Grilled Potato Salad Recipe

This potato salad recipe is what happens when potato salad meets the grill. Grilled potato wedges are tossed with a vinaigrette finished with barely a hint of toasted sesame oil.

Grilled Potato Salad

Not to be a contrarian, but the standard deli-issued potato salad isn't really my thing. Potatoes as the center-point of a salad? Sounds great, I like the general concept. But all the mayo and mush you get with many American potato salads I can do without. I thought a grilled potato salad might be a fun alternative. My game plan: throw as many of the salad ingredient as possible on the grill, whip up a simple vinaigrette, toss and enjoy.

Potato Salad Recipe

The first decision I had to make was how to cut the potatoes - slices vs. wedges battled it out in my brain. Coin-shaped slices would cook more quickly. Wedges, well who doesn't love a potato wedge? And I knew they'd hold up better. I went the wedge route. Aside from the dressing and lettuce, I arranged everything else on a medium-hot grill - pattypan squash, green onions, halved lemons, and the potato wedges.

Potato Salad Recipe

I tossed the potato salad components with a rice vinegar finished with barely a hint of toasted sesame oil this time around, but I couldn't help but think about all the different ways you could approach this. For those of you who enjoy the hedgehog potatoes (from SNC) as much as I do - I'm itching to try a creamy version where I'd toss these potato with the same yogurt mint dipping sauce I use in that recipe. Or, I bet a harissa vinaigrette would lend nice color and flavor and go well with the grilled potatoes. Or, or, or - I think its tough to go wrong here...If you have a unique twist on potato salad, give it a shout in the comments.

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Grilled Potato Salad Recipe

When I went to grill the potatoes and squash I set each piece on the grill, I suspect you could also use one of those grill baskets with success as well. I also though about finishing this version with chopped jalapeno, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds - you can make it as simple or embellished as you like, depending on your individual tastes. I used a red-leafed lettuce here.

10 medium-sized new potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
3-4 small yellow summer pattypan squash, cut in half
1 bunch of green onions or spring onions
a big splash of olive oil
2 lemons, cut in half

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
clove of garlic, mashed and chopped
a couple drops of toasted sesame oil

1/2 a head of lettuce, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces

Toss the potato wedges, squash, and green onions with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place them on a medium-hot grill. Place the lemons on the grill as well, cut side down. Grill for 10-20 minutes or until golden and cooked through - moving around the grill if needed and flipping to get color on all sides. The squash will likely cook faster than the potatoes, remove pieces and place on a platter when they are done grilling.

While everything is grilling, whisk together the rice vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sesame oil, and a couple pinches of salt. When the onions come off the grill, let them cool for a couple minutes and then cut into 1/2-inch segments. Set aside.

Toss the lettuce with a splash of the dressing, and turn it out onto a large platter. Now toss the vegetables (but not the lemons) with a big splash of the dressing and arrange it on top of the lettuce sprinkled with the reserved grilled green onion segments. Garnish with the lemon (which I like to squeeze over my salad just before eating for an added layer of extra mellow tang that goes great with the potatoes.

Serves 6 (or so) as a side.

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your recipe reads really well – I can picture making this in my head!


Looks great, i’m sure i will try this out.. i hope it tastes good just like it looks good 🙂
Mary from – Cooking Recipe Videos


i roast red and yellow new potatoes in a 400 F oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. on the same baking sheet i roast whole red peppers, quarterd red onions, whole heads of garlic, and anything else that sounds good.
squish out the roasted garlic, chop up the red peppers, throw the whole lot in a large bowl, with all the drippings (v. important)
toss with pesto.
add a lot of feta. use some of the feta brine if the whole thing is a little too sticky.
i’ve made this a bunch of times, always goes down well. people love it and it keeps like a dream. plus it’s not ladened with the traditional cream and the potatoes get a great crispy outside!


This potato salad looks delicious. I think that local heirloom potatoes, including purple potatoes would add a lot of color to the dish. Yum.

Sophia from Kitchen Caravan

I’d add a sweet Italian sausage.


this looks simply delicious. yummy


You posted the Yeast-Raised Cornbread a while ago and wondered about freezing the dough to bake later. I wanted to let you know that I tried that and wasn’t happy with the result. The muffins made from the defrosted dough were very dense.
Thanks for all the great ideas on your site!


