This tangy, dill-accented side dish is perfect for summer cookouts
Looking for a new take on an old summer favorite (namely, potato salad)? Well, you’ve come to the right post! A touch of horseradish can add ping — without overwhelming anyone’s tastebuds (or nasal passages).
Admittedly, some horseradish sauces can be so strong they bring tears to your eyes. But you don’t need to use those! The versions you’re likely to find in your local grocery store are far milder. Perfect, in fact, for adding interest to potato salad. Include some fresh dill as a flavor note, and sour cream as a base, and you can whip up a dish that will intrigue adults, but won’t be too overpowering for kids.
This dish makes a terrific sidekick for the wild salmon that’s now fresh in US markets. But it also pairs well with hot dogs, hamburgers, and grilled or barbecued chicken, pork, and beef. With July 4th coming up soon, it would make an outstanding addition to your cookout repertoire.
If you’ve had Horseradish Potato Salad before, you know how intoxicatingly good it is. If this dish is new to you, you’re in for a treat.
Recipe: Horseradish Potato Salad
This dish resembles the classic American (Mayonnaise) Potato Salad — but it substitutes sour cream for all (or most) of the mayonnaise, and switches out a few ingredients. That said, potato salad is potato salad. And once you’ve learned how to make one version, all the others are just variations on a theme.
I like to make this dish with sour cream only as the dressing base, but you can also mix in some mayonnaise or yogurt if you prefer. I think it tastes better if at least half the mix is sour cream.
Different brands of prepared horseradish feature varying degrees of sharpness. Whenever I buy a new brand, I always taste a small spoonful to determine how “hot” it is. If you’re in doubt about the brand you’ve bought, use a lesser amount the first time you make this potato salad. You can always add a bit more if you decide the dish is too wimpy for your taste.
This recipe makes enough to serve 6 to 8 as a side dish. It takes 20 to 30 minutes to prepare, plus another hour to chill. So 2 hours will cover you easily.
Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- ~2 pounds small, red potatoes (new potatoes are perfect; exact quantity not critical)
- 1 tablespoon salt for potato water
- ~¼ cup red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (you can substitute white or yellow onion, but I think red works particularly well in this recipe, and adds nice color)
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped (reserve a sprig or two for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped (optional but tasty; may want to reserve a sprig or two for garnish)
- ¾ cup sour cream (or a combo of sour cream and mayonnaise or yogurt; but it tastes best if at least half is sour cream)
- ~1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (may substitute red wine vinegar; to taste)
- 2 - 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish sauce (to taste; see Notes)
- salt to taste (probably about ¾ teaspoon)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (probably about ½ teaspoon)
- Scrub potatoes. Add them to a pot of water (4 quarts is good), and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, reduce heat to medium, and cook potatoes until done (a fork will slide into them with little resistance). Depending on the size of the potatoes, cooking can take 10 to 15 minutes. When done, cool the potatoes to room temperature, then cut them into halves or quarters (depending on what size potato chunks you want in the salad).
- Meanwhile, peel the red onion (you’ll probably need only part of a small one) and cut it into ¼-inch dice. You want a quarter cup or so — exact measurements are not critical.
- Wash and finely chop the dill. Wash and chop the chives (if using).
- In a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes, whisk together the sour cream (or the sour cream/mayo or sour cream/yogurt mix, if you prefer), vinegar, and horseradish sauce. Add the chopped dill, chives, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well combined, taste, and adjust seasoning and other flavorings if necessary.
- Add the potatoes, and gently toss to coat them. Taste and adjust seasoning and flavorings if necessary.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- Although you can make this salad with any size potatoes, I prefer small ones (no more than an inch and a half in diameter), preferably new potatoes. And I think ones with red skins look particularly nice in this recipe
- If you make this salad with larger potatoes, you can cook them whole or cut them up before cooking — a method I suggest in my post on Potato Salad Basics. If you cut up the potatoes first, just cook them as directed in that post, then toss them with vinegar and a bit of potato cooking liquid or chicken stock (to flavor the potatoes; don’t add too much — just enough to add a touch of flavor). Allow the potatoes to cool to room temperature, then proceed with Step 2 of this recipe — but omit or go light on the vinegar, since you’ve already tossed the potatoes with it.
