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Creamy, crunchy, spicy Cajun Potato Salad is an elevated version of the picnic favorite! With tender potatoes, ample hard-boiled eggs, the holy trinity of Cajun cuisine (green pepper, onion and celery), and a spicy kick, it's irresistible.
Cajun cuisine is one of the most vibrant and flavorful in the country, borrowing flavors from all the cultures that merged in Louisiana’s south during the 18th century. Still, it has the finesse of French cooking, known for its balance and precision.
Cajun Potato Salad Ingredients
- Yukon gold potatoes: white potatoes, red potatoes or new potatoes are also options
- Mayonnaise: good quality store bought or homemade mayonnaise
- Whole Grain Mustard: yellow mustard, Dijon mustard or Creole mustard are also options
- Green Bell Pepper: one small
- Onion: yellow or white
- Celery: chop up and add the celery leaves if you like as well
- Dill Pickle Relish: or sweet pickle relish
- Parsley: flat leaf parsley
- Hard-Boiled Eggs: large or extra-large, steamed or boiled for ~12 minutes then plunged immediately into ice water for easy peeling
- Cajun Seasoning: or Creole seasoning (You can also add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper for more spicy flavor without added salt.)
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper: ideally freshly ground
Cajun Potato Salad is especially versatile, ideal for all kinds of backyard BBQs, get-togethers and picnics. It's easy to make, ready in 30 minutes or less, and you serve it after just 1 hour of chilling or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Potato Salad FAQ
Either work well for making potato salad. It is easier to overcook potatoes when boiling, but less of a concern when using waxy or semi-waxy potatoes. With either method, it's important to cook just until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork so they hold their shape in the salad.
Waxy or semi-waxy potatoes like Yukon gold potatoes, white potatoes, red potatoes and new potatoes are best for potato salad recipes because they hold their shape (and don't need to be peeled!) Peeled russet potatoes are more likely to fall apart.
Yes! Green bell pepper is common, particularly in Cajun potato salad. It adds mild flavor and crunch.
Are Cajun Cuisine and Creole Cuisine the same?
There’s a bit of confusion when talking about Creole and Cajun cuisines because, more often than not, the terms are used interchangeably. But the terms have different origins and traditions.
Creole cuisine started in New Orleans, well before Cajun cooking began 40 years after New Orleans was established. It blended the food of French, Spanish, Native American, West African and Caribbean cultures (and more). It's thought of as more refined or cosmopolitan with rich sauces, herbs, tomatoes and seafood than rustic, robustly flavored Cajun cuisine that's typically meat-centric, made with simple preparations and typically does not include tomato-based sauces.
Cajun Cuisine comes from the Acadians, French colonists who once occupied the islands in the northern East Coast, across the Canadian Border. The English, who already held a strong hand in the Americas, expelled the Acadians, and some ended populating Southern Louisiana. Here, the immigrants developed their own style of cuisine incorporating French, Spanish, and West African cooking techniques.
The ‘Holy Trinity’ of Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisines.
When we say Cajun food shares similarities with classic French cuisine, there’s no better example than the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Cajun cooking — green pepper, onion and celery.
French cooks have their own trio of base ingredients, called mirepoix, made of carrots, onion and celery. But using base ingredients to build soups, stews and sauces is not unique to France. The Spanish have sofrito, commonly garlic, onion, peppers and tomatoes, a combination that certainly influenced Creole and Cajun cuisines alike.
Think of this Cajun Potato Salad recipe as a great place to start, but feel free to make it your own. Perhaps you’re not a big fan of hard-boiled eggs; just reduce the number or leave them out altogether! Prefer sweet relish to dill? Go for it! Want a spicier kick? Add a blast of cayenne pepper along with the Cajun seasoning. For the mustard, use your favorite: yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, or Creole mustard are all great stand-ins for the whole grain mustard I've called for. You can even embellish this salad with a bit of chopped bacon as some Louisiana restaurants do.
More Must Try Recipes
- Brabant Potatoes (A lightened up version of the classic Louisiana side dish of crispy, creamy potatoes smothered in a garlic butter sauce.)
- Shrimp Creole (Succulent, spicy shrimp in a buttery tomato-based sauce.)
- Slow Cooker Jambalaya (Meaty, decadent and so easy when made in your slow cooker.)
- Corn Maque Choux (A side dish you'll want to serve with everything when corn is at its summer peak.)
- Skillet Cornbread (With all those crispy edges, this is truly the best skillet cornbread ever.)
- Fried Green Tomatoes (Crispy on the outside and creamy within, these are addictive!)
- Remoulade Sauce (Spicy and delicious Louisiana style dipping sauce!)
How to Make Cajun Potato Salad
Step 1: Cover cubed potatoes with enough cold water to cover by 1-inch in a large pot. Bring to boil uncovered over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until just fork tender (6-10 minutes). Drain well and let cool 5 minutes or more.
Step 2: Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, Cajun seasoning, kosher salt (optional) and pepper until smooth in a very large bowl. Stir in bell pepper, onion, celery, dill relish and parsley. Gently fold in partially cooled potatoes and eggs until well combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days before serving.
Cajun Potato Salad
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes or new potatoes, cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning or more to taste (recipe note #1)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt optional, (recipe note #2)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small green bell pepper diced small
- 1 small white onion diced small
- 3 ribs celery diced
- ¼ cup dill pickle relish
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley plus more for garnish if desired (recipe note #2)
- 6 hard-boiled eggs chopped
- Place cubed potatoes in a large pot or Dutch oven and cover by 1-inch with cold water. Bring to boil uncovered over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer, skimming off foam as needed, 6 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are just fork tender. Drain potatoes well in a colander and let cool at least 5 minutes.
- In the bottom of a mixing bowl large enough to stir the salad, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, Cajun seasoning, salt (optional) and pepper until smooth. Stir in bell pepper, onion, celery, dill relish and parsley. Add partially cooled potatoes and eggs and gently toss until well combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.
- If you increase the amount of Cajun seasoning, reduce or omit the kosher salt to taste. To kick up the spice without adding salt, add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper to taste.
- You want the dressing to be boldly flavorful, but not too salty. I recommend tasting it before adding the kosher salt as Cajun seasoning brands vary in their level of saltiness.
- Sliced green onion also makes a great garnish and adds another flavor layer.