southwestern potato salad

You are about to become the talk of your next dinner party cookout when you show up with this potato salad.

Here's why:

  1. sweet potatoes
  2. no dill
  3. no mayo
  4. delicious zesty flavor

This idea came to me after noticing I like to eat cold sweet potatoes.  I typically steam a big batch of cubed sweet potatoes each week and incorporate them into lunches.  But lately, those cubes have been going straight from the fridge into my mouth.

So then I got to thinking.  Hmmmm, cold sweet potato salad?

Ohhh yaaaah.  It's happening.


This potato salad has crunch + chew in all the right places and a big burst of freshness from the herbs.  I used fresh parsley + oregano to top each serving, as I pretty much despise cilantro.

Keep this in your fridge for weekday meals + snacks or dish out to a large crowd.  It will feed a boatload of people.


And serving out of brightly colored salsa bowls is highly recommended.


Print this!

Southwestern Potato Salad

gluten-free, vegan // yields 6-8 large servings

For the salad:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans, rinsed + drained
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet corn
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon safflower oil
  • salt + pepper
  • lime wedges + fresh parsley/oregano/cilantro, to top

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3-4 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, or honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • scant 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper
  1. Add dressing ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously until fully combined.  Set aside.
  2. Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add chopped potatoes to the pot of boiling water and boil for about 8-12 minutes until just tender.  Do not overcook.  Taste-test a few cubes for doneness.  
  4. Pour potatoes into a large colander and rinse with cold water for ~1 minute to stop the cooking.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a medium pan over medium heat with 1/2 tablespoon oil.
  6. Once hot, add the onion and a large pinch of salt to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds then add the corn and cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the corn starts to slightly brown and the onion is soft.  
  8. Remove from heat and pour onto a plate to cook for a few minutes.
  9. Empty the sweet potatoes, black beans, bell peppers, and corn mixture into a large bowl.
  10. Pour about 3/4 of the dressing overtop and gently toss to coat.
  11. Place in the fridge [uncovered] until fully chilled and then cover until ready to serve.
  12. Gently stir the mixture, then taste and add more dressing, salt, and pepper if needed and stir again to distribute.
  13. Place in individual bowls or in a large serving dish and top with fresh parsley, oregano, and/or cilantro.  Serve with lime wedges on the side.

notes/substitutions:  *The adobo sauce gives this dish a nice smoky flavor and adds heat.  If you can't find it or can only tolerate a mild spice I would add something like a mild chipotle powder to recreate the smoky flavor.  Chipotle adobo sauce is typically found in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store in a small can.It's important that the potato cubes are as close to the same size as possible to ensure even cooking.  Adding fresh herbs at the end really helps this dish pop.  Before adding more salt and pepper I like to let the dressing soak into the potato salad as the mixture chills in the fridge.  Once chilled, I taste and then add more salt + pepper as needed.  Add cayenne for an extra pop of spice!


It's about time potato salad got a face lift, don't you think?