horseradish potato salad

It’s Father’s Day around these here parts which is supposed to mean one thing, really (you know, aside from hanging out with the dads, and papas-to-be in your life): backyard grilling. Alas, New York City has moved to Seattle this June, and we’ve spent more time umbrella bumping on sidewalks and avoiding street juice puddles than actually being beckoned to suburban backyards for some sun and chaise lounge napping but don’t worry, I still made you some potato salad. You know, in case the weather decides to get out of its funk for an hour or two.

rainbow potatoes
rainbow potatoes, cooked

I’ve been mumbling about making a horseradish potato salad for a few weeks now, threatening I guess is more like it, because I know horseradish is another of those Great Divider ingredients. Many find it spicy, and well, many varieties are, but the vast majority of the jars that I grab in the grocery store aisle are about as ferocious as a kitten. What I was really after was that cool but heady sinus-clearing aroma, which I imagined that paired with creamy dressing and some fresh dill and chives would be a most welcome accent to whatever we throw on the grill. (Oh please please let it be Molly’s ribs!) And while we’ve only had the smallest of samples (see how giving I am?), this Russian I live with gives it his hearty seal of approval, and looks forward to next Father’s Day, when he won’t be stuck washing up the dishes when he’s done.


Make your own horseradish sauce: As you can see, I used a prepared one, as much because I was being lazy as because I wanted this recipe to work with grocery store ingredients I know most people will pick up. But if you’re feeling more ambitious, homemade horseradish sauce is not hard to make, and shee-zow, it really knows how to wake a party up. This link will get you started.

Potato Salads, previously: Roseanne Cash’s Potato Salad, Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans and Dilled Potato and Pesto Potato Salad

One year ago: Fresh Ricotta and Red Onion Pizza
Two years ago: Lemon Risotto

Horseradish Potato Salad

3 pounds small (2-inch) potatoes, your choice of variety (I found a rainbow-colored pack, and couldn’t resist, clearly)
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 cup sour cream (or 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup yogurt)
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (frustratingly, couldn’t find these)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Boil the potatoes until fork tender, cool them to room temperature and quarter them. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and fold over the potatoes. Adjust seasoning to taste — you might add another tablespoon of vinegar if you feel it needs more ‘zing’ — and prepare to wow the Eastern Europeans in your life!

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135 comments on horseradish potato salad

  1. LOVE those colored potatoes! Can’t wait to try this recipe… sounds delish and healthy without globs of mayo. Am currently in love with the Fage greek yogurt, so I’ll try it with that. Thanks for sharing this one!

  2. Oh man how I miss making those purple potatoes. I’m not sure my Husband would be game for eating colored potatoes though. It brings back memories of being a little kid and discovering that I could put food coloring in my boxed mashed potatoes. It was the only thing I knew how to cook.

    Ah. Memories!

  3. Deb, you came through for us! Father’s Day wouldn’t be complete without potato salad and this is a cool alternative to the usual mustard stuff (yep, I’m a southerner). Now, off to Costco for some steaks to accompany. I just hope I can find some purple taters.

  4. Potato salad and steaks, anyone? I’d make this for my son’s dad to celebrate the day but oh wait, hooray for single mommy-hood. At least I don’t have to cook for other people’s tasts. ;)

    Happy Almost Father’s Day to Alex!

  5. Love the colors of the potato salad. Homemade horseradish…I’ve done it a few times – clears the nostrils, fumigates the kitchen, and after the first time I had to change my food processor to the horseradish only processor. Happy Father’s Day to your husband!

  6. Michelle

    Ah, a fellow Seattlite. You know, tho, until this weekend, we’ve had record-breaking sun. Almost 30 days with no rain!

    The colors of the salad are beautiful. You’ve inspired me to try it for my husband!

  7. What a gorgeous salad! I love the combination of flavors. Thanks for sharing this beautiful dish. I might be tempted to add a little chopped boiled egg, but that’s all I can even imagine doing to this salad!

