Shortcut Tater Salad & Weird Mamas


Don’t go telling Mama I said this but she has kind of a weird life. You see, Mama has a lot of drop ins. Now that isn’t weird in and of itself but when I tell you a little more about what those drop-ins demand here in a minute you’ll see more what I mean.

shortcut potato salad


To let you in on how my Mama works a little more, I want to tell you about a little family dinner we had at Mama’s house last night. For this little family dinner my mother served:
Fresh fried corn, homemade mac and cheese, cornbread, mashed potatoes, pintos, slaw, meatloaf, kraut and weenies, garden tomatoes, pickles, banana pudding, and fresh cantaloupe.

This was just for family so you can imagine what she’d make if she knew company was coming. But the reason I say she’s weird (other than the fact that a sane and normal person couldn’t have possibly produced me) is because of a conversation we had a few years back “Christy, I need you to come up with a quicker way for me to make potato salad. I’m always having overnight guests show up at the last minute needing potato salad with dinner”

~scratches head and thinks on this~

I have people show up a lot at my house too, but most of my friends know that I’m not real big on the SURPRISE visits (I need at least ten minutes to do a mad dash and hide the laundry pile), but I can’t say I’ve ever had a hoard of folks just show up at my door demanding a bed for the night and potato salad.

I’m not about to question Mama though. I just watch, learn, and know that someday she’ll pass the torch of hosting the we-need-potato-salad-now folks to me. With that in mind, I came up with a much quicker way to pull it together that I’m gonna bring you today. The time you save will surely help you move the laundry pile and load the dishwasher!

The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to use this recipe. ~grins~ I just love it when I can use those looped around sentences with y’all. What I mean is that you can use the shortcut and then just make your potato salad how you normally do. Now if you’d like to make it the way I do, I’m gonna show you how. This is a great potato salad that has been known to win over non-potato salad people as well.

How many times have I said Potato salad so far? ~stops to count~  Seven. Well now, I bet we can top that.

Potato Salad, Potato Salad, Potato Salad, Potato Salad! Now lets make it!

Shortcut Tater Salad

You’ll need: Southern Style Hash Browns*, Crisp cooked bacon, chopped boiled eggs, cheese, sweet pickle relish, mayo, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.

Now if you REALLY wanna make it in a hurry, leave out the bacon and boiled eggs or make them the day ahead of time. But this whole recipe is assuming you’re pressed for time so that kinda defeats the point. Bacon and boiled eggs are really good in it though!

I am of the firm opinion that there is no human condition, situation, or recipe which is not immediately improved with the addition of bacon.

Place cubed hash browns in large pot and cover with water.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Once potatoes reach a boil, boil them for two to three minutes.

Drain in a colander.

I always wanna spell colander wrong. Colander, Necessary, and Embarrassment are words that taunt me daily in my zeal to misspell them!

My mother in law gave me this colander a few years ago and I just love this thing.

Kitchen equipment makes me happy

Place cooked potatoes in a large mixing bowl.

These bowls are Pyrex (of course) and the pattern is called “New Dot”. I think they’re from the seventies but have not had enough coffee to motivate myself to go look it up to be sure so sixties, seventies…one of those is surely the answer!

Dump in your cheese over your warm potatoes

and give that a little stir.

Now add relish, mustard, and mayo

and give another little stir.

Shortcut Tater Salad

Add in bacon and eggs

Shortcut Tater Salad

and salt and pepper to taste

Shortcut Tater Salad

Give another little stir.

Shortcut Tater Salad

Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight before serving.

Shortcut Tater Salad
  • 32 ounce package frozen Southern style hash browns (the little cubed ones)
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
  • 5 strips bacon, cooked crispy and crumpled
  • 1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ⅓ cup sweet relish or diced sweet pickles
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Place cubed hash browns in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Once potatoes reach a boil, boil them for two to three minutes and then drain in a collander. Place in large mixing bowl and stir in cheese. Add mayo, mustard, and relish and stir again. Add in bacon, eggs, and salt and pepper. Stir. Refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.

Submitted by Kolene. Submit your quote here.


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  1. jerry cundiff says

    I like to save time by mixing everything together except the taters and storing it sealed tightly in the fridge. Lasts for days and its ready when I am. Imagine if you did this and combined your hash browns, super simple. Gonna give it a try.

  2. Granny says

    well i like the idea of the bacon and eggs and cheese with this, but if you have to refridgerate it a few hours or overnight you might as well use up your taters from the bin…oh i know …with the frozen ones you dont have to scrub and peel…i might try it since all the slicing and dicing is eliminated…but i am still going to put in my olives and celery! ~chuckles & giggles~

  3. Peggy says

    I’ve used the frozen hash browns to make potato salad for years. It does save time! You can just add whatever you like for your version of potato salad and no one will be the wiser! 😉

  4. Angel says

    I just tried this and I don’t know what I done wrong but I basically had mashed potatoes..They were already getting smushy before they even started to boil and they taste kinda gritty, these were alright but I don’t think I will make them again and its a bummer cause they were so fast.

