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How to Make Store Bought Potato Salad Taste Homemade

Do you want to make store bought potato salad taste homemade? If so, you’ll see lots of recommendations in this post–all of them so good that no one will know that you didn’t make it from scratch!

There are so many different potato salads, from southern-style or Amish to German. All of them are delicious, which is why there are so many different potato salad recipes.

bowl of potato salad

Potato salad is a must-have side dish for any occasion, including a potluck, June picnic in the backyard, Fourth of July celebration, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, or any type of special event.

If you want the tips that I offer, please read on. However, if you’re in a hurry and only want the recipe, click on the jump-to-recipe card beneath the title. You’ll be taken to the very top of the recipe card that you can also save or print.

Make Store-Bought Potato Salad Taste Better

Ever since I learned to cook, I’ve used the cooking concept of semi-homemade. While some may think that you have to do everything from scratch, I reject that notion. I mean, really, who has time for that?

This doesn’t mean that I reject homemade. I just think that if there are some shortcuts to make food better, it’s okay to use them.

bowl of potato salad with paprika and chives

Potato Salads

When I make potato salad from scratch, I typically follow my mama’s potato salad recipe. She always made potato salad any time there was a potluck because everyone enjoyed it. 

In fact, it was always the first recipe to disappear from the salad table at any family reunion or get-together with friends.

Here are the types of potato salad you’re likely to see at the grocery store, with links to how to make each of them at home:

Southern potato salad – This is the one my mother made. It’s typically mayonnaise based, with added pickles, either sweet or dill. I sliced some olives to garnish the top, but if you don’t like olives, leave them off.

Scooping potato salad from the serving bowl to a plate

German potato salad – This potato salad from Recipe Tin Eats is made with vinegar and bacon and served warm.

bowl of German potato salad

Vinegar-based potato salad – Tart and flavorful, this recipe from She Likes Food is wonderful. This one may also be made with oil and vinegar, with other vegetables such as sweet peppers and onions added. 

Red Potato Salad – Made with red potatoes, this recipe from Julia’s Simply Southern turns out great!

bowl of red potatoes

Mashed Potato Salad – As the name implies, this one is made with mashed potatoes. The only time I’ve had it was when the cook mashed some potatoes and made southern style potato salad.

You’re likely to see other styles of potato salad at your grocery store or deli. The ones I’ve seen the most, besides the ones listed above are homestyle, Amish, and original. 

container of store bought potato salad

There are quite a few more types of potato salad that you may see. Read the ingredients and see which ones appeal to you the most. Then you’ll have a good base to start with.

Ingredients to Add to Store Bought Potato Salad

Now that you’ve chosen the type of potato salad you want to start with, it’s time to doctor it up a bit. I always recommend experimenting with a small amount and taste-testing before you change the entire batch. 

Sometimes all you need is a little bit of something extra to take the potato salad from one you like to one you absolutely love. I’ve used all of the following ingredients, and they’re all very good.

Here are some things you can add to make it suit your taste:

  • Dried or fresh dill
  • Chives (fresh or dried)
  • Celery seed
  • Paprika (plain or smoky)
  • Chopped green onions
  • Diced red onion
  • Chopped celery
  • Sliced olives (green or black)
  • Chopped eggs
  • Diced bell peppers (red peppers or green peppers)
  • More mayonnaise
  • Vinegar (plain or flavored)
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Dill pickle relish
  • Italian seasoning
  • Taco seasoning
  • Bacon bits
  • Mustard, any flavor (Keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way.)
  • Sugar or honey (Again, start out with just a tiny bit.)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Egg salad (Combining 2 delicious salads adds a whole new dimension!)

Another thing you can do is add more potatoes. Yes, sometimes the extra ingredients overpower the flavor of the potatoes. Adding more of the main ingredient can make a huge difference.

diced potatoes on a cutting board

You may think of something else you’d like to add, so go ahead and test it out. You just may discover the next big thing!

More Semi-Homemade Recipes

The name of my blog, Southern Home Express, was well thought out. I’m a southern homebody who finds ways to do things quickly. 

Here are just a few of my favorite recipes that start with store-bought foods:

How to Make Jar Alfredo Sauce Better – When jar Alfredo sauce goes on sale, I stock up. Then when I’m in a hurry to make dinner, I pull one of those jars out of my pantry, add a few more ingredients, and put a terrific meal on the table.

plate of chicken fettuccini alfredo

How to Make Jar Spaghetti Sauce Taste Homemade – This is the same concept as the one above. There are so many different ways to improve jar spaghetti sauce!

bowl of spaghetti with sauce

How to Make Better Brownies from a Mix – I love brownies! And I especially love them when they have something a little extra to elevate the flavor and deliciousness!

Plate of 4 brownies

Ideas for Improving Store Bought Potato Salad

Next time you need potato salad for any occasion, eliminate some of the stress by picking up one from your favorite store or deli. Then mix in another ingredient or two … or three or four to make it even better!

Yield: 8 servings

Make Store Bought Potato Salad Taste Homemade

bowl of potato salad with paprika and chives

Take store bought potato salad from good to absolutely delicious by adding a few ingredients.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 4 cups store bought potato salad
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoky paprika


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the potato salad and chopped celery. Mix well.
  2. Pour mixture into a serving bowl.
  3. Sprinkle chopped chives and paprika over the top.
  4. Serve cold and enjoy!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 180Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 85mgSodium 647mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 2gSugar 0gProtein 3g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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