- You can buy horseradish root and make your own horseradish sauce at home (essentially, you grate it and add vinegar). But it’s much easier to buy prepared horseradish. Every grocery store carries at least one brand, and most carry several.
- Prepared horseradish may be marketed as “horseradish,” “horseradish sauce,” or “cream style prepared horseradish.” They all work in this recipe; if it’s in a jar, it will combine with sour cream.
- That said, you sometimes see pink horseradish sauce (it contains beets as an ingredient). I wouldn’t recommend using that in this potato salad recipe, but I admit I haven’t tried it — maybe it’s sensational.
- BTW, as horseradish ages, it loses some heat. Although it’s safe to eat after the expiration date on the jar, the quality may be diminished.
- Horseradish is similar to Japanese wasabi. In fact, some of the less expensive “wasabi” preparations are actually made with horseradish, because wasabi root is rather expensive.
According to horseradish.org, horseradish has been around for a good 3,000 years. Egyptians knew about it, and ancient Greeks used it both as a rub for low back pain and as an aphrodisiac. Horseradish often features in Passover seders as one of the bitter herbs.
Its most widespread culinary use was probably in Central Europe. But in the 17th century, it also became common in England (rare roast beef and horseradish make a wonderful combo). Its English-language name doesn’t have anything to do with equines, though. “Horse” used to be an adjective that meant “strong.”
Horseradish was brought to the US by colonial settlers, and it became very popular in kitchen gardens. Eventually, it made its way to the area around Collinsville, Illinois — a town about 12 miles from St. Louis, where I live. Conditions for raising horseradish are excellent in Collinsville, which today grows most of the world’s supply. So the horseradish I eat is locally sourced!
Collinsville holds an International Horseradish Festival during the first weekend in June, with loads of fun activities.
We just missed that event. But no worries — because July is National Horseradish Month in the US.
To celebrate, may I recommend Horseradish Potato Salad? No need to thank me.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Potato Salad Basics
American (Mayonnaise) Potato Salad
Mustard Potato Salad
French Potato Salad
German Potato Salad with Bacon
Hungarian Cucumber Salad Sauteed Cucumbers
Jalapeño Coleslaw with Pimentón
Creamy Cole Slaw
Tangy tangy tangy, I LOVE THIS POTATO SALAD :D
Sorry got excited :P
Sounds delish! I have one lb. sitting on the cabinet from the FM. I need to find a recipe for homemade horseradish sauce. We have it in the garden.
Hi Uru, definitely tangy - I like! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Debra, I've never made homemade horseradish sauce, but I need to! Definitely something I'll be working on. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Wow, first Karen shared a great salmon recipe for me to try tonight and now I have your awesome potato salad recipe! Yay, I'm so excited to try a few new dishes for supper!! xx
Hi Barb, reading blogs sometimes really solves the question of what to make for dinner! This is totally tasty, and combines wonderfully well with salmon. Thanks for the comment.
The prettiest potato salad! I love that red onion in there and the dill .......... mmmmm!
Hi Chris, it looks great, and tastes better! Really a fun salad. Thanks for the comment.
MMM MMM Potato salad is one of my favorite things about summer. Looks like a great recipe, John!!
I can just imagine this pairing so well with salmon. Dill, salmon and potatoes are such a winning combination. And I'm a big fan of potato salad and horseradish too - I don't mind the heat from horseradish. Beautiful images as usual xx
Love this hearty and comforting salad!! Can't go wrong with the spiciness from horseradish :)
John, this was amazing! We did the three tbsps of horseradish and added some boiled eggs as well. I loved it, we all loved it. It will be made again and again I'm certain:D
This is one good-looking potato salad! And I love everything in it, especially the horseradish and dill. This dish definitely says summer. Love the tidbit about horseradish and, of course, the recipe John!
