Coming Out Hot! Spicy Grilled Potato Salad

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Recipes
Tags: ,

I’m not a fan of potato salad because it’s sweet. No matter whose potato salad I have, the underlying sweetness is a turnoff. And for some reason the mayo/pickles combo weirds me out. And finally, I’m not a fan of the harsh texture differences. I don’t like the soft potatoes with the crunch of the onions and celery. Add in mushy eggs, and it’s even worse. The weird thing is I like all of the foods I’ve complained individually, but together is not for me.

But, when faced with a challenge by America’s Test Kitchen to make potato salad, potato salad I’ll make! I used some of my favorite flavors, more pleasing textures, and since it’s a summertime food, the grill! I actually spent a lot of time brainstorming this recipe, and might continue to tweak it in the future.

Grilled veggies, more subtle texture variances, and spice. What more could you want?

I knew I’d use red potatoes. Partly because I like them, but mostly because I had them in my pantry. And I knew I wanted spicy. I wanted to replace the mayo with a creamy, lower-fat alternative. And replace the crunchy onions and celery with something with a less dramatic crunch. And I tossed out the pickles and eggs all together.

My sauce was inspired by America’s Test Kitchen’s healthy Green Goddess Dip. I used their technique of pureeing boiling water with low-fat cottage cheese, then adding sour cream. And for an easy dose of spice, I added the salsa I’m presently obsessed with. No, really, I put this salsa in and on everything. It’s the light of my life. And of course I’d need to add seasonings. But what was I going to replace the veggies with? It is a salad, after all.

I finally decided grilled corn would make the cut. And at the last minute, green onions.

Two pounds of potatoes. Scrubbed clean. Because cleanliness is next to godliness. Which is apparently next to my stove. Because that’s where these clean potatos were hanging out. Then I threw all of them in my Tater Baker and cooked on high for about 6 minutes, or until they just barely started to soften.

Here I am, basting the freshly cut and skewered potatoes and corn with olive oil. I think I used just about 1/4 of a cup. If you have leftover oil, you can re-baste once they’re on the grill. Never fear, no olive oil was wasted in the making of this potato salad.

These look like they’re pretty seasoned because they are. I love seasonings. You can season here however you like. I always encourage over-use of garlic and Italian seasoning. And what are potatoes and corn without a little salt?

Then throw everything on the grill. Well, don’t throw or you might have potatoes de-skewer and go overboard. No one wants to serve dinner to a dinner guests who wrongly assume their potatoes were never on the ground.

Here’s the cottage cheese. Dump that in your food processor with the 1/8 cup of boiling water. I boiled a little over 1/4 cup of water then poured out the excess and dumped in the rest. Don’t do too much or it will get watery. If nothing else, err on the short side of 1/8 cup.

Once the cottage cheese is all creamy and dreamy, add the sour cream.

And the salsa. I think salsa’s so much easier and tastier than store-bought. But use store bought if you like. I don’t judge.

 I always pulse those first ingredients then add cilantro and seasonings. And pulse it all about.

I pull my veggies from the grill. Grill marks are a glorious thing, aren’t they? I put the whole pan in my freezer to cool quickly. You could also opt for the fridge if you’re not incessantly impatient and hungry.


At this point, everything’s in my mixing bowl except the green onions. You can add them now if you’re serving immediately. If you’re going to refrigerate, I’d suggest adding the green onions at the last minute with a quick mix. Primarily to maintain texture.

And finally, into your serving bowl. My mom says everything tastes better in a pretty bowl. I think it’s true. Top with the remaining green onions. Voila!

I served with BLTs. The texture of the corn and green onions was definitely more pleasant than regular onions and celery. The cilantro gave it a fresh summery taste. While the sauce was creamy but not too heavy.

Next time I make this, I’m going to try to pulse together cream cheese and salsa (rather than cottage cheese, water, sour cream and salsa). I think that would be a nice combo if the cream cheese gets smooth enough. So you might try that combination as well.


  • 2 pounds red potatoes, cleaned
  • 2 ears corn, shucked and cleaned
  • ½ c low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/8  c boiling water
  • ¼ c fat free sour cream
  • ¾ c salsa
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp French fry seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ c cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ c
  • 1 lime’s juice
  • 1 bunch green onions, greens only, chopped
  • Spices to taste for corn and potatoes
    • French fry seasoning
    • Italian seasoning
    • Black pepper
    • Garlic powder
    • Cayenne pepper or any tex-mex seasoning blend

Leaving on skins, bake potatoes until slightly underdone using a Tater Baker (or you could boil them or cook them in foil on the grill – don’t let me box you in). Let potatoes cool enough to handle.

Warm a grill on high for about 10 minutes. Cut potatoes into large bite-sized pieces, big enough to skewer, and skewer them. Baste both the skewered potatoes and corn with olive oil. Then sprinkle to taste with seasonings. Place potatoes and corn on grill, lowering temperature to medium. Close grill lid and cook. After 7-10 minutes flip and cook the remaining side another 7-10 minutes or until corn has started to soften and potatoes start to crisp.

Place the cottage cheese and boiling water in a food processor and process until smooth. Add sour cream , salsa, and cilantro and process until blended well. Add French fry seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper to adjust flavor.

Remove potatoes and corn from grill. Cut ears of corn off the cob, and remove potatoes from skewers. Place in freezer to cool. Pour creamy salsa mixture over vegetables and toss to mix. Serve immediately or store in air-tight container. When it’s time to serve, toss with most of the green onions and pour into clean, bright-colored bowl. Top with remaining green onions.


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