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Ree Drummond's new potato salad recipe has a very unusual ingredient

It's a meaty mix!
Ree Drummond certainly knows how to throw a great Fourth of July barbecue!
Ree Drummond certainly knows how to throw a great Fourth of July barbecue!Food Network
/ Source: TODAY

'Tis the season for all types of cold salads, from pasta to potato. Ree Drummond, the host of Food Network's popular show "The Pioneer Woman," has added a surprising new twist to a traditional potato salad recipe, jazzing it up just in time for Fourth of July celebrations.

Drummond and her husband, Ladd, have been hosting a patriotic potluck for 19 years. Recently, it's become so popular, that up 500 guests attend the festivities. Drummond told Us Weekly that she always likes to serve classics such as baked beans and grilled chicken, as well as some internationally inspired dishes, like caprese salad.

Smashed Potato Salad

In an attempt to please both traditionalists and adventurous eaters, Drummond concocted an upgraded version of the beloved cool and creamy dish: a chunky potato salad with bits of — wait for it — pepperoni.

Drummond's Pepperoni Potato Salad recipe uses Yukon gold potatoes, and more Italian ingredients like marinara sauce, green olives and pearls of mozzarella. She folds in the pepperoni, olives and mozzarella once the dressing has been poured over the cooked potatoes. The Food Network star said she developed the recipe "because potato salad can be pretty boring and run of the mill, so I think it has to be very delicious."

But the pepperoni version isn't her only unusual take on the classic. On her website, Drummond lists at least four other versions, including a German potato salad with bacon (she pairs that with sausage and sauerkraut), as well as a creamy lemon-basil potato salad with pesto, pine nuts, lemon and fresh basil leaves.

While no one seems to have taken issue with pepperoni popping up in Drummond's potato salad, some on Twitter weren't happy to see olives or pickles in her other recipes.

Drummond isn't the only celebrity chef to inject a special twist on potato salad, either. Tyler Florence, host of "The Great Food Truck Race," uses capers and dill pickles in his potato salad recipe, while Thomas Keller, of the famed The French Laundry restaurant in California, uses cucumbers and watercress in his recipe.

And America's favorite spiky-haired TV host, Guy Fieri, whose Trash Can Nachos are causing a stir on Twitter, uses smoked paprika, celery, sour cream and capers to add flavor to his Smokin' Potato Salad recipe.

When it comes to the main dish for her Fourth of July get-together, Drummond told Us Weekly that her husband “takes a big fireproof sauce pan, puts it on the grill, fills it with about 10 sticks of butter and just brushes butter on the steaks and burgers.” They flavor the meat first with lemon pepper and seasoning salt before throwing it on the grill.

What's for dessert? Drummond might opt for a key lime pie, her chocolate-strawberry Nutella cake, lemon bars or blackberry cobbler. We'll take one of each!

Wondering what a Fourth of July potluck might look like at Drummond's ranch in Oklahoma? Well, for one, she says they load up a trailer full of fireworks each year.

Here's a peek at what the show looked like in 2018:

The Drummonds even have bands come and play on a stage they set up.

We'll be on the lookout for our invite in the mail.