Jalapeno Popper Potato Salad. Try saying that three times, fast.
This salad has all the comfort food notes of my dreams: creamy baby potatoes wrapped in cheesy sauce, studded throughout with roast jalapenos and flecked with green onions and fresh chives.
The cheesiness, however, is deceptively dairy & egg free. Instead, the silky sauce that coats the potatoes is rich and creamy thanks to raw cashews, spiced with a little punch of sweet paprika, mustard and black pepper.
Typically, I used to make my potato salads by chopping the potatoes up into bite size pieces before boiling them. But boiling them whole, then letting them steam in their skins – dry in the covered saucepan – to finish before slicing them results in a more tender, less mushy tater.
The baby potatoes instead yield a creaminess that seems to be lost along with much of their natural starch using the more traditional cooking method.
I think this may be my new go-to method for making killer potato salads. And there’s plenty of time this month to enjoy some more taters!
This jalapeno popper potato salad can be served warm, right after cooking the potatoes, or left to chill in the fridge before serving.
One thing I have noticed in my recipe testing, though, is that you’ll get a more consistent level of spiciness throughout the potato salad if the roasted jalapenos have a little time to mingle together in the cheese sauce ahead of time.
So if I’ve got the time, I like to roast the jalapenos and make the cheese sauce the day before, de-seed and dice the jalapenos, then add them to the sauce and let them hang out in the fridge together overnight.
Then whatever day I feel like making potato salad, I’ll drizzle the sauce right over the just-cooked baby potatoes and follow the rest of the recipe. Bacon isn’t necessary, but it’s a nice extra finishing touch – just make sure to add it right before serving so that it stays crisp!
Jalapeno Popper Potato Salad (gluten, dairy & egg free)
The taters of your dreams! This jalapeno popper potato salad wraps creamy baby potatoes in a dairy free cheese sauce with roasted jalapenos, herbs & bacon.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6
- Category: salad, pot luck
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: gluten free, dairy free, egg free, paleo, w30
For the jalapeno popper potato salad:
- 3 medium – large jalapeno peppers
- 3 – 4 thick slices bacon
- 1 1/2 lb / 680 g baby potatoes
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml white wine vinegar
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 6 green onions, sliced finely
- 3/4 oz / 21 g fresh chives, chopped, an average grocery store package
For the dairy free cheese sauce:
- 1/2 cup / 70 g raw unsalted cashews, like these
- 1 cup / 240 ml chicken broth
- 2 tbsp / 12 g nutritional yeast, I like this one
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml avocado oil
- 1/4 tsp ground paprika
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp tomato paste, optional
- 1/8 tsp ground mustard
- 1 1/2 tbsp /15 g potato starch or cassava flour
SOAK: Put the raw cashews into a blender pitcher and cover with just boiled water. Let soak, covered.
ROAST: Preheat the oven to 400 F / 205 C. If you like, line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Lay the whole jalapenos and bacon out on the baking sheet and roast until the peppers are softened and a little wrinkly, while the bacon is crisp and golden, about 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer the jalapenos to a chopping board to cool a little & the bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
BOIL: Cover the still whole potatoes with generously salted water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan, covered with a lid, to steam and soften for another 15 minutes.
BLEND: While the potatoes are steaming, drain the cashews and rinse them through a strainer. Return the cashews to the blender pitcher, along with the broth, nutritional yeast, avocado oil, paprika, salt, garlic, black pepper, tomato paste (if using) and ground mustard. Blend until smooth & creamy. Measure the potato starch or cassava flour into a ramekin and pour a little of the blended sauce to cover. Use a spoon to mix into a smooth slurry. Add the slurry to the blender and blend until smooth.
CHOP: When the jalapenos are just cool enough to handle, chop off the stems, slice them in half and scrape out then discard the seeds and membranes. Finely dice the jalapeno & add to a mixing bowl. Chop the potatoes into bite size pieces. Finely chop the bacon.
TOSS: Pour the cheese sauce into the mixing bowl and stir through the jalapeno, see notes. Add the chopped potatoes, and the white wine vinegar. Toss to coat and taste, seasoning with additional salt and pepper to taste. Stir through the chopped green onions & chives.
SERVE: You can serve this jalapeno popper potato salad warm or cold. Either way, sprinkle with the chopped bacon just before serving so that it keeps its crunch. If serving cold, refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. If you like, sprinkle with extra paprika, chopped chives and sliced fresh jalapenos.
If you like your potato salad on the lighter, less-dressed side, start off with 1/2 the cheese sauce and then adjust to your liking.
This potato salad has its best flavor if the jalapenos have a little time to marry with the cheese sauce and potatoes before serving. If you would like to serve it warm while also giving the salad time to get its mingle on, I recommend making the cheese sauce & roasting the jalapenos the day before. That way you can stir the jalapenos through the sauce and let it chill overnight in the fridge. Then just add the roasted jalapeno cheese sauce to the potatoes as per the recipe above.
Jalapenos & potatoes are Stage 4 AIP reintroductions. Mustard & black pepper are Stage 1 AIP reintroductions. Paprika is a Stage 3 AIP reintroduction. Optional potato starch & tomato paste are Stage 4 AIP reintroductions.
Omit the bacon and swap vegetable broth or water for the chicken broth to make this vegetarian or vegan.