  8. This looks like the world’s most beautiful potatoe salad. I’m anxious to try it. I made a delicious roasted potatoe salad a few weekends ago that I would highly recommend.

  9. Paul

    I always love when you mention local news. As an NYC resident myself, it’s neat.

    But seriously, what’s up with this ridiculous rain?

  10. Horseradish and potatoes go so well together, I can’t believe I never thought to put it in potato salad! Brilliant. And as a fellow fan of unusually-colored food, two thumbs up on the pretty potatoes :)

  11. Yum. That’s about my favorite prep for potato salad (down to the dill in your photo). In fact, I bought dill yesterday at the farmers market. I think I’ll make potato salad tomorrow.

  12. Ris

    Chicago has also migrated to the Pacific Northwest (what is with all this rainy cold rain?) but this sounds like the perfect antidote to the non-summer weather we’ve been having. Looks delish!

  13. annie

    We live in the northwest! (Oregon) Welcome to our world! It’s cool and misty/windy/just-plain-not summery, today. This salad makes me dream of some kind of, any kind of, summer weather…well, maybe in July!! This will definitely be on the menu for our Fourth of July picnic.

  14. Joy

    Hey Deb! I found your blog on Tuesday, May 19th (I remember, because it was the day you posted the Raspberry Butermilk Cake that I promptly made for my girlfriend’s birthday) and as of today I have read every single one of your posts. Thanks so much for the food and everything. <3

  15. Deb, I absolutely love your photography. I’m not a huge fan of starches in general, but I can’t wait for tomorrow so I can go out and buy all those rainbow-colored taters. You have contributed in the dramatic increase of my grocery bill (and photography lens collection) :). Hope you’re feeling well lately!

  16. Ooh, I need to pick up some of those tri-colored potatoes at the farmer`s market and give this recipe a try! Your blog is absolutely amazing and beautiful, thanks so much for sharing it all!

  17. Amy

    I must have this potato salad. As soon as possible. My pregnant self wants lots of horseradish and anything else spicy I can get my hands on. YUM! Thanks for the mouth-watering post. By the way, down south it’s hot, hot, hot. Summertime is in full swing here!

  18. Joyce

    I happen to believe that there is little that horseradish doesn’t make better so I will definitely be trying this recipe on the first occasion that warrants potato salad. I’ve recently discovered the horseradish hummus from Trader Joe’s and it is to die for. I highly recommend it if you have access to TJ’s.

  19. MK

    Deb, my mother often tells the story of my big, tall, strong-as-an-ox grandfather grating his own home grown horseradish every summer and weeping with tears. She said it was the only time she ever saw him cry and sometimes couldn’t tell if it was the strength of the horseradish or that he was so happy to have another crop of it! I thinks it’s genetic and am looking toward to trying this!

  20. When I saw this picture, I instantly had to read your post because my boyfriend was raving about those potatoes just today! We scooped up some of the last ones at the farmer’s market and will be eating them tomorrow. Btw, we’re in Seattle. It was sunny today ;)

  21. Oh my goodness, horseradish and potato salad together? My heart is fluttering, how have I never thought of this before?? My Polish horseradish-loving side can’t wait to make this! (Once the rain goes away, hopefully).

  22. Oh, this looks heavenly! I love horseradish but never seem to know what to do with it after Passover. This could even rope in some of the diehard potato salad haters in my family. Thanks for posting this!

  23. chavi

    I make my own version of the horseradish potato salad – it’s almost the same as yours. Add a cup of fresh peas – oh my God – is it good!

  24. beckyk

    YUUUUUUMMMMMMM! I raced right in the kitchen and made this for lunch. It was DELICIOUS. My hubby is a potato freak and I am so happy to have another recipe for our potato salad rotation.

