This easy Instant Pot Potato Salad is the fastest, easiest way to make potato salad for your garden party or barbecue. It’s loaded with tender potatoes, eggs, and crunchy bits in a creamy dressing.
» You might also like Instant Pot Corn on the Cob.
We make potato salad all the time in my family. My mom’s recipe was loved by our entire extended family and she made it for every outdoor party we had in the summer. But it just takes so long to make the traditional way.
You have to boil the potatoes, wait for them to cool, peel them, chop them, cook the eggs, etc. It’s just a lot of work and it would take most of the day to complete. But now with the Instant Pot, we’ll never go back to making it the old way again.
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Why Use the Instant Pot for Potato Salad?
Using the Instant Pot to make potato salad sound strange at first. How does this save time? But believe me, it saves a ton of time.
If you’re used to boiling whole potatoes for potato salad so the cubes don’t disintegrate in the water as they cook, this version cuts down the time by peeling and cubing the potatoes first. Then you steam them in a steamer basket along with the eggs. Both of them cook at the same time, with perfect results. Now your potatoes are perfectly tender and NOT falling apart or dry.
The potatoes and the hardboiled eggs cook in the Instant Pot in just 4 minutes (9 with pressurizing time). Then you can cool the cubed potatoes (laid out on a tray to cool quickly) and eggs (in a cold water bath) while getting the other ingredients chopped and ready. It’s a brilliant way to make potato salad.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Water – You only need 1 cup of water in a 6-quart Instant Pot, but I like to use 1 1/2 cups of water to make sure plenty of steam builds.
- Potatoes – Use whatever potatoes you like for potato salad. I use King Edward potatoes in the UK and Russets or Yukon Gold potatoes in the US.
- Eggs – Use 2-3 large eggs, depending on how eggy you like it.
- Celery – Adds a good crunch to the other softer elements for texture.
- Pickles and juice – You can use chopped pickles or relish. I also use a bit of the pickle juice from the jar to boost flavor.
- Onion – The onion is quite pungent, so don’t add too much. It really takes over the flavor of the dish.
- Mayonnaise – I use Hellman’s Best mayo. You can use a mix of mayo and Miracle Whip if that’s your thing, or you can even use vegan mayo.
- Salt & pepper – Potatoes need quite a bit of salt for flavoring, so don’t be afraid to add extra to suit your taste.
You’ll need a few pieces of equipment to keep the potatoes out of the water.
- Instant Pot
- Trivet (if steamer basket has no feet)
- Steamer basket
- Mixing bowl
- Silicon spatula
How to Make Instant Pot Potato Salad
Step Two: Peel and cube the potatoes, keeping them all the same size, about 1” square. Transfer the potatoes to a steamer basket and place it inside the Instant Pot.
Gently wash the eggs and place them on top of the potatoes in the basket (the whole egg – do not crack open the egg).
Step Three: Lock the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. It will take about 5 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure. When the cooking time is up, do a quick pressure release and remove the lid.
Step Four: Transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water. Keep refreshing the water until the eggs are cooled, or you can place them in the refrigerator to cool.
Pull out the steamer basket and allow the potatoes to cool completely. A fast way to cool them is to spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Step 5: In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add the cooled potatoes and fold gently until the potatoes are completely coated with mayo. If you stir too much or too vigorously, the potatoes can crumble, so go easy on it.
Peel and chop the hard boiled eggs and add them to the bowl. Fold them gently into the salad so they don’t break up into pieces.
Step 6: Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to chill before serving. The longer the salad chills, the more flavor will develop.
How to Store Potato Salad
You can store the salad in the mixing bowl, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 5 days. After that the dressing starts to break down and make the salad sloppy.
Remember when serving this salad to keep it out of direct sunlight and don’t let it sit out for too long, because it had eggs and dairy in it.
It’s not possible to freeze this salad, because the creamy dressing will break when thawed and it won’t be a great consistency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Peel or Don’t Peel the Potatoes?
I prefer to peel the potatoes for potato salad because the peels can be thick on some potatoes and it effects the nice tender quality of the potatoes. However, if you like to leave the peel on, you absolutely can. Yukon gold potatoes especially have a thin skin that be left on.
What Type of Potato to Use?
The best type of potato to use for potato salad is a waxy potato that won’t easily crumble in the salad. Starchy potatoes, like russets, tend to become too dry and crumbly. I use Yukon Gold potatoes because they have a really nice texture when steamed and they keep their shape in the salad.
If all you have to work with is russet potatoes, it’ll still work just fine. Be prepared to stir the salad gently and have a bit more incorporated potatoes. It’s still tastes great!
I firmly stand behind the mayonnaise and pickle juice combo for the dressing of this potato salad, but I realize that everyone has their own favorite recipe that they like to stick with. You can add, mix, and match until it tastes right to you.
- Use mayonnaise, vegan mayo, or Miracle Whip.
- Add yellow mustard, pickle juice, or apple cider vinegar for zing.
- Mix in celery, onions or green onions for less potency, black olives, parsley, etc.
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Easy Instant Pot Potato Salad
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 pounds potatoes
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons dill pickle juice
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- Pour the water into the inner pot.
- Peel and cube the potatoes, keeping them all the same size, about 1” square. Transfer the potatoes to a steamer basket and place it inside the Instant Pot.
- Gently wash the eggs and place them on top of the potatoes in the basket (the whole egg – do not crack open the egg).
- Lock the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. When the time is up, do a quick pressure release and remove the lid.
- Transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water. Keep refreshing the water until eggs are cooled.
- Pull out the steamer basket and allow the potatoes to cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add the cooled potatoes and fold gently until well combined. Chop the hard boiled eggs and add them to the bowl. Fold into the salad.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to chill before serving.
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.