This healthy vegan potato salad with herbs has a simple oil and vinegar dressing, crunchy celery and sun-dried tomatoes. Because it is made without mayonnaise it is the ideal plant-based side dish side for summer.

close up of potato salad with herbs

I originally shared this recipe on June 23, 2017. I have updated the images and text to share it with you again today. The recipe remains unchanged.

Why We Love This Recipe For Vegan Potato Salad with Herbs

If you are looking for a potato salad without mayonnaise {or an oil and vinegar-based potato salad} then this is the recipe for you! It is absolutely delicious and you will never miss the mayonnaise! Serve it for a picnic, potluck, summer cookout or barbecue.

Truth be told, I actually 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 creamy horseradish potato salad or 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. So that’s why I am sharing this recipe today. And also because I happen to love an oil and vinegar-based potato salad! I love the bright acidity of the dressing, especially when paired with barbecue fare.

I should also point out, that while this recipe is vegan, non-vegans will love the full flavor from the fresh herbs and tangy vinaigrette too! My family sure did!

Key Ingredients For This Recipe

INGREDIENTS for this recipe with text overlay

Thin-Skinned Potatoes

For this recipe, we use waxy and thin-skinned potatoes. If you are not sure what that means, here is a brief explanation of the different kinds of potatoes.

  • 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. They are too dry and starchy.
  • 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.

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

Oil and Vinegar

Instead of mayonnaise, we used olive oil and vinegar. I like the flavor of red wine vinegar best in this recipe. It is bright and acidic and goes great with herbs and sweet-tasting potatoes.

Whole-Grain Mustard

To emulsify the dressing and add flavor, I used whole-grain mustard. You can also use brown deli mustard if you cannot find whole-grain style mustard.

Fresh Herbs

The combination of parsley, dill and chives works really well in this salad. You can use finely minced scallions instead of chives if you like. Feel free to add another tender herb to the mix if you like. Basil is also a yummy addition, and a small amount of tarragon would also be good.

We do not recommend using woody herbs such as rosemary or thyme as they are too assertive in this salad.

Celery Hearts

I love adding the pale yellowish-green center of a head of celery to potato salad. (Try my German Potato Salad and you’ll see what I mean!) Include the frilly leaves too because they are slightly bitter, which balances all the other flavors.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

After trying this salad, I tasted it and it needed a little something. I added in finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and they make all the difference! They are savory and salty and pair so well with the tart dressing, creamy potatoes, and fresh herbs. They’re umami!

Try to find them in a jar with oil for the best texture. At the store, they are usually with Italian ingredients or with jarred pickled items.

Both the sun-dried tomatoes and the celery 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!

Seasoning

Potatoes really soak up a lot of seasoning, so you have to add more salt than you think you’ll need. I also like to add a pinch of sugar to potato salad to bring it all into balance. Without the 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. Only 1 teaspoon is needed and optional if you are following a sugar-free diet.

Step-By-Step Instructions For This Oil and Vinegar Potato Salad

steam potatoes and mix dressing

Step 1: Steam Potatoes

Steam potatoes in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer attachment, covered, until tender when pierced with a fork, 13 to 17 minutes.

Step 2: Make Dressing

Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar (if using), salt and pepper in a large bowl.

mix hot potatoes with dressing and once cool add in the herbs and veggies

Step 3: Add Hot Potatoes To Dressing

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. Let cool, stirring occasionally until room temperature, about 45 minutes.

Step 4: Add Herbs and Veggies

Add celery, parsley, scallions, sun dried tomatoes (if using), and dill and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 12 hours.

overhead view of the potato salad in a white bowl

FAQs and Expert Tips for Making Vegan Potato Salad

Can this potato salad be made ahead?

You can do most/all of the work for this potato salad up to two days ahead. Here’s how: Toss the steamed potatoes with the dressing and cool it while tossing. Then cover and chill up to two days ahead. 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. 
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!

What other herbs work in this potato salad?

You can use another combination of tender herbs such as tarragon, basil, chervil or cilantro. We like the classic and somewhat neutral flavors of the chives, dill and parsley. We do not suggest adding woody herbs such as thyme or rosemary as they are too assertive to add to this recipe.

What pairs with this vegan potato salad?

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! 

Tips For Making Potato Salad Without Mayonnaise

  1. Don’t Be Afraid of Flavor: While creamy potato salads are loved for their creaminess, an oil and vinegar 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. I know that sounds like a lot! In fact, when you first taste it, it may seem too strong. Trust! 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 since the recipe literally has herbs in the name. The fresh herbs in this recipe make all the difference in boosting up the flavor and interest. 
  4. Extra Flavor and Texture Boosters: You can get creative with this adding veggies and seasonings. Today I used sun-dried tomatoes and crunchy celery. But you could go a variety of routes.
side view of potato salad

More Vegan Summer Side Dishes:

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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closeup overhead of potato salad in a white bowl with herb sprigs

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

This healthy vegan potato salad with herbs has a simple oil and vinegar dressing, crunchy celery and sun-dried tomatoes. Because it is made without mayonnaise it is the ideal plant-based side dish side for summer.


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.
  3. Add the hot potatoes and toss to coat. Let cool, stirring occasionally until room temperature, about 45 minutes.
  4. 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 two days 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