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horizontal image green bowl of Puerto Rican potato salad with red pepper garnish on top

Puerto Rican Potato Salad (Ensalada de Papa)

Begin this recipe 8-12 hours ahead to allow for proper chilling and development of flavors.
Total time includes chilling.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Keyword potatoes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
cooling time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 545kcal


  • stockpot


  • 2 1/2 pounds (1 kilogram) russet potatoes peeled and quartered, then cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 3 large eggs optional
  • 1 Honey Crisp apple (or Gala or Granny Smith), cored, cut into eighths and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice, lime juice, or white vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup ( 1/4 of a large or 26 grams) red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 a medium or 88 grams) sweet bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup (half a bunch) cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (74 grams) roasted red pepper (mild) chopped
  • 1/4 cup sofrito optional
  • 8 manzanilla olives pitted, sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups (575 grams) mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (24 grams) dijon mustard (or yellow mustard)
  • 2 teaspoons (5 grams) adobo (or seasoned salt), plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) granulated garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Optional Garnishes

  • sliced roasted red peppers
  • olives
  • chopped cilantro or parsley leaves


Boil, then Drain the Potatoes and Eggs

  • Add the potatoes and the raw eggs to a large stockpot. along with the raw eggs.
    Fill the pot with cold water, making sure the water is at least 5-inches above the potatoes and eggs. Bring the water to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. 
  • After the water in the pot comes to a boil, reduce the temperature to medium-low.
    Simmer the potatoes and eggs for 12-15 minutes, or until the tip of your knife, inserted into the center of the thickest potato- meets with a little resistance.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander set inside a sink.
    Allow the potatoes and to drain and cool in the colander at room temperature while you prepare the potato salad dressing.

Prepare the Potato Salad Dressing

  • In a bowl, toss the apple pieces in the apple cider vinegar and let them sit for 5 minutes. This step will prevent the apples from oxidizing too much.
  • Add the red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, roasted red pepper, sofrito, and the olives to a separate, larger mixing bowl.
    Stir the mayo, dijon mustard, adobo, granulated garlic, paprika, oregano, and black pepper into the veggie mixture until smooth using a large spoon or a rubber spatula.

Finish the Potato Salad

  • Peel, then chop the hard-boiled eggs after they've cooled slightly.
    Add the eggs and potatoes to the bowl with the dressing. It's okay if the potatoes are still warm. The still-warm potatoes absorb more of the dressing and seasoning than they would if still cold.
    Fold the potatoes and eggs into the dressing mixture ensuring they are evenly coated. Add more mayonnaise as desired.
  • Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or foil and transfer it to the fridge. Chill the potato salad completely or for 8 hours (overnight is best).
    When you're ready to serve it, stir to mix up the mayo dressing. If you find your potatoes have soaked up too much of the mayo, deposit another cup of mayo on top and stir it in. Taste the salad and add more adobo or pepper as needed.
  • Slice a roasted red pepper into strips, then form it into a rose. Garnish the potato salad with this rose or with sliced olives or chopped cilantro.
    Serve the potato salad well-chilled.


Swaps and Substitutions:

  • use Yukon gold or red new potatoes (cut in half) instead of Russets. 
  • Red or orange bell peppers or sweet snacking peppers may be used in place of the yellow bell pepper.
  • Omit the olives if you hate them or replace them with minced dill, sweet, or spicy pickles.
  • Replace the cilantro with parsley if desired.
  • The red onion may be replaced with a yellow onion, sweet Vidalia onion, or shallot.
  • Salad dressing whip can be used instead of mayonnaise. 
  • Yellow, brown, or spicy brown mustard can replace the dijon. The mustard may be omitted altogether, as well. 

Notes on the Potato Salad Dressing:

  • The dressing can be made up to two days before making the salad itself. Just prepare it as instructed and store the dressing in a tightly-sealed container.
  • This dressing is great to use as the dressing base for chicken, egg, macaroni, or tuna salad. 

Storage Instructions:

  • Cover leftover potato salad and store it in the fridge for 3 days.
  • A quick stir is needed before serving the salad.
  • Avoid leaving the potato salad out for long periods as the mayonnaise will spoil.
  • Discard any leftover potato salad after 3 days.
This salad is not freezer-friendly.


Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 634mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 613IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg