Grilled Pesto Potato Salad

October  4, 2022
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

So easy, so delicious, so perfect for picnics, lazy summer afternoons, and backyard grilling. —CookingMonster

Test Kitchen Notes

People use many things to liven up traditional potato salad, and the best just may be the addition of fresh pesto. The lemony, nutty, basil paste adds a delicious, pungent bite to a simple starch. Grilling the potatoes allows them to form a crispness that lends a needed texture to the dish, while the mayo keeps it moist. (Allow the potatoes to cool slightly, but not completely, before adding the mayo and pesto concoction.) Consider adding green beans, apples and chicken to make it a main dish, or serve as-is for a unique potato side dish. —0BrooklynEats0

What You'll Need
  • Pesto-Mayo Dressing
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 5-6 cups fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • Grilled Potatoes
  • 1 pound thin-skinned potatoes (I've used baby reds, fingerlings, even Yukon golds. There's no wrong way to go here.)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  1. Pesto-Mayo Dressing
  2. Combine pine nuts, basil, garlic, and parmesan in a food processor.
  3. Drizzle in 1 1/2 cups of olive oil until the pine nuts, basil, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil have become a smooth (though textured!) pesto.
  4. Add salt and pepper to the pesto to taste.
  5. In a bowl, squeeze the juice from 2 lemons.
  6. Add 1/2 cup mayonnaise and about 2-3 heaping tbsp of the freshly made pesto to the lemon juice and whisk to combine.
  7. Salt and pepper the Pesto-Mayo to taste.
  1. Grilled Potatoes
  2. Preheat grill (I have a charcoal grill, so I just get it nice and hot).
  3. Cut potatoes into smallish wedges. Not too small, or they'll burn; not too large, or they won't be quite bite-size.
  4. Toss potato wedges with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Lay potato wedges on the grill in a grill basket. They typically take about 20 minutes, but you want to keep an eye on them and turn them frequently... they can char rather quickly!
  6. Take the hot, smoky, charred potatoes off the grill and pop them right into the waiting bowl of pesto-mayo. Toss the mixture together.
  7. Enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • SJR
  • Vivian Henoch
    Vivian Henoch
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • CookingMonster

6 Reviews

SJR April 28, 2013
We made this last night & it was phenomenal - excellent combination of flavor between the soft, grilled potatoes & the pesto. Great idea! We will be making this again in the future.
Vivian H. July 22, 2012
Back with results. The dressing is great. And the one reason I'm not so reliable for the "test kitchen" is that I always tweak, add or improvise - rather than faithfully follow the recipe. To your ingredients, I added grilled chicken, grilled veggies (red pepper, shallot, jalapeño) -- for a very satisfying single-dish meal. Didn't even bother with a salad. An easy no-fuss meal.
CookingMonster July 22, 2012
It sounds delicious, Vivian! I'm so glad you were able to make it your own!
Vivian H. July 21, 2012
Okay... looking for a recipe tonight for a lazy summer dinner for two. Simple to fix, on and off the grill in no time. This looks ideal . , , but I might add chicken to the mix.
CookingMonster July 21, 2012
It's so easy - a perfect lazy summer dinner! And I bet it would be delicious with chicken. Enjoy!
sexyLAMBCHOPx July 15, 2012