Garlicky mustard vinaigrette adds moxie to this side (or main) dish
Cookouts are around the corner. That means potato salad on the picnic table.
But we like it even better on our dining room table. Add in some sausage, and it can even serve as a main course. Bonus: It’s quick and easy enough to make for a weeknight meal.
Tot another one up for taters.
Recipe: Potato and Sausage Salad
This dish just basically adds sausage to classic French Potato Salad.
What kind of sausage should you use? Something with a bit of kick, we say. Kielbasa or polish sausage are good (and available everywhere). Italian sausage, Mexican chorizo, or andouille work too. If you can find a French-style garlic sausage, that would be superb.
Prep plus cooking time for this dish adds up to about 20 - 30 minutes. You can serve this dish warm or at room temperature (see Notes).
This recipe yields 4 side-dish servings, or 2 to 3 main-course servings. If serving it as a main, you may want to add a green salad.
Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.
For the vinaigrette:
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- salt to taste (a couple of pinches of kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (maybe half a dozen grinds for us)
For the salad:
- ~1 pound of potatoes (see Notes)
- ~1 tablespoon salt for seasoning the potato cooking water
- ~6 ounces sausage (see recipe headnote for suggestions)
- ~2 teaspoons olive oil for cooking the sausage (optional; see Notes)
- ¼ cup chopped scallions (or to taste)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- additional salt to taste, if needed
- First, make the vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients (garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper) in a small container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until the ingredients are well combined. Set aside until needed. (See Notes if you want to prepare this in advance.)
- Scrub the potatoes well, then peel them or not, according to your preference. Chop the potatoes roughly into chunks of about ¾ inch (or cut them into slices of any thickness you prefer). Add the potatoes to a cooking pot filled with cold water (a couple quarts of water is more than enough). Season the water with salt to taste. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. They should be just the slightest bit firm, but not at all crunchy. (This usually takes about 8 minutes for potatoes that are chunked to the size we suggest. See Notes for more on cooking time.)
- Meanwhile, cut the sausage into slices of about ¼ inch in thickness. Place a large frying pan over medium stovetop heat. When it’s hot, add the olive oil (if using), then the sausage slices. Sauté the sausage slices until they’re brown on both sides (perhaps 5 minutes total, but see Notes). Remove the sausage slices with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.
- While the sausage is cooking, add the chopped scallions to a large, heatproof bowl.
- When the potatoes are cooked (Step 2), drain them well and add them to the bowl with the scallions. Immediately add the vinaigrette (from Step 1) and mix together. Let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 minutes, until the potatoes have cooled somewhat and absorbed much of the vinaigrette. Then add the cooked sausage slices (Step 3) and the minced parsley. Toss with the potatoes until well mixed (make sure not to break up the potatoes too much).
- Taste, add salt if necessary, and serve.
- This dish tastes best warm (right after it’s been made) or at room temperature – so you can let it sit for an hour or so before serving. If you’re making this dish in advance, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, then let it stand at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before serving.
- We often make the vinaigrette ahead of time, then refrigerate it in an airtight container until ready to use. Before adding it to the salad, we let it sit at room temperature for at least 45 minutes.
- For extra flavor, we sometimes toss the warm potatoes (Step 5) with a couple or three tablespoons of dry vermouth or dry white wine (chicken stock or a couple tablespoons of potato cooking water would work too, but the end result won’t be as tasty). We let the warm potatoes marinate in the vermouth/wine for a couple of minutes (until they’ve absorbed the liquid), then add the vinaigrette. We toss the potatoes with the dressing, then add the sausage and parsley and toss again.
- If you’re using a precooked sausage (like kielbasa), you just need to cook the sausage long enough to warm it through and brown it as much as you like. If you’re using an uncooked sausage (like Italian or Mexican chorizo), make sure to cook it long enough so that the sausage is completely done.
- BTW, most sausage contains enough fat that you probably don’t need to add olive oil to the pan to cook it. We do so because it makes browning the slices a bit easier.
- What kind of potatoes to use in this recipe? Go for a waxy variety, not a mealy baking potato. Yukon gold or any of the red-skinned varieties would work well.
