Tex-Mex Potato Salad Recipe: Make an Elegant and Zesty Potato Salad for Your Next Barbecue

Potato salad is a classic in the South. There are loads of variations of southern potato salad. Some women leave the peels on the potatoes. Some take those off. Some use lots of mayonnaise (Duke’s)while others go with salad dressing – most usually Miracle Whip. It’s rare to run across a bad potato salad in the South, but most salads are pretty mild in flavor. Nothing wrong with that. Good potato salad is good potato salad. But . . .

As Tex-Mex has become more and more popular in the South, many old Southern recipes have been jazzed up with the flavors south of the border. Potato salad is no exception. It’s the best of both worlds – old and new. Tex-Mex Potato Salad is rich and creamy like most southern salads but has that extra punch with the chilies. It can be mildly hot or firecracker hot. Just adjust to suit.

Tex-Mex Potato Salad Recipe

  • 8 medium potatoes (or better – 10 to 12 new red-skinned potatoes)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped in chunks)
  • 1 small bell pepper (a colorful one looks nice)
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup black olives (sliced)
  • green chilies (buy a small can and add to taste)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (Duke’s is the classic in the South)
  • 1 TBS lemon juice (lime is also OK)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (powdered)


  1. Boil the potatoes until done but not mushy. If you can get new red potatoes, cook them in their jackets and don’t peel them. If they are older potatoes with thicker skins, then do peel the potatoes.
  2. After the potatoes are cooked, drain all the water off. Let them cool. You can stick them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
  3. Once the potatoes are cool, add the bell pepper, onion, black olives and chilies. A couple of spoons of chilis should do the trick. They vary in hotness, so don’t go overboard. You can always add later if you want more heat.
  4. Lightly toss the mixture. Don’t stir hard, or the potatoes may start to fall apart.
  5. Mix the mayonnaise with the lemon juice, cumin and salt in a small bowl. Then, pour over the potato salad mix and toss until coated. If you prefer, you can put the chilies in the dressing mixture instead of in with the vegetables.
  6. Chill for a couple of hours or overnight so that the flavors blend.

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