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What can you add to a potato salad to take it up a level?

Ah, the potato salad. It’s about as quintessential to Australia as backyard cricket and Tim Tams. Guests love it. Kids go crazy for it. And a summer gathering, well, wouldn’t quite be a summer gathering without it.

But have you ever been midway through dolloping your mayo and thought, how can I turn this up a notch? What can I add to my potato salad to really please the crowd?

Well, feast your eyes on our favourite 7 potato salad hacks for summer (then get ready to be swept up by compliments and a queue of guests hungry for seconds). 

But first, what goes into a potato salad?

Whether you’re following your grandma’s recipe, diving into your favourite cookbook or just winging it — everyone has their own unique take on how to make a potato salad.

And while ingredients and processes can vary, most potato-salad-fiends will agree a potato salad includes…

• Eggs (hard boiled)
• Mayonnaise
• Dijon mustard
• Sour cream
• Salt and pepper
• Spring onions

But if you’re looking at this list and thinking, how can I turn it up a level? Read on.

8 potato salad hacks you’ll love this summer

Ready to shake things up? Here’s a list of our favourite potato salad hacks.

1. Bacon
While this isn’t everyone’s taste (see some vegetarian additions below), bacon can add a salty, delicious, and crunchy delight to your potato salad. Fry it up before you mix it through and impress the meat-lovers in the crowd.

2. Dill
Bright, sweet and a little citrus-like, dill can take your potato salad from “that’s yum” to “can I pleeeease have the recipe?” It pairs perfectly with the creaminess of the mayonnaise and screams SUMMER in a bowl.

3. Blue cheese
For the slightly more daring, blue cheese in your potato salad can add extra flavour and creaminess. Crumble it over your salad and mix through for a sharp and salty touch.

4. Goats cheese
Goats cheese adds a buttery yet tart flair to your favourite potato salad. Add a little or use the whole tub — it’s entirely up to you. Hint: it pairs extra well with dill.

5. Basil
Basil knows how to transform a potato salad with its subtle peppery flavour and hint of sweetness. You can use dried or fresh basil — or mix in basil pesto if you’re feeling extra adventurous.

6. Anchovies
With a fishy and incredibly salty flavour, few things are more divisive than anchovies. Buuuut if you’re cooking for a crowd who you know loves them, then adding anchovies to your potato salad is sure to impress (just make sure you make enough for seconds).

7. Sweet potato
Most potato salads use a kipfler or white potatoes. But if you’re looking to create something a little out of the ordinary — swapping traditional potatoes for sweet potatoes can make your guest’s tastebuds do a little happy dance. The natural sweetness pairs well with the strong flavour of mustard.

8. Smoked paprika
Add a smokey spin, richness and depth to your favourite potato salad with smoked paprika. Plus, this works well if you’re pairing your potato salad with a BBQ or meat dish. Thank us later.

Your potato salad questions, answered

How long does potato salad last?
Because it’s made up of creamy and perishable foods, potato salad should always be stored in the fridge. If stored in the fridge, potato salad can last up to 2 – 5 days (if there are any leftovers, that is).

How long should you cook potatoes for in a potato salad?
Well, it depends on the size of your potatoes. If you prefer smaller cubes, boiling should take around 15 minutes. If you prefer larger chunks, boiling should take around 20 minutes. Your potatoes should be cooked enough you can easily pierce them with a fork — but not so cooked that they fall apart when you do.

Will potato salad keep overnight?
If stored correctly (in the fridge) your potato salad should keep overnight (winning!). At Put a lid on it, we make storing your potato salad after a function simple. Just put a lid on your favourite serving bowl, pop it in the fridge and get back to what counts (ahem, making a beeline for the dessert table).

What potatoes are best for potato salad?
Waxy potatoes (like kipfler or dutch cream) are traditionally used in potato salad because they’re creamy, hold their shape and taste darn delicious. But if you’re feeling bold, try using sweet potatoes for a unique edge.

When should you prepare a potato salad?
Once the potatoes have cooled and you’ve added the fun bits, it can be served straight away or refrigerated until you’re ready. At Put a lid on it, we think it tastes best the day it’s made.

Where did the potato salad even come from?
Potato salads often conjure up images of an Australian BBQ. But truth be told, it’s believed the potato salad first originated in Germany, before spreading across Europe, Asia, USA and beyond. There you go.

At Put a lid on it, we make prepping, serving and storing your potato salad, easy

Whether you added bacon for a salty surprise, dill for a citrus flair or anchovies for a daring flavour — we’d love to hear what you think. Comment below and tell us about your best potato salad hack.

Oh, and we won’t be surprised if you aren’t left with any extras. But on the off chance you *do* have leftovers — our range of fun, practical and feel-good servingware is designed to make packing up easy. Just Put a lid on it, pop it in the fridge, and get back to what counts — connecting your people (and making a beeline for the dessert table, of course).