- Peel the potatoes or not? Your choice. If the potato skin is at all green, peel. The green is chlorophyll, which indicates that a toxin called solanine is present in the potato. The amount of solanine that you’ll find in potatoes is pretty minute, so it probably won’t make you sick, but why take chances? (BTW, potato leaves and stems are loaded with solanine, which is why we don’t eat them.)
- If you peel the potatoes and then cook them in water, you do lose some nutrients. But most of us have diets that aren’t remotely nutrient deficient, so it’s not a major problem.
- Cooking time for the potatoes depends on how big the pieces are. If you cut the potatoes into slices of ¼ inch or less, they’ll take only minutes to cook (maybe 3 or 4). If you cook the potatoes whole (then peel and slice them after cooking), they can take a good 20 minutes to cook. If in doubt – and we usually are – start testing the potatoes minutes before you think they’ll be done. (To test, we use a thin knife and poke a slice or two; when there’s just the barest resistance, the potato is probably done. If still in doubt, we fish out a piece and take a bite.)
- Need some ingredient substitutions or additions? You can substitute shallots or onions for the scallions. If using Mexican chorizo, you may want to add some chopped jalapeño pepper to the mix. And maybe add some hot sauce to the vinaigrette. If using Cajun andouille, you might want to add chopped celery and green bell pepper (and again add hot sauce to the vinaigrette). You get the idea.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
“Mon dieu!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “French potato salad is my fave. Add sausage to the mix, and it’s taterly delicious.”
“Yup, this recipe cuts the mustard,” I said. “It takes meat and potatoes to a whole ‘nother level.”
“It’s really appeeling,” said Mrs K R. “Spud-tacular, you might say.”
And you thought my potato puns were pomme de terrible.
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This is PERFECT for the bbq season. The sausages are perfectly caramelized and the potato chunks look really mellow and delicious.
Hi Angie, isn't it? Although around here we do BBQ throughout the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.
John, I am sitting here with the whole Pavlov's dog thing going on. This sounds so very delicious, nice and tangy. And I can imagine the wonderful aromas as the warm potatoes, scallions and vinaigrette all combine. A beautiful recipe!
Hi Terry, lovely flavors in this. And so simple! Just like us. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Lovely looking dish! I always have a pound of smoked sausage in the fridge, potatoes in the bin and cauliflower for the ketoian here. I will make this both ways for the two of us!
Hi Anne, cauliflower makes excellent "potato" salad! It'll work great in this recipe. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This looks fantastic and perfect for a summer meal!
Hi Martha, it's really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
My daughter enjoys eating sausages with potatoes so I know she would LOVE this salad.
My first memory of French potato salad was as an appetizer in a very low-priced restaurant. It was served with a small herring filet. You can tell it was a long time ago because it cost something like $1 for a three-course meal. I think the carafe of house wine was extra.
I am glad that you (like Julia Child) recommend a bit of Vermouth on the hot potatoes.
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Pam, sausages and potatoes pair so well! Great flavor combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Mae, I suspect I learned that from Julia Child! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Meat and potatoes. You can go wrong there. Love your Garlicky vinaigrette and the addition Dijon mustard. We prefer potato salads without the mayo so this one is sure to please. Side or a main, the boys are going to love this one...
Hi Bobbi, we're OK with mayo-based potato salads, but really prefer those made with vinaigrette. And yeah, I'll bet your boys really will love this! Thanks for the comment.
Hi R, double yum, I'd say. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh, that is easily a main dish for me. This looks delicious
Hi Pat and Dahn, we like this as a main, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
you and the missus are so funny KR! love a potato salad, but i'd probably leave out the sausage:) Obvs. a cookout is an outdoors BBQ meal?
Hi Sherry, easy enough to leave out the sausage. :-) And yup, cookout and BBQ meal are essentially the same thing. Thanks for the comment.
Yummy, this sounds delicious. A perfect potato salad with delicious sausages, this is just sensational and I am writing down your classic dressing as we speak. Thanks John :D
Hi Merryn, sensational is a good word. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Potatoes and Sausage? Count me in! Not only do I love both, the fact that they are in the same dish has me swooning.
Hi Abbe, we swoon too, when we eat this. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'm ready for a cookout! Hopefully it's stopped snowing here so our grill can come out of hibernation. This potato salad looks incredible. Adding sausage is a great idea.