  25. Now that looks lovely! I’m so in for something like that! I’ll have to try this. I like my potato salads with a little bit of “zip” to them, as so often they are far too bland. I’ll usually add some ground mustard and red pepper in my own portions at home to add a little extra kick. That being said this would probably be too spicy for my family, but I like the fact that this uses sour cream and not mayonnaise. However, I’ve had homemade horseradish before and it’s a little bit . . . much. I think I’ll be a wuss and stick to the grocery store variety.

  26. My friend Lisa sent me to your site, and I’m so glad she did!

    What gorgeous photos. I definitely will have to try using yogurt or sour cream instead of mayo — I think I would like that a lot better than regular potato salad.

  27. Your potato salad sounds SO good to me! Honestly, I adore dill and horseradish and have not thought to put it on potatoes. Lovely idea, and beautiful photos too!

  28. Thank you so much for posting this. I needed one more item for a birthday/father’s day celebration yesterday. These potatoes hit the spot. Definitely my favorite potato salad of all time.

  29. I love the rainbow potatoes. I never manage to find ones that stay quite so vibrant after cooking even when I cook them in their skins and mix with lemon or vinegar after cooking. I must be doing something wrong!

    1. deb

      The potatoes were purchased at (mumbles) Whole Foods, not a Greenmarket. I’ve been seeing a lot of red and sweet potatoes at the markets, however, and I am sure this would work with any of the above.

  30. Susan

    Horseradish, like mustard, is a great aromatic addition. It’s perks up just about any creamy sauce that needs a boost. I bet it was great in this salad. I use it in my cooked potato salad dressing as well and I also always add a dab to deviled eggs. For my taste, just a little does it and I’m happy with the ferocity of a kitten. Horseradish heat contests I leave to the guys. HA!

  31. THANK YOU, for a creamy potato salad recipe sans mayo (I wish I liked mayo, but I really cringe at the thought of it). That I adore horseradish is icing on the proverbial cake. Beautiful photos, as always…

  32. Gretchen

    Homemade horseradish – now *there* is a project to be upwind of! My grandmother used to make her own. Outdoors, so as not to render the house uninhabitable. But man, I love that stuff. Will have to try this!

  33. Sandra

    Love horseradish and these potatoes are beautiful. Okay, I am not a beginner cook but I seem to have trouble when it comes to boiling potatoes. I always overcook and the skins start to peel and they just fall apart. It seems easy enough but I just don’t know when to stop the cooking. Any tips?

  34. Dawn in CA

    Yum. Do you have some special cooking trick to keep the potato colors so vibrant? Also – and I apologize in advance for being so a/r – the first ingredient in your recipe is missing the word “potatoes.” ;) This will be great for our 4th of July block party – especially if I can find red, white and blue potatoes! Thanks.

    1. deb

      Dawn — Nope, luck of the draw. These were some seriously pigmented purple potatoes. I was actually a little freaked by how dark they were. They reminded me of beets (bleh). And thanks, fixed.

  35. I made a potato salad this spring with this same pack of tri-colored potatoes. Just fabulous, and so pretty! I found the purple did leach into the white potatoes when boiling them. Doesn’t look like you had that happen!

  36. Elana

    Deb- is there any reason to cutting the potatoes *after* boiling than *before*?
    I just made a potato salad last week very similar, and added a couple Tablespoons of chopped fresh MINT leaves- mmmmm- it was summer perfect!

    1. deb

      Elena — I always find that mine absorb too much water and get mealier when I boil them already quartered. But, if you don’t have this issue, there’s no reason not to cook the potatoes any way that you prefer.

      Connie — Actually, mine did a little — but only a day or so later, after they’d been quartered and put in a container, not while they cooked. These pictures were taken right away, so I hadn’t noticed it yet.