Grilled potatoes is a great idea, especially for summer. I am used to homemade potato salad with scallions, yellow tomatoes, red onions and homemade mayonnaise, but I could only imagine how much better it would be with grilled potatoes!

Chocolate Shavings

This is hilarious as I just bought a container of potato salad from whole foods and every time I look at it in the fridge I think I should send someone else food shopping while I’m pregnant. No one else in my house will touch the stuff.
My favorite potato salad is cubed and boiled with cubes of feta, sliced scalions and chickpeas in a vinagrette. I think it would be amazing with grilled potatoes though. I’m going to try that. Thanks for the suggestion!


keep the veggie grill recipes coming! just got a grill and i’m menu planning for the next month of weekend parties 🙂


I just made a version of this, but didn’t have any lemons in the house, so…
Replaced the lemons with limes, and instead of rice vinegar and sesame oil in the dressing, I used half as much red wine vinegar, some fresh lime juice (had lots of limes for some reason, and no tequila!) and half a can of chipotles in adobo, all blended in the processor. Turned out great.


I love this recipe! All the mayo and eggs are a total buzzkill for me with regular potato salad.


I’m with you on leaving out the mayo! Just wrote a post with my newest potato salad (although it has a little bacon)…now if only I had an outside grill


Wow – that is beautiful! I love the addition of patty pan squash! I only make potato salad the French way, with a vinagrette and loads of arugula and purple onions, and fresh basil…….but this is stupendous!


The salad looks lovely and the mix of veggies sounds heavenly. I can’t wait to try it!


HURRAH! as some who cannot tolerate
eggs or mayo in any form?


I agree, wedges are a winner. I just stumbled upon a pattypan squash a few days ago! It tastes a lot like regular yellow squash but maybe a touch sweeter. We grilled it with some garlic salt, but it sounds like a great addition to your version of potato salad. I like this recipe, it seems a lot more fresh sounding that a heaping glop of white stuff.


I am open to all types of potaote salad. As well as, I do agree too much mayo can ruin a great salad. I will not part with thr traditional version, yet I will be blessed with these new versions. P.S., I have tried oven roasting boiled potatoes then infusing them will hot with the juice of lemon, sea salt, cracked pepper with any fresh herbs a Parmesan cheese. (It never lasted past the night). To all fellow cooks … always think outside the box and discover something new.


I love grilling potatoes for potato salad! The flavors and the texture are to die for! I also add carmelized onions sometmes and crumbled bacon. Your picture makes me want to make some tonight!


I tried this – and due to unavailability of the pattypan squash, I used a couple small summer squash sliced. I only had a vidalia onion at home so I used that too. It was awesome. I’ll NEVER make ‘mayo’ salad again -this is my new standard.


All of your food looks incredible! I love the idea of a potato salad without the mayo (ew!). I made your espresso chip cookies and I’m in love. They are incredible!. Keep up the amazing work so I have more recipes to try to copy 😉


I adore potato salad – but only the kind made without mayo. I will definitely be trying this very soon! I love the idea of making as many different dishes as possible on the grill.


This looks delicious- just wish I could have a grill here in NYC.
My favorite nongrilled version is potatoes tossed with a grainy mustard-shallot vinaigrette, bits of smoked mackerel, sliced cucumbers and a ton of dill, for a Scandinavian take on the classic. Everyone I’ve served it to adores it, and it’s just so easy to make.


Thank you for the inspiring recipe! I made my own version which probably violates the spirit of the original but was it ever tasty! I used a mayo based dressing (but it def was not swimming in it!) and added radishes and crumbled bacon (so my version isn’t vegetarian). It was fabulous, the husband loved it too 🙂


Thank you for the inspiring recipe! I made my own version which probably violates the spirit of the original but was it ever tasty! I used a mayo based dressing (but it def was not swimming in it!) and added radishes and crumbled bacon (so my version isn’t vegetarian). It was fabulous, the husband loved it too 🙂


So many great ideas! Aaron, the Stones in the Woods idea – that is utterly charming, really clever. And the North Indian version Kalyani, with fenugreek and dill – yum. I love hearing your individual takes on this classic. It’s one of those favorites where you’re likely to find as many versions and opinions as there are cooks. -h


this is the best dish you have made in a long time. i want to reach into my screen and eat one of those potatoes.


