Pickle Potato Salad is a tangier, lighter, spicier take on traditional potato salad, with dill pickles and giardiniera.
I am briefly interrupting my Kitchen Renovation Series to bring you a recipe just in time for the Fourth of July: Make-Ahead Pickle Potato Salad.
Imagine this: regular, mayo-based potato salad. Ok, not super exciting. Now, make it lighter, tangier, spicier, and pickle-ier. Why haven’t we been doing this all along? With less mayo and more pickles (two kinds, to be precise), it’s basically potato salad living its best life.
A few nuts and bolts to help you prepare this pickle potato salad:
Make the Dressing Ahead
If you’re planning a party, you can get the dressing out of the way a day early. The flavors will have time to meld together, and you will have less to worry about that day. You can make the whole thing the night before, if you’d like.
Use Potatoes You Have on Hand
I had a handful of white potatoes from my CSA, which I added to the red potatoes. You could use Yukon Golds as well, or those cute baby potatoes that come in a bag. Just avoid baking potatoes, which won’t be the right texture. You can leave all the skins on to make this super easy on yourself while simultaneously adding more nutrients to the recipe. Win-win.
Make it Your Own!
As I scroll through the recipe, I see lots of easy swaps.
- Use vegan mayo instead of regular.
- Use white onion, scallions, or shallots instead of red onions.
- Use red or white wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.
- Use another type of pickles, but please, God, not bread and butter ones. They’re the losers of the pickle world and we all know it.
- Use brown or yellow mustard instead of dijon.
- Use more giardiniera. More about that below. Armenians/Middle-Easterners: try it with torshi!
- Add more herbs.
There are so many possibilities that can make this recipe easier and more suited to your palate.
What’s up with the giardiniera?
I am pickle obsessed, and I really don’t see why I should limit myself to cucumber pickles. Enter giardiniera, an Italian mixed veggie pickle. With carrots, peppers, celery, and cauliflower, this mix has it all. I’m particularly loving the spicy one, which adds a hot, briny punch to this salad. In my Armenian culture, we eat torshi, which is a similar, non-spicy version of giardiniera. If you don’t like spice, you can use any type of non-spicy pickle or even the non-spicy giardiniera in its place.
As I’m typing, I just thought about using the Lebanese pink turnip pickles as a substitute. Yum. Someone try that and let me know how it tastes.
Light. Tangy. Pickle-forward. Make-ahead. I would love to hear how YOU do potato salad! And, as always, please comment, share, pin, or tag me on Instagram if you make this!
Looking for more unique summer picnic or BBQ side dishes? Try Kale and Artichoke Pasta Salad with Lemon Lavender Dressing, Purslane Salad, or Beet and Carrot Salad with Ginger Dressing.
Pickle Potato Salad
A tangy, lighter, spicier take on traditional potato salad.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup chopped dill pickles
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped giardiniera (hot or regular)
- 3.5 lb red skinned or white potatoes (or a mix of both), cut into large pieces, skins on (I quartered most of the potatoes, and cut the bigger ones into 6 pieces)
- 1-2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Make the dressing:
In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion, vinegar, mustard, pickles, pepper, and giardiniera together. Stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate. This step can be made 1-2 days ahead.
Make the potato salad:
Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and add approximately 2 tsp kosher salt (the water should taste salty). Cook potatoes over medium heat until just fork tender, which takes about 10 minutes.
Drain the potatoes, and allow them to cool in the pot or in a separate large bowl until they are just warm enough to touch.
Add the dressing, and gently toss the potatoes in the dressing until well combined. Some of the potatoes may fall apart; this is fine, but you don't want all of them to turn to complete mush, so take care during this step.
Cover the bowl and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve. I recommend making the dressing 1 day ahead, and then assembling the potato salad in the morning the day you are going to serve it. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
nutrition information is approximate.