"Confetti" Potato Salad

Potluck Favorite: A Colorful, No Mayonnaise Potato & Sweet Potato Salad

It's premise is simple, half potatoes and half sweet potatoes plus plenty of other vegetables for good color and good crunch. The recipe is a crowd-pleaser taste-wise and looks-wise.
Confetti Potato Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com, a colorful mix of sweet potatoes, potatoes and vegetables. No mayonnaise, perfect for potlucks. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Stories of (Knife) Snobbery

A food snob is bad enough. But a knife snob?

I've cooked with a knife snob and oh, friends, and it's not pretty. When one takes charge of your kitchen, look out.

Inspection starts with a cursory look-see, disdain barely feigned at an all-too familiar brand and a stick tang versus, y’know, a full tang. Sigh.

Then comes the test grip, checking heft and balance, followed by a telltale tilt to gauge the edge’s sharpness in the light, and finally the palm press, checking for, and finding, well, dullness. Big sigh.

I shouldda brought my knives, you hear. Then, You gotta sharpener?

Swoosh, swoosh, the blade scrapes against the sharpening steel, shards landing in the soup, you fear. A palm press, another few swipe-swipe-swipes. There, that’s better.

But then last year, faced with twelve pounds of potatoes, a larder of onions, peppers and celery, and hungry family at a rehearsal dinner the next day, my lurking knife snobbery revealed itself.

There on my cousin’s counter was a revolving knife stand, black plastic and straight from a gas station maybe 20 years ago. There were nine (nine?) steak knives but no chef’s knife, not even a utility knife. Drawers? Nothing. Dishwasher? Nothing.

What’s a cook to do? Head for the supermarket for a knife, seven bucks Canadian, and yes, an improvement. What a snob.

The Sequel

I've made big batches of this salad for two weddings – and single batches for numerous family potlucks. It's always a real hit. And I'm happy to report that this column prompted my cousin Lynda to replace her gas-station knives!

And I'm still no knife snob, even though I married one. I do however, have a favorite knife, it's my "utility" knife for bread and fruit.



A crowd-pleaser for large gatherings
Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Refrigeration time: 4 hours
Makes 8 cups
  • 1-1/2 pounds potatoes (see ALANNA's TIPS), skins on
  • 1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 red pepper, chopped finely
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh tarragon, optional

POTATOES Place a steamer basket in a large pot or Dutch oven. Fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer, bring it to a boil.

Cut the potatoes, then the sweet potatoes, in about half-inch cubes. Arrange evenly in the steamer basket, potatoes on the bottom, sweet potatoes on top. Cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Let cool slightly, but not until cold.

VEGETABLES Chop the onion, peppers and celery and set aside.

DRESSING Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.

COMBINE Gently turn the chopped vegetables, still-warm cooked potatoes and fresh tarragon into the dressing. Season to taste, then refrigerate several hours before serving.

ALANNA's TIPS With no mayonnaise, this is a great contribution to outdoor meals and buffets when food will sit out awhile. Use Yukon golds or yellow Finns for the potatoes, they have just the right texture for potato salad. While I like the somewhat dryer texture that results when the potatoes and sweet potatoes are steamed, cooking them in salted water also works just fine, just be sure to drain well. It seemed like such a small change but whoa, what a difference. I once substituted dill relish for the sweet pickle relish. The dill relish was so salty, the salad itself was way way too salty. It would have been easy enough to adjust the added sa lt, but I didn't know until too late. But you do! The inspiring recipe called for 1/4 cup of oil but I use only a single tablespoon, there's no missing it in the dressing! Combine the salad while the potatoes are still slightly warm. That way, they'll soak up some of the dressing.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 45 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 90mg Sodium; 8g Carb; 1g Fiber; 2g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 2 & Freestyle 1 This recipe is "Alanna-sized" with reductions in fat and portion size and increases in low-calorie flavorings and nutrient-rich vegetables.
Adapted from the much-missed Gourmet magazine, July 1991

More Favorite Salad Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Power Food Broccoli Salad Wild Rice Salad Bloody Mary Salad
Quinoa & Black Bean Salad Grilled Pepper Salad Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad
~ Favorite Summer Salad Recipes ~
~ more salad recipes ~
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ My Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/19/2007

    Personally--I don't think you can ever have too much potato salad! :):) That loks beautiful, with the sweet potato contrasted against the other ingredients.


  2. Anonymous7/19/2007

    oooh, i love the idea of using sweet potatoes in a salad! yum.


  3. A Webster Groves cook reported this week that she's made Confetti Salad twice already -- the second time with horseradish mustard which her family really loved.


  4. Anonymous7/19/2007

    Now how about adding a few purple potatoes and make it red, white and blue!
    That's how I like it!


  5. Brilliant, Tanna and oh so perfectly patriotic!



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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna