Like what you see? Share it with your friends!

Pickled Beet Potato Salad is a sweet and creamy side dish that can stand up to anything you want to pair it with; it’s great with roasted chicken or roast beef.  Also, a perfect summer barbeque potluck take-along side dish!

This very bright pink potato salad is very traditional in Newfoundland.  Rarely seen alone, it is usually paired with two other forms of potato salad all on the same dish.  Even though three different types of potato salad is not needed to prepare a lovely meal, Newfoundlanders more often than not, prepare all three forms.  This post will focus only on the pickled beet variety. 

For my family, potato salads (all three types) was a Sunday dinner tradition.  My mom always made the potato salads on Sunday morning before church.  They were always served with some kind of meat, usually a whole baked chicken, but sometimes roast beef, pineapple glazed ham, or turkey.  And a coleslaw, a macaroni salad, a jelly salad, a dinner roll, and a fresh slice of tomato and lettuce leaves always accompanied the potato salads.  Sometimes there would be company for dinner, but even if there wasn’t, my mom prepared the same meal every Sunday just for the five of us.  I’d give anything to have one of those Sunday dinners just once more!

When I was a child, I actually didn’t like pickled beet potato salad at all.  I’m certain that the main reason for this was that my mom used to use the canned Harvard brand diced beets in a sauce to make her version of this salad.  I wasn’t a fan of those particular store-bought beets for potato salad, however, they work really well with pan-fried liver.  God, I miss eating liver!

When I was married, my ex wife and her mother used to make pickled beet potato salad using homemade pickled beets.  Once I tasted it that way, I was converted, and I will only make it that way myself now.  I should mention that if you don’t have homemade pickled beets, you can certainly make your own.  Here’s a recipe for pickled beets that I got from my dad: Dad’s Canned Pickled Beets

If you don’t have the time to prepare your own pickled beets, you can certainly buy a jar of whole pickled beets at the grocery store.  I recommend the Bick’s variety.  Be sure to buy the whole beets if at all possible.  First of all, the whole beets are smaller in diameter which means you have a more tender, young beet, and will be more flavourful.  Secondly, the sliced type are made up of older beets, damaged or bruised beets. 

Like canned tomatoes – I always buy the whole tomatoes even if what I’m preparing needs to have crushed or diced tomatoes.  The companies that make canned tomatoes use the best tomatoes for the whole cans, and use the beaten, bruised, broken tomatoes for the crushed or diced type.  This way, they can use up the not-so-pretty tomatoes and you end up serving them to your family.  Not me!  I always buy whole and chop them up myself.  The same goes for jars of pickled beets.

The result, whether you buy prepared pickled beets, or if you prepare your own, will be favourable, but as you no doubt know, using your own beets will yield a better tasting potato salad.  And, in a recipe so simple as this, with just a few ingredients, you want to use only the best you can get!

Print Recipe
2.78 from 9 votes

Pickled Beet Potato Salad

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 8
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen


  • 6-8 medium potatoes, white flesh, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup pickled beets, roughly chopped (reserve pickling juice!)
  • 3/4 cup pickled beet juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Add the chopped potatoes and salt to a large pot and cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Using a hand-held potato masher, or a potato ricer, mash the potatoes leaving no lumps.
  • Add all of the other ingredients, except for 1/4 cup of the beet juice, and using a large spoon, vigorously mix all of the ingredients together.
  • Taste for seasoning and sweetness and adjust accordingly. Add more beet juice if you would like a "pinker" potato salad, but only add the extra beet juice if the potato salad is not already too moist.
  • Transfer to a glass bowl with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.

In a hurry?  Save this recipe to your Pinterest board for quick and easy reference!  Click HERE!

All access to Lord Byron’s Kitchen!  Never miss another recipe!



Originally Posted: September 23, 2015

Updated: June 13, 2017

Like what you see? Share it with your friends!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. I remember the first time I saw this on your dining room table. I remember thinking I was going to have to find a polite way to eat a small amount of these strange looking rainbow potatoes ( all 3 types had been set out) to avoid hurt feelings.... I also remember the way my taste buds exploded when the first fork full went into my mouth! I can't wait to make this - although I'm certain they won't be nearly as fantastic as the original ;)
    1. Was that during one of our many BBQs? :) I don't ever remember serving this when you guys came over; I thought it was always pasta. :)
      1. LOL likely, but the first time was in the dining room; picture hard boiled eggs, onions, etc to top the green salad, those little pearl onions - You know my memory! I could set the whole table all over again LOL
  2. I love beets, but have never seen them used in a potato salad before! The color this gives the potato salad is incredible and I think it may take a couple minutes of convincing before my kids stop giving me the eye about it! Thank you for sharing this, I absolutely cannot wait to try making this at home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *