Not My Mama’s Potato Salad

Roasted Potato salad is made with a mix of potatoes, sweet pickle relish, and herbs/spices.


This Roasted Potato Salad was inspired by my mother’s homemade sweet pickles.  They were the BEST!  They were perfectly sweet, thick slices of cucumbers with a crispness that everyone in the room heard when you bit into them. The process of making them was long and involved, and something  I should have taken the time to learn over the years, but didn’t.  Aside from just eating the pickles right out of the jar, I loved making mayo and sweet pickle sandwiches, and then there was my mama’s potato salad.  Those sweet pickles made it! They added a sweetness and crunchiness that I’ve never been able to duplicate in a potato salad.

Several years ago I gave up on trying to make my mama’s salad and started working on one that would be just as good, but different. I’ve tried to use many of the same ingredients, but threw in a twist with a mix of roasted potatoes. I roast two to three different types of potatoes which provide a depth of flavor, making the potatoes the star of the salad instead of the pickles.  It still has sweet pickles, just not my mama’s sweet pickles. 🙂

I’ve shared this roasted potato salad with Food Writer Friday.  Have you heard of Food Writer Friday (FWF)? FWF is a website authored by Maureen, the Orgasmic Chef and Helene of Masala Herb.   Maureen and Helene have done a beautiful job introducing us to a variety of food writers from all around the globe through engaging, personal interviews.   A few weeks ago I was contacted by Helene about being interviewed. After getting over the surprise of being asked, I accepted, and was sent some questions and requests. One of those requests was for a recipe from my childhood.  I figured that this roasted potato salad recipe did fit the request, because even though it’s not my mama’s potato salad, she definitely inspired it as she has many of my recipes.  To read the interview, click on over to Food Writer Friday.


Roasted Potato salad is made with a mix of potatoes, sweet pickle relish, and herbs/spices.

Mixed Roasted Potato Salad Recipe

Serves:  4
Prep and Cook Time: less than an hour (then chilled for at least 4 hours)

Recipe Author: MJ of MJ’s Kitchen


1 – 1 ½ pound of mixed potatoes (sweet potato, russet, red, purple) – scrubbed and cut into ½ inch (1.25 cm) pieces
2 Tbsp. oil (chile infused if you have it)
Salt and pepper
½ cup onion, diced
1 large celery stalk, diced
3 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
2 hardboiled eggs (separate after cooking. Use the cooked yokes in the dressing.)
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. chile powder (Ancho, sweet paprika or New Mexico red)
½ tsp. dried tarragon, crumbled
½ tsp. dried dill weed
Fresh parsley (add before serving)


2 cooked egg yolks from the hard boiled eggs
1 tsp. Dijon
2 heaping Tbsp. mayonnaise
Juice from ½ lemon


You can roast the potatoes in the oven or on the stovetop.  The directions for both methods are below.
Roasting the potatoes on stovetop (One to two batches depending on the size of your skillet)

  1. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to large skillet over medium low heat.
  2. When hot, add half of the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  3. Spread the potatoes out into one layer. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
  4. Flip the potatoes over, spread into one layer, cover and cook 5 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to medium, flip potatoes again, cover and cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Check one of the larger pieces to see if they are done.
  7. Cook for another 2 to 5 minutes, uncovered, until done nicely toasted.
  8. Transfer to mixing bowl and repeat with the other half of the potatoes.

Roasting the potatoes in the oven

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place the cut potatoes in a large oven dish. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil and salt and pepper. Mix well to coat the pieces.
  3. Roast in oven about 35 to 40 minutes until tender and brown.

The dressing and assembly

  1. Mash the yolks with a fork.
  2. Mix in the other ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  3. Put all ingredients including the dressing in a large bowl and combine well.
  4. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  6. Right before serving, stir in the parsley.



Roasted Potato salad is made with a mix of potatoes, sweet pickle relish, and herbs/spices.


Kitchen Notes

The Potatoes – This roasted potato salad is made with a mix of potatoes; however, you could just use one type of potato if desired. I personally love the mix for the different flavors and textures you get.

The Chile Powders – The amount of chile powders used in this recipe is relatively minimal.  For a spicier salad, add more.  The chile powder also affects the taste of the salad. I don’t recommend smoked chiles such as chipotle. They tend to overpower the flavor of the potatoes.

The Pickle Relish – Chopped sweet pickles, sour pickles or a mix are good substitutes for the sweet pickle relish.

This Roasted Potato Salad was featured on Fetish Worthy Food.

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43 Responses to “Not My Mama’s Potato Salad”

  1. Jodee Weiland June 5, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    This looks delicious, and I love that it has some spicy kick to it! Sounds like those pickles were good as well. I’m so happy for you about the interview with Food Writer today and will definitely be stopping over there. Great recipe as always!

  2. The Wimpy Vegetarian July 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    I’m way behind on reading your blog with our moves, and life in general. I’m making some pickles this week!!! Love them. On my way over to read the interview now 🙂

    • mj July 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      Thanks for stopping in Susan! I hope that the move is going well.

  3. Debbie @ Easy Natural Food June 26, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    I just hopped over to Food Writer Friday to check out this recipe as I’m always on the hunt for a tasty potato salad 🙂 What I wasn’t expecting was the great write-up they did about you! Love getting more information about my favorite food bloggers 🙂

    • mj June 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      Thank you so much for such a nice comment Debbie! I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  4. Helene D'souza June 13, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    oh I hadn’t seen the last picture before. ^.^ I like that shot and now I see where your talent comes from MJ. Thanks for the FWF mention =D

  5. Nisa Homey June 12, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    I love this salad and wouldn’t mind wrapping it with a roti and make a meal out of it….yum!