  5. Pam Tennery says

    When I am wanting potato salad for one or two and I’m in a hurry, I microwave the potatoes. I cut up the veggies and get out the other ingredients while they are cooking. Very easy and fast. Of course the potatoes may not be as cubed as you would like. The salad usually turns out to be of the mashed variety.

  6. Sheila Miller says

    I wasn’t at all sure this would be good, but boy, was I wrong! (Really I knew if Christy was sharing this, then it would be great!) And it was….super! NO one wanted to believe how easy it was and how good when I shared it at the family gathering. Keep ’em coming!

  7. Vickie says

    Christy, I do battle the spelling challenge! for colander I use the word Drainer-Strainer! HAHA!! Love your recipes and the stories you share of your mom and your family. Thank you!

  8. Nan says

    When my husband was in seminary and we were very poor, we wanted potato salad but didn’t have money to buy a bag of potatos. I had a box of instant potatos so I made them up and mixed in all the stuff I would put in potato salad. We loved it.

    Also, you can substitute plain crackers for the potatos, just use a little more mayo.

  9. Tanya says

    Now that’s a true Southern Potato Salad! I thought I was the only one that would go as far as to put in cheese and bacon in my potatoe salad but the bag of frozen hash browns beat it all! lol…got to try it at least one time!!

    It’s that time of the year…thinking about some stewed NC Blue Crabs w/ potatoes and onions with the bacon it it!! omg! woooweeeee!!! hide the pot! lol !!!

  10. M Carol says

    I will have to try this, my quick version of potato salad is American ready made from the grocery add chopped onions, extra dash or two of relish, about 10 hard boiled eggs chopped, salt and pepper to taste, don’t add any extra mayo or Miracle Whip as it is already wet enough and this will double the amount when finished. Stick it in the fridge and it won’t take long for the flavors to blend and be ready to eat. My daughter took it to a church gathering and everyone asked her for the recipe.
    Just use your favorite store bought now I will try adding the bacon and cheese to it.

  11. Beth says

    I just wash my potatoes, and leave the skins on. At sea level it only takes me about 10 minutes to boil cut up potatoes when we lived in the rockies they took 30 minutes. Bacon and cheese sounds over the top, but celery and onion awesome. Each to their own, love you recipes, Christy and like you say, in your kitchen do it your own way! Hubby will never quit loving you for teaching me how to make a decent pork chop!,

  12. Dee says

    Never had cheese in potato salad, have to try it. Christy, speaking of bacon; have you tried the bacon scented candle yet? The one I saw is by yankee candle. I like bacon but the candle did not smell so good to me, but others may like it. Have a safe and wonderful trip. God bless you.

  13. Beulah says

    I don’t think I would want the cheese in it but I always thinly slice radishes and shred a carrot plus lots of chopped onion and chopped celery. Maybe I should all it a vegetable salad instead of potato salad. I like dill relish in mine but some of my family like sweet relish so I divide the batch before putting the relish in it.

  14. Donna says

    Try a little celery seed if you’re out of celery. I also add a little vinegar and sugar to the hot potatoes (sort of marinates )while I chop up the other stuff. I can’t wait to try this.

  15. Ann says

    Cristy, I am surprised your are still advertising for Wal mart after their poor choice to sever their business contract with Paula Deen. I didn’t watch the woman’s TV show because her southern drawl gets on my nerves, however, having said that, I have also said many times that I have no doubt she is the top chef on Food TV which I have silenced forever since their decision was made. I don’t know of anyone, at anytime, that has been judged on something they said thirty years ago.
    I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. I have always respected all people and always will. I actually have only heard the n word from a young man who worked with my father who happened to be black, and on some music recordings. I didn’t like the sound of the word, it just sounds dirty. It’s sort of like buck which is the only other word I hate. When people talk about bucks in terms of money, it makes my skin crawl. I think of the word in totally different terms, as an animal resisting ,or something jerking. Last night I went to the computer to look the meaning of the n word and while it wasn’t nice, I couldn’t imagine it could cause such a furor. I also heard whiles called a cracker the other day, but was not offended by that either. I just consider the source of any comment and move on. There are some people I like better than others, but it is because of their likes and dislikes. I think we are all pretty much the same. I am drawn to anyone who loves to cook since that has been a lifelong passion of mine. The same goes for music. I love and appreciate all kinds of music with few exceptions and enjoy having a dialogue with those who happen to have the same interest.
    I have pledged personally to never spend a penny with any company who I fell has used faulty logic in persecuting Paula Deen. I have returned two very expensive gifts I purchased from Wal Mart and Target, and they will never see one cent of my money again. I will also never buy another book published by Randon House or their associates. I have never like Smithfield products or Home Depot so that will not be a problem.
    My point is, that in my own small way, I will support Paula Deen by avoiding any Company that has judged her (in my opinion) terribly unfairly. I thought the statute of limitations ran out after eight years on anything other than murder. I certainly would not want to be judged on anything thirty years ago because life is a learning experience and I’m sure there would be room for criticism. I spend every day trying to know more, and be a better person than the day before.
    The only way I know to suppost Paula is to avoid those who have judged her unfairly. If I believe in a cause, I will go out of my way to defend a position, and I intend to exercise that right in this situation.

