Grilled Potato Salad Moroccan Style

Want to up your potato salad “game” this summer? A flavor boost from the grilled new potatoes, and the creamy harissa yogurt and preserved lemon is sure to make Grilled Potato Salad Moroccan Style your new favorite side dish for warm weather holidays, picnics, and lazy Saturdays on the patio with the grill going!

A black stoneware bowl of Moroccan style grilled potato salad with preserved lemon and harissa yogurt.

Summer is fast approaching (especially here in hotter-than-you-know-where south Texas)… Memorial Day, Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, all call for potato salad. Yay or nay?

My mom made the most awesome classic American potato salad. I’ve made it for years, but it just never felt like mine (because it wasn’t?  😜 ). As I planned my calendar for the months of May and June, I penned a note to come up with my own version of potato salad. Healthy with global flair, right?

You may have noticed my recent obsession with all things Moroccan/North African? I did North African Grilled Chicken and Veggie BowlsEasy Moroccan Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Herbs, and Moroccan Couscous with Chick Peas, Spinach, and Dried Fruit just in the last few weeks!

I guess those flavors just call my name; when I decided I wanted to do a grilled potato salad, harissa and yogurt just came instantly to mind, and the end result was this grilled potato salad Moroccan style. I finished a jar of preserved lemons a few weeks ago, and I’m in love. They’re probably driving my love affair with Moroccan flavors.

🌶️ What is Harissa

What is harissa? Harissa is a hot chile pepper paste composed of dried red chiles, fragrant spices, olive oil and garlic. It is supposed to have originated in Tunisia, and is most closely associated with Tunisian, Algerian, and Libyan cuisines. It is becoming quite popular in Moroccan cuisine as well. Harissa paste is available commercially, but it just doesn’t match the fresh, vibrant flavors achieved in your kitchen with your own toasted spices, fresh ingredients, and good dried chiles.

Recipes vary greatly; the paste may include fresh or dried mint, roasted red bell pepper in addition to the dried chiles, lemon juice, etc. The chiles that provide the heat may be hot like cayenne and chile de arbol, or milder like ancho. You can use any chiles you like and have on hand. North African varieties are not necessary to make an authentic harissa paste.

If you’re interested in making your own harissa paste, see Roasted Harissa Chicken Thighs for my recipe. Conversely, I do keep Mina Harissa Spicy in my well-stocked pantry for those occasions when I have run out of my homemade or I don’t have the time to make it! I find it at my local market in spicy, mild, and green varieties…

Potato Salad

  • potatoes – I choose new potatoes, and cut them in half. I used new Yukon Gold potatoes, and sliced the larger ones in half. See prep photo. I find chunks easier to manage on the grill than slices, but it’s up to you. Pieces that are too thick will be difficult to cook through, and too thin, they may fall apart on the grill. Parboiling your potatoes makes for more even cooking. Avoid al dente potatoes! I did about 6 minutes with my new Yukon Gold potatoes.
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • pepper – I love Aleppo pepper, but ground black pepper is fine!
  • hard boiled eggs – I am a fan of Eggland’s Best Hard Cooked Eggs because they’re a great time saver and look pretty. I have also had really good luck with Instant Pot hard cooked eggs.
  • celery
  • piquillo or roasted red bell pepper
  • onion – I prefer a more mild onion (scallion, sweet, shallot, red). You can use your preferred onion!
  • preserved lemon – I really feel like preserved lemon makes this dish, but you can grate the zest of a lemon. For more on preserved lemons see Easy Moroccan Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Herbs. You can make your own or find them in the International aisle of many local markets. You can also find them on Amazon.
  • cilantro

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

Harissa Yogurt

  • plain Greek yogurt – I use nonfat to cut fat and calories.
  • harissa paste – If you’re interested in making your own harissa paste, see Roasted Harissa Chicken Thighs for my recipe. Conversely, I do keep Mina Harissa Spicy in my well-stocked pantry for those occasions when I have run out of my homemade or I don’t have the time to make it!
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander
  • smoked paprika
  • brine from preserved lemons – If you’re not using preserved lemons, substitute sea salt to taste.

Don’t just start cooking! If you’re not already doing so, remember mis en place (a fancy French term for assembling and preparing ingredients prior to cooking)! So, that means slice (if necessary) your new potatoes, chop the piquillo (or roasted sweet red) pepper, celery, preserved lemon, and onion. Gather the remaining ingredients.

