This Ranch potato salad is so flavorful, creamy and the homemade Ranch dressing makes the flavors really stand out. Made with potatoes, hard boiled eggs, celery, pickles, roasted pepper and lots of fresh herbs, it has both creamy and crunchy textures and is vibrant and colorful too .
Potato Salads are perfect for summertime picnics and barbecues. Another big plus is that you can make the entire thing in advance. However, sometimes the classic potato salad recipe can be a bit bland and boring. I turned up the flavor dial on this potato salad giving it tons of different flavors, textures and a homemade Ranch dressing to bring it all together.
Ranch is one of the most popular salad dressings for so people and it’s especially awesome when it’s homemade. The flavors are so much brighter, fresher and more delicious. The creamy and zesty Ranch dressing with buttermilk, fresh herbs and a hint of garlic coats the potatoes and makes all the flavors really pop.
With the addition of hard boiled eggs, pickles, roasted peppers, celery to the potatoes, there is such a great variety of flavors and textures. The celery and pickles add some crunch and the roasted peppers and hard boiled eggs complement all the ingredients so well.
What Potatoes are Best For Potato Salad?
I love using gold or red potatoes for salads, since they have the perfect amount of starch, so that the potatoes don’t fall apart but hold their shape after cooking and when mixed. I also think that the beautiful red skins on the potatoes create a lovely pop of color in the potato salad.
Ingredients For Potato Salad:
- potatoes – red or gold potatoes are best, but any potatoes will work for potato salad too.
- hard boiled eggs – these are a classic addition to potato salad
- pickles – you can use any pickles, I usually go for dill pickles, but bread and butter pickles will also be great.
- Ranch dressing ingredients: mayonnaise, buttermilk, distilled white vinegar, mustard and fresh herbs.
- salt and pepper
- fresh herbs – they give such a boost of freshness and flavor to the potato salad, I use a variety: green onions, chives, dill and parsley.
How to Make Ranch Potato Salad:
- Cook the potatoes in salted water just until they are cooked through, but not falling apart.
- Hard boil, peel and chop the eggs.
- Chop the pickles, celery and roasted red peppers. Add all the chopped ingredients to a large bowl.
- Make the Ranch dressing. In a separate bowl or jar, add the mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, mustard, garlic and fresh herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
- Mix the potato salad and dressing. Start with 2/3 of the dressing and add more as you’re mixing. You can always add more dressing but you can’t remove it if it ends up being too much. Save the remaining dressing. Sometimes as the potato salad chills, it will absorb a lot of the dressing, so it’s nice to add a little bit more and mix it up again before serving.
Should you cook the potatoes whole or cut them up?
You can keep them whole and cut them up after cooking, or you can cut them before cooking. Just be very careful not to over cook the potatoes, otherwise they will be too waterlogged and turn out mushy too.
You can make the entire salad in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. I often cook the potatoes and hard boiled eggs in advance, even if I don’t make the entire salad ahead of time. Before serving, mix the salad and you can also add more dressing and fresh herbs to refresh it.
Ingredient Substitutions and Flavor Variations:
Of course, you can use other potatoes instead of the red ones, but you can also make so many different variations of this potato salad. Add more of less of any of the ingredients to make it exactly how you like it. Other ingredients you can use: red onion, fresh or frozen peas, bacon, pickled jalapeños, green beans. For the Ranch dressing, instead of the buttermilk, you can use yogurt or sour cream. Instead of the distilled white vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Serving and Storing Potato Salad
You can serve the potato salad right away, but it’s best when it’s had a chance to chill and give all the ingredients a chance to meld together. If I am making the salad in advance, I like to add a bit more dressing to it and toss gently once more before serving.
Store the Potato Salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Ranch Potato Salad Video:Print
Ranch Potato Salad
This potato salad is so flavorful, creamy and dressed with a homemade Ranch dressing. With the addition of roasted peppers, celery, pickles, hard boiled eggs and fresh herbs, there are so many great textures that make it more interesting. The zesty dressing makes all the flavors really pop.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Yield: 6–8 1x
- Category: Sides
3 lbs red potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
6–8 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
1–2 celery stalks, minced
1/3 cup chopped pickles
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
salt, pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons, minced green onions, chives and dill, EACH
1 Tablespoon minced parsley
- Cook the potatoes in salted water just until they are cooked through, but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool. (You can also cook the potatoes whole, cool them and then chop them.)
- In a large bowl, place the cooled potatoes, then add the chopped hard boiled eggs, celery, pickles and roasted red peppers.
- In a separate bowl or jar, combine the rest of the ingredients for the Ranch dressing, mixing the mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, mustard, garlic and fresh herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour about 2/3 of the dressing over the salad and mix it all together. Add more dressing if it needs it. You may not need all the dressing. Set aside remaining dressing in the refrigerator. You may need to add more dressing before serving.
- You can serve the potato salad right away, but it is best if it’s chilled for at least at an hour or even overnight. The flavors will really meld together and become more flavorful.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This recipe makes a large portion of potato salad, since it is usually made for parties and potlucks. Feel free to halve the recipe if you want a smaller portion.
This recipe was originally published on April 19, 2012. I have updated the pictures and clarified the instructions to make it even more easy to follow. Enjoy!