Hi Barb, so glad you liked it! And thanks a bunch for letting me know. The idea of adding some boiled eggs is brilliant! ;-)
Hi Kristi, pretty hard to resist potato salad, isn't it? And this is a really good one! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Charlie, I really like the heat from horseradish! And it's great in this potato salad. Thanks for the kind words, and comment.
Hi Kiran, I totally agree with you on not going wrong with the spiciness of horseradish! Great stuff, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.
Hi Gomo, I agree this dish really does say summer - really good stuff. Thanks for the comment.
I'm posting my favorite potato salad tomorrow and ours has a lot in common...the sour cream part and the lack of relish part...YEAH!!
I love a touch of horseradish and am OK with dill too; I'm gonna have to try this John...thanks!
Yup, I've made a similar potato salad...what a delicious change from the norm! And I have horseradish in the fridge just waiting for this recipe.
Hi Barb, I actually like relish in a mayo-based potato salad, but definitely not in one with sour cream. ;-) Look forward to reading your recipe! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Liz, horseradish adds such nice zip to potato salad, doesn't it? I love it! Great change, as you say. Thanks for the comment.
What a beautiful dish, John! I am such a fan of potato salad. But I grew up on the traditional mayo covered potatoes with the addition of eggs. I LOVE the idea of using sour cream. I would think that would lighten things up right there. But I REALLY LOVE the idea of adding horseradish! I always seem to want extra in my bloody mary's but have never thought to add it to potato salad before. GREAT idea! : )
This sounds wonderful! Horseradish and potatoes are such a great combo.
I bet this does go good with salmon! Love the amount of horseradish you use in this salad! Talk about a spicy bite! I've never made potato salad with sour cream before, always mayonnaise. Looks like I need to start mixing things up a bit. This looks great!
Hi Anne, if you like extra horseradish in your Bloody Mary's, you'll truly like this dish. ;-) Sour cream, potatoes, and horseradish is a wonderful combo! Happy eating. ;-) And thanks for the comment.
Hi Jeanne, it really is a terrific duo! So much goodness. ;-) Thanks for your comment.
Hi MJ, I think you and Bobby might really like this - a fair bit of spice, and the sour cream adds just the right soothing touch. Mayo is excellent in potato salad, but sour cream has tons to offer. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Although I'm not a big fan of horseradish, your potato salad with sour cream is very refreshing! I only use mayo for (Japanese) potato salad and it's time to try making different potato salad at home! I love all kinds of potato salad, so this is going to be my next trial!
I tend to avoid making potato salad unless I've guests due to arrive. It's just too much effort to make some for myself alone. I think you recipe will put that latter statement to the test. I like all things horseradish, John, and a bit in potato salad sounds perfect. Like, too, your use of sour cream and think, though it works well anytime, it would be particularly well-suited for this potato salad. This was a good post and a recipe I'm sure to make. My neighbor has dill growing wild throughout her yard. Guess what I'll be making the next time she passes me some dill over the fence? Thanks, John:)
Nice salad to pair with grilled meats, mmmmmm!
Horseradish is a good alternative to wasabi, I would love to experiment with horseradish sauce, as I have not experimented with this so far. The Sour cream dressing sounds really cool in this potato salad! A must-try!!
I absolutely love potato salad, but I've never tried it with horseradish before. I bet it gives it a great zing of flavour!
I'm a mayo girl for potato salad from way back when but, I can actually imagine how "intoxicatingly good" this potato salad recipe would be using sour cream and horseradish another personal favorite of mine. (I've actually made my own, so easy:)
Thank you so much for sharing, John
BTW, National Horseradish Month is in July, lol...
Hi Nami, mayo-based potato salads are classic and wonderful; but this sour cream variant really is worth trying. Hope you enjoy! Thanks for the comment.