  1. Prepare the potatoes – Parboil the potatoes. Don’t forget to salt the water! I aim for 6-7 minutes when I’m grilling them. At the same time, go ahead and get your eggs hard boiled if you haven’t already. Drain the parboiled potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Grill the potatoes. I use a grill basket, and rotate or shake it regularly. Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced, and you’ve got nice grill marks. (See prep photo below). Set aside.
  2. Make the harissa yogurt – Mix all sauce ingredients together. ( I mix up the Harissa Yogurt while my husband grills the potatoes).
  3. Assemble – Add grilled potatoes, vegetables, and preserved lemon to an appropriately sized salad bowl. Gently mix in the Harissa Yogurt. Check once more for seasoning. Garnish with sliced hard boiled egg and chopped cilantro.
Ingredients prepared for Grilled Potato Salad Moroccan Style - preserved lemon, grilled potatoes, harissa yogurt, peppers, eggs, herbs ready to assemble.

Hard boil the eggs, and parboil the potatoes. Why parboil the potatoes? My #1 reason is that the potatoes are more likely to be cooked all the way through. Do you like crunchy, starchy potatoes? Neither do I! I also appreciate the opportunity to season the potatoes. Be generous in salting the water! For more on this topic, see 3 Reasons You Should Boil Potatoes Before Grilling Them.

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Toss the potatoes with a generous drizzle of olive oil, and grill until tender with nice grill marks. Set aside until ready to assemble.

Mix up the harissa yogurt, and chop the cilantro. Slice the hard boiled eggs.  To serve: Toss the vegetables, potatoes, and lemon with the harissa yogurt. Garnish with sliced egg and chopped cilantro. Enjoy! I’m confident you will.  😀

Grilling Signature
Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Potato Salad Moroccan Style

Grilled Potato Salad Moroccan Style - square image close up with potato salad in a round bowl.

Elevate your potato salad with Moroccan flavors! Preserved lemon and harissa bring exotic flavor to a summer classic!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Potato Salad

  • 24 ounces new potatoes, (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon salt, for potato water
  • olive oil, to drizzle
  • sea salt, to taste
  • Aleppo or black pepper, to taste
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 piquillo or roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sweet onion, shallot, scallion, chopped (see notes)
  • 2 quarters preserved lemon, flesh removed, peel diced
  • cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Harissa Yogurt

  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt , nonfat preferred
  • 2 teaspoons harissa paste, (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon brine from preserved lemons, or sea salt to taste

Instructions

    1. Prepare the potatoes - Parboil the potatoes. Don't forget to salt the water! I aim for 6-7 minutes when I'm grilling them. At the same time, go ahead and get your eggs hard boiled if you haven't already. Drain the parboiled potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Grill the potatoes. I use a grill basket, and rotate or shake it regularly. Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced, and you've got nice grill marks. (See prep photo above). Set aside.
    2. Make the harissa yogurt - Mix all sauce ingredients together. ( I mix up the Harissa Yogurt while my husband grills the potatoes).
    3. Assemble - Add grilled potatoes, vegetables, and preserved lemon to an appropriately sized salad bowl. Gently mix in the Harissa Yogurt. Check once more for seasoning. Garnish with sliced hard boiled egg and chopped cilantro.

Notes

I used new Yukon Gold potatoes, and sliced the larger ones in half. See prep photo. I find chunks easier to manage on the grill than slices, but it's up to you. Pieces that are too thick will be difficult to cook through, and too thin, they may fall apart on the grill.

Parboiling your potatoes makes for more even cooking. Avoid al dente potatoes! I did about 6 minutes with my new Yukon Gold potatoes.

I prefer a more mild onion (scallion, sweet, shallot, red). You can use your preferred onion!

For more on preserved lemons see Easy Moroccan Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Herbs. You can make your own or find them in the International aisle of many local markets. You can also find them on Amazon.

Harissa paste may be hot or mild. Taste it. Add accordingly.

Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 207 calories; 15 g protein; 25 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 5 ggCarbohydrates: 25 ggProtein: 15 gg

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5 Comments

  1. This is not your grandmother’s potato salad (unless your grandmother was Moroccan, maybe). I’ts really good, though.

  2. Loved the recipe and thanks for all the info on Harissa. I shall be trying this soon!! Have always wanted to try Harissa. Thanks

    1. I know how you love spice, and I know you’ll love harissa! You can make your own (I do sometimes), but I have found Mina Harissa is a good substitute for homemade!