This Potato Salad with Bacon recipe uses an easy technique to make sure the salad is perfectly dressed – never dry – when you serve it. The flavor is a perfect balance of tangy and salty.

A speckled ceramic bowl filled with potato salad with bacon and green onions, with a spoon digging into the salad.

This potato salad with bacon uses an easy technique to ensure it is perfectly dressed when you serve it.

More so than a lot of foods, there is a HUGE number of ways to make potato salad. Sauces, add-ins and even the type of potato may vary.

But I think the one thing we can all agree on is a good version of it needs to be properly dressed. Not an overly gloppy mayo-laden mess, but definitely not dry and under-seasoned either.

This potato salad with bacon recipe uses a technique I’ve been relying on for years – dividing the dressing in half and adding it at two different stages.

Have you ever added your dressing to warm potatoes, refrigerated your salad, and then wondered where all your dressing disappeared to? The potatoes suck it all up sometimes!

With this technique, you toss the still-warm potatoes with half of the dressing, then chill the salad to allow the warm potatoes to suck up and marinate in all of that flavorful dressing.

Then, once it’s chilled, just before serving, you add the rest of the dressing and toss again.

This technique ensures that the potatoes are seasoned by absorbing some of the dressing, but there’s also more dressing for the surface of that potatoes. It’s a perfectly dressed potato salad.

Why you will love this bacon potato salad

  • You can make it in advance but it will taste like it’s freshly made, thanks to the two-step dressing technique.
  • The addition of smoky, crispy bacon takes a classic side dish to a new level.
  • The tangy dressing pairs perfectly with grilled meats.
Ingredients laid out on a wooden surface, including red spuds, green onions, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, spices and bacon.

Potato salad recipe with bacon ingredients

  • redskin potatoes – these are the base of our salad.
  • bacon – cook up some crispy bacon in the oven to add a delightful salty crunch.
  • green onions – these provide a fresh and just slightly pungent flavor that goes well with the other ingredients. They add color, too!
  • mayonnaise – this binds the salad together while adding richness and creaminess.
  • sour cream – adds a nice tangy flavor to the dressing.
  • Dijon mustard – adds just a little hint of heat to balance the rich flavors in the salad.
  • red wine vinegar – adds a pop of acidity that balances the creaminess of the dressing and richness of the bacon.
  • sugar – just a touch will balance the salty flavors in this recipe.
  • paprika – adds a touch of smokiness and color to the salad.
  • salt and pepper – crucial for seasoning any savory recipe.

What potatoes are best for this bacon potato salad recipe?

Small redskin potatoes are the best choice for potato salad with bacon.

They hold their shape well, and take on a smooth, creamy texture when cooked. They have a slightly sweet and earthy flavor that pairs well with bacon.

They have a porous skin which allows them to absorb dressing and seasoning very effectively. They also have an attractive red color, making for a prettier side dish.

A bowl with dressing ingredients layered into it, including mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar and spices.

How to make bacon red potato salad

  1. Boil the potatoes until they are tender but still holding their shape. Drain them – but don’t rinse them – and then set them aside to cool slightly.
  2. Stir together the dressing ingredients and then divide the mixture in half. Place half in a covered container and set it aside in the refrigerator.
  3. Add remaining half of dressing to warm potatoes and toss together. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  4. Just before serving, add the remaining reserved dressing, along with the bacon and onions, to the salad and toss again.
Cooked, chopped redskin potatoes in a speckled bowl with creamy dressing poured over half of the potatoes.

How to serve this potato salad with bacon recipe

This dish is best served chilled, making it the best addition to any summer meal, barbecue or gathering.

The tangy and creamy flavors of bacon red potato salad pair well with a variety of entrees, including the suggestions below.

What pairs best with cold summer salads

Home Chef Tips

  • Two tablespoons of salt seems like a lot when you are boiling potatoes, but you want the water to be as salty as the ocean so that the seasoning gets inside the potatoes.
  • Try this recipe with smoked paprika for a smokier take on it.
  • Experiment with mix-ins like chopped pickles, hard boiled eggs, celery and crumbled blue cheese for variety.
A bowl of bacon potato salad on a wooden surface with green onions, bacon, salt and pepper shakers and a blue napkin decorating the scene.

Potato salad with bacon storage

Potato salad with bacon can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, in either state of dressing (with half the dressing on it, or once all of it is added).

Give it a good stir before serving if it’s been in the fridge for awhile.

A bowl of potato salad with bacon and green onions on top.

Bacon potato salad FAQ

Can I use a different type of potato?

While redskin potatoes work best for bacon potato salad, you can substitute other waxy potatoes such as fingerlings or Yukon Gold. Make sure they are cut into 1-inch pieces and adjust the cooking time as needed until they are tender but not falling apart.

Should I peel the potatoes for this potato salad recipe with bacon?

No need to peel at all! And in fact, the peel helps the pieces of potato hold together and not totally break apart while you’re stirring up the salad.

Can I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream?

Yes, definitely! Greek yogurt and sour cream will serve the same purpose in the dressing for bacon potato salad recipe – adding tanginess. That goes for pickle pasta, too!

A speckled bowl filled with bacon potato salad on a wooden surface.
A speckled ceramic bowl filled with potato salad with bacon and green onions, with a spoon digging into the salad.

Potato Salad with Bacon Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This Potato Salad with Bacon recipe uses an easy technique to make sure the salad is perfectly dressed - never dry - when you serve it. The flavor is a perfect balance of tangy and salty.


  • 2 pounds small redskin potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 slices oven bacon, crumbled
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced


  1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat to boiling over high heat, add 2 tablespoons kosher salt, then reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes or until fork-tender but not falling apart, stirring occasionally.
  2. Drain potatoes (do not rinse), then transfer to large bowl and let cool 5 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, sugar, pepper, paprika and remaining 1 teaspoon salt until smooth. Place half of dressing in small covered bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve salad.
  4. Add remaining half of mayonnaise mixture to bowl with potatoes and toss until well combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight. 
  5. Just before serving, add bacon, onion and reserved dressing to potatoes and toss until well combined. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 454Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 1011mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 10g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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