Aunt Janice’s Potato Salad – A Family Heirloom

Potato Salad

Nothing quite says summer like potato salad! If someone’s brought potato salad to one of our family picnics, we all hope it’s Aunt Janice’s recipe.  The secret to this version is the creamy balance of  flavors in the dressing and the nice crunch provided by the celery, radishes and sweet onion. A family heirloom I’m willing to share! I’d also love it if you would Share, Like, Comment and/or Subscribe.

My dear Aunt Janice, who is no longer with us, was an accomplished comfort food cook. She honed her craft in a manufacturing plant cafeteria, but it didn’t stop there. Both her immediate family and her extended family were benefactors of those homey dishes and baked goods into which she poured her skill and love. One of those famed dishes was her potato salad.

Aunt Janice’s Potato Salad

There’s really two main things that make this potato salad a crowdpleaser. One is the combination of Miracle Whip and Mayo for the dressing (along with a few other ingredients.) I am typically not a Miracle Whip fan. In fact, I am a pretty dyed-in-the-wool Hellmann’s Light Mayo fan. But the combination of both in this recipe, provides a really nice balance of flavors that everyone loves.

The other main thing that makes any potato salad work, is execution. That may sound a bit odd, but it’s really key to make sure the potatoes are just barely fork tender and they they are cooled completely before you toss them with the other ingredients. Otherwise you can end up with mashed potato salad. Also, be sure that the onion doesn’t overwhelm the salad. One way to do this, is to buy a sweet onion, if available. Most larger grocery store usually have some variety of sweet onion year round. But if you can’t find one, or if the sweet onion still has too strong of an onion order, just rinse it under some hot water in a strainer after you’ve chopped it and voila, tame onion.

Aunt Janice’s Potato Salad

Serving Size: Approximately 8 servings


  • 2 1/2 pounds regular sized red potatoes (not baby reds)
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 3 thinly sliced green onions, green parts only + additional for garnish if preferred
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (see note below)
  • 2-3 large radishes, chopped + additional sliced radish for garnish, if preferred
  • 2 stalks of celery sliced or chopped
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 cup Miracle Whip (it's important to use both Miracle Whip & salad dressing for this recipe)
  • 3/4 cup Salad Dressing (I recommend Hellmann's light)
  • A large squirt of yellow mustard (anywhere from a few teaspoons to a tablespoon, based on preference)
  • 1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  • Scrub potatoes and boil with skins on until just barely fork tender. I usually cut the large ones in half to speed the cooking process. Time varies but it's usually in the 20-25 minute range based on the size of your spuds. Note - If you cook them to long, you'll have mashed potato salad, so don't do that! Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Let potatoes cool until you can handle them, but they are still a little warm. Peel potatoes. Let cool completely and then cut into bite sized chunks.
  • Sweet Onion Note - whether or not you can find sweet onion, or need to make do with regular onion, I highly recommend rinsing the onion first, if it's got a strong onion order. Nothing ruins a potato salad like onion that's too strong. Put the chop onion in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with very hot water until the strong onion smell is gone, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Combine chopped potatoes, chopped eggs, sliced green onions, chopped sweet onion, chopped radishes and celery and toss gently.
  • In medium bowl mix Miracle Whip, salad dressing, mustard, sugar and vinegar until well combined. Taste and tweak with a little more mustard, vinegar or sugar, if preferred.
  • Fold dressing gently into potato mixture and season with salt & pepper. Refrigerate for several hours to blend flavors. I also recommend letting the amount of potato salad you plan to serve set at room temperature for about 20 minutes, or so, before serving (not in direct sunlight outside however!) This helps the make the dressing more creamy. Stir gently, top with additional sliced green onion and radish, if preferred, and serve. Enjoy!


Adapted from my Aunt Janice's coveted Potato Salad recipe - a family heirloom!

3 thoughts on “Aunt Janice’s Potato Salad – A Family Heirloom

  1. Cathy – this sounds delicious. The combination of Miracle Whip & Hellman’s Mayo sounds perfect. I will be making it soon.


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