  6. mj June 10, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments! I apologize for not responding until now, but I’ve been on vacation and still am, but wanted to stop in and say thanks!

  7. Asmita June 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Hi MJ,
    Would love to try your version of the potato salad! Your food is always looks and sounds so yummy!

  8. Tessa June 9, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Great looking potato salad MJ! I need to stop and go read the recipe now :). Have a wonderful day MJ!

  9. Amber @ The Cook's Sister June 7, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Wow, what a great take on potato salad! I’ve never had pickles in my potato salad, but would be willing to give it a try!

    • mj June 14, 2013 at 1:02 am #

      Thanks Amber! I can’t have a potato salad without pickles. 🙂 Maybe it’s a southern thing.

  10. Katerina June 6, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    This is a delicious salad and I, too, love sweet pickles and put them in almost every salad!

  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook June 6, 2013 at 1:10 am #

    Ah! I just realized that I haven’t finished reading your FWF (I had to stop reading as I was in the middle of something). Now heading over to finish. Your potato salad looks delicious. Got to check the recipe too. 🙂

  12. Raymund June 6, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    I never make salads like this without pickles, it just adds a nice dimension to the dish

  13. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes June 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Another potato salad recipe for my collection. And there are never too many!

  14. Reese June 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    I totally adore that you used different potatoes to create depth to the entire dish, MJ. What strikes me most about your potato salad is the generous sprinkles of smoked paprika & various chili powder. A way much better version than some of the country style potato salad I’ve seen around here, even the homemade ones are so-so. Very often, they are soaked in globs of plain white cream. Potato salad – yours a winner!

  15. Mette - Italian Notes June 5, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    I’ll have to try this recipe. The combination of paprika, chili, dill and tarragon sounds enticing and I like everything with a crush. More to my taste than the traditional Danish potato salads where the potatoes are drowned in a sea of yogurt.

  16. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen June 5, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    I love pickles but I’ve never added them to potato salad. I wonder why? I’ll make sure I’ll add pickles to my potato salad the next time I make it.

  17. Reiko June 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    I love potato salad, and it looks and sounds delicious!! Makes me want to make some right now!

  18. Soni June 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Love FWF!! Your potato salad looks lipsmackingly delicious! Heading over right now 🙂

  19. Swathi June 4, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Delicious potato salad MJ, Love to hope over there to see the full recipe. You did a wonderful job friend.

  20. Karen (Back Road Journal) June 4, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    Wow, it may not be your mother’s potato salad but it sounds wonderful.

  21. Charles June 4, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    I usually add capers to my potato salad, though I’m not averse to a good pickle too, hehe. Potato salad with roasted potatoes you say? What a unique idea. Sounds delicious – good to see you on Food Writer Fridays too… will head on over to check it out!

  22. Ramona June 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    Love Maureen and Helene’s series FWF. 🙂 Can’t wait to read the interview and the recipe. 🙂 Heading over now. 🙂

  23. Nisa Homey June 3, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    who can resist potato salad….potatoes are the most comforting food on the planet…. yours looks sooo yum….now off to read your interview.

  24. Debra June 3, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    I think that everyone has a family favorite potato salad (and perhaps pickles) that they are nostalgic about.

  25. Giulietta | Alterkitchen June 3, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    I love pickles.. now that you’ve mentioned them, I remember that I have a jar full of them at home. I know it won’t last 🙂

  26. ChgoJohn June 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    Congratulations on being selected for the interview, though it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Thanks for your forthright responses and a great potato salad recipe. Loved that you use a mix of potatoes — and the pickle relish is a must! 🙂

  27. Lori Lynn June 2, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    Looking forward to reading the interview. Congrats!

  28. CJ at Food Stories June 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Loved learning more about you 🙂

  29. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef June 2, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    I love this salad! However not as much as I love you. Your blog feels like home. I hope that makes some sense and you don’t assume I’m a stalker. 🙂

  30. Liz June 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Off to read your interview! I need a great potato salad recipe 🙂

  31. Carole June 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Lovely colour on this – popping over to look at the recipe now. Cheers

  32. Zsuzsa June 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Peach Lady, that’s HOT. 🙂

  33. CCU June 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    The flavours in this are so unique, love your twist to potato salad 😀


  34. Tiffany June 2, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Pickles are SUCH a good idea! NOM!

  35. Angie@Angie's Recipes June 2, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    That’s an unusual potato salad and I love the unique flavours.

  36. Confrats on FWF 🙂 I think that childhood recipes are one of the most interesting. There are some meals my mum used to make and it’s hard to make it the same way.

  37. Sissi June 2, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    MJ, I could eat potato salads all year round, no matter what season or what time of the day (perfect when chilled for breakfast!) and especially when they include mayonnaise, eggs and pickled cucumbers! This is the most beautiful potato salad I have ever seen: the yellow colour makes it unique!
    Congratulations for the interview! I have just read it and loved it! It was such a pleasure to learn more about you… Now I feel as if I had known you for years 😉
    PS Thank you once more for the kind “stale bread” message 🙂

  38. Jeanne (NanaBread) June 2, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Beautiful, MJ! My husband’s aunt used to make the most spectacular sweet pickles, as well. Crunchy, sweet, and loaded with cinnamon, cloves & pickling spices. I never thought to put them in potato salad, but I will now! Also loved the interview. So nice to learn more about you. (PS – LOVE that 80’s photo of you with the fruit tree!) Thanks for sharing! -j

  39. john@kitchenriffs June 2, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    That was a great interview! Totally loved it. And that picture of you when you were younger is so much fun! Really good recipe too. 😉

  40. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles June 2, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    Hello MJ! I agree, pickles add *so* much to salads – an ideal inclusion. I just read your wonderful feature over at Food Writer Friday. My comment is over there :).

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