No mayo was used in the making of this Vegan Potato Salad with Herbs. Just a simple oil and vinegar dressing and a ton of herbs turn this make-ahead summer side dish into a recipe greater than the sum of its parts.

Vegan Potato Salad in a small hand painted ceramic bowl

 

Why We Love This Recipe

If you are looking for a“no-mayo” potato salad or a Vegan potato salad then this is the recipe for you! This potato salad, dressed with oil and vinegar with herbs and sun dried tomatoes is absolutely delicious and you will never miss the mayonnaise!

Serve it for a picnic, potluck, summer cookout or barbecue. It pairs well with grilled veggies like my grilled zucchini, grilled summer squash boats and grilled carrots. For meat-eaters, this Grilled Garlic Herb Chicken is a favorite and this BBQ Chicken is a classic too. And of course burgers are always a summer staple and popular option! 

I decided to call this recipe Vegan Potato Salad with Herbs because I wanted to make sure that any plant based readers would be able to easily identify this as a recipe that would work for them but non-vegans will love the full flavor from the fresh herbs and tangy vinaigrette too! 

A large bowl of potato salad, and a small ceramic bowl with potato salad

What Kind of Potatoes to Use

  • Waxy Vs Floury: There are two types of potatoes, waxy and floury. Waxy potatoes are those that have thin skin and creamy flesh. Floury potatoes have thicker rougher skin and fluffy interiors (think Russet Baking Potatoes.) 
  • Why Not Russets: While that fluffy interior makes for an awesome baked potato, it doesn’t work well for potato salad.
  • Examples of waxy potatoes are: Fingerlings, Youkon Gold, Red Bliss, Purple Potatoes, White Chef’s Potatoes etc. Any of these waxy thin skinned potatoes would work for this potato salad. The only thing you need to know is that you have to cut them into 1 1/2 inch chunks.

An overhead view of a farm table with a bowl of vegan potato salad with herbs and a purple cloth

How To Make Potato Salad Without Mayo

I have nothing against mayo in a potato salad. Especially when it is cut with Greek Yogurt to make it lower in calories and saturated fat, like in this red white and blue potato salad. But I realize there are lots of people who can’t stand mayo, or who avoid it because they are following a plant based diet. I also happen to love an oil and vinegar based potato salad because I love the bright acidity of the dressing, especially when paired with barbecue fare. Here are some tips to making potato salad without the usual mayo:

  1. Don’t Be Afraid of Flavor: While creamy potato salads are loved for their creaminess, a potato salad needs a kick of big bold flavor to give it appeal. That’s why you need to start with some sort of allium in the dressing. In this case, since the potato salad is all about the green herbs, I used scallions (or chives) for that onion flavor.
  2. Use A Big Bold Dressing: Potatoes, because they’re so starchy can be a real flavor sink. So you’ll actually need to compensate for that by boosting up the dressing more than you think you would have to. For the four pound batch, you’ll need a quarter cup of red wine vinegar and a half cup of oil. When you first taste it, it may seem too strong, but as the potatoes cool with the dressing and soak it up, you’ll notice that it is just right.
  3. Add A Ton of Herbs: You knew this was coming, obvs. The fresh herbs in this recipe make all the difference in boosting up the flavor and interest. 
  4. Extra Flavor and Texture Boosters: Read more below about what I added in for extras flavor and texture boosters, and how they help turn bland potatoes into a recipe people will ask for. The point is, you don’t want your vegan potato salad to seem boring do you? Nope. So that’s why you gotta add on the crunch and flavor from celery, sun dried tomatoes, mustard and a pinch of sugar. 

A large bowl of potato salad, and a small ceramic bowl with potato salad

Tips for Making Vegan Potato Salad

Leave the Skin On:

I leave the skin on the potatoes because it increases the fiber and nutrients in each serving, making this a little healthier. 

Hot Potatoes:

As with my Italian Pasta Salad Recipe (also vegan) I mixed the hot potatoes with the dressing and let that cool before adding in the rest of the ingredients. This allows the starch to absorb the dressing and makes the potatoes more flavorful. 

Whole Grain Mustard: 

love using whole grain mustard (that’s an affiliate link) in this recipe because it adds flavor, while not overpowering the overall herb forward flavor profile. 

Add a Pinch of Sugar:

The flavor of this combo can come off as slightly bitter, so I found a tiny bit of sugar really helped to balance that out. It doesn’t taste sweet at all, but makes the bitter taste fall away.

Finely Chop the Sun Dried Tomatoes and Celery Hearts:

These items are great when they’re finely chopped because they cling to the potatoes and add to the flavor and texture in each bite. They’re a really nice flavor and texture boost!

Step By Step Photos For This Recipe

To Make this Recipe Ahead of Time: 

  1. You can do most/all of the work for this potato salad ahead. Here’s how:
  2. Toss the steamed potatoes with the dressing and cool it while tossing. Then cover and chill up to a day ahead. 
  3. You can also chop all of the other ingredients and store them separately in the fridge, then toss everything together when you’re ready to serve. 
  4. Note: The vinegar in the dressing does make the green of the herbs and scallions darken if you make the whole thing start to finish ahead of time and they get pretty wilted. But if that isn’t a concern to you, then it’s fine to actually hold it for two days ahead. Simply stir again before serving. The flavor improves as it sits in the fridge!

More Vegan Side Dishes:

Thanks for reading. If you make this recipe, please come back and let me know by leaving a star rating and review! 

Print
A close up of vegan potato salad with herbs in a white bowl

vegan potato salad with herbs

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

No mayo was used to make this vegan potato salad with herbs. Just a simple oil and vinegar dressing and herbs turn this summer side dish into a treat.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds medium red or gold potatoes, peeled if desired and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cup finely diced celery hearts
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh chives or minced scallions
  • ¼ cup finely chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill

Instructions

  1. Steam potatoes in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer attachment, covered, until tender when pierced with a fork, 13 to 17 minutes.
  2. Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar (if using), salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the hot potatoes and toss to coat. Let cool, stirring occasionally until room temperature, about 45 minutes.
  3. Add celery, parsley, scallions, sun dried tomatoes (if using), and dill and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 12 hours.

Notes

To make this potato salad in advance, simply prepare through step 2, cover and refrigerate up to one day ahead. Continue with step three as directed.

Look for potatoes that are smooth skinned, firm to the touch and do not have any sprouting “eyes.” For potato salad use waxy potatoes like red, yellow, white or purple instead of russet (baking) potatoes for the best finished texture.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2/3 cup
  • Calories: 249
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 268 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
vegan potato salad with herbs