ingredients may be doubled.

  • Potatoes – For best results use red potatoes because they hold their shape after boiling, avoiding a mushy potato salad. Yukon gold potatoes would make a good runner up, but stay away from russet potatoes because they absorb too much water during cooking.
  • Mayonnaise – Hellman’s original mayo recommend and is also dairy-free for a gluten-free, dairy-free potato salad recipe!
  • Pimentos – Find chopped pimentos by the pickles and condiments section. Adds a sweet, tangy layer of flavor.
  • Sweet gherkin pickles – While many recipes call for sweet pickle relish, using jarred gherkins are a little sweeter, crisper, and the pickle juice flavors the dressing instead of vinegar.
  • Celery seed – This is not interchangeable with celery salt, which will make your potato salad overly salty. If you cannot find celery seed, simply leave out.
  • Sugar – Almost all Amish recipes contain sugar, some up to 1/2 cup! When testing the recipe I found one tablespoon was adequate for an added hint of sweetness with the pickles, but it may be left out entirely.

cooking potatoes for potato salad (Best method!)

boiled potatoes in a colander with one peeled.

When cooking potatoes for potato salad the number one mistake to avoid is waterlogged, overcooked chunks of potatoes. You want to cook the potatoes in a way that leaves them tender, but still holds their shape.

The trick to this is first using the right type of waxy potatoes. Red potatoes are ideal. Yukon golds will also work, but they have a softer, creamy texture. Just be sure to drain them as soon as they become tender.

Next, boil the potatoes whole, without peeling first. This is a trick my mom swears by, and her old fashioned potato salad is always perfection! Start with cold water in a large pot, enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, and cook until fork tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Drain and then leave the potatoes to sit for several hours. In fact, she leaves them sit overnight at room temperature. Don’t place them in the refrigerator or they will steam and condense, making a watery potato salad.

Once they have cooled, use your fingernails to peel off the skins or a vegetable peeler, then chop into bite-sized pieces.

a horizontal view of a bowl of potato salad with a blue linen and serving spoon next to it.

Amish Potato Salad (Gluten Free)
Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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  • ▢ 2 pounds red potatoes, whole with skins on
  • ▢ 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • ▢ 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ▢ 4 ounce jar chopped pimentos, well drained
  • ▢ 1/3 cup diced celery
  • ▢ 1/4 cup diced sweet gherkin pickles (not relish)
  • ▢ 2 tablespoons onion, minced
  • ▢ 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon pickle juice (from gherkin pickle jar)
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon (optional) granulated sugar (see recipe notes)
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon salt
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon celery seed (not celery salt)
  • ▢ 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place scrubbed whole potatoes, with their skins on, in a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender.
Drain the potatoes and then leave them in the colander at room temperature for several hours, up to overnight, so they cool completely. Once they have cooled, use your fingernails or a vegetable peeler to peel off the skins, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
In a large bowl stir together the dressing mixture, all the remaining ingredients except the hard boiled eggs.
Add the potatoes and chopped eggs to the bowl and stir to gently combine. Transfer to an airtight container and chill 3 hours, up to overnight, before serving.
  • Note about sugar: Almost all Amish potato salad recipes contain sugar, some quite a bit! When testing the recipe I found one tablespoon was adequate for an added hint of sweetness with the pickles, but it may be left out entirely and it will still maintain a slightly sweet taste.
  • Make-Ahead Notes
  • For best results, boil the potatoes the night before. Let them sit in a colander overnight at room temperature to cool completely. The hard boiled eggs may also be cooked and chilled the night before.
  • Assemble the potato salad 24 hours, or up to 3 hours, before serving.
Melissa Erdelac
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  • Beth Beth on Jan 21, 2023

    Try to use potatoes about the same size, otherwise you'll be poking and picking out the soft ones every minute! Also, why cool the potatoes before peeling and cutting up? I find the starch in them makes the pieces stick together when dicing if they're cold, I have to separate each piece one by one - a pain! I peel them under running cold water, the skins slip right off and I dice them right away, mix in a little mayo so they don't stick together in the bowl, and then add the rest of the ingredients at my leisure. We like potato salad quite sweet and a little warm, so I do this all in the late afternoon. Leftovers are still good cold the next day.

    • See 2 previous
    • Reply to "M":

      Rinse potatoes under running water as directed. Just place a plastic dish pan in the sink to catch the water. I use a soup pot. When full, just grab another container. If warm or hot water, let cool then water outside potted plants. I have done this my entire life. Preparing vegetables to steam or boil? Strain the water, let it cool, water plants. The waste is minimal. To me it is common sense, but most people do not think the same way. I was raised by war children. One repairs or recycles as much as possible.

  • Shi66017055 Shi66017055 on Jan 24, 2023

    I omit sugar, add mustard to taste and dill relish, very good.