  16. Debbie says

    Southern style hash browns…. I LOVE that! My husband’s favorite is potato salad, but it often gets replaced with macaroni salad because of all the scrubbing, peeling, chopping involved… Is he ever gonna be happy when I make this!! Thank you Christy! Thanks to your mama for asking for a short-cut… LOVE it!!

  17. Tiffany H says

    If you are having trouble with your potatoes turning to mush, add just a tiny splash of vinegar to the water as you cook them. Seals the outside of each potato cube , but they are tender and fluffy inside.

    • Betty819 says

      I never heard of adding cheese to potato salad but you’ve got my taste buds yearning for some now. I prefer using dill relish in my potato salad but have also used sweet relish. I love all the helpful tips people submit. I use onion, celery and only Hellman’s original mayo in mine

  18. MARSHA G says

    Christy, I have made a quick potato salad by using a couple of cans of diced potatoes. Pretty cost effective as they are usually on 50 cents a can. after it all marinates it is yummy. I have had people brag on it before and I think if you only knew what I used.

  19. Karen Kronmiller says

    Wow Christy what an idea. I was trying to think what to have besides mac and cheese with hamburgers tonight and I think this will just fit the bill. I’m sure this will be as big a hit as the shortcut butter rolls were the other night. I think for the bacon I’ll try the pre-cooked bacon that Aldi has (on the shelf not in a refer). You can fix it in the microwave in just a couple of minutes. Thank you for all the inspiring thoughts along with the great recipes.

  20. Shannon says

    I’ve NEVER, EVER thought to put bacon in potato salad! I’m going home and making some tonight!
    Oh, and I would grate a little onion into mine. I like the flavor of onion, but I don’t like to bite into a piece, so I grate a couple tablespoons into it. YUMMY!

  21. Janel says

    My husband and I were talking about Potato Salad just this morning while on the way to the grocery store, and even though I have all the ingredients to make it as I have made it for the last 58 years, I just have to try this recipe, Christy. I just happen to have a package of hash browns in the freezer as well as all the other ingredients your recipe calls for so our Potato Salad we will have tomorrow will be your shortcut version. Who knows, it just might become our new favorite, and we do love Potato Salad. Also, I’ve never tried the canned potatoes so one of these times I will have to try those, too. Thanks for all the times you have added interesting ideas and delicious recipes to our lives!

  22. Cheryl Bone says

    I use Kroger Southern Hash Browns for many recipes to keep from peeling and dicing. Potato Soup, Mashed Potatoes, Vegetable Soup, Au Gratin Potatoes and on and on. If the potatoes turn mushy, turn it into hot mashed potatoes. There is an old Southern Living recipe that does that. I never use the cheese but have to have Vidalia onion in mine. Love recipes that use inexpensive substitutes and always stock up when Kroger runs them for $1 a bag. I don’t like WalMart potatoes because they are very inconsistent in quality where Kroger is more like OreIda, just don’t cost as much.

  23. Laura F says

    I can’t wait to try this. I always get so fuzzed up about trying to make it like my Mama’s thatI end up not fixing it at all. I have to try this. I’ve got it bookmarked for sure!

  24. Charlie says

    My family really enjoyed this. I did cut back on the cheese using a 1/2 cup. You have to be really careful when folding everything in as the small cubed potatoes will mash easily.

  25. Linde says

    This was pretty good. I left out the cheese, personal preference. My recommendation is that you watch the time carefully on boiling the potatoes. I turned my back on it and got distracted ended up with mashed potato salad!! My fault, not Christy’s!! I still liked the flavor and it will be a go-to quicky side dish. Thanks, Sweetie, for another keeper!

  26. Amanda M says

    I just made this and it turned out great! Adding a splash of vinegar to the water for the potatoes while cooking as one commenter mentioned helped keep them from becoming mushy and I rinsed them with cold water in the strainer. Will be keeping a couple of bags of hashbrowns in the freezer from now on!! :)

  27. Evelyn Warren says

    Christy, do you have potato salad recipe that would be close to the recipe of Ole Hickory BBQ of New Market, AL. Potato Salad is something I have always had problems making. Or, have you ever tasted of Ole Hickory BBQ’s Potato Salad? Just thought I would check as you are the “Best Cook” I have ever known.
    Many Thanks, Evelyn Warren

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