Bacon Horseradish Potato Salad

Are you all aware that July 4th is fast upon us? I see it as my solemn duty as an American to bust out my best picnic and grill moves for the occasion, and I’m here to help you, too. Make your meal more vibrant than the fireworks with Bacon Horseradish Potato Salad!

Bacon Horseradish Potato Salad |

I have a split personality when it comes to potato salad. I think it stems from my all-out, lifelong obsession with the humble spud. I have a tried-and-true, classic, favourite potato salad recipe that I’ve been making for years that by my own ruling Shall. Not. Be. Messed. With. It is *my* potato salad. It’s the potato salad that convinced my sister Jessamine she actually LIKED potato salad after thinking she didn’t for years. I even call it “The Unbeatable Potato Salad”.

On the other hand (sayeth Tevye) there’s the inspiration that the potato provides. It’s such a delicious blank slate that showcases other ingredients so beautifully. Every now and then I just can’t help myself; I must make another kind of potato salad. I tell myself I’m not breaking my own rule because I’m not starting out with my Unbeatable Potato Salad as the base recipe. Mostly. This time got awfully close, but had a few crucial differences. Name one? Certainly. How about bacon?

You know I love bacon. I love the magical, mystical pork belly sliced thickly and rendered ’til crispy. There isn’t a lot that wouldn’t be improved -in my opinion- with the presence of bacon. For this salad, I used beef bacon for the first time ever. The conclusion was that the beef bacon was pretty tasty, but lacked that piggy magic. If you have a preferred bacon, by all means use it in this salad. Regular bacon, turkey bacon, beef bacon, and fakin’ bacon would all be acceptable here. My personal preference for this recipe is a good, thick-cut pork bacon.

Another difference is the creamy horseradish dressing for which I give a hearty, “Hubba Hubba!” I’ve told you before that I was a vegetarian for seven long years (in my teens and early adulthood), and I’ve mentioned that bacon called me home, but I don’t think I’ve ever told you all that a hot ham and swiss melt with creamy horseradish sauce was a close second in my decision making criteria to start eating meat again.

Combining my eternal love for potatoes, bacon and creamy horseradish seems like a natural thing and I’m frankly a little shocked with myself for not having done it before now because WOW! And SHAZAAM! and all sorts of other onomatopoeic sorts of things!

Tender, earthy potatoes are tossed with a little cider vinegar and the white parts of green onions while they’re still hot from boiling. After they’re chilled through, they’re tossed with the thinly sliced green parts of the green onions, large amounts of crisp, crumbled bacon, and a creamy horseradish sauce. Seriously. I just don’t even have the words to tell you how good this is. My husband almost wept when he found out the thirteen year old had eaten the bowl full he stashed in the back of the refrigerator for a late night snack.

Bacon Horseradish Potato Salad  |

Potato Salad Success Tips:

  • I like to make potato salad with new red potatoes because I like the look and flavour of leaving the skins on the potatoes. I think the potato skins help them hold together a little better and not go to mush. If you’re averse to potato skins, please feel free to peel them before boiling.
  • Speaking of boiling potatoes and mush, the only thing worse than undercooked potatoes in potato salad is overcooked ones. Stand by, fish a piece of potato out and try poking it with a fork, butterknife or a skewer on a regular basis. The SECOND that you can poke it and the fork/knife/skewer goes in easily, drain those potatoes and I mean IMMEDIATELY.
  • DO generously salt your cooking water for the potatoes and DO add the vinegar to the freshly drained and still hot potatoes. This is your chance to introduce a layer of flavour to the potatoes that you’ll never again have the chance to create.
  • I give a range of measurements for the horseradish in this recipe. This is because the heat level in each batch of horseradish varies wildly AND because everyone likes different amounts. Start with the lower end of the measurement and add a little at a time, tasting after each addition, until it’s just how you like it. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Ahem.
  • As with most potato salads, this one tastes better if you let the flavours marry a little bit in the refrigerator before serving: overnight, even! Keep in mind that it will soak up dressing as it sits. If it goes into the chill chest looking a little wetter than you’d normally like it, it’ll probably be a-okay after its rest. And if you take it from the refrigerator, give it a stir, and find it a little dry, you can always add a little more mayonnaise and horseradish! Of course, you’ll taste it as you adjust it, right? Again, the sacrifices we make for good food. Sigh.
  • I included hard-boiled eggs in the recipe because, well, I love them. If you dislike them in potato salad, omit them, but DO make this salad!
  • Don’t garnish it until right before serving if you plan on letting it rest in the refrigerator, though, because your garnish may become limp. Sad limp garnish might bum you out. Bumming out over potato salad is just wrong. It’s better to wait. Toss that extra bacon and thinly sliced green onions on right before serving.
5 from 1 reviews
Bacon Horseradish Potato Salad
Make your 4th of July party food more exciting than the fireworks with this potato salad made of tender, earthy potatoes tossed with a little cider vinegar and the white parts of green onions while they're still hot from boiling. After they're chilled through, they're tossed with the thinly sliced green parts of the green onions, large amounts of crisp, crumbled bacon, and a creamy horseradish sauce. Hard-boiled eggs are optional!
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into even, bite-sized pieces
  • 6 green onions, scrubbed, trimmed, and cut into thin slices, white pieces separated from the green
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 12 slices of bacon, fried 'til crisp, drained on paper towel, and crumbled
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped (Optional!)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon to ⅓ cup prepared horseradish, to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the potatoes to the water, return to a boil, and lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the potatoes just until fork tender and drain immediately in a colander. Let the potatoes stand in a colander to drain for at least 3 minutes, then transfer the still hot potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the thinly sliced white parts of the green onions, then drizzle the apple cider vinegar over the top and gently toss. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to chill completely before proceeding.
  2. When the potatoes are cold through and through, remove the plastic wrap and add the crumbled bacon (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish), chopped hard-boiled eggs (if using), mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of the horseradish, and thinly sliced green parts of the green onions (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish). Gently toss to combine, taste the salad, adjust with salt, pepper, and additional horseradish (if needed), stir again to combine, and adjust as necessary. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight before serving. Before serving, stir well, taste, and adjust with additional dressing if needed. Garnish with reserved bacon and green onions!
  3. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

