When I make either potato or macaroni salad, I always have a problem the next day with the salad soaking up the mayo so it looks like there was no mayo added. I DO feel that I add a good amount of mayo.

I don't add a lot of ingredients, just a little salt and black pepper, chopped onion and celery and maybe a little parsley, never any eggs or mustard. I don't know what I'm doing wrong because I always let the potatoes cool before making the salad, and I always rinse my pasta in cold water after cooking and let drain for a while before mixing.

A deli near me makes potato salad and I'll have it for days and it will still look like it was just mixed with mayo; the potatoes in their salad (macaroni too) never absorb the mayo. Does anyone have a remedy to this problem?

  • 1
    Mayonaise is mostly oil. How much are your salads absorbing? Is there an oily slick at the bottom which would indicate the majo lost its emulsion?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    May 13, 2013 at 16:28

3 Answers 3


It is highly likely that they simply add enough mayonnaise and other ingredients of their sauce that even after the macaroni or potatoes absorb their maximum amount, there is enough left.


I have the same problem. I don't want that much mayo (and calories) to soak a salad SO what I do know is I make my salad (toss the warm potato chunks in a bit of vinegar to give them some punch. Place all my ingredients in a bowl, and let them refrigerate until I am almost ready to serve. I then toss the ingredients (green onion, radish, hard cooked egg, and potatoes with mayo, until it is how I like it. Serve. Leftovers, yes, will absorb most of the mayo, if it is too dry, when having leftovers, I add a bit of mayo and give it another toss. Works well, and to me does not affect the taste. I find left over potato salad gets that watery stuff in the bowl (which I don't like). So this was my solution.


The kind of potatoes has the most impact on fridge stability over time in the refrigerator one it's been cooked... A Russet or Yukon Gold will will be looser or spongier (for lack of a better word) and will soak up great immense amounts of sauce. Red potatoes tend to stay a little more waxy (again for lack of better word) and will coat with a sauce more than absorb

Pasta, once cooked, very readily gives up or absorbs moisture. It's likely that you're draining longer than necessary and it ends up drying out. Draining manually, then tossing with a little bit of oil, then cooling in the refrigerator with a lid will let it cool down, not stick together, and stay moist.

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