Hot Potato Salad

Thought potato salad was just a chilled dish for outdoor picnics and summertime family reunions? We'd like to introduce you to Hot Potato Salad.Our Test Kitchen Director Robby Melvin shared this recipe from his grandmother Jackie Freeman's personal collection. In our opinion, it's a heavenly marriage of the best parts of a classic potato salad and creamy, cheesy gratin. One bite and you'll understand why this unexpected casserole is a new favorite on holiday tables throughout the South. Before you know it, this casserole might steal the show from those homemade mashed potatoes Cousin Betsy brings year after year. Who needs gravy when you can have a plate full of potato salad with bacon, cheese, and salty, briny olives? For this hot potato salad recipe, just one step will require a little planning ahead. Be sure to set the cheese in the freezer for at least 45 minutes before you begin to grate. This will ensure that the cheese grates easily and that the casserole will have the best possible texture after baking.  

Hot Potato Salad
Hot Potato Salad. Photo: Helen Norman; Styling: Carrie Purcell
Total Time:
2 hrs
6 to 8 servings


  • 1 pound processed cheese (such as Velveeta)

  • 8 baking potatoes (about 4 lb.)

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

  • 1 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives

  • Vegetable cooking spray

  • 6 bacon slices, cut into 2-inch pieces


  1. Freeze cheese 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling water to cover 25 to 30 minutes or until tender; drain and cool completely.

  2. Peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Grate frozen cheese, using large holes of a box grater.

  3. Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk together mayonnaise and half-and-half in a large bowl. Stir in onion, olives, potatoes, and cheese until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with bacon pieces.

  4. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil 5 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Let stand 5 minutes.

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