XO Rebecca

P.S. My husband walked past the computer while I was writing this post and asked -no, BEGGED- me to make another batch. I agreed. He then pleaded for me to make it a double batch and hide half of it from the children. I agreed. What he doesn’t know is that I’m making it a triple batch and hiding one-third from him as well. BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!


  1. heather whitbread says

    This does look yummy! And Canada Day is coming up even sooner than July 4th :) I just need some bacon . . .

  2. says

    I loved my potato salad until I saw yours. I love that it uses horseradish because I just got a horseradish plant that I hope to be able to harvest from next year so I need some good recipes that will use it.

  3. jeri says

    Your tips were great. I usually use pickle juice as my “secret ingredient,” but I can’t wait to try horseradish. I can already taste it in my head. And I totally hear you about hiding food. There are only two of us in my house, but I have to hide food all the time. It’s tough being the only chick in the house.

  4. Rie says

    Will be trying this over the weekend. Looks like a winner. I so enjoy your blog. Not only do I get great recipes and tip (cooking up beans in the crock pot as we speak errr, write) I get to increase my vocabulary…..onomatopoeic….not a word you come across everyday. teehee

  5. says

    Great set of tips you put together, R! I’m like you. I have a basic potato salad recipe that is mine that I do for general bbq meals but I also like to experiment with bold, out of the norm type recipes.

  6. says

    This looks so tasty! I’m a potato-salad-oholic and am going to try it for our annual Fourth of July potluck. My MIL also makes a warm potato salad that I am kind of obsessed with because of the magical flavor that happens when the vinegar is added to the hot potatoes. There’s just something about it — so good. And I’m curious about beef bacon, too. I hadn’t heard of it before this. I’ll have to seek some out …

  7. says

    Great combo Rebecca! Your potato salad tips are great. I totally agree about adding vinegar to the potatoes while they are still hot. It makes a huge difference in the brightness of the flavors. And I am with you, skins on.

  8. says

    I was indulging in a little displacement activity by reading your blog when I should have been preparing something for a bring and share supper tonight and hey presto! This is what I shall cook. I have all the ingredients to hand and it looks delicious. Problem solved. Thank you. (and proof that displacement activity is a good thing!)

  9. says

    I would have loved to have posted a picture of the wonderful potato salad I made today but it didn’t last very long and by the time I got to it it had all gone! Thank you. It’s definitely a keeper :)

  10. Meredith says

    Can’t wait to make for the 4th – thanks for the tips on how to cook the potatoes. Plan to omit the eggs but thinking adding Gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles to the mix.

  11. Donna says

    I made this today for our cookout – yum! I just went gluten-free this week, so I was happy to find a new recipe to try – the horseradish adds such a great flavor!

  12. Tammy says

    “What he doesn’t know is that I’m making it a triple batch and hiding one-third from him as well.” – you are certainly one smart cook(ie), Rebecca. :)

  13. Ophelia says

    I just wanted to say that I found this because I was curious to see some other recipes on potato soup, as I make my potato soup with horseradish (and bacon, but of course most make it with bacon or ham)…this look yummy! I will say, any time I am doing bacon & potato, I take the opportunity to give the boiled potatoes a quick fry in the bacon grease after boiling. I find it prevents them from getting mushy when they set in the fridge & gives a nice chew to the outer “skin” that my husband prefers. He thought he hated all soup until he tried my potato soup & it’s one of his favorites now. Just a thought!

  14. Genevieve. says

    Found this recipe on Pinterest and SO HAPPY I pinned it and decided to make it for Easter! What a hit. This is seriously the most delicious potato salad I have ever had. Thanks to your cooking abilities, for coming up with something so amazing and thanks for graciously sharing your gift with us!!!

    • says

      Thank you so much, Genevieve! I love that you loved it as much as we did. And you are so kind to take the time both to tell me that and to be so sweet about it!


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