Best Ever Vintage Potato Salad Recipe

Summertime is potato salad time! I love the stuff but at the same time I’m pretty picky about how it’s made. Always on the hunt for a better recipe, I’ve found the best ever vintage potato salad recipe!

Vintage Potato Salad - Mimi's Recipe

My grandmother made the best potato salad I ever remember eating. She had one of those retro dining tables from the 1950’s in the center of her kitchen. I’d sit there and play cards or color while she cooked up a storm. Pork chops with mushroom gravy, southern fried chicken, sweet and tangy baked beans, and a whole host of other comfort foods. There wasn’t anything my grandmother couldn’t cook – and everything tasted phenomenal. Including her potato salad.

My mother’s potato salad was good too, but not quite as good as my Mimi’s (sorry mom). My mother was a bit more health conscious with her cooking than my grandmother. Not that healthy food doesn’t taste good, but we all know fat-based foods can be irresistible.

Vintage Potato Salad - Mimi's Recipe

I found a recipe very similar to Mimi’s – the kind of potato salad I enjoyed back in the sixties at her retro kitchen table. I believe the secret ingredient in the recipe is evaporated milk. It adds creamy moisture to the salad eliminating the amount of mayonnaise that’s needed. I tweaked this recipe slightly and added bits of celery since I like a little bit of crunch in my salad potato.

Give it a try this summer – I think you’ll like it!

Best Ever Vintage Potato Salad


  • 10 medium size potatoes
  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Paprika


  1. Cook potatoes with skins on in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and let cool. Peel potatoes and cut into one-inch chunks.
  2. Heat oil in medium skillet and add onion. Cook until soft and slightly browned. Let cool.
  3. Separate egg whites from the yolks. Set yolks aside. Chop the whites of the eggs and add to potatoes, along with the onion and celery.

  4. In a small bowl, mash the yolks with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise, evaporated milk, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes and toss well. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Divide into serving bowls and garnish with paprika

More Recipes to Enjoy:

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Blackberry Cornmeal Cake

Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Cookies

Mexican Burrito Cups

Grandma’s Old Fashioned Pot Roast

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Recipe Rating


  1. This potato salad version sounds wonderful. It is similar to the recipe I grew up with and made for my family with the exception of the evaporated milk and sugar. Wow – no need to wonder why it was so tasty. I’ll have to try it your way this summer.

    1. Hi Pat! I know some people don’t like sugar in their potato salad, but I liked the slight sweetness it provided. Hope you enjoy it!!

  2. I can’t wait to try this, evaporated milk, never heard of it that way but, certainly sounds interesting and maybe better than ever. I really like potato salad.

    1. Hi Marlene! I had to take a second look when I saw evaporated milk in the recipe. But it really made a difference, in my opinion! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Enjoy your weekend!