A good potato salad is the perfect side dish for any summer barbecue or picnic and an excellent addition to a festive feast. However, because of the variety of ingredients used in potato salad, it can be challenging to season it and balance the flavors properly.
So, if your potato salad turned out too salty, don’t panic. There are a few simple things you can do to fix that.
1. Add More Potatoes
If there is too much salt in potato salad, your best bet would be to double the size of your salad by adding more potatoes, carrots, or other ingredients.
Naturally, adding more ingredients won’t eliminate the excess salt, but it will certainly dilute the salty taste and make it more palatable.
Just make sure not to add more salt while adding some extra ingredients—boil the potatoes without any seasoning, and be careful when adding some extra mayo or perhaps try some of the other mayo substitutes I will cover below.
If you have any leftover potatoes after fixing your salad, here are some easy and tasty ideas on what to do with leftover potatoes.
2. Squeeze In a Little Bit Of Lemon or Lime Juice
If adding more of the ingredients to your potato salad is not viable, consider a splash of vinegar, lemon, or lime juice. Their strong acidic flavor profile provides a powerful contrast to the saltiness of your potato salad, cutting through the salty taste and helping to balance the flavors.
Besides lemon or lime juice, there are plenty of vinegar dressings to consider—from apple cider vinegar to red wine vinegar and even balsamic vinegar.
This method of saltiness reduction only works when the salad does not have too much extra sodium.
Read Also: How To Boil Potatoes Without Them Falling Apart.
3. Mix In Some Full-Fat Heavy Cream
Incorporating fat won’t vanish the excess salt. However, it can provide an additional flavor layer that can disguise the saltiness and make it less noticeable, much like lemon juice.
It works because products that are high in fat content have a thick consistency and deep flavor that can coat the tongue and the taste buds, creating an additional layer of separation between the salt and your senses. Subsequently, you’re less prone to notice the saltiness.
Try incorporating some heavy cream with a minimum of 30% butterfat or plain high-fat greek yogurt or unsalted cream cheese. Although these are not the classic potato salad ingredients, you can still make it work, and the result will be pretty tasty.
4. Add Sour Cream
Adding sour cream is one of the most popular ways to fix oversalted potato salad. Sour cream is also an excellent substitute for mayonnaise as it has a similar creamy texture, yet less salt.
Also, sour cream has high fat content, therefore coating your tongue from the salt, and also acidic in nature, adding that extra tang that can help disguise the excess salt in your potato salad.
5. Add a Pinch of Sugar to Balance Out The Salt
Much like salty and sour, sweetness is yet another flavor element. Typically, enhancing one flavor element can help you mask the excess of another, so adding something sweet can counter an excessively salty potato salad.
Although you can, I would recommend not adding sugar directly. The better way is to mix a small amount of the sugar with some sour cream or lemon juice and then add it to the potato salad.
Or you can be a bit creative and incorporate a slightly sweet dressing such as honey mustard.
This fix will also only work if there is a slight salt imbalance. Make sure to add it little by little and in small portions since sweet flavor profiles can overwhelm a dish relatively fast.
6. Incorporate Fresh Herbs Or Leafy Greens
Chopped parsley, cilantro, or spinach can help with slightly salty potato salads. Not only do they add a bright green coloration that makes it look fresh and visually appealing, but they also diversify the flavor profile.
Most herbs or leafy greens have a slightly bitter taste that can work as a contrast to the salt in the potato salad.
Likewise, the additional texture adds a dimensional distraction that can help soften the impact of the salt.
7. Include More Eggs
Adding some boiled eggs is a great way to tone down that extra saltiness in your potato salad.
Eggs are considered a low-sodium food with a rich texture and a somewhat sulfur-like hint deep underneath, which can add some flavorful and textural deepness to your potato salad.
Eggs are often included in many potato salad recipes, but even if they were not included in your original recipe, don’t worry; they will work great, adding some extra protein and other nutrients and helping absorb that extra saltiness.
8. Underseason The Other Elements Of Your Meal
If, for some reason, you are reluctant or unable to modify your potato salad recipe with the tips mentioned above, then your next option should focus on the other side dishes you were planning to serve alongside.
To counter the excess salt in your potato salad, it would help if the other side dishes or main dish are lacking it.
Although not a perfect solution, the two will help balance out one another and reduce the perceived saltiness of the potato salad when eaten together.
Keep in mind this method is probably the least effective of the bunch, but you could still use it as a last resort.
9. Combine The Salt Fixes Above
There is no need to stick to just one of the abovementioned solutions. You will get the best results if you incorporate various different techniques above.
Instead of adding a lot of one of the ingredients, try adding a little of each in a manner that makes sense with the type of potato salad you are serving.
For example, you can add some extra potatoes, a few boiled eggs, and a bit of sour cream, and if still not perfect, chop up additional herbs and mix in a pinch of sugar if it suits your tastes.
This will not only fix the excess saltiness, but you may invent a new and flavorsome potato salad recipe by accident.
Read Also: 5 Creative Ways to Fix Salty Mashed Potatoes.
Too much salt in potato salad is not ideal, but it is fixable. Other foods, like meatloaf or shepherd’s pie, are more challenging to salvage if they are too salty. When seasoning food, it is always better to err on the side of caution and do it gradually rather than risk ruining a dish by adding too much.