Sour Cream Potato Salad

by Stacy

Poor San Diego. While the rest of the country is melting into a puddle, we had a high of 70 degrees on the 4th of July and had to wear sweaters to see the fireworks malfunction. So I won’t say anything disparaging about the weather here which is basically pleasant year-round.

Despite the constant room-temperature conditions, my non-air-conditioned house is often 87 degrees by mid-afternoon. Suffice it to say the popsicle-to-cooked-food ratio has been higher than usual around here lately.

Enter The World’s Easiest Potato Salad. 15 minutes total. I swear.

This is technically my cousin’s recipe which I learned to make when we were 9 years old. That was also the summer we “learned” how to “grill chicken.” Let’s focus on the potato salad, shall we?

potatoes, sour cream, chives

My semantics-loving husband doesn’t like potato salad, of course. He is staunchly anti-mayonnaise.

This recipe contains no mayonnaise, but he won’t eat it if I call it potato salad. If you or your loved ones are anti-potato salad, simply call it “potatoes with sour cream and chives.”

Or refuse to share. Your choice.

sour cream potato salad

Take about 1.5 pounds of red potatoes (smaller is faster because they require less cutting). Halve or quarter them. Chuck them in a pan and cover them with cold water. Boil for about 10 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.

Drain, mix with sour cream and chives, add a pinch of salt and a crack of pepper. Finis.

Pretty easy. Heck, delegate it to your 9-year-old.

the world's easiest potato salad

It’s a great potluck dish, especially if you’re short on time. Kids like it. Adults like it. Picky husbands like it. It’s one of those dishes that’s more than the sum of its parts. Starchy, creamy, and just a kick of brightness from the chives make for a satisfying snack.

Serve it warm, room temperature, or cold. It’s easy to transport and perfect for picnics. I could keep saying nice things about it, but you could have a batch half-finished by now.

Green Valley Organics sent me some sour cream a while back, but we used it all and bought more on our own. You’re welcome to use another brand, but theirs is quite good, and lactose-free for those who need to worry about that.

Are you a potato salad fan? Pro- or anti-mayo? Leave a comment!

More easy and delicious summer recipes:

print recipe
Sour Cream Potato Salad
Three ingredients and 15 minutes. Just go make this now.

If you don’t have chives handy, I’ve also used scallions, shallot, or minced onion. I won’t tell anyone.

  • 1.5 pounds red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used Green Valley Organics)
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • a few grinds black pepper
1.) Scrub potatoes. Cut them in halves or quarters depending on the size so they’re relatively uniform. Place in a lidded pot and cover with cold water plus an inch. Boil potatoes about 10 minutes until easily pierced with a fork. 2.) While the potatoes cook, mince your chives. If it’s really hot, drink some water and snack on some watermelon. Read a magazine article. Then stab a few potatoes to see if they’re cooked through.3.) Drain the potatoes. Add the sour cream, chives, salt, and pepper. Stir. I like my potatoes a little broken up which makes the dish creamier. Garnish with a few more chives if desired. Enjoy immediately, at room temperature, or chilled.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee July 7, 2012 at 10:35 am

This is the kind of potato salad my mom always made, and the only kind I like. I should try it with the Tofutti sour cream.


Stacy July 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

I thought about adding a note about vegan sour cream, but I’ve never tried it. I’ll add it to my list, and you should report back. =)


Lee July 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I made it with the Tofutti sour cream tonight – it was good, and even people who eat “real” sour cream think so.


Stacy August 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Good to know! So easily veganized or undairy-ed.


Auntie Mona July 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Hey! I’m glad you are still making the potato salad after all these years. I still have the picture of you and Greer grilling chicken. I am anti-mayo, as you have guessed from this recipe. I especially hate potato salad with boiled eggs, mayo, mustard, and sweet pickle relish. eww

One of my friends makes this type of salad and adds chopped dill instead of chives, I like the dill version too.


Stacy August 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm

That visit was an adventure. It’s amazing we didn’t light anything on fire… too badly! But this recipe is still a favorite, and I’ve used scallions, shallots, onions, Yukon gold potatoes… So versatile! The dill version sounds good, too.


TreeHugginMomma July 17, 2012 at 10:13 am

I am anti-mayonaise as well. Sour cream is a wonderful idea. I make my salads (macaroni, potatoe, tuna and chicken) with non-fat greek yogurt, but of course I do not tell my family that :)
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Stacy August 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I can tolerate a small amount, but the hubby just turns up his nose. I don’t mention that we eat mayo on banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) all the time and he manages that, but it’s still a great potato salad. 😉


Mom August 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I made this last Monday night for Tom, Sue and Michelle, and there was hardly any left at all!! And I used 30 small potatoes! It is a great recipe.


Stacy August 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Glad you all liked it, Mom.


Brandie August 30, 2012 at 9:10 am

Wait, doesn’t like mayonnaise? I’m sad for you, but this looks delicious! Have you tried Julia Child’s french recipe? No mayo. (I’m making it soon!)
Also, love your choice of sour cream. Good stuff!


Stacy September 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm

I’m not a huge mayo fan, but I think it’s mostly due to abuse in Midwestern potluck meals growing up.

I have not seen Julia’s recipe, but I will check it out when I get home. Thanks for the idea and for stopping by. =)


Barbara August 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm

I love that you suggest drinking water and eating watermelon IN your recipe! So cute.


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