Grilled Potato Salad

Sides can be as important to your cookout as the main dish, but it’s easy to get caught in the same side dish rut. The same ol’ baked beans, coleslaw, chips, and potato salad are good, but this recipe will take things to the next level!

Let’s get right to it.

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Cast of characters for the grilled potato salad. I cheated and used jarred, minced garlic 🙂

Start by cutting your potatoes in half. You’ll want them to be sized to eat in 1-2 bites. We used Blushing Belle petite red and Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes in this dish and it turned out fantastic, but any petite/baby potatoes will work. Put your potatoes in cold water, season the water generously with salt, and bring the water to a boil. Allow the potatoes to simmer until they are tender but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a disposable foil pan or rimmed baking sheet to cool and allow moisture to evaporate. Allowing the surface to dry will help the potatoes form a nice crispy texture when they’re grilled.



While the potatoes are cooking, let’s make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 4 cloves of finely minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Set aside.­ Easy enough, right?


While the potatoes are cooling, set up your grill for 2-zone cooking. 2-zone cooking creates one zone for direct heat and one for indirect heat. On a charcoal grill, heat it to medium-high heat with the charcoal to one side. If you’re cooking on a gas grill, light one side of your burners.

Deseed and remove the white membrane of your jalapenos. If you prefer a spicier potato salad, you could leave the seeds and membranes in place. If you don’t like spice at all, you could leave the jalapenos out. I like the jalapeno flavor without all of the heat, so I deseed and remove the membranes. Next, place the jalapenos on the grill until they are slightly charred on all sides. Once the jalapenos look good, take them off and allow them to cool. After they’ve cooled enough to handle, peel off any charred skin – it can get waxy and chewy and that’s not a good texture in the potato salad. Lastly, finely dice the jalapenos and set aside until it’s time to combine all of the ingredients.

The potatoes are over direct heat while the veggies, off to the side, are getting direct heat. You’ll notice the jalapenos in the top right of the grill are almost ready to come off.

Now it’s time to grill the potatoes. Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and place them on the hot side of the grill, cut side down. Grill them until browned or slightly charred, about 5-10 minutes. (Side note: you could add a chunk of wood to impart a touch of smoke flavor. Oak, pecan, or hickory work great, but don’t overdo it. One chunk is enough.) Once the cut sides of the potatoes look good, move them to the cool side of grill and continue to cook until they are nice and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Once they’re tender, put the potatoes in a large bowl, baking dish, or disposable foil pan.



While the potatoes cook, toss red onion and bell peppers with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on the grill in a wire basket (this will prevent smaller vegetables from falling through the grill grates), tossing frequently until soft and slightly charred. If you don’t have the grill space, just cook the veggies after the potatoes finish.

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Potatoes are done! These would be great on their own. Add a little BBQ rub at this point and they’d be fantastic! I digress…

Now it’s time to bring it all together. Toss the potatoes, grilled veggies, cilantro, green onion, jalapenos, and dressing until everything is well mixed and coated with the dressing. It can be served hot or closer to room temperature. Enjoy!

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The finished product!




  • 3 pounds petite red or yellow potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 large red onion chopped into 1” pieces
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium jalapenos
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


  • To make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, garlic, and cumin.
  • Cut potatoes in half and place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
  • When potatoes are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a large bowl. Toss potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Set up grill for 2-zone cooking.
  • Remove seeds and membranes from jalapenos and grill over direct heat until lightly charred on all sides. Transfer to cutting board, let cool, peel charred skin, then finely chop.
  • Grill potatoes cut side down over direct heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Move to indirect heat and continue to cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Toss red onion and bell peppers with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Grill in wire basket, tossing frequently until soft and slightly charred.
  • Transfer all ingredients to a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Can be served hot or at room temperature.

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