Creamy, crunchy, and spicy Nashville Hot Pickle Potato Salad will bring the rhythm of Music City to your next family barbecue. If you make this and simply eat a large bowl with a spoon, we completely understand.
This spicy Nashville Hot Pickle Potato Salad takes one of the most nostalgic side dishes and kicks it up with smoky heat. This recipe starts with the beloved combination of pillowy potatoes dressed in a creamy sauce. Throw in the crunch of briny pickles and fresh celery, the sharp kick of mustard, and a sunny acidic burst of pickle juice, and vinegar and you have a dish that will have your family and friends eating straight from the bowl. Don’t forget the extra dusting of Nashville Hot Seasoning!
Why This Recipe Works
- Familiar Flavors – This dill pickle potato salad doesn’t stray too far from the flavors you know. It combines a mayonnaise-based dressing with a homemade Nashville Hot Seasoning and three different sources of bold dill flavor. It pays homage to the entire experience of Nashville hot chicken by chasing those bites of spiced chicken with the snappy crunch of acidic pickles.
- Heat Level – You have complete control of the level of spice. The Nashville Hot Seasoning recipe allows you to adjust the spice level to your heat tolerance. In addition, the acid in this recipe combined with the creamy mayonnaise mellows the kick.
- Texture – This potato salad is all about the contrast between tender and crunch. Every bite is an explosion of both bold, spicy flavors and texture.
- Red potatoes work best for not just this Nashville hot potato salad recipe, but potato salad in general. Red potatoes are waxy potatoes that are lower in starch, less grainy, and hold their shape well after cooking. They also have thinner skin, making peeling totally optional.
- Make sure your potatoes are thoroughly cooled and dry before you make your potato salad. They can be boiled ahead of time and spread out on a baking sheet and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble.
- Make sure that you allow your potato salad to refrigerate for at least two hours. Potatoes are like a sponge that will absorb the flavors. This will also give the Nashville Hot Seasoning a chance to relax and become one with the dressing.
- We’ve all heard the joke that celery is basically dental floss with water. If your celery seems especially stringy, use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outer layer. You can also snap your celery stalks in half and remove the strings.
- Fresh is best. For this recipe, make sure that you are using fresh dill. It gives a more pronounced flavor than dried and brings a bright, herbaceous element that compliments the dill pickles and pickle juice.
Perfect Pickles for Potato Salad
If you’ve ever had either fried Nashville hot chicken or a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, you know the pickles are a major component of the entire experience. Picking the right pickles affects both the overall flavor, but also the texture.
Potato salad has a tendency to get a little runny after a couple of days so it’s useful to pick smaller pickles that pack all of the snappy bites but with less watery seeds.
Cornichons and gherkins are both excellent options for this pickle potato salad recipe. They don’t let off as much additional water content because of the tiny size of their seeds.
If you only have dill pickle spears or whole pickles, use a spoon or grapefruit spoon to remove their seeds before chopping them up.
Step 1: Prepare the Red Potatoes
Cut your red potatoes into bite-sized pieces, keeping their sizes fairly uniform so they cook evenly. Add them to a large pot and enough water to cover them along with a tablespoon of kosher salt.
Place the pot on medium heat and bring the water to a boil. Allow your potatoes to boil until they’re fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Drain them and allow them to cool completely. This is absolutely key for any cold potato salad.
Step 2: Mix the Spicy Dressing
Add the following ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Go ahead and give the dressing a taste, and adjust to your preferences. Remember that potatoes are a neutral, blank canvas and can soak up a lot of flavors. Don’t forget, you can always add more heat but you can’t take it away!
- White Vinegar
- Pickle juice
- Dijon mustard
- Nashville Hot Seasoning
- Minced shallots
- Fresh dill
Step 3: Fold in the Potatoes and Ingredients
Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the dressing, including the potatoes. Carefully fold them over, coating them in the dressing and evenly distributing the ingredients.
- Cooled red potatoes
- Diced celery
- Chopped pickles
- Boiled Eggs, chopped
Be gentle so you don’t break up your potatoes too much. No one wants mushy mashed potato salad.
Variations and Add-ins
Potato salad is personal. We all have versions we love that we grew up with. Have fun using this potato salad recipe as a guide and then make it your own with any additions. Here are just a few ideas on other ingredients you could add.
- Sweet and Spicy Pickles
- Cheese, such as pepper jack, smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, or Colby-Jack
- Onions – Diced red, white, chives, or even scallions
- Smoked Chicken – Of course, Nashville hot chicken would work very well
- Ham – Diced ham works great, or even chopped ham from leftover Smoked Pulled Ham
- Bacon – Crisped and chopped up, or even Smoked Bacon Crumbles
- Smoked Pickled Jalapenos
- Smoked Dijon Mustard
- 3 lbs red skinned potatoes
- 1 cup small dill pickles, diced or chopped
- 1 ½ cups diced celery
- 4 hard boiled eggs, cooled and chopped
- 1 ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup pickle juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons Nashville Hot Seasoning, more for garnish
- 1 minced shallot, about ¼ cup
- 4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- Prepare the potatoes. Slice the red potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place the potatoes into a large pot and fill with enough cold water to cover the potatoes, plus an inch. Season with a tablespoon of salt and bring the water to a boil. Boil the potatoes until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool completely.
- Make the dressing. Whisk the mayo, pickle juice, vinegar, Dijon, and seasoning together to make the dressing. Fold in the shallots and dill. Taste and adjust for additional seasoning if needed.
- Fold in ingredients. Carefully stir in the cooled potatoes, pickles, celery, and eggs. Mix to coat everything evenly. Taste and adjust. Garnish the top of the pickle potato salad with additional Nashville Hot Seasoning.
- Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Side Dishes
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Salad
Keywords: potato salad, pickle potato salad, nashville hot potato salad, nashville hot pickle potato salad, side dish, salad, nashville hot seasoning