Dill Caper Potato Salad

Nothing really says summer like potato salad (at least in America). It’s a staple of barbecues, picnics, and outdoor parties. This dill caper potato salad recipe comes via Smitten Kitchen via Bon Appetit via Rosanne Cash (daughter of Johnny).

I modified it a bit, but the essence of it is, I think, the same. First, I substituted yellow potatoes for red.  Second, I used capers rather than pickles. Third, I left out the hard boiled egg (because I was low on eggs and wanted them for something else). And finally, I swapped yellow onion for red.

The key here is the crunchy sour/sweet flavor of the capers paired with the starchy potatoes and the lemony, sweet dill.

And, since I don’t like that much dressing, I cut that too (even Deb said it was a bit much the original way).

The odd thing is, I was writing up the recipe, and I realized I hadn’t written down the reduced measurements (duh). So, I went back to the original to see what the amounts should be (planning to divide by 8).  Then I noticed she’d said that the dressing was enough for 150% of the original quantity of potatoes.

Since my brain balked at calculating how to get 150% down to whatever fraction is appropriate, I winged it and wrote down what I thought would work.
At the end, there was another note to use half the dressing and then only add more if you felt it needed it. Seems that amount of dressing would have worked for twice as many potatoes, as well as 150%. Then I thought, wait, better divide by 16 then just to make sure.

I started to do that, and found my “guessestimates” were exactly accurate. The only thing that was off was the capers, which I had consciously and deliberately reduced a bit.

Anyway, on to the recipe!

Dill Caper Potato Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: American

one serving

dill caper potato salad


  • 1 large Yukon gold (or yellow) potato, scrubbed (don’t bother peeling it), cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp. capers, chopped up dill pickles, or cornichons
  • 1 T chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp fresh dill (or a pinch of dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Fill a small saucepan with water and boil the potatoes until they are easily pierced with a fork. This should take about 25 minutes.  Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool off.
  2. Add the cooled potatoes to a bowl, and add the capers and chopped onion.  In a second bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and dill (essentially making a sort of salad dressing).
  3. Pour the dressing into the bowl with the potatoes and toss to mix it all up. Season with salt and pepper.

Dill Caper Potato Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • add a hard boiled egg
  • use red onion
  • if you use pickles, incorporate some of the pickle juice into the dressing
  • try white wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar
  • cut the mayo with some yogurt or sour cream

More Potato Recipes

dijon mustard vinaigrette potato saladFrench Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Delicious potato salad without the heavy mayo dressing. Get your starch fix here! Good warm or chilled.


mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

A great way to get your veggies and clean out the fridge. All you have to cook is an egg, and add leftover chicken.  Or skip the chicken and make it vegetarian.

roasted paprika potatoesRoasted Paprika Potatoes

Think extra-thick French fries.  These are crispy outside, fluffy inside. Great comfort food, which my grandma used to make me.


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No peeling! No kidding. These mashed potatoes are rich, creamy, and super-easy.  The garlic mellows out and sweetens as you cook it.

Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko

Since it’s spring and everything is turning green (and yellow and pink), it’s time to take advantage and turn from heavy food to something lighter and fresher. Spaghetti with green olives and lemon panko hits all those buttons. It’s light, it’s green, and it’s a bit of a flavor bomb that will wake up your taste buds.

It’s got zesty garlic, and earthy fresh spinach, paired with tangy capers, briny olives and a burst of citrus. Crispy, golden-brown panko crumbs mixed with dill and lemon zest add a bit of crunch.

In fact, I shared it with some friends and one of them said, “Oh I want that! I want it now! But I’m at work! Sob.”

I hate that the internet doesn’t include a “push here for spaghetti option”!

I found the original recipe on Bon Appetit, but I changed it a bit.  First, it had anchovies. Nope! Nope!  Second, I swapped the original parsley for some spinach instead. One, I had lots of spinach. And two, I don’t like parsley all that much, so there’s no point in buying a whole bunch of it. The spinach I will use for other meals.

One more small thing. The recipe said to cut some of the olives in half and then chop up the rest. It may have said to chop up the capers too (the instructions were a bit unclear). I started to chop the olives and then decided it was silly, so I stopped.

It also occurred to me after I made it that I could prepare the pasta first, then keep it warm while I cooked the panko and mixed everything else together.  Just drain and wipe the saucepan, add the oil and panko, and proceed with the rest of the recipe. That way it’s only one pot!

I used ordinary green olives (because they were handy). I think I will try it next time with castelvetrano olives instead, since they are my favorite olive (and taste great with pasta).

Oh dear, I’m revising and internet commenting my own recipe! Ha!

Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Italian


spaghetti with green olives and lemon panko


  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried dill (or 1 T fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 3 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1/4 C fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted, halved
  • 2 1/4 tsp drained capers
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium size skillet.
  2. Add the panko and cook stirring, over medium heat, for a minute or two. Watch it closely so it doesn't burn. Once the panko turns golden brown, remove it from the pan and spoon it on a paper towel so it will drain. Add salt and pepper and mix in the dill and lemon zest.
  3. Boil water in a large pot, add salt, and then add the spaghetti. Stir the pasta when you add it, so it doesn't stick. Once the spaghetti is done (about 8-10 minutes), remove from the pot and drain nearly all the water. Keep about 2 T of the water in reserve (this will help thicken the sauce).
  4. While the spaghetti is cooking, mash the garlic. Use the broad edge of a wide knife to smash it, and then smear it around on the cutting board with the side of the knife to make a paste. Put the mashed garlic, spinach, basil, olives, and capers in a large bowl. Now add the rest of the olive oil. Toss it all together and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the pasta and the half the reserved cooking water to the spinach olive mixture. Mix it all together so that the pasta is covered. If it's too dry, add more of the pasta liquid.
  6. Squeeze the lemon you used for the zest and add 1 1/2 tsp of juice to the sauce.
  7. Top that with the panko mixture and more Parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko Substitutions and Variations

  • like anchovies and parsley? Go for it!
  • use castelvetrano olives instead, they are firmer and more buttery
  • top the whole thing with some red pepper flakes
  • add more garlic
  • use the sauce over cooked fish (such as cod or tilapia)

More Spaghetti Recipes

spaghetti spinach lemon cream sauceSpaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce

A bit of basil, a handful of spinach, and some cream (or diluted plain Greek yogurt), and cooked pasta. You’ve got dinner (only two pots).  A healthy, green way to say hello to spring.


linguine with garlic and olive oilLinguine with Garlic and Olive Oil

Fancy fresh pasta, or standard dried, this meal works either way. And it makes me smile every time.


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Nobody knows exactly how this dish got its name. But, the punchy capers, sweet tomatoes, and briny olives pack a lot of flavor into a few ingredients. It’s fast, and delicious too.


pistachio pasta pestoPistachio Pesto Pasta

Green, earthy, garlicky, and made with pistachios rather than the usual pine nuts (who can pay for those nowadays anyway?).  This recipe came from an unusual source: a book. And, it wasn’t a cookbook either.