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Kay’s Old-Fashioned Potato Salad With Cooked Dressing

My roots may be showing in this recipe. Kay’s Old-Fashioned Potato Salad With Cooked Dressing contains no raw onions or mustard. That’s the way we ate it back on the farm in Indiana.

The cooked dressing is the secret to the yumminess going on here. Don’t worry. It’s really easy if you make the dressing in the microwave, although you can make it on top of the stove.

Kay's Potato Salad in a bowl

The tradition of potato salad:

Potato salad is right up there with meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and chocolate cream pie. Everybody likes their mama’s best. But just in case you don’t have a favorite already, try this one.

The same sister who makes a wonderful chocolate cake also makes a wonderful potato salad.  Potato Salad with Cooked Dressing could be another recipe she got from her southern mother-in-law. I’m not sure.

Kay’s recipe is unique in that the dressing is cooked. It has much more flavor than potato salad made with straight mayonnaise. 

Why cook the dressing?

Isn’t this more trouble? A little, but the flavor is worth it! Pull out your blender, food processor, or a good whisk to mix up the ingredients for the dressing.

Follow the easy directions for cooking the dressing in the microwave. It’s foolproof–unlike the original recipe that called for cooking on top of the stove with constant stirring.  It was easy to burn or curdle the old way.

Related posts for Kay's Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

If you make this recipe and enjoy it, consider helping other readers and me by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required. Thank you for visiting! Paula

Kay's Potato Salad

Kay's Potato Salad

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A classic potato salad with homemade cooked dressing-- tangy but no mustard.


  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 3/4 t. celery seed
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise (I like the olive oil type)
  • 7 medium potatoes, diced and cooked
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish


  1. Blend first 6 ingredients in a blender, food processor or with a whisk until smooth. Add butter and onions.
  2. Pour into 2 quart batter bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 4-5 minutes, whisking well after every minute (important so sauce will be cook evenly). Mixture should be thick like pudding.
  3. Add celery seed and mayonnaise to cooked dressing. Whisk till smooth. Fold in potatoes, eggs, and pickle relish. Garnish with smoked (or regular) paprika and chill. Serves 6


Do you have smoked paprika in your refrigerator? If not, use regular paprika. However, the smoked paprika adds a subtle bacon flavor that is delicious. Good on deviled eggs too.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 312Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 451mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 4gSugar: 12gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 1st of September 2012

I made this potato salad a month ago and I loved it as did my guests. I did augment it with diced apple (a must for my potato salad) as well as a few other crunchy veggies (celery and red pepper), But it was the dressing that made it so delicious., I am making it again for a Labour Day gathering. I do have one question for you though. Would you put the dressing on hot or cold potatoes? I have seen recipes calling for both. It doesn't really indicate in your recipe. Thanks for this one. It is a keeper.

Nancy Toronto, Ontario


Sunday 2nd of September 2012

Nancy, I happened to get your letter when I was sitting next to my sister, Kay at a ballgame. We talked it over and decided it doesn't matter. We've both done it both ways. No big deal either way. Glad you like it as much as we do. And we love your additions. Like you said, with this recipe, it's all about the dressing.


Sunday 26th of February 2012

This is definitely the best potato salad I have ever made!!! I was a little skeptical at first about the sauce, but my husband and I really love it :)


Friday 18th of September 2009

You can never have too many great potato salad recipes. This looks really good!


Friday 18th of September 2009

great pic of the potato salad....looks yummy! Did you get a new blender? What happened to your red one?


Thursday 17th of September 2009

I may take up cooking! That looks really good. I wonder if we have a blender somewhere?