This looks great! . . . When making traditional potato salad, I use 2/3 plain yogurt and 1/3 mayo for the dressing. To the yogurt/mayo mix I add a big splash of vinegar: white wine, rice, cider, or plain. A big squeeze of yellow mustard also goes in. This tastes lighter than a pure mayo dressing and the yogurt adds a nice tangy taste to the salad. The salad itself has potatotes, onions, hard-boiled eggs, celery, and radishes if I have them.


Another problem with mayo-based potato salads is that they are dangerous on picnics if not refrigerated. I love the Middle Eastern version, where the cut up boiled potatoes are doused in plenty of olive oil while still warm, then mixed with lemon juice, garlic and/or onion and lots and lots of chopped parsley. Somewhat similar to the Croatian version, and quite safe to take on picnics, even without refrigeration.


This is beautiful! Keep the beautiful recipes coming. I want my friend to make it for me… she is my test kitchen.
Jill in Florida

Jill in Florida

Heidi, I mostly love your recipes but this one just doesn’t appeal.Lettuce with hot veg?? and what is one meant to do with a grilled half lemon? I too wouldn’t eat bought potato salad with commercial mayonnaise but a well prepared one with fresh home made mayonnaise takes a lot of beating. Try this; Boil some Agria potatoes until cooked, drain and cool a little. Slice carefully,[ they will crumble a bit] and layer with finely chopped red onion and not too thick mayonnaise. Finish with chopped parsley and hard boiled egg quarters. Best served while still a bit warm. I know most recipes recommend using waxy potatoes but the Agrias have good flavour and the crumbly texture is lighter.
HS: Hi Annie – you know, by the time I got around to tossing all the grilled potatoes/veggies they had cooled significantly. Still a bit warm, but not hot. Not enough heat coming off them to wilt the lettuce (i’ll make note)… Actually – a version with some grilled baby romaine heads might be fun too – I actually like grilled lettuce. Anyway, thanks for the comment and your suggestions as well.


2.5 lbs of red potatoes, boiled, cubed; do not remove skins
1 cup yellow, red, and green peppers cubed
4 green onions, chopped into 1/2 inch sections
1 cup kidney beans cooked (if using canned, rinse well)
2 cucumbers quartered and sliced
6 radishes, sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
whisk dressing ingredients well
Toss dressing with the vegetables. Allow potatoes and dressing to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
sprinkle with chopped mint, basil and dill.
sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
serve well chilled

another salad, with walnuts, cucumbers etc

i nominate lightly boiled potatoes (we use little purple peruvians from the farmers market) tossed with sauteed greens like chard or kale, some favas or asparagus, and a little dill-dijon viniagrette. served warm, it’s a great one-dish dinner.


Oh, Heidi, thanks so much for giving voice to my concerns about potato salad as well! Actually, this is something I was thinking about recently since my in-laws like potato salad, but I am turned off by the mayo and brick of soggy potatoes. I was imagining a potato salad coming soon and how I was going to get out of eating it…I do that a lot at their house, so it gets tough.
I like the idea of grilling, but don’t know that I’m sold on the lettuce-potato-salad idea. If I were, I think I’d make a more substantial dressing to complement the greens; maybe something creamy. It is interesting, though. I was going to insert suggestions here, but they’d all be non-vegetarian. Sorry. Makes it a little tricky to have a true potato salad! No wonder you went the lettuce route.
I’d like to see a creamy version of the hedgehog potatoes, too. I am thinking of a bleu cheese or gorgonzola dressing.

Sprouted in the Kitchen

This is delicious and I often make light dressings such as this. The grilling offers a unique and wonderful taste. I really enjoy your recipes, and your down to earth approach. Keep them coming. Thanks..


Such great ideas here. I can’t stand mayo, so our favorite potato salad is chopped red onion and celerey hearts (using as many of the leaves as we can), the zest and juice of a lemon, tiny potatoes we slice in half and boil (we had purple last week that made this colorful and wonderful), red wine vinegar, olive oil and capers. Salt to taste, or use some of the brine from the capers. I can’t wait to try grilling some potatoes for a new twist!