  37. Meredith

    We just moved from Oregon to South Carolina so this entry made me laugh…in a good way! We have been having 90+ degree weather and I just saw that Portland is in the 60’s…don’t miss it as I grew up in the South anyway! I found it fate that this recipe came to me in my inbox as I had just bought the same tri-color bag of fingerling potatoes at the store. I have made the salad and it is chilling. I didn’t have any chives or dill (as I didn’t plan on making it) and I split up the recipe for only 1 pound of potatoes. It is really great and I didn’t have any problems with the potatoes. Wonderful recipe!

  38. gentlekath

    Nice potato salad. I am not a huge fan of horseradish, but my husband is. He liked it. Lots of variations you could try. I made a potato salad once with mayo and buttermilk (dont knock it till ya try it!) Then I added hunks of bleu cheese. (again not a fan of bleu cheese-hhhck), but my husband fell in love with it.

    This time I will try and not be upset about people knocking our weather on the northwest coast…you do have to admit we have BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL TREE’s and lots of gorgeous greenery. I think I will stay, umbrellas and all. :o)

  39. Too gorgeous! Great pictures as always. I have never seen stuff like that in my grocery. Loving the potato salads, and in Philadelphia, we have had so much rain, we are pretending it is Seattle except we cannot go to Trophy Cupcakes.

  40. Mary

    I love the idea of beets in the salad…but I love beets anyway. I would definitely cook them separately. Did I say I love beets? I love beets.

  41. Also: I have been experimenting with my cold veg. salads and mixing it up with the herbs that grow outside. Sage, basil, rosemary, lavender, cilantro, parsley, thyme,oregano, mint. Pick 2 or 3, they blend and surprise the palate. No one ever guesses it’s mint that’s picked up the pace.

  42. OMG, what gorgeous potatoes.
    I get a hankering for my mother’s potato salad every summer. Being a lazy sort I’m on the hunt for either or a friend or a deli that makes a similar salad. Too many are bland. It needs some zip, mustard, pickle juice, something.

  43. Could NOT get past the colours of those spuds… unbelievable!! Can I grow them? They are AMAZING!!!!

    Also, noted your twitter warnings and rest assured I shall NEVER ask permission to use your photos. I am surprised anyone is game to nick anything from a New Yorker who can weild a sharp knife AND live without a dishwasher for years on end. One tough chick!! I reckon you could crack a whip with the best of them Ms Deb… ever tried? heh.

  44. Nadia

    Stunning colours (I’m the first person to say this, right?) and delicious looking salad, I can see that kicking up a storm in parties. Just a tip, in case American cooks are less familiar with the books and recipes of one Delia Smith, she has a to die for potato recipe in her “Complete Cookery Course” involving new (little) potatoes, chives, mint, olive oil, spring (U.S. green) onions among other things. Deadly simple and addictive, please try it next time you get a potato salad urge.

  45. csbrown

    how many servings does this make? I’d love to make this for the 4th (red white and blue!) to serve with ribs, but we’ve got about 20 people to feed. Any suggestions?

  46. I’d say if you had to have a summer climate exchange, Seattle is the perfect choice. Who doesn’t like to pull out their natty cardigan at sundown in July or be able to leave the ice cream out without fear of melting. I suspect we are the only city where socks and Keens are high style, where Gore-Tex is found in the cloakrooms of our finest restaurants, or where hot cocoa is a year-around drink. It suits me perfectly as does the warming kick from this recipe. thank you. -tc

  47. Dawn in CA

    Bleh to beets? Really? I love them drizzled with olive oil, balsamic, black pepper and a crumble of goat cheese. Yum.

  48. Jo

    Oh yum! I just posted a horseradish beef marinade I love on my blog only to come over and find this potato salad. I will have to pick up some more horseradish and give it a whirl!

  49. Ooh ooh! I love making potato salad with the multi-colored potatoes from Whole Foods. Everyone always gets such a kick out of it! Can’t wait to try this recipe!!

  50. I love your colored potatoes. I made some lemon and oregano roasted potatoes last week and used a pretty, tri-color pack of potatoes from Costco. And you know what? I think their beautiful color made them taste better than they ever have before!

