The Best Bacon Potato Salad EVER

Learn how to make Chef Lee Ann Whippen's homemade potato salad.

Whether you’re at a picnic, watching a game, or (especially) digging into some meaty barbecue, potato salad is a staple.

Despite how common the side dish is, it can be hard to find really good potato salad – the kind that makes you want to put heaping spoonfuls on your plate over, and over, and over.

Too often, potato salad is bland, or it’s too mayo-y, with no character or crunch or oomph. Sometimes there’s too much mustard and you feel like you’ve squirted a bottle of French’s directly into your gullet.

When you find a good potato salad – a really good potato salad – it’s like the side dish heavens have opened up and angels are singing and all is right with the world.

Hallelujah! BBQ Pitmaster Lee Ann Whippen makes what may just be the best potato salad EVER.


Homemade Bacon Potato Salad
Homemade Bacon Potato Salad

It’s so good she’s won awards for it. It’s got a bit of bite, it’s flavorful, and it’s got bacon.


Bacon getting ready to go into the oven
Easiest way to make crispy bacon: put it on top of lightly crumpled aluminum foil and bake in the oven

It’s almost a bad thing it’s so good because you just might end up eating the whole bowl. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, other than you’ll make people angry if you don’t share. This is perfect dish to take to Millennium Park for a concert.

Best Bacon Potato Salad Ever
Best Bacon Potato Salad Ever

How good is this bacon potato salad? A man who doesn’t care for the side dish at all will eat it three days in a row. A vegetarian said “I DON’T CARE THAT THERE’S BACON” and served herself a heaping bowl full.

It’s that good.

It’s also easy. The hardest part is peeling the potatoes and the hard-boiled eggs.

And not eating all the bacon.

Speaking of bacon and potatoes, check out how to make easy baked potato skins.

Lee Ann Whippen’s potato salad had been served at Chicago Q, but since it’s closed, the best way to get this delicious dish is to make it yourself!

Homemade Bacon Potato Salad

Homemade Bacon Potato Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Adapted with permission from a recipe by Chef Lee Ann Whippen.


  • 5 lbs russet potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • Dash cayenne
  • Dash paprika


  1. Peel your potatoes and cut them so they’re bite size.
  2. Put the potatoes in a large pot, sprinkle with kosher salt, and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and let potatoes cook until they’re fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. While your potatoes are cooking, line a baking sheet with crumpled aluminum foil. Place the bacon strips on the foil and put the pan in a cold oven. Turn the temperature to 425 degrees.
  4. Once the oven reaches 425 degrees, check on the bacon. In some ovens it may be nearly done; in others you may need a few more. Either way this is a low-maintenance way to cook bacon and is much less messy than preparing it on the stove!
  5. Place the eggs in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling cover the pan and remove it from the hot burner. Let the eggs cook in the hot water for five minutes.
  6. After five minutes, put the eggs in an ice bath and peel the shells when the eggs are cool to the touch.
  7. Drain the potatoes and let them cool in the refrigerator. You can put the peeled eggs in the bowl with them so they continue to cool.
  8. While those are chilling, chop up the now-cooked bacon (which you’ve drained on paper towels, of course), dice the onions and peppers, and mix them with the remaining ingredients except for the paprika.
  9. Dice the boiled eggs and combine them with the potatoes and the mayo mixture.
  10. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.


Lee Ann Whippen's recipe called for green pepper, but I'm not a fan so I've used red, orange, or a lovely Aloha Pepper.

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Get the recipe for this side dish staple, bacon potato salad
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