Mexican potato salad with three chiles

Mexican Potato Salad with Three Chiles is a welcome variation to the standard, containing chipotle, poblano and jalapeño chiles. Chiles, when added to potato salad, give a new dimension to this familiar dish.

Use as much or little chile as you care for, but don’t omit the blistered poblano chiles. Their charred flavor is a wonderful addition to the salad. I don’t recommend omitting the chipotle chile in the dressing, either, as its smoky heat adds so much flavor. That said, the only chile you can omit if you want less heat is the sliced, red jalapeño, which we ended up using only for garnish, as it was too hot for even us chile lovers to eat, but its color made a great addition to the presentation.

Mexican Potato Salad with Three Chiles

  • 2 lbs. (about 1 kilo) new potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large poblano chiles
  • 2 cups celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles with adobo sauce, finely minced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • salt to taste, about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), shelled and lightly toasted, for garnish
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Sliced, fresh red jalapeño pepper for garnish

Cover whole potatoes with water and cook over medium heat about 20 minutes, or until they test tender when pierced with a paring knife. When cool enough to handle, quarter and peel. Cut into bit-sized pieces and toss with vinegar while still warm. Set aside.

While potatoes are cooking, blister chiles. If you need to, refer to the recipe for Chiles en Nogada à la Française for instructions on blistering and peeling poblano chiles. Wrap chiles in paper towels to steam and cool.

While chiles are cooling, mix dressing by combining minced chipotle chiles and adobo sauce with mayonnaise and salt to taste. Peel and dice poblano chiles.

Combine potatoes, poblano chiles and dressing until well mixed. Add more salt if needed. Chill for several hours, preferably overnight. To serve, garnish with red jalapeño slices, toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro sprigs.

Mexican Potato Salad with Three Chiles


To toast pumpkin seeds, known as pepitas in Mexico, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Toast seeds until lightly browned. They may pop out of the pan as they toast, so be ready with a pan lid if you need to contain them.

Whenever you use canned chipotle chile mince finely, as their fierce heat may be too much in a large bite.

Chipotle chiles are smoked, dried jalapeños. As much as one fifth of the Mexican jalapeño crop is used to make chipotle chiles.

In Mexico, poblano chiles are mild, but in the U.S. they can be very hot. Perhaps a different variety is grown commercially north of the border.


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5 thoughts on “Mexican potato salad with three chiles

  1. When asked what vegetable I could have if only one, it would be bok choy.
    If asked what Mexican flavor I would choose if only one, it would be Chipotle.
    Not that I’m thinking of mixing bok choy and chipotle together any time soon….just giving my Chipotle comment some context.
    I love new ways to use chipotle and this is a great idea !!!

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