Smashed Yukon Gold Potato Salad

I love a good potato salad, and for years, I stuck with my favorite tried-and-true classic potato salad. It’s a good one (probably the best ever, really). But over the years, I’ve branched out a little and gotten wild and crazy with potato salad.

I can’t say I’ve been disappointed. This loaded baked potato salad is absolutely amazing and a hit at every potluck I’ve ever brought it to.

And this German potato salad? Probably one of my favorite side dishes of all time.

I also can’t forget this roasted potato salad; a little out of the box but ridiculously yummy.

Looks like I kind of have a thing for potato salad.

Smashed Yukon Gold Potato Salad

After spending a while living on the edge, in potato salad speak, I’ve been craving a return to classic potato salad. Such it is with today’s recipe – there’s just one teeny little twist. Half the potatoes in this salad get smashed…and I love it. I love the contrasting textures and extra creaminess mashing those potatoes adds to the salad.

Throw on some tangy, creamy dressing that takes seconds to mix together, and you’ve got yourself a salad (don’t forget the hard-boiled eggs – quite possibly the only reason I eat potato salad in the first place).

Now. I have a funny little story to share about potato salad. Earlier this month, I helped serve lunch to 100 or so construction workers. We asked people to make or buy potato salad for the lunch and had 8 or 10 volunteers do just that (bless each of them). Guess what? Not one of those potato salads looked like the other.

It was kind of hilarious! The three of us serving lunch would unveil a new potato salad and look at each other like, “well, I never would have thought to put {insert any number of ingredients) in there!” But you know what? All that potato salad got gobbled up and each one was delicious in its own right. (Sort of reminds me of Shepherd’s Pie – you ask 20 people to make that dish and you’ll probably get 25 different versions.)

So go crazy with this potato salad! I tend to like it simple and add-in-free, but the base of the salad with those tender, half-mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and {mostly} classic dressing is so spectacularly yummy, you could throw your favorite extras in there (celery, onions, olives, pickles…) and it would accommodate them very well. The trick with potato salad (all kinds) is to salt the water when boiling the potatoes and to season the salad really well. You’ll be set!

One Year Ago: Skillet Lemon Glazed Chicken
Two Years Ago: Chopped Thai Crunch Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing
Three Years Ago: Breakfast Burritos

Smashed Yukon Gold Potato Salad

Yield: Serves 8

Smashed Yukon Gold Potato Salad

With potato salad being a very personal thing, be sure to make this your own style by adding any additional ingredients you like (chopped celery, sweet or regular pickles, onions, etc). I am on the plain and simple side of things but this is a fabulous base recipe to play around with.


  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coarse, kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 6 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives (can sub green onions)
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a large pot and cover with water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer until the potatoes are tender 12-14 minutes. Drain the potatoes well and place them back in the pot or in a serving bowl.
  2. Drizzle the 1 tablespoon vinegar over the potatoes and toss to combine. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash about half of the potatoes right in the pot or bowl; just eyeball it. Give the potatoes a good toss and let cool completely.
  3. Add the eggs and chives to the pot/bowl with the cooled potatoes.
  4. For the dressing, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, mustard, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate for several hours.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Country June/July 2016 (changed a bunch of stuff – used more eggs, less vinegar, altered the dressing recipe, used chives instead of green onions, etc)

16 Responses to Smashed Yukon Gold Potato Salad

  1. Barb says:

    This looks cool and delicious. My mom’s potato salad is this way, part smashed, part cubed, and we love it. I am going to try this version, and add fresh dill to the dressing.
    I’m growing a few herbs this summer, and having fun experimenting. Thanks for this recipe

  2. Paula says:

    We love your German potato salad. I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise but this recipe looks like I could like it. I should make some to go with your sliw cooker ribs I’m making for father’s day thus weekend.

  3. This looks totally delicious! And only a half cup of mayo…me and my waistline love that!

  4. Colleen says:

    Yum! Do you need to peel the potatoes before cutting them?

  5. Amy W. says:

    I love me some Yukon golds! Thanks, Mel!

  6. L. Stewart says:

    I actually have found that we really like the way the potatoes soak up the flavor if you add the dressing while they are still warm, then let it all cool in the fridge. After a few hours add your favorite extras like onions, celery, eggs… Ir helps the creaminess of the potatoes as well. Try it!

  7. Ann says:

    With gardening season up on us, and fresh strawberries ready for picking. I never really know if I’m washing my fresh fruits and veggies properly. Would you please do a video tutorial on to and what you use to properly wash berries to eliminate pesticides and any bugs that may take up residence in those sweet berries?

    • Mel's Kitchen Cafe Admin says:

      Hey Ann. Mel doesn’t have access to internet right now so I’m helping her out with comments for the next few days. I will definitely pass the idea on to her. Thanks for the suggestion!

  8. Jamie Walls says:

    I made this as part of my Father’s Day spread for the family yesterday and it was a HUGE hit. The only thing that I did differently is add a little sugar…my kids are always my taste testers and that was the only comment I got when they tasted it. My grandmother used to make potato salad all the time and hers had a hint of sweetness to it so I think that’s why they love it that way.
    Thanks for all the delicious ideas, Mel! your website is always my go-to when I need some food inspiration 🙂

    • Mel's Kitchen Cafe Admin says:

      Hello Jamie. Mel doesn’t have access to internet right now so I’m helping her out with comments for the next few days. I am so happy to hear that you loved this and Mel will be to. Thank you for reporting back!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Jamie – sounds like a yummy, little bit sweet addition! So happy you loved the recipe…

  9. Brianne says:

    Made this for Father’s Day and we really enjoyed it. I cut back on the mustard and added olives, celery, and sweet/dill pickles. My Grandma’s potato salad has some of the potatoes mashed like this recipe and it’s my favorite. Think it’s a texture thing. I LOVE how this recipe only has 1/2 cup of mayo. I think I will try the dressing on my Grandma’s recipe too. I love it, but the mayo amount is hers is crazy.

    • Mel's Kitchen Cafe Admin says:

      Brianne – Mel doesn’t have access to internet right now so I’m helping her out with comments for the next few days. Thanks for reporting back with your changes. That sounds yummy!

  10. Jamie says:

    I detest mayonnaise. The only things it is good for is making ranch dressing and Knorr Spinach dip. I think potato salad needs Miracle whip and a small squirt of yellow mustard. I would rather someone say they love one or the other than say they can’t taste the difference.

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