The focus of every barbecue tends to be the meat. Whether it’s burgers, ribs, steak, or all of the above, everyone gravitates to the meaty aromas coming from the grill. And while the main dish is meant to be the star, that doesn’t mean the side dishes have to be forgettable.
Potato salad is a classic grill-out side dish, but it can be hit or miss. Homemade versions can be borderline gourmet, with fun, flavorful ingredients, while store-bought deli-style potato salad can be weirdly sweet and sad.
This sour cream and onion potato salad boosts tons of flavor and decadent creaminess with minimal work. It’s so easy, you’ll almost feel guilty getting so many compliments.
Getting That Sour Cream and Onion Flavor
Sour cream and onion chips were a childhood favorite of mine, and I inhaled the green bags of Lay’s. While prepping for a recent barbecue, I realized that the same flavors would make a top-notch potato salad. I started with our classic recipe and tweaked it to get that oniony, sour creamy flavor.
Green onions add color and flavor without going overboard. By draining the hot potatoes over the top, they get a quick blanch that tames their raw bite. Chives add more color and fresh flavor, and granulated onion and garlic take it to another level. Most of this potato salad’s creaminess comes from sour cream, and a little lemon juice livens things up
Make It Ahead
This salad is best made an hour or two ahead of time so the flavors can meld in the fridge. It will stay perfectly creamy for up to 4 hours, and still very much edible for a few days.
It’s a quick recipe, but if you want to split up the labor, you can boil the potatoes up to a day ahead of time, storing the drained, cooled potatoes and onions in a container in the fridge. Potato salad does not freeze well, so don’t try it!
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Boil the potatoes:
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and season with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Once boiling, add the potatoes to a heatproof bowl or colander and carefully slide them into the water. Cook until tender (easily pierced through with a paring knife), about 15 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and onions:
Meanwhile, add the chopped green onions to a large colander. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them over the onions. This will lightly cook them.
Run cold water over the hot potatoes for several seconds to cool them down a bit. Let drain and cool to room temperature while you make the dressing.
Make the dressing:
Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, dried garlic, dried onion, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Add most of the chives, reserving a small handful for garnish. Whisk together until combined.
Combine and chill:
Once the drained potatoes and green onions have cooled, add them to the bowl with the dressing and toss well to combine. Taste, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Top with the remaining chives.
Sour cream and onion potato salad can be served right away, but it tastes even better if you cover the bowl and let it chill for an hour. It can be made up to 4 hours in advance.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.
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