“Mashed potato salads are a fun change of pace from the ordinary. But they are no better than your mashed potatoes. It has taken me years to figure this out, but a potato ricer makes better mashed potatoes. See my buyer’s guide for potato ricers.”Dennis Weaver
We started out looking for unusual potato salads to make. We stumbled upon a recipe for mashed potato salad, something we had never heard of. It was good. So we started reviewing recipes and experimenting.
Here you’ll learn how to make mashed potato salad, how to convert your favorite potato salad recipe to a mashed potato salad recipe, the best way to mash the potatoes, and which potatoes to use.
Mashed potato salads are a delight, especially for summer parties and picnics. We hope you enjoy these.
Testing Out Mashed Potato Salads
We took an informal poll of customers in our store. Ninety percent of them had never heard of a mashed potato salad. We invited a number of them into our test kitchen to samples our salads. Everyone loved them.
“I just make a salad out of my leftover mashed potatoes. I use the same ingredients as I do in my regular potato salads,” said a customer.
That formula works quite well. We converted a number of recipes to mashed potato salads. This is what we found:
- We prefer waxy, new potatoes for both regular and mashed potato salads. The starchy russet potatoes used for mashed potatoes work but we don’t like them as well. See “The Best Potatoes for Salads.”
- The potatoes need to be cooked a bit longer for mashed potatoes.
- We preferred riced potatoes over mashed potatoes.
- It took more dressing for the same number of potatoes to make mashed potato salads.
- Mashed potato salads seemed a little bland without a little extra kick. We could provide that kick with extra vinegar, lemon juice, or horseradish. Horseradish was a very nice touch.
The mashed potato salads were a great hit with our testers and guests.
Three Great Mashed Potato Salad Recipes
We tinkered with a number of potato salads converting them to mashed potato salads. Nearly all creamy potato salad recipes can be converted. (We did not try to convert European-type potato salads.) Here are three resulting recipes that we recommend.
Fiesta Mashed Potato Salad
This mashed potato salad is a must in the summertime. It includes peas, corn, and peppers to give the look of a fiesta in your potatoes. This recipe makes a large salad, enough to serve a group of eight to ten.
Cheesy Mashed Potato Salad
This is an all-American mashed potato salad. With the essence of a great cheeseburger, it includes onions, relish, and cheddar cheese. Everyone that tried this salad liked it. This recipe is a keeper.
Bacon and Mashed Potato Salad
This is a scrumptious mashed potato salad—nothing too exotic but a great combination of flavors. The dressing is made with half sour cream and half mayonnaise. The tang comes from chopped sweet pickles and cider vinegar. And, of course, the crispy bacon ties it all together. This recipe is a keeper.