  51. I have been going gaga for horseradish lately… it all started when I had this incredible horseradish cheese a couple of weeks ago… I never realized how good horseradish is!! I have never thought of horseradish potato salad. I will give it a try for my next summer barbecue!

  52. Michele

    I chanced upon this recipe..i am mesmerized by this potato salad. You have reached my “inner foodie.” Thank you for this culinary creativity!!!

  53. This is probably the most beautiful potato salad I’ve ever seen! Love the colors. We also love anything with horseradish, never thought of making our own though, thanks for the idea!

  54. I went to grad school in Philadelphia and frequented a luncheonette with the best horseradish based potato salad. So when I left and returned to NYC, first on my list was to figure out how to make that. Well, five years later that dream fell behind the whole find an apartment, find a job, etc, but now, NOW, I have it! I made this last night, and it was everything I remembered. I’m sitting here at my desk right now at work wishing I hadn’t decided that potato salad alone isn’t a lunch. That container is sitting in my fridge taunting me right now… thank you!

  55. Dingbatt

    Deb…Hi! I hope you get this question. I was wondering if you made this potato salad a certain amount of time prior to serving, or if the flavors mix together shortly before serving. I plan to prepare this for a 3rd of July party and wanted to know if I should do anything the night before, morning of or afternoon a few hours prior to serving. If this question seems remedial it is because my husband does all the cooking. I appreciate your thoughts…..just want it to taste the BEST!

    1. deb

      I usually make my dressing and salad separately and I mix them an hour or so before, especially with potato salads because I feel like they otherwise can absorb too much of the dressing. No reason you can get both parts ready in advance — even a day or more.

  56. THIS, this salad, is fantastic. I am 20 weeks pregnant and have been salivating over this ever since you posted it. I made it about half an hour ago for our 4th of July party tonight, even though only 3 of my guests actually like horseradish. The only thing keeping me from eating all 3 pounds of it right now is the fact that I hid it in the outside garage fridge. But it is so good, and it is calling to me….Thank you for the recipe!

  57. My husband and I are eating this *right now* and we love it. I used red horseradish (colored with beets) and it made it hot pink. A little freaky looking but I like that in my food.

  58. Ann

    What a fantastic recipe! My whole family loved it. I had to variate a little bit because I only had the creamy horseradish sauce in my fridge but it turned out great and was delightfully creamy! Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  59. Jen


    I just made this salad, and I swear to you, I actually considered eating that dressing with a spoon. (In fact, I scraped out the mixing bowl and used the spoon as a shovel…)

    Thank you!

  60. Tanja

    Absolutely delicious. Had not yoghourt or sour cream in the fridge (I know, I know), but some crème fraîche.Turned out great. Love the horseradish.

  61. Hi Deb! Ok, I am officially IN LOVE with your potato salad!

    Growing up, I truly DESPISED potato salad of any kind. But, now that John (hubby) and I grow our own potatoes, dill, parsley, etc, I have come to really enjoy it.

    When I was scouring your recipes and saw THIS one, you had me sold on the first word (“horseradish”)! :) In my heart of hearts I just KNEW that there had to be a way to incorporate my favorite condiment in a potato salad – THAT and the fact that you are using Sour Cream instead of Mayo.

    I know you posted this a couple of years ago, but hopefully you’ll see this… It’s now August, 2011, and our potatoes are just about ready to begin digging out – we have plenty of dill… AND as luck would have it, I have TWO jars of Gold’ Horseradish in the fridge! I can’t wait to make this! We have a TON of family coming this weekend, so I will make it Friday. :)

    By the way, growing up, I also despised horseradish…silly girl! It was called “hren” in our family – my Russian grandparents, auntie and mom- so, I still call it “hren” – and I absolutely love it now.

