Salt Lick Potato Salad Recipe

This is a copy cat of the amazing potato salad at the Salt Lick BBQ. It is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, too!

salt lick potato salad copy cat recipe is also gluten-free and dairy-free

Salt Lick Potato Salad

The Salt Lick is a BBQ institution just outside Austin in Driftwood, Texas.  We’ve been going there since my college days at The University of Texas in Austin starting around 1990.  

We take friends when they come to visit us and now that we live kinda close enough we’ll go there for dinner on a Wednesday.  And they are always busy.

My usual at the Salt Lick is to indulge in pork ribs and brisket.  Everything is gluten-free except the bread and desserts.  Although sometimes I opt for the smoked turkey instead of the pork ribs.  But always brisket and a few burnt ends.  That’s BBQ candy.

There are so many great places for BBQ in this town, but the Salt Lick feels like home to me.  And let me tell you that the potato salad is one of my absolute favorite BBQ side dishes.  

So of course, I had to learn to make it at home.  Copy cat time!

It takes just a little prep but it is super easy and will be a perfect side dish for the Forth of July, BBQ, picnics, potlucks or if you are like me – just ’cause I’m feeling like it!

What You Will Need to Make the Salt Lick Potato Salad

  • potatoes
  • Salt Lick BBQ sauce (it’s gluten-free)
  • vinaigrette 
  • pickle juice
  • onions
  • celery seed
  • salt and pepper

This is a recipe that can be scaled depending on the crowd you are serving and adjusted to taste.  

The vinaigrette is unspecified so I usually just make a simple one with red wine vinegar, EVOO, salt and pepper.

The secret is that the onions are chopped and then marinated in pickle juice overnight.  It’s pretty cool because they serve you pickles and onions with your BBQ plate at the Salt Lick but they also use them in the potato salad.

The other tip is that you cook the potatoes first, then sprinkle them with a decent amount of celery seed, salt and pepper.  

Then place them in the fridge until chilled.  Then you add the pickled onions, vinaigrette, BBQ sauce, and mayo (if you are using it).  MMMM.  It’s so good.

Salt Lick Potato Salad

A delicious copy cat recipe of the Salt Lick’s potato salad, which is gluten-free and dairy-free, too!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq sauce, copy cat recipe, potato salad, salt lick potato salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12
Author Deana Larkin Evans


  • 2 white onions
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 15 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tbsp celery seed
  • 1/2 cup vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup Salt Lick BBQ sauce
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Chop the onions and add to a bowl. Pour in the pickle juice so that it covers the chopped onion. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

  2. Wash the potatoes and peel. Cut into one inch cubes. Boil in salted water until tender to the fork, about 15-20 minutes.

  3. Drain the water and place the potatoes in a bowl. Sprinkle with celery seed, salt and pepper. Place in the fridge until cooled and ready to serve.

  4. Mix together the vinaigrette and BBQ sauce. Drain the pickled onions. Add both to the potatoes. Toss until everything is incorporated. Taste test and serve.

Update 2019: So I found this recipe years ago online from a former Salt Lick employee. But recently I bought the Salt Lick Cookbook and found the recipe inside. We were close but not exact. Here is the original recipe from the cookbook below!

Salt Lick Potato Salad Recipe from the Salt Lick Cookbook.

Want More Recipes Like Salt Lick Potato Salad?

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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