Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

A fabulous no-mayo potato salad recipe with Southwestern flavors like chipotle, bell peppers, tomato, red onion, cilantro. lime and warm spices.


I love mayonnaise. Too much. However, I live with a mayonnaise hater. He often puts a skull and crossbones on my jar of mayonnaise in the frig. But he’s not the only one; several members of his family hate mayonnaise too. When I make anything for a party, I have to be absolutely positive there’s no mayo in it or there will be an uprising. And not only mayo, they hate mustard too! Ay ya yay.

I made this for my honey and he loved it, even with the few teaspoons of mustard – you really can’t taste them. But don’t worry, she who will remain nameless, when I bring it over this weekend, it won’t have any mustard in it, that’s a promise. I wonder how omitting it will affect the final flavor. If anyone has any ideas for substitutions, please let me know in the comments.

Strange food tastes aside, this is a great potato salad for anyone, especially those who are watching their fat, except, of course, for that 3/4 cup of cheese, but I suppose you could omit that too. This dish is packed full of flavor. The vinegar and lime give it a nice tang. If heat isn’t your thing, start by adding half the chipotle and then add more if you want to.

Southwestern Potato Salad | Grabbing the Gusto

Southwestern Potato Salad | Grabbing the Gusto

Southwestern Potato Salad

You’ll need a small bowl, whisk, large bowl, large pot (to boil potatoes) and colander.


  • 1/4 cup lime juice or white wine vinegar (or 2 tablespoons of each, 1 lime yields 2 tablespoons of juice)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pureed or minced chipotles in adobo
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest – I usually use just one large lime
  • 1-2 cloves crushed garlic

Whisk together the lime juice/vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. In a very slow trickle, whisk in the oil until it’s incorporated. Mix in the remaining ingredients and set aside. Remove garlic before tossing with the salad later.


  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3.5 pounds red-skin or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 cup diced red and green bell pepper – I use more red than green
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack or whatever you prefer)
  • Optional: corn, scallions and/or chives

In a very large bowl, combine the vinegar and salt. Allow the salt to dissolve into the vinegar.

In the meantime, boil the potatoes in salted water until they can be pieced easily with a fork. Drain and cool until they’re cool enough to handle. Cut into bite-sized chunks.

Toss the potatoes in the vinegar-salt mixture to coat and soak. Fold in the peppers, tomatoes, onion, cilantro and jalapeno. Whisk the dressing again, if necessary, and mix into the salad. Toss with cheese, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Variations: Add corn, scallions or chives. Kick up the heat by adding a pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper. 

Original recipes: Create Your Own Potato Salad, Fine Cooking and Fiesta Potato Salad, Bounteous

Southwestern Potato Salad | Grabbing the Gusto

Kitchen rules in our house
Southwestern Potato Salad | Grabbing the Gusto


7 thoughts on “Southwestern Potato Salad

  1. She who will remain nameless says:

    This looks yummy! Especially with the Jalapenos.

    I appreciate your honesty! It is difficult to live in this world as a Mayo/Mustard hater. We are constantly harassed.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I thought you outed yourself but then saw the name you’re using, ha! I wonder if “mayo/mustard haters” are a protected class under the Civil Rights Act. Hmm.

  2. German Potato salad is like BBQ in the South every town does it different. I am a huge fan of non-mayo potato salad remind me to tell you my take, but yours sound like a great change of pace.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      How about a Geistbear post, Thomas, about your recipe for no-mayo potato salad and how it matches perfectly with one of our local beers. 😉 I love mayo but I think that I too prefer a no-mayo salad too, the flavors are sharper and more refreshing.

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