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.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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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. inspired.


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 dressing: 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: potatoes celery 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. Melissa


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