This Polish potato salad is a traditional Polish recipe, a firm family favourite and popular all year round. It’s great as an everyday recipe as well as special occasion dish to enjoy with family and friends.
The Christmas season is upon us (it somehow seems to start earlier each year!) and I am already thinking of potential dishes I will make this year. At the top of my list is my mum’s Polish potato salad recipe.
Now I realise this may seem like an odd choice for a Christmas dish, but for me it’s an integral part of Christmas cooking. My mum used to prepare this traditional potato salad for all sorts of occasions, including the festive season and family gatherings. (Or simply whenever she had leftover vegetables). So in my own house it’s become a firm tradition to always serve it at Christmas (as well as Easter actually).
Polish potato salad
Different versions of this potato salad exist in Poland as well as throughout Europe (Eastern mainly, my instinct tells me). People in Poland call this salad either ‘vegetable salad’ (salatka jarzynowa) or just ‘salad’, which is in indication of just how popular it is.
My mum’s version of this potato salad did not include canned peas, which many recipes call for. And I continue making mine also without the peas. What she used instead was finely chopped pickled gherkins and apple. These two ingredients really lift this salad and for me are as essential as the potatoes, the carrots and the eggs.
Some versions of this Polish salad include dill but I tend to omit it.
Healthy potato salad
If the suggested amount of mayonnaise seems a bit excessive, well it isn’t really. This is because the proportions I used in the recipe make a large salad (6-8 portions). This salad would traditionally contain more mayonnaise but I replaced a portion of it with yogurt in order to keep the fat content down. So this is a pretty low fat, healthy potato salad recipe.
How to make Polish potato salad
This recipe is quite straightforward, although there is a fair amount of chopping involved. But once that’s out of the way all you have to do is combine all the ingredients and stir thoroughly. So it’s really simple. And your guests will be happy! This salad is always the most popular dish at family gatherings in my house.
You can give this vegetable salad a more sophisticated look by chopping the vegetables into smaller pieces than I have done (see the photos). I get impatient and go for a more rustic look:)
What I really like about this jarzynowa salad, apart from the taste, is that you can make it ahead. It will taste better, in fact, once you’ve allowed it to chill for a few hours. And you can refrigerate it for a couple of days. So even if you make a big batch it will never go to waste. It is great as a party food idea, side dish or light lunch. I hope you enjoy it!
More potato salad recipe ideas
Here is a different kind of potato salad you might also like: Potato Salad with Mustard Dill Dressing
Check out also these potato salad deviled eggs recipe. It’s a fun and healthy, mayo free appetizer.
My Mum’s Polish Potato Salad (Jarzynowa)
- 4 medium salad potatoes
- 2 medium/large carrots
- 4 eggs hard boiled
- 6 small pickled gherkins finely chopped
- 2 apples
- 5 tablespoons thick yogurt
- 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the potatoes and carrots until tender (don't overcook them!). Let cool a little, peel, dice and place in a large bowl. Peel and finely chop the eggs, and add them to the vegetables.
- Peel the apples, cut into quarters, remove the cores and finely chop the apple. Add to the salad.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixture and stir carefully but thoroughly. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
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