Recipe Review

I Tried the Pioneer Woman’s Rule-Breaking Potato Salad (and Honestly, I Can’t Stop Eating It)

published Jun 22, 2020
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Credit: Image: Amelia Rampe; Design: The Kitchn

Up until a few months ago, I had never cooked a Pioneer Woman recipe. But after being pleasantly surprised with her no-holds-barred chicken salad (which took home first place in our chicken salad showdown), I was more than a little curious: Would she also win our potato salad showdown with her highly-rated potato salad?

This recipe includes some elements of a classic potato salad — most notably its mayo- and mustard-based dressing — but Ree veers sharply off course when she mashes the potatoes instead of leaving them whole. I’ve never! She also leans into sweet pickles (you can use dill if that’s your preference, though) and adds scallions, hard-boiled eggs, and plenty of seasonings. Here’s what happened when I gave it a go.

Get the recipe: Perfect Potato Salad

Credit: Image: Amelia Rampe; Design: The Kitchn

How to Make The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Potato Salad

I’ve got to give it to her: This recipe is incredibly easy. You’ll start by slicing five pounds of Russet potatoes into halves or thirds, then boiling them until fork-tender. Drain them, then mash them or pass them through a ricer or food mill (which Ree says will make them extra fluffy). Combine them with mayonnaise, yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, sliced scallions, chopped sweet pickles, chopped hard-boiled eggs, paprika, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If it needs a little moisture, you can add a splash of pickle juice.

Credit: Amelia Rampe

My Honest Review of The Pioneer Woman’s Potato Salad

I wasn’t so sure how I would feel about the mashed potatoes, but I was pleasantly surprised! I was worried that the dish would lack texture, but the chopped hard-boiled eggs and pickles made up for the lack of potato pieces.

As far as how it tastes, the flavor of the yellow mustard and sweet pickles really shines through — which I loved. But if you’re not a fan of yellow mustard, Ree provides the option of using all Dijon instead. Because of its moldable texture, I was tempted to make little croquettes out of the salad and give them a fry, but I ate it all before I could. Next time!

Credit: Amelia Rampe

If You’re Making The Pioneer Woman’s Potato Salad, a Few Tips

  1. Season the cooking water. Adding salt to the potato cooking water will help season the potatoes from the inside out.
  2. Use dill pickles instead. Sweet pickles are an acquired taste. If you’re not a fan, swap them out for dill.
  3. Add cooked, chopped bacon. Because a little bacon never hurt anyone.

Rating: 9.5/10

Have you ever tried The Pioneer Woman’s potato salad? Tell us what you thought in the comments.

Credit: Image: Amelia Rampe; Design: The Kitchn