Spice Up Your Potato Salad With This One Ingredient

Have you ever truly craved potato salad? Unless you're a huge fan of potatoes and mayonnaise, the answer is probably no. While potato salad is a great side dish at picnics and barbecues, it isn't exactly loaded with flavor. And even if you want to spice things up a bit, most recipes are usually limited to adding only a few sprigs of parsley here and there, or maybe some paprika if you're feeling adventurous. According to Reader's Digest, however, potato salad can handle, and benefits from, more intensity — horseradish, to be specific. 

Potato salads get their richness from mayonnaise and their acidity from vinegar, but it's lacking in one flavor profile and that's the zestiness of horseradish. Horseradish adds something spices can't. As The Spruce Eats explains, horseradish is a root vegetable and belongs to the same family as wasabi and mustard. It's sharp and pungent, and contributes a kick to potato salad without being spicy in the same way as cayenne or chili powder.

How much horseradish should you add to potato salad?

Especially compared to the blandness of potatoes, horseradish is a very strong ingredient, which means it can also overpower an entire potato salad if too much is added. Reader's Digest suggests adding only one to two teaspoons of what's known as prepared horseradish. Prepared horseradish, unlike fresh horseradish or horseradish sauce, is grated horseradish root combined with vinegar and salt (via The Spruce Eats). Horseradish sauce is similar to prepared horseradish, but is much milder because it also contains either cream or sour cream, and in some cases mayonnaise. 

Valerie Bertinelli (via Food Network) recommends using prepared horseradish because it has just the right amount of creaminess to balance out the potato salad well. Bertinelli explains that fresh horseradish also works, however, you'd have to use slightly less of it, as it will pack more of a punch. Just be sure to taste as you go, since horseradish isn't as forgiving as the traditional ingredients in a potato salad.