Chesapeake Potato Salad

4 servings
2 hr 10 min

Today, we're making Chesapeake Potato Salad!

This super simple summer salad takes buttery yukon gold potatoes and dresses them in a creamy dressing chockful of Old Bay seasoning. This is what summer tastes like at my house, and it will surely be the same for yours too!

Let's talk potatoes. I like to use little baby yukon golds potatoes for this potato salad. There are a couple reasons for this. One, they're so small a cute that all we need to do is slice them in half to get the perfect size for our salad. Two, the skins are so thin that we don't need to peel them before we can use them in the salad. And three, they're so delicious and buttery that they're the ultimate potato in my book. If you can't find baby yukon golds, you could buy a regular sized yukon gold and cut it into 1 inch chunks. Or, you could substitute red potatoes in a real pinch.

We want to make sure we flavor our potatoes from the very first moment, so we're going to boil them in some extra salty water until they're perfectly fork tender. Then, we'll drain them and let them start to cool slightly for just about 20 minutes. We want to dress our potatoes while they're still warm so that the potatoes really absorb all of the flavor from the dressing. But, we don't want them to be so piping hot that the dressing melts right off. So, letting them cool for 20 minutes seems to be that sweet spot.

While the potatoes are cooling down a smidge, we can whip up our dressing. It's a very simple mix of mayonnaise, Old Bay, a little sugar, a splash of vinegar, and a drizzle of water to help thin out the mixture. The sugar is the surprise ingredient in this dressing which really helps to balance out the savory notes in the Old Bay. This is the magic ingredient in my mac salad recipe, so of course it had to be the magic ingredient for this potato salad too!

Once the potatoes are ready, we'll add some minced celery and onion to the bowl for some extra texture and flavor. Then we'll coat the potatoes in that luxurious dressing, and toss everything together until every inch of those potatoes are covered. The last step is to let the salad chill out in the fridge for a couple of hours so that the flavors can really blend together, and the salad is just about ready to serve.

When it's time to eat, we'll need to give the salad a good mix before we serve it. The dressing becomes a little flat after it sits for that first round in the fridge. But, mixing it up brings it right back to life for good. Then we'll garnish the salad with some extra Old Bay and some fresh minced chives, and that is all she wrote.

This salad is so comforting while screaming summer at the same time. The potatoes are rich and creamy. The veggies are crisp adding the perfect bite. And, the dressing is perfectly savory and light despite being a mayo based dressing.

It's darn delicious...just like the pasta salad that inspired it.

This one is sure to make a permanent fixture on your summer menus, so I can't wait to hear when you'll serve it first!

I hope you all enjoy. And, let's eat!

Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 2 Hours Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 2 hr 10 min
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  • 1 ½ lbs baby yukon gold potatoes, halved (or yukon golds cut to 1 inch pieces)
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • ½ cup celery, minced (about 1 large stalk)
  • ¼ cup onion, minced (about ½ a small onion)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tbsp water
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • minced chives, for garnish

Prepare the potatoes: Add potatoes to a large pot. Cover with cold water until the water reaches about an inch above the potatoes. Add 2 tbsp salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil potatoes for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes, and set aside to cool slightly, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the dressing: To a small bowl, add mayonnaise, water, sugar, Old Bay, and vinegar. Stir well to combine until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
Finish the potato salad: Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, add the onion, celery, and dressing. Gently toss to coat the potatoes. Season with a pinch of salt, to taste, and toss the salad again to combine. Chill the potato salad for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
To serve, give the potato salad a gentle toss. Garnish potato salad with a sprinkle of Old Bay and minced chives, to taste. Enjoy!
  • *This recipe can be easily doubled to serve a larger crowd.
  • *We want to dress the potatoes while they're still warm, but not piping hot, so that they can really soak up all of the flavors from the dressing. Allowing the potatoes to sit for about 20 mins after they finish cooking is that sweet spot of time where they hit the perfect temperature.
  • *This is one of those things that the longer it sets, the better it gets. So, if you can make this more than 2 hours in advance, definitely do it.
Nicole - The Yummy Muffin
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  • Wmsbglady Wmsbglady on Jul 07, 2022

    Yummm! These are not for just seafood--they would be delicious with everything!!

    Thank you for this recipe!!

  • Cso51108026 Cso51108026 on Jul 07, 2023

    Okay, this is LEGIT!!! I didn't use "onion," per se, but I finely sliced a bunch of green onions, stirred in the white and light green parts, and then garnished with the rest. Oh, my goodness, off the chain! I also LOVE Old Bay, so I lightened up on the sugar and thinned with a splash of whole milk instead of water, but it was ADDICTIVE!!! This is AMAZING!!! SO GRATEFUL you posted - I've made loads of variations of potato salad, but never with Old Bay. Who knew?!?! YOU DID!!! lol Thanks again!!! ~Chrissie