Hi John, I can certainly understand why you'd avoid making potato salad for just yourself: it's not only the work, but the quantity that most recipes make! You'd be eating it for a week. Of course this version is worth eating every day for a week. ;-) Time to raid your neighbor's yard for the dill! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Raymund, this really combines well with grilled meat - beef in particular. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Purabi, horseradish sauce is really interesting stuff - once you start using it, you'll find tons of uses. And it combines excellently with sour cream! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Christine, tons of zing! ;-) It really is nice. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Louise, I probably know that July is National Horseradish Month from reading your blog! And although I'm a big mayo fan in potato salad too, this actually might be better. But that may be the horseradish talking. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
John, my taste buds are tingling! I adore horseradish and love that you dollop it in potato salad (along with sour cream...so good). Potato salad always means summer to me so it's time to make some soon! Happy summer to you!
Hi Hannah, happy summer to you! This is a wonderful dish - I'll bet you'd enjoy it since you love horseradish. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Nothing says summer more than potato salad. Love that this is kicked up with horseradish! It does sound great with salmon - I am eating so much wild salmon it's crazy!
Love the addition of horseradish!!
Hi Laura, is it even legal to go all summer without having potato salad? ;-) This really is great with salmon - and we've been eating a ton, too. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Alyssa, the horseradish really adds so much great flavor. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
i love potato salads but sometimes they get a bit boring, never did i think of adding horseradish tho! thx!
Hi milkteaxx, horseradish in potato salad is anything but boring! ;-) Tons of flavor, loads of fun. Thanks for the comment.
Hi John ,
The potato salad looks so yummy , it's a must have ... fresh salmon is plentiful here this time of year . Never had horseradish and dill in potato salad , it's a must have . Won't you join me , I'm having a 'Caipirinha Cocktail' . Thanks for sharing :-)
Hi Nee, I'd love to join you for a Caipirinha! ;-) This is a great potato salad, IMO - I think you'd like it. It's terrific with salmon. Thanks for the comment.
I am a horseradish fanatic. Love the stuff. The stronger the better, too. LOL
Hi Carolyn, doesn't horseradish have such a nice zing to it? I'll bet if you made this you'd add quite a bit more horseradish than I suggest! Thanks for the comment.
I had to laugh at horseradish.org :) I've never had horseradish potato salad because having moved to Texas straight from England, I ate and started making the Southern style potato salad with the eggs and pickle. I do like horseradish so I will definitely try this. I am quite sure it's a great accompaniment to salmon. It looks wonderful.
A beautiful! That is something I love to eat with smoked mackerel.
I'm intrigued with the sour cream version of this potato salad. Although I have used sour cream in mashed potatoes and loved that so I can imagine it would be equally tasty in a potato salad. Will have to give this one a try the next time I make some. Thanks for sharing.
This salad sounds so very central European with the horseradish and dill. We use a lots of horseradish over there, it's a basic ingredient. my uncle once bit into a root, thinking he could take any kind of chilli spice and pungent flavors, his head was like a tomato and sine that he is more wary. lol
Thank you for sharing your recipe John, I miss my home now.
I love horseradish - the hotter, the better! This salad sounds terrific, and your right. It would be great with grilled salmon.
Hi Nazneen, that horseradish.org has loads of fun stuff! The Southern style potato salad is quite good - I particularly like the mustard variety - but this is a nice change. And it's great with salmon. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Rosa, I hadn't thought of pairing this with smoked mackerel (or any smoked fish) but I'll bet it would be a wonderful combo! Thanks for the idea. ;-) And thanks for the comment.
Hi Anne, the sour cream makes a really nice change from mayo in potato salad. Such a great tangy flavor! And of course horseradish adds its own tang. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Helene, my impression is central Europe really developed a lot of the recipes for horseradish. I'll bet the origins of this recipe are from Europe (so many recipes are). Great story about your uncle! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Kristi, this salad is really wonderful with horseradish. Goes with with BBQ ribs, too! And I'm in love with horseradish too! Thanks for the comment.
Most Jewish mothers probably have red horseradish stains on their Passover tablecloth. Does it taste different? Due to the beet juice it is usually a touch sweeter and not as strong as white horseradish. As one who grinds her own, I love having other recipes to use horseradish with because it does lose a lot of strength quickly. This looks like a great recipe to use that horseradish up! Thanks!