I haven’t yet met a potato dish I didn’t like. That would include the mayonnaise-smothered potato salad that my mother made to perfection. However, I’m open. Here is a new kind of potato salad that I cribbed from some more complicated version in the NYT some years ago. It starts much like Heidi’s version. Scrub and cut into wedges some nice new potatoes. Peel and cut an equal amount of sweet potatoes. Toss with olive oil and salt & pepper. Grill. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette and sliced green onions. Enjoy it warm.


I use some sort of pretty potatoe. yukon gold or pruivian purple potatoes. I leave the skins on. Use Chipolte salad dressing or ranch instead of plain old mayo and then use chipolte relish or mango chutney. I also toss in some grated carrot for a little more crunch .


I don’t get the trend for grilling vegetables. The smoke from the grill overpowers the taste of the vegetables; everything tastes of smoke.
A well-made “American” potato salad is a wonderful thing, far better than some smoke-tasting undercooked grilled vegetable mixture.


While the grilled potato salad looks beautiful, I’d also like to share my favorite version of a potato salad, adapted from Cooking Light Magazine:
cut peeled sweet potatoes into large cubes, boil until al dente. quarter some red-skinned potatoes, also boil until al dente. drain and toss potatoes together with a few tablespoons of white vinegar and let cool to room temperature.
toss cooled potatoes with creme fraiche, chopped chives, salt & pepper. DELICIOUS!!!!!


How inventive and unique! This looks seriously delicious, and perfect for our July 4 BBQ this weekend.
I usually make my own creamy salad dressings using a combination of buttermilk + mayo + seasonings, which I bet would be great on this — perhaps I’ll even try a spicy/creamy dressing (love the harissa idea)!

Jen (Modern Beet)

Guess I’m the only one who likes *homemade* traditional potato salad. Deli potato salads are pretty much awful. I don’t like ‘tangy’ potato salads with the mustard/vinegar.
But a good mayo potato salad should be light on mayo…just enough to hold it together…
Try this:
hard-boiled eggs
radish, sliced thinly
bit o’ onion
bacon, chopped into bits
salt & pepper to taste
just enough mayo to keep it together
That’s all you need for a good potato salad. I hate to hear it getting a bad rep!!


Wow, that looks so much better than the poor soggy potatoes swimming in a sea of lumpy mayo that one so often encounters at picnics. I’d love to try grilled potatoes as a variation on my favorite vinegar-based German potato salad!

Rachel B

How funny! I just made something so similar last week. We grilled some lovely, baby fingerling potatoes (I simply halved them lengthwise), shallots (halved lengthwise, depending on the size) and summer squash (yellow crookneck, zucchini, and pattypan cut into slices on a diagonal). I tossed the lot, pre-grill, with some fresh lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and fresh marjoram. Post grill, I just adjusted seasoning to taste. It was superb!
I’m with you on classic, American, picnic, potato salad. Too heavy.
Can’t wait to try your take on this sort of alternative potato salad!
Thanks, as always, Heidi!
HS: Sounds like we’re on the same wavelength Nikki, I just wish we were sharing a grill 🙂 Miss you tons. xo -h


Oh, I love it. And it’s gluten-free by default! Yippee! Thanks for the idea.


This looks beautiful. I have always hated the potato salads you can get from the deli as well. They just don’t have enough flavor for one
. But I have to admit, that when I worked at a small cafe, the owner taught me how to make a “real” potato salad (with a majo dressing). It was 100 times better and full of flavor. I could eat her version anytime. 🙂
This one looks like a winner too.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Here’s another variation – this is actually my take on a traditional North indian way with the tiny marble-sized new potatoes we get in early spring. Boil them in their jackets in salted water, then drain and toss them in hot oil (mustard oil adds a special bite) tempered with a red chili pepper, a couple of cloves of garlic. Let the potatoes brown a bit and then toss in lots of finely chopped fenugreek and dill leaves. Get it off the stove and into a serving dish before the leaves lose their fresh colour. You might want to add a pinch of sugar to counter the bitterness of the fenugreek leaves. Try it – it’s great.


you know i never thought of doing it grill style, but i made it this smorning as a tester for the 4th of july weekend, my aunt loves the creamy version with mayo.. but she’ll only use merical whip. i forced her to try this recipe and she loved it, although instead of the vinaigrette, i simply used olive oil and herbs. and on a major plus side.. you toke more then half the calories out of the dish!!! thank you for the creative dish!


