4th of July Potato Salad

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Just in time for the 4th of July holiday weekend, we’ve revamped our favorite last-minute side dish for you: red, white and blue potato salad.

Potato salad and a hotdog on a blue plate
For as long as I (Michael) can remember, the 4th of July has been my favorite holiday. Held in the middle of summer, it’s one of the few holidays where shorts are appropriate attire. It’s a low stress, informal event that’s centered around BBQ-ing outdoors, parade watching, flag waving, and typically capped with an amazing fireworks display. What’s not to like?

It’s also about America. Actually, it’s mostly about America. But that’s a pretty big concept for people to wrap their heads around when they’re 3 hot dogs and 4 beers into to a long weekend.

Most of us have a highly localized concept of America. Whether it’s your neighborhood, your town, your state, or your region, all of us –  quite naturally – relate to the part of America we find ourselves spending the most time in. And even then, we can find plenty of disagree about.

But this is a grand country, much grander than we could have ever realized. Having been on the road for the past 11 months, we’ve had the opportunity to experience the country in a whole new way.

A car driving down the road that is lined with towering redwoods Michael and a friend sitting on Bernal Hill overlooking the city of San Francisco
Badlands national park in South Dakota The view from Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout

We’ve seen natural landscapes that feel completely foreign to us, visited towns we never heard of before, and spoke with people of all walks of life. We’ve chatted with millionaires and the homeless. We’ve talked extensively with Republicans, Democrats, and the completely marginalized. We’ve been hosted in very nice houses and we’ve slept in Wal-Mart parking lots. We’ve driven through the gentrified streets of San Francisco and the dirt roads of Native American reservations. We’ve be in the wild frontiers, rural farmlands, suburban sprawl, and city centers. Basically, we’ve seen a lot of America that we never knew existed.

At first, we were struck by how many different “Americans” there were, but we’re starting to realize just how similar we all are. On the surface, it all looks different, but after spending some time in an area, we quickly start to feel the connection. Everywhere we’ve traveled, we’ve met people, living their lives, in their own unique way. It’s hard to express in words, but there’s an immediate sense of commonality, that once felt, is impossible to deny.

While this quote is usually dragged out and put on display in regards to international travel, we can say it applies equally to domestic travel as well.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

The United States is such an amazingly diverse place, and we haven’t even seen the half of it yet! We’re looking forward to getting better acquainted with the country we call home. While we really enjoyed the 4th of July before, this year in particular we are going to have a whole new appreciation for it.

Anyways, now for some potato salad…

Michael is sitting at a camping table chopping potatoes

Colorful chopped potatoes in a blue bowl Michael crouched next to a campfire roasting a hotdog on a stick
Potato salad and a hotdog on a blue camping plate

4th of July Potato Salad

This red, white, and blue potato salad can be made at home before your camping trip. Pack in a tupperware and store in your cooler until you're ready to serve!
Author: Fresh Off the Grid
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
4 servings


  • 1 pound potatoes, Yukon gold, red, or new potatoes will work well. If you want to be super patriotic, and have a Trader Joe’s nearby, pick up a bag of their multi colored potato medley
  • 2 Tablespoons mayo
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon or stoneground mustard
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • Cut the potatoes into small ½ inch cubes (this will help them cook faster on your camp stove!). Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Be careful to not overcook, you want the potatoes to be tender but firm, and certainly not mushy!
  • Drain and let the potatoes cool. Once cool, add the mayo, mustard, and scallions and stir to coat the potatoes. Salt to taste.



Camp stove
Sharp knife
Cutting board
Measuring spoons
Serving spoon

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 145kcal
*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator
Side Dish

Potato salad and a hotdog on a blue camping plate

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  1. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not an American but have traveled in 44 US states. I fell in love with your nation through slow traveling, including couchsurfing. We’ve met so many diverse people and they were all welcoming and hospitable. We were evem fortunate enough to visit during the 4th of July on two seperate occasions and celebrate with the locals!

    Thank you, America for being such a great country and have an awesome birthday!

    1. Anne, you’ve seen more of our country than most Americans (ourselves included!) The level of diversity from one place to another is absolutely outstanding. We’re so glad to hear you had such a great experience and got to celebrate 4th of July with us! No matter where you are in the country, it’s a really special occasion.

  2. So wonderfully written. It’s amazing how vast the US is, yet most Americans stay tucked in their own little bubble. Happy 4th to you!

  3. The potato salad looks yummy.. One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes EVER! Great job… am enjoying following y’all

  4. Such a beautiful post. Reading your words really makes me think about how diverse this country is and appreciate the fact that it is so wonderfully varied. We’re all so lucky to live in this great big melting pot of a country! 🙂 Happy Fourth of July!! 😀

    1. It really is! Although we’d probably liken it more to stew. There are distinct pockets that really stand out and have their own unique character, but all the flavors melt together to create something that’s greater than the sum of its part. #foodblogtalk