Hi Abbe, great info - thanks for that! I gotta start making my own horseradish - I've done it once or twice, but it's been so long ago I've forgotten all the details! And I'm sure the flavor is much better when freshly made. Thanks for the comment.
Your potato salad sounds and looks great John, I never had with horseradish, and I think I would enjoy a touch of it, just to bring the potato salad to a different level.
Thanks for the recipe and have a great week :D
Another gorgeous picture!
Everything looks so appetizing, I would love to try the potato salad right now!
It seems that summer is perfect for dill because it's so light and fresh.
We are definitely at the same wave length because I just published a new recipe that uses dill as well :))
Hi Juliana, horseradish is a fun ingredient in potato salad - something out of the usual. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Daniela, I'll definitely be by to check out your dill recipe! And I agree it's a great ingredient in the summer. Thanks for the comment.
This looks super perfect for any summer BBQ and I have a lot coming up!
Hi Natalie, you'll have to make for this at least one BBQ! ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Maybe I'm having a starch deficiency lately, but all potato dishes have been particularly enticing... this one looks amazing! Perfect for a summer picnic. I've never actually used horseradish in a potato salad, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing!
I could eat it just like a salad, not a side dish. I like potatoes and it's always nice to have a new delicious version of it.
Mrs. Kitchen Riffs is one hell of a lucky woman as she gets to eat this kinda food pretty often :)
Colorful, provocative pictures made my day :)
Hi Irina, although I don't often make potato salad with horseradish, whenever I do I always wonder why I don't do it more often - it's really good! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Marta, I could see eating this as a salad! It's got such terrific flavor it deserves its own course. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Suborna, we do get to eat rather well - one of the good things about doing a blog. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
3000 years and to think I haven't tried it! I could definitely use a horseradish potato salad about now, it's really heating up around these parts (and I'm sure, around yours too!).
Hi Ala, yup it's hot here - in the 90s. You definitely should give this a try - nice and tangy! Thanks for the comment.
I love potato salad. Straubs makes one similar to this that is delicious. I will have to try your version which will be perfect for the 4th of July.
Hi Vicki, I've had the Straub's version, and it's quite good. I'm of course prejudiced, but I think mine's better! Thanks for the comment.
This is a new one for me. I must admit that I'm not a fan of horseradish, but I can actually see myself using it as an ingredient in a potato salad. If I did, I'd make my husband very happy!
Hi Beth, if you're not that fond of horseradish,you can reduce the amount until it's just a whisper of flavor. Or maybe make a batch with just a little for yourself, and a batch with a lot for your husband! Thanks for the comment.
Oh John, the flavours of this.... I am loving the sound of it! Now, if only we can find a way to convince my Peter that potato salad with mayo is a good thing. Sadly, he hates it. ; ( Great recipe, great post. I am going to share this far and wide!
Hi Lizzy, just use all sour cream in this recipe - no mayo needed! Thanks for the kind words and for sharing, not to mention taking time to comment!
Sour cream would be ok, I note that you have given that option, many thanks John... he wouldn't eat horseradish either. Gah! Still love your recipe.
Hi Lizzy, well in that case you'll just have to make a batch for yourself! Maybe when he sees how blissed out you get eating it, he'll be tempted. ;-)
I am not a big fan of horseradish, but your pictures make this potato salad look so yummy I know I would love this.
Hi Dawn, it's a really nice salad, though if horseradish isn't your thing, I'd skip it - so much other good stuff to eat! Thanks for the comment.
delicious treat,love the combination of horseradish with potatoes,will try it out soon,thanks for sharing
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Hi Kumar, it's a really tasty dish! Well worth trying. And I'll certainly take a look at your blog (really, though, no need to spam your URL in your comment!) Thanks for the comment.
Im looking at planting some horseradish as my hubby loves it and I think if I made him this salad I would score some major brownie points, As long as I served it up with a nice piece of beef.
Hi Lizzie, scoring brownie points is always a good thing! It would be fun to grow your own horseradish. I live so close to excellent commercial stuff that it's not worth it for me given the limited garden space I have (you, on the other hand, have tons of space!). Thanks for the comment.
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