Instant Potato Salad with Lemon Mayo

It's hard to believe that the potatoes for this Instant Potato Salad cook in just one minute, but that's all it takes for baby potatoes in a pressure cooker. You'll barely have time to mix the dressing together!

Jump to Recipe (or scroll for photos and riveting information...)
Advertisement - Continue Below
Instant Potato Salad with Lemon Mayo in a black bowl on a wooden table with blue and green napkins.

Making Potato Salad in a Pressure Cooker

Do you need a pressure cooker to make potato salad? No. But if you want to save your kitchen from the steam of a pot of boiling water, making Instant Potato Salad is the way to go! It cuts your cooking time down immensely and this recipe with lemon mayonnaise and a few secret ingredients is very easy to prepare at a moments’ notice.

Ingredients on a cutting board - mayonnaise, lemon, capers, red onion, olive oil, celery and red potatoes.

Best Potatoes for Potato Salad

The best potatoes for potato salad are low starch potatoes that hold their shape when cooked, like red, white, purple or fingerling potatoes. I think baby potatoes are not only adorable, but perfect for this potato salad because you can leave really small potatoes whole giving this salad an interesting look. This article has lots of great information on the different types of potatoes and how they should be used.

Red baby potatoes in an Instant Pot on a tiled counter.

How Long to Cook Potatoes in a Pressure Cooker

The cooking time for potatoes in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot® depends entirely on the size of your potatoes. The potatoes above were about 1-inch in diameter and took just one minute in the cooker. If your potatoes, or potato chunks are bigger than 1-inch, give it 2 minutes, but either way make sure you do a quick-release of pressure so they don’t overcook. You’ll also notice that only calls for 1½ cups of water, which won’t cover 2 pounds of potatoes, but does give you enough water to steam the potatoes perfectly.

A small bowl of diced red onion in water on a tiled counter.

Why Soak Red Onion?

I love all members of the onion family (onions, leeks, garlic), but I really don’t like it when their flavor lingers long past the meal I’m eating. To avoid this, I soak chopped onion in cold water whenever I’m using the onion raw. This removes some of the harsh bite that can accompany the onion. It just takes about 20 minutes. Drain the onion and dry lightly with a paper towel before adding it to the salad. Of course, if you love onion, you don’t have to soak it at all.

Looking down at a bowl of baby red potatoes, diced onion, celery, capers, dill and dressing.

Capers, Lemon and Dill

Besides the red onion, the other ingredients in this potato salad are dill, capers and lemon. The lemon is added to the mayonnaise and makes a nice bright dressing. The capers also add an acidic note to the salad but remember to rinse them before adding them to the other ingredients – that will take away some of their briny flavor. If you love capers, feel free to give them a rough chop before adding them – that will let more of their flavor shine.

Hands stirring potato salad together.

Leftover Potato Salad

Here’s the good news… this salad is even better the next day! That makes it not only a delicious leftover, but also a perfect make-ahead salad. If you’re making a bunch of salads to serve at one time, it’s always nice to have one that you can make in advance. This would be nice with an Avocado Tomato Salad or a Beet and Orange Salad to name a few. It’s also the perfect accompaniment to an Air Fried Chicken Sandwich or next to a Grilled Ribeye

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

Cooking School
Pressure Cooking Charts

Complete Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot®) Cooking Chart with cooking times, amount of liquid needed, and pressure release method to use...View Technique

Pressure Cooking 101

An introduction into pressure cooking so that you can feel comfortable and confident making the recipes you find on my...View Technique

General Tips for Pressure Cooking

It is important to understand your Pressure Cooker to use it properly. Use the items below as guidance to continue...View Technique

7-Day Menu Planner: Pressure Cooker

If you love your Instant Pot® or other branded pressure cooker, this is your week! All of the meals listed...View Technique

Advertisement - Continue Below

Instant Potato Salad with Lemon Mayo

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 2 m
  • Total Time: 17 m
  • Servings:


  • 3 pounds baby red potatoes
  • cups water
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice and zest from 1 lemons
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons capers rinsed
  • ½ cup red onion minced
  • 3 ribs celery diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


  1. Prepare the potatoes by leaving small potatoes whole (about 1-inch in diameter) or cutting larger potatoes in half. Place the potatoes and water in the pressure cooker and lock the lid in place.
  2. Pressure-cook on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on how big they are. Release pressure using the QUICK-RELEASE method and carefully remove the lid.
  3. Drain and rinse the potatoes with cold water to stop the cooking process and then spread the potatoes out on a sheet pan lined with paper towels to dry and cool completely.
  4. Combine the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt in a small bowl and season with freshly ground black pepper.
  5. To make the red onion less pungent, soak the diced onion in cold water for 5 minutes and then drain.
  6. Once the potatoes have cooled, place them in a large bowl. Toss in the capers, red onion and celery. Add the lemon mayo and fresh chopped dill and stir to coat the potatoes with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
  7. Garnish the salad with fresh dill sprigs and lemon slices.
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below

Comments (7)Post a Reply

  1. 3 stars
    Way tooooo lemony for me… I’m going to try cutting it in half for my taste and then I bet it will be fantastic…..

  2. 5 stars
    I haven’t made this potato salad though it looks delicious. The recipe sounded like it called for a lot of lemon to me too. In cases like this – when it looks like a recipe calls for a lot of lemon or some other ingredient, I always add less than the called for amount initially and taste. If I need to add more I do; if I don’t I don’t. Once you’ve got too much of an ingredient in a recipe it’s kind of hard to “fix” it.

    1. The recipe calls for about 1/4 cup of lemon juice in the lemon mayo. You can definitely tailor any recipe to fit your own tastes. Like you mentioned, just add the lemon juice and lemon zest gradually to your liking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *