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Tiny buttery potatoes, peppery arugula, salty bacon, and creamy parmesan make this extra special potato salad recipe out of this WORLD.
I make this potato salad with bacon so much, it’s become a signature dish and is regularly requested. It really is the best potato salad I’ve ever eaten.
It’s a really simple recipe, but when you use the best quality ingredients – it’s amazing. I eat the leftovers, while standing in front of the fridge door for breakfast if there is ever any left. It’s that good.
Leftovers are hoarded and guarded jealously. The recipe originated from friends in New Zealand who brought it to a barbecue once. One taste, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.
Go ahead and double this and take my advice (and hide the leftovers).
Why you’ll love this recipe
It’s the perfect balance of salty, creamy.
This can be a red potato salad, or white or gold or purple. Make it your own, and change up the ingredients. Check out the notes card for suggestions on how to switch things up.
What kind of potatoes work best in potato salad?
I use the tiny baby potatoes, sometimes one color, sometimes a bag with purple, red and gold potatoes. Fingerling potatoes also go very well in this. If you can’t get baby potatoes, you can of course use russet or yukon gold potatoes. Just peel them and cook until fork tender (but not falling apart).
Should I cut potatoes before boiling for potato salad?
Yes! You should cut the potatoes before boiling. Try to make them all a similar size so they cook evenly.
What to do with leftovers
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Give the potato salad a good mix before serving. I would also sprinkle some fresh parmesan over the top.
You can use your favorite brand of mayonnaise, or use miracle whip if you so choose. Sour cream or Greek yogurt are great substitutes if you happen to find yourself out of mayonnaise!
Boiled eggs is a great addition. The bonus is that the eggs can cook in the same water as the potatoes!
Chopped green onions are great in this recipe, just sprinkle a few over the top for a yummy onion flavor. You could also mix onion powder or garlic powder into the mayonnaise before mixing.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Potatoes. See notes above.
- Mayonnaise: Use a really good quality one.
- Parmesan: Either shave it fresh yourself, or buy shaved. Pre shredded, bagged parmesan just doesn’t give it the same flavor. Trust me on this!
- Bacon. I use thick cut bacon, diced up and cooked in a skillet. Drain if on paper towels before using.
- Salt and pepper. Go easy on both. The bacon and parmesan are both salty. The arugula is peppery. Taste and adjust as you like!
How to make potato salad from scratch
Cook the potatoes and bacon
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, but not mushy. Drain the potatoes and rinse them in cold water. Put them in the fridge to hang out until you are ready to serve.
Cook the bacon until it is crispy, drain on a paper towel, and cut/crumble into big pieces.
In a large bowl, mix cooled potatoes, arugula, mayonnaise, bacon and pepper together.
Add the parmesan and mix until well combined.
Taste, and adjust seasoning and mayo content as needed
Some of our favorite salad recipes:
- Easy Southwest Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Dressing. Black beans, corn, red peppers, jalapenos, cilantro and red onions feature in this easy to make pasta salad. With the addition of the lime vinaigrette… oh, myyyyyyy.
- Caprese Orzo Salad (Basil Tomato Mozzarella). An easy side, this salad combines tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil with a yummy homemade balsamic vinaigrette. This is another good one to make ahead.
- Grilled Vegetable Salad with Tarragon Dressing. A spectacular, smoky charcoal-grilled vegetable salad, bursting with flavor.
- Southwest Chicken Salad (with Chipotle Ranch Dressing). Classic flavors made fabulous in this hearty Southwest Chicken Salad. This is a wonderful main dish vs a side, this is a salad you’ll make over and over!
- Arugula Salad (with Lemon Vinaigrette). This is the one you’ve been looking for! Peppery arugula mixed with bright tomatoes, parmesan, and dressed with fresh lemon vinaigrette. Perfection!
- Easy Italian Salad (from Spend with Pennies)
- Chopped Asparagus Salad (from View from the Great Island)
The best Potato Salad Recipe you’ll ever make!
- 3 lb new potatoes (or fingerling potatoes or yukon gold potatoes)
- 1 lb bacon
- 5 oz arugula (approximately)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (approximately)
- parmesan cheese (Shaved )
- cracked pepper (course ground)
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked, but not mushy.
- Drain the potatoes and rinse them in cold water. Put them in the fridge to hang out until you are ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon until it is crispy, drain on a paper towel, and cut/crumble into big pieces.
- Right before serving, mix cooled potatoes, arugula, mayonnaise, parmesan, bacon and pepper together.
- Taste, and adjust seasoning and mayo content as needed
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Update: This recipe was originally published in May of 2016. It was republished with updated photos in May of 2021.