    Thank you thank you… I bow to you. :) Hugs, Kath

  62. Annie

    I love this recipe, it is one of my go-to’s for cook outs, pot lucks, etc. So reliably good, appeals to folks who are mayo-salad-averse (like me), and so easy to make. The horseradish kick is such a fun surprise. Five stars! All the trophies! Thanks, Deb!

  63. Wow, that sounds really good! I’ll definitely have to make some. I love finding more ways to use horseradish- it’s one of my favorite condiments, for sure, particularly Bubbies.

  64. Leigh

    Great, easy recipe! My boyfriend is not usually a potato salad fan, but he absolutely loved this, and said he’d be happy to have it any time. Thanks!

  65. So perfect and refreshing. I just used red potatoes because that’s what I had, and added a little steamed chopped broccoli for some color + veggieness. Still couldn’t quite trick my 20-month-old to eat potatoes, but she licked the dressing off them, so that’s a plus?

  66. Liz Kogan

    I wanted to comment oh these so many years later to let you know we use this recipe every single Passover Seder for the past 6 years. It’s a perfect partner to brisket, thematically horseradished, and it’s beautiful and delicious!!! Thank you so much for creating long lasting family memories.

    PS: We also make your blackberry coconut macaroon tart (dairy free) every single year. Huge hit!

  67. jjjeanie

    I made this yesterday for our 4th of July BBQ, and even people who said they “don’t like potato salad” liked it. I used about 3/4 C sour cream and 1/4 C yogurt and almost doubled the dill. Even my husband (who claims to detest mustard) liked it and was disappointed that I left the small amount of leftovers at my brother’s house. I’ll for sure make this again. Oh, I also rinsed the onion after chopping it, to remove that weird raw onion thing that happens sometimes.

  68. Velvet Hollenbach

    Just made this. It’s amazing. My husband is allergic to eggs so he has never had regular potato salad. This will be a hit with him. Now if I can just stop eating and leave him some…

  69. Abby

    This reminds me of the potato salad at the old Cassell’s Burgers in downtown LA. It still exists but is no longer the counter-style neighborhood stalwart and has become super-hip, with french fries.

  70. k

    What a delicious kick in the mouth! Adapting to what I had/other’s tastes, I used dried powdered horseradish and granulated onion instead of the fresh versions of each. I used half the sauce on floury potatoes, crushed after cooling, and half the sauce on waxy, squishy, tiny potatoes (we preferred the flavor and texture of the former). I haven’t made potato salad in… 10 years? I’ll make this again.

  71. Evie

    Made his for dinner tonight. Horseradish and dill, takes me back to my childhood.
    Favorites of my Russian Dad. Thanks for the delicious recipe.

  72. Jenn

    I made this for a barbecue today and everyone loved it, including the horseradish skeptics I used 2/3rds sour cream and 1/3rd yogurt, and a fair amount of pepper.

  73. Emily

    The sauce is the best part! Very flavorful but not overpowering.

    I made this for July 4, 2023. I used whatever potatoes I had on hand (so, not the ideal ones for a potato salad) and I boiled them a tad too long. Regardless, the sauce was super simple to make and this dish comes together quickly, as long as you have planned time to let the potatoes cool.

    I also think you could swap softened cream cheese (and maybe omit the vinegar) for the sour cream and have a delightful bagel spread. I will want to try that in the future! Thanks Deb

  74. Judy Thorne

    Just made this salad to go with BBQ ribs for dinner. It is over the top delicious – as long as you like horseradish!!
    I did add about 1/4 cup mayonnaise to the dressing as a personal preference. Thanks for an amazing recipe!!

    1. k

      I did something similar out of necessity – was short on plain yogurt, so I made up the balance with mayo. To fit my eaters, I used granulated onion instead of fresh, and I also bumped up the (creamy, prepared) horseradish, grainy mustard, and salt. I haven’t made potato salad in years, and this one is worth breaking the “fast”. Thanks, Deb – it’s delicious!