Apr 27, 2010

Potato salad with caramelized onions

They say my heart problems are hereditary.  However, I’m sure eating things like potato salad swimming in mayonnaise and loaded with hard boiled eggs didn’thelp matters. Today I still love potato salad, but limit myself to vegan versions made with vinaigrette. (In fact, just looking at mayo-based salads can turn my stomach – almost croaking from clogged arteries will do that to you.)  This salad is unusual in that it contains silky soft caramelized onions rather than crunchy ones. It’s addictive, simple to make and perfect for those summer barbecues. However, I couldn’t wait until summer.

The chives are optional, but I was so excited to find wild chives growing in my yard that I just had to throw them in.

Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions

2 1/2 pounds new or fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-size chunks

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 cups chopped yellow onions (about 4 medium)

Zest of two lemons

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard (use gluten-free variety if you prefer)

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon minced chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook until just tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes.

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook until soft and golden, about 30 minutes.

Pour the onions and all the oil over the warm potatoes. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently. Add salt and pepper to taste, plus extra lemon juice if you love lemon like I do.  Serve at room temperature.

Serves 6

See more recipes: Gluten-free, Salads, Side dishes, Vegan


  • Dulcy

    You don’t have to have heart disease to be repulsed by mayonnaise. I don’t even like giving it to my kids when they ask for it. This potato salad will work and they won’t be the wiser.

  • Elisa

    Could you roast the potatoes and then put the onion mixture afterwards?

  • I’ve certainly made a lot of roasted potato salads. It would be worth a try here!

  • Beth

    I made this over the weekend and, wow, it was delicious. I’d made something similar in the past with fewer onions but this was better. Lemon and onions – two of my favorite things! I also used a lemon extra virgin olive oil. Thanks.

  • leslie c


    I’m ready for this one for the family cookout
    on Monday. I’ve great looking lemons shipped
    from the Bay Area!

    Other than the lemons, I’ve actually everthting
    else right in the back garden, other than the
    olive oil and mustard!

    Is 30 minutes really long enough to carmalize onions?
    I don’t know. I’ve just found it took me somewhat
    longer in the past. Perhaps I’m just a slow carmalizer.

    Can’t wait for Monday and these potatoes.



  • Great Leslie. Let me know how it comes out! I don’t think I caramelized the onions until they were super brown, so maybe they are “lightly” caramelized.

  • leslie c


    They were a hit! My Dad really enjoyed being able to eat a potato salad,
    as did the vegans in the family.

    I made much too much, but brought home less than I expected, so others
    must have gone back for seconds.

    I’ll keep this one.


  • Annie

    I need to make a potato salad in a half hour, and am so grateful to come to your blog and find the perfect recipe with all my diet restrictions! Thank you so much!

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    That’s great, Annie! Let me know how it turns out.

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