Roasted Potato Salad with Special Sauce

By Ann Fulton

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No need to peel the potatoes in this customizable salad, which uses a unique dressing that can be made in advance.

No need to peel the potatoes in this customizable salad, which uses a uniquely flavorful dressing that can be made in advance. 

 

I’ve been making this salad for years without actually measuring the ingredients. A little different than the average potato salad, it’s always a hit.

Most recently, I prepared the summer staple for a dinner celebrating my father-in-law’s 80th birthday. Amidst a feast of crabs and assorted side dishes (including Favorite Broccoli Salad and Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, coming soon), the salad was again well received.

This time, however, I took the time to carefully note the measurements so I could share the recipe here. Better late than never!

No need to peel the potatoes in this customizable salad, which uses a unique dressing that can be made in advance.

The colorful salad will add visual appeal to any potluck, buffet, or backyard barbecue. While the ingredients are quite basic, they come together in a uniquely delicious way. 

Roasted Potato Salad with Special Sauce

What makes this potato salad unique?

For best texture and flavor, these potatoes are roasted instead of boiled, and the special sauce offers a tasty twist on the usual dressing.

The “special sauce” is a simple, make-ahead dressing that allows for an endlessly customizable salad in terms of ingredients and quantity. In other words, you can roast as many potatoes as desired, include your add-ins of choice, and toss with dressing to lightly coat.

If there’s any leftover dressing, it serves as a delicious dip.

Back to the potatoes, I love the way sweet potatoes work in this salad. For broad appeal, however, I tend to make it with half sweet and half red-skinned or new potatoes. Yukon golds offer another good choice in the potato department. 

As an added bonus, there’s no need to peel potatoes! 

No need to peel the potatoes in this customizable salad, which uses a unique dressing that can be made in advance.

Thin-skinned waxy potatoes and sweet potatoes are delicious in this salad, and there’s no need to peel them! My favorite combo is half new or red bliss and half sweet potatoes. If I can find bite-size potatoes, I’ll often roast them, uncut, for added interest.

How can this salad be customized?

Beyond the potato option mentioned above, I like to add some small-diced red pepper for color, celery for crunch, and parsley for freshness.

You could include hard-boiled eggs and/or bacon. Sometimes, I chop pickled onions instead of red onions. Sliced scallions or snipped chives work well, too.

A little heat is also nice, especially when using sweet potatoes.

No need to peel the potatoes in this customizable salad, which uses a unique dressing that can be made in advance.

I started using the easy dressing for roasted potato wedges years ago and eventually discovered it added something uniquely delicious to potato salad. While the dressing is mayo-based, I like that it’s thinner than the traditionally thick dressing, which gives the finished salad a lighter feel.

The mayo is balanced with vinegar, and the addition of smoked and regular paprika provide a pretty hue and a flavor. The end result has won over those who have typically passed over this customary cookout fare.

Do resist any temptation to use all smoked paprika. Too much will overpower. I’ve tried.

I’ve since used the sauce as a dip for polenta fries (a variation on Polenta Croutons), and my sons enjoy it as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders and wings. If you make it, you’ll find any leftovers aren’t likely to go unused.

No need to peel the potatoes in this customizable salad, which uses a unique dressing that can be made in advance.

You may serve the salad warm, room temperature, or cold, and leftovers taste great.

And, hopefully, the recipe will soon provide the same type of enthusiastic raves at your house as it does at mine!

No need to peel the potatoes in this customizable salad, which uses a unique dressing that can be made in advance.

The salad may be made ahead, covered, and stored in the fridge until ready to eat.

Roasted Potato Salad with Special Sauce
Yield: 8 servings
No need to peel the potatoes in this customizable salad, which uses a uniquely flavorful dressing that can be made in advance. 
For the salad:
  • 2 – 2¼ pounds red bliss, new, Yukon gold, or sweet potatoes (or a mix)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 celery ribs, chopped (I include any leaves)
  • 4 green sliced onions, ⅓ cup chopped pickled red onions, or ¼ diced yellow onion
  • ¼ – ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Optional add-ins: ½ cup small diced red pepper; 2-3 chopped hard boiled eggs; 4-5 strips cooked and crumbled bacon
For the special sauce:
  • ½ cup (104g) mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) white vinegar (just the basic—nothing fancy needed, although I have used white wine vinegar and that is delicious, too)
  • ½ tablespoon paprika (I like a 50-50 mix of regular and smoked paprika, which is ¾ teaspoon each. All smoked is overpowering.)
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) sugar
Instructions:

Prepare the sauce: Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. The sauce can be made several days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

For the salad: Preheat the oven to 425℉, and greaser spray a large, rimmed baking sheet (or line with parchment paper for easier cleanup). Chop the potatoes into bite-size pieces. (No need to peel.) Toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. (I use about ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.) Spread the potatoes evenly over the prepared baking sheet. (Helpful hint: when using, I place the sweet potatoes on one side of the baking sheet as they are often done 5+ minutes before the new potatoes.)

Roast the potatoes for 25-30 minutes or until tender, checking and turning after 20 minutes. Again, if using sweet potatoes, you’ll likely be able to slide them into a bowl after 20 minutes or so, allowing the remaining potatoes to finish cooking.

Transfer the cooked potatoes to a large bowl and allow them to cool slightly. Then add the celery, onions, parsley, and optional ingredients of choice. (Helpful hint: If making the salad in advance and using optional bacon, I like to add when serving to maintain crispness.) Drizzle with dressing and toss to evenly coat.

Note: Depending on how well coated you like your salad, you may not use it all. If you have a little leftover, cover, and store for use as a dip, sandwich spread, etc. The sauce will add flavor to basic potatoes, rice, oven fries, and more.

Serving and storage: The salad may be served warm, room temperature, or cold. Leftovers are delicious and will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

More options:

•Avocado complements this salad nicely, too. To avoid browning if expecting leftovers, use it as a topping, where it will also make a pretty garnish.
•Instead of parsley, you could stir in ½ cup or so of chopped arugula or watercress. A sprinkle of chives may be added as well.
•A touch of heat is nice, especially when using sweet potatoes, so I often add a pinch of cayenne pepper. A small, minced jalapeño (partially seeded to reduce heat) may also be added.

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Comments

  1. Susan Weed

    I tried this salad the other day and it was delicious. The sweet potato added an interesting element. The sauce was delicious. I even used extra leftover sauce in chicken salad the next day. Thanks for sharing another great recipe.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Susan, So happy the salad was a hit and that you were able to make good use of the leftover sauce. Thank you for taking a moment to comment!

      Reply