How Long to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad? Recipe!

How Long to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad? Recipe!

Today I will show you how long does it take to boil potatoes for potato salad. I have a great recipe with the perfect cooking time for different types of potatoes.

Potatoes being the main ingredient for potato salad, you have to ensure that they are at their best.

It is pretty easy to make the salad, but you need to boil them for enough time. At the end of it all, they need to be well-cooked, not too hard, and not too soft.

With the different varieties of potatoes available then, it may not be easy to determine the time it will take.

If you wonder how long you should put them to boil, then stick around to know!

How long do You Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad?

How long do You Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad

If you are looking at making tender potatoes for your potato salad, you have to boil them right. You, therefore, need to know how long you should boil them. The kind of potato you choose to use will determine its period for them to boil.

While this is the case, you should be on the lookout to ensure that you do not boil the potatoes for too long. Doing this will make them mushy and not ideal for a potato salad.

Also, if they are not well-done, it will be hard to eat them.

Also, there are potatoes that you cannot use when making potato salad since you cannot boil them. Do it following a specific time range for those that you can boil.

The time they will take will also depend on the size of the potato.

Red potatoes:

Red potatoes

If the pieces are huge, then trust it will take quite a long, but if they are small and thin, they will take less time. But generally, 5 to 15 minutes will be enough to ensure they cook all through. Check them as they boil, and once they are fork-tender, they are ready.

White potatoes:

White potatoes

Again how long they will take until they are ready will depend on the size you cut them. When you have cut the sausages into cubes, they should be ready within 10 to 15 minutes. If they are large or cooking them whole, they may take 20 to 25 minutes.

Russet potatoes:

Russet potatoes

When boiling russet potatoes and you cut them into small cubes, 10 to 12 minutes will be enough boiling time. If they are of medium size, they should take between 15 and 20 minutes to get ready, and if you are boiling them whole, they will get ready in 25 to 30 minutes. Again, ensure you check for their tenderness using a knife or fork.

How Long to Boil 5lbs of Potatoes for Potato Salad?

How Long to Boil 5lbs of Potatoes for Potato Salad

There is no major formula when it comes to boiling potatoes. Of course, all you require is water, some salt, and a means to boil them. As easy as it looks, you need to ensure that you do not exceed the boiling time or boil them for less than the time they require to be ready.

You may choose to boil potatoes with their peels in them or not. Also, you can opt to boil them after cubing them into pieces or whole. However, these will affect the period it will take to boil.

Normally, it will take 10 to 30 minutes to boil potatoes, and in this case, they are few in the pot. 5 lbs of potatoes are quite a lot, but still, it will take around this time. If the potatoes are indices, about 10 minutes will make them ready. If they are whole, they can take up to 30 minutes.

Do You Cut the Potatoes before boiling them for Potato Salad?


You can cut potatoes for potato salad before boiling them. But if you do not cut them before, you can do so after boiling them. When cutting them before, ensure you do so in small cubes of about 2″.

Technically, they need to be equal to cooking for the same period. If cutting the pieces after, ensure you boil the potatoes whole. You can then dice them into equal pieces after they are ready.

How Long to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad? Recipe!

How to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad

There is no formula in boiling potatoes for potato salad. The main thing you should master is the time and check on them frequently to not get mashed. Allowing them to cook for a few more minutes will change them completely, and you cannot use them for potato salad.
4 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings


  • Cooking pot


  • Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Water


Step 1: Prepare the potatoes

  • Start by cleaning the outside of the potatoes with cold water and rinsing it until you remove all the dirt. Peel the potatoes to remove the outer skin. 
  • This step is unnecessary if you choose to eat the potatoes with the skin. Once the potatoes are ready, dice them into small sizes. Large sizes will take a long to cook and are not ideal for potato salads.

Step 2: Add the potatoes to the cooking pot

  • Put the potatoes in a large cooking pot. Ensure it is large enough to fit all the potatoes and leave enough space for boiling. Fill the pot with water until it almost covers all the potatoes. 
  • At this point, you can add some salt to the potatoes.

Step 3: Bring the potatoes to boil

  • You can now allow the potatoes to boil for 10 to 30 minutes. Do not forget to cover the pot while doing this. 
  • Depending on the time you seem ideal, you can check whether the potatoes are ready. They will be ready when they feel tender, and you can check this by sticking a fork into the potato.
  • Once they are, drain them and allow them to cool for a few minutes before making the potato salad.
Keyword How Long to Boil Potatoes for Potato Salad
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Can I Use Any Kind of Potatoes?

When making potato salad, you will want the ones that have less starch in them. For this reason, you can opt for waxy potatoes, which are usually thin-skinned. This kind also has the least amount of starch and once you boil them, expect their shape to remain intact.

Waxy potatoes will include red, new, and fingerling potatoes. Since they have thin skin, you may opt not to peel them. They will still be great in potato salad if you do not peel them.

Another option is the in-between potatoes, even though they have more starch than the waxy potatoes. Such potatoes are great for any kind of cooking that requires potatoes. Such include the white and Yukon gold potatoes.

Can I Freeze the Potato Salad?

It is okay to freeze potato salad, and it can take you several months when you do so. However, it is not recommended that you freeze it, especially with mayonnaise. Also, if it has dairy, boiled eggs, or sour-based sauce, it is not advisable to freeze it.

Such things tend to degrade so quickly when you freeze them. Also, things like mayonnaise will separate when you freeze and defrost it. It will not taste the same afterward. But there is no problem with freezing as long as you wrap the salad well.

What are the Best Side Dishes for Potato Salad?

Potato salad will always turn out great; it does not matter how you prepare it. Once it is ready, you can have it with quite many things. It is technically great with different side dishes such as hamburgers.

Both the salad and hamburger have a great flavor, so combining them will be perfect. Another option will be to have it with chicken, whether grilled or fried. Steak is also a perfect combination with potato salad.

Final Words

Potatoes for potato salad generally will boil within 10 to 30 minutes. Ensure that you go for the less-starchy ones when making potato salad, and also be sure to dice them into small pieces to cook evenly.

The potatoes will take a bit longer if you cook them whole and with their skin. You will know they are ready if the fork pierces through them and are tender.

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