Although this looks delicious, I’m not ready to give up altogether on mayo-based potato salads. I’ve made two that I adore – one with homemade mayo and tarragon fresh from my garden with new potatoes, the other with left over baked potatoes and cilantro – we were on a boating trip and had to eat what we had ad this hit the spot with everyone!

Michele Morris

Inspired. This is something my fiance’ would absolutely love.


I totally agree about the mayo-y potato salad. It’s much too heavy and hides all the potato flavor! I’ve been playing around with potato salads recently too. I made something similar but with roasted potatoes. I used a lemony vinaigrette, but I think the rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil sounds scrumptious. That’ll be what I use the next time 🙂


What is this..Let’s all hate traditional potato salad week?
not me..I love potato salad. We have a tiny little potato here in the UK called Jersey Royals, and they make the most sublime salad with spring onions and a good tasty Mayo, livened up with a taste of french mustard.
Must admit this one looks good though.

Jenny Mac

I Love this – My Hubby is very anti mayo so this is a great new version…Plus anything on the grill is a winner

Cathy C

Ah, grilling season is upon us! I was playing around with a salad much like this over the weekend — I actually threw some herbs onto the grill too (for the record, I don’t recommend that, other than garlic). Ours is a smoker/grill (one side is for smoking, the other for cooking). I did a version of the salad in each style, but the smoke was way too overwhelming. The grilled turned out really well though.

Becky And The Beanstock

I have a similar version I like to call “stones in the woods:” whole, boiled new potatoes resting on a bed of greens.

Aaron Kagan

My mother makes a gorgeous warm potato salad with unpeeled red new potatoes, crispy bacon, grilled green onion (scallions), and a garlicky homemade caesar dressing. Not good for vegetarians or vegans, but mighty delicious. There’s something about it being warm….


What a wonderful idea. I thought I would have to swear off potato salad forever when I started eating healthy. I made this and I love it even more than my mothers mayonnaise smothered version. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Keep ’em coming.
If you are interested in another great substitution, try swapping cauliflower for mashed potatoes


what a gorgeous salad! 😀
i’m croatian, and our potato salads are really simple: potatoes, red onion, a simple vinaigrette of olive oil and red wine vinegar. the potatoes are boiled unpeeled, which really does make a difference. do try it! 🙂
i’ve enjoyed reading about other people’s potato salads in the comments! thanks, everyone


I’m from the deep South, the capital of mayo potato salads and I just can’t stand the things. I have nothing against mayo, per se, it’s just that those particular potato salads have such a boring texture and zero flavor.
I’ve been enjoying a grilled potato and red onion salad recipe that I gleaned from a magazine a while back. The recipe (so stinking easy) is posted at


This looks yummy, will have to try next time we’re BBqing! When i make potato salad i toss the sliced cooked potatoes in a lemon-garlic dressing while still hot and leave to cool to warm in the dressing, which soaks into the potatoes. then i add a big handful of shredded mint just before serving, it’s really fresh and tasty, great for mayo haters 😉

Jules Pickles

It’s true what you say about standard deli-issued potato (and pasta) salad. If I can’t tell what I’m eating, I really don’t want to be eating it. I’m grossed out by mayo anyway. This potato salad looks wonderful. Thanks for the recipe!


Yum! The standard issue potato salad does nothing for me either, my favourite is roasted potatoes, cooled (make sure you get the right kinda potatoes, so they go crispy on the outside) throw in some quartered hard boiled eggs, some grilled or blanched asparagus pieces, mix up a whole grain mustard vinigarette and throw it over just before serving. I always make extra, cause my boyfriend loves the leftovers the next day, but it never seems to make it to the leftover stage.
Liz from chilly Auckland NZ, definately not bbqing weather down here at the moment.


Yum-oh! this looks really great – my kind of salad!! Love the process shot of the vegies on the grill too – so beautiful to value the Journey is as important as the finished product.

Kyle @ Yumoh!

Wow–this looks splendid. I especially like the addition of the lemons. I might even get my potato salad hating family to give this a try. And, yeah, the standard picnic fare with all the mayo has never done anything much for me. Thanks!

Magpie Ima

I agree, the standard potato salads have too much mayo. This looks more delicious than the standard potato salad, and with more flavour.


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