Hi Lea Ann, it's been a cold spring, hasn't it? Getting warmer here, finally -- time to grill! :-) Thanks for the comment.
My stomach just started growling as I read this post! What a simply wonderful salad. Thanks.
Hi Mimi, this is totally growl-worthy. :-) Thanks for the comment.
The garlic mustard vinaigrette is drool worthy
Hi Taurna, it is, it is. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Potatoes and sausage make a fantastic combination! So wonderful with the vinaigrette!
Hi Kelly, a combo that's hard to resist. :-) Thanks for the comment.
To bastardize a popular Billy Joel song "I'm in a potato salad state of mind..." GREG
Wow, a tasty dish I can whip up in 20 minutes? Sign me up. :-)
Hi Greg, LOL! We're always in a potato state of mind. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Frank, we're all for good dishes that we can prepare in a jiffy. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'm not a huge fan of American-style potato salads loaded with tons of mayo! This variation, on the other hand, is exactly how I like my potato salads, with a little of olive oil or an aromatic vinaigrette! And paired with sausage? I'm in!
Hi Ben, we're in, too! :-) Thanks for the comment.
This sounds like a fantastic, everyday kind of meal, John. Thanks!
Hi Jeff, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.
A vinaigrette on a potato and sausage salad? Now that's a new one on me. It looks delicious and lots of flavor. This would go great with sme BBQ ribs.
Hi MJ, that's a combo we need to try! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Generally sausages used in potato salads are sort of plasticky and bland, so your suggestion of sausages makes this salad looks much better than the usual one :)
Hi FT, we're not real fans of bland. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Ooh that vinaigrette sounds divine!
Hi Laura, it's really good. :-) We use it often on lettuce salads, too. Thanks for the comment.
Yum, I love salads like this one!
Woohoo! Adding some vermouth to the potato salad? Now I'm hooked!
Hi Natalia, we do too! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Fran, it really adds a nice layer of flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I know that we will love a variation on this (minus the garlicky sausage) — but your chorizo suggestion is perfect, as I made a huge batch this week! And got Yukon golds at the market this morning. Great recipe, John!
Meat and potatoes in one dish, how could it not be good. 😊
Hi David, nice thing about this recipe is it's pretty flexible -- you can substitute pretty much at will. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Karen, our kind of meal! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Why didn't anyone think of this before? I mean, who wouldn't love some sausage goodness added to a favorite potato salad? Meat and potatoes -- summer's best way!
Hi Carolyn, potato salad and sausages go SO well together. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This recipe looks fabulous to me and now that I can find vegan sausage I'll be able to try it. thanks
Hi Judee, we're just beginning to experiment with vegan "meat" and sausages -- there are a lot of choices out there! Thanks for the comment.
I'm ready for potato salad season! Love the dressing with Dijon here.
I loved your idea to infuse your French style potato salad with the sausage... that really brings out all of the other flavors so beautifully!
Hi Lisa, we're ready for potato salad season, too! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Heidi, and there are a lot of great flavors to bring out in this dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a hearty and delicious twist to potato salad!
Hi Amy, this is really a fun dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.
That is a perfect combination, meat and potatoes what can go wrong. Nice choice for sausage too
potato and sausage is a perfect combination. I love how you made a salad with them. Perfect for the BBQ season coming up!
Hi Raymund, never can go wrong with meat and potatoes! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Holly, we're looking forward to BBQ season! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I have so many wonderful memories of my grandmother bringing kielbasa, both fresh and smoked, over to our house for holidays. I will make this in honor of her.
Hi Laura, you should! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Looks like a dish packed with flavour and such a bonus that it’s quick and easy to make.
Hi Eva, it's really, really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Looks yummy! And thanks for the potato cooking tips. I don't make potato salad because the only time I tried (bleep years ago) the potatoes came out wrong. Time to try again!
Hi Inger, we used to dislike making potato salad until we started dicing up the potatoes first, then cooking. Much quicker and easier that way! Thanks for the comment.
I love this combination -- all year! The potatoes look especially rich and creamy. Delicious! :-) ~Valentina
Hi Valentina, such a simple dish, yet so satisfying. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love this recipe, John!! I agree, this would be a fantastic weeknight meal!
Hi Marcelle, it is! Ask us how we know. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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