Can You Make Potato Salad Ahead of Time For A Big Group

Can You Make Potato Salad in Advance for A BBQ or Big Family Picnic?

You can make potato salad up to 2-3 days ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator, any longer and it will start to deteriorate by getting a bit watery and the taste will not be so good.

It is best practice not to assemble the potato salad too far ahead of time but rather to boil the potatoes several days before.  This will certainly help ease the burden when you are busy catering to a large group of people on the day of your event.

Let’s dig into the details a little bit more.

How to Prepare Potato Salad Ahead of Time for A Big Group

First, the potatoes can you prepare them ahead of time. Yes, you can prepare potatoes ahead of time for a potato salad and follow the directions below.

How to Prepare Potatoes Ahead of Time for Potato Salad

When you are cooking potatoes ahead of time for an event it is very important that potatoes are of a similar size. This is because you want them all to be cooked evenly and bigger and smaller potatoes will cook at different rates.

After cooking it is best not to cut the potatoes but let them stand for 15 to 20 minutes to cool then put them in an airtight container and into the fridge. 

A handy tip to preserve potatoes and make them last just a little bit longer just to cover them or drizzle on some lemon or lime juice.  The acidity of the lemon stops them from going brown on the outside and that is one reason why it’s important not to cut them too early so that they still look nice and fresh for the potato salad.

 How To Prepare in Advance Boiled Eggs for Potato Salad

Boil the eggs normally as you would do insuring that they are actually hard-boiled.

Keep the eggs in their shell because the shell will be a barrier for the egg from contamination and bacteria plus it also helps stop the egg from absorbing other orders that might be in your fridge.

The rest of the ingredients are pretty straightforward in terms of preparation in advance for the potato salad.

The pickles do not need any special handling just don’t mix them until you’re ready also the red onion is the same you can dice it in advance but it really isn’t necessary because it’s just a short task.

can you freeze potato salad with mayo
Potato Salad can be made ahead of time.

The key thing is not to put on the mayonnaise or dressing until you are ready to serve that day because often they will contain eggs and even if they don’t have potato salad will deteriorate faster when it has mayonnaise mixed with it.

If you are making potato salad for a large group the following may interest you

What Are the Best Potatoes to Use for Make-Ahead Potato Salad

The best two potatoes I like the best are Yukon Gold and Red Potatoes. I will also use Russet potatoes if the other two are not available. This style of potato is better as they have lower starch levels and do not break up when mixed into a salad.

How Far in Advance Can You Cook Potatoes for Potato Salad?

You can cook the potatoes up to 4 days in advance.

Can you cook potatoes for potato salad the night before, yes that is ok, just make sure you let them cool before cutting them into cubes

Is It Better to Boil Potatoes Whole or Cut up For Potato Salad

Boiling potatoes whole is best because they retain more nutrients. And they will tend to last longer as well. Further, if you cut them up too early then they run the chance of turning brown and nobody wants a discolored potato salad.

How Long Should Potato Salad Sit Before Serving

Potato salad should sit for at least 1 to 2 hours before serving. This lets the herbs and any spices mix with the dressing that you have put in the potato salad and it all infuses nicely when you let it sit for a period of time before serving.