This no mayo potato salad recipe is incredibly simple to make, yet extraordinary in flavor! Featuring tender baby potatoes tossed with crisp veggies and a vibrant herb vinaigrette (without a drop of mayonnaise in sight), this crowd-pleasing herb potato salad will become your go-to side dish for every occasion! Best of all, you can serve this potato dish warm, cold, or at room temperature. (Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan)
Featured comment: My dad and I just made this for Mother’s Day, it was phenomenal we will definitely make this again.
Delicious!!!!” – Erik
Update: This recipe was originally published in August 2019. I made updates to the article below, which includes new photos and more information about making the best potato salad recipe without mayonnaise at home.
If you are a regular around here you already know I prefer a mayo-less version of creamy salads, as seen here with this bacon pea pasta salad and orzo salad. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat mayonnaise-based salads from time to time! I simply favor vinaigrette, yogurt, hummus, or other non-mayo salads where the ingredients really get a chance to shine!
However, my better half is a die-hard lover of creamy, heavy, mayo-laden salads. Obviously, it came as no shock when he was (more than) a little hesitant to try this mayo-free herb potato salad. But, truth be told, he absolutely loved this version as much as the traditional, creamy one! And, by ‘loved it’ I mean he ate this potato salad for 4 days straight and then asked me to make him more. I’m definitely calling that a huge win!
(Update: I’ve now been making this mayo-free potato salad recipe for about 4 years, and it’s still my most requested potato side dish, especially during the summer.)
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About this no mayo potato salad
If you are on the fence about mayo-free potato salads, you absolutely must give this recipe a try! I can (basically) guarantee it will get rave reviews from even the pickiest of eaters in your family!
This recipe features tender, buttery, red skin potatoes, crunchy celery, pungent red onions and delicate scallions tossed with a silky, fragrant, luscious, olive oil dressing bursting with fresh herbs and a touch of mellow garlic.
This mayo-free potato salad is rich, crunchy, herbaceous and checks all the right boxes! It’s lighter than the traditional mayo-laden potato salad, yet 100 times fresher and overflowing with texture and flavor!
This salad is simple to make, feeds a crowd, travels well and you can prepare it in advance! Plus, you can serve this herb potato salad warm, at room temperature or cold, which makes it perfect for any occasion, from backyard barbecues and picnics to potlucks and family dinners!
What is potato salad?
Potato salad is a popular side dish made of cooked, chopped potatoes, a variety of vegetables, seasonings and dressing.
There are many versions of potato salads ranging from old-fashioned American, mayo-based salad which is served cold to traditional German, vinegar based salad which is served warm.
The exact ingredients in potato salad can widely vary from recipe to recipe and can include celery, onions, bacon, mustard, hard boiled eggs and avocado.
Where was potatoes salad invented?
Potato salad is generally recognized as originating in Germany. However, the potato originates in South America.
After Spanish explorers discovered the potato in South America, it was introduced to Europe by Spanish merchants. From there, potato salad spread in popularity throughout Europe and was likely brought to the United States when European and German settlers immigrated to the United States in the early 19th century.
FAQs: potato salad no-mayo
How long to boil red skin potatoes for potato salad?
When boiling potatoes for salad, it is imperative you follow a few easy tips and tricks to ensure a perfect potato salad every single time!
- Clean potatoes by rinsing them in cold water and gently scrubbing off dirt.
- Quarter or half potatoes so they are uniform in size. Potatoes need to be similar in size so they cook through at the same time. You don’t want under or over-cooked potatoes. Pro-tip: If you are nervous about potatoes breaking apart or becoming crumbly, boil the potatoes whole.
- Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 ½ inches.
- Bring water to a gentle boil. Do not rapidly boil the cut potatoes or they will fall apart.
- Season the water with salt, sugar and vinegar. Seasoning the water ensures your potatoes will be flavorful inside.
- Reduce heat under water to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Cook potatoes until they are just fork tender – the tines of a fork should easily slide out of the potato when pierced. Quartered or halved red skin potatoes will take about 10-12 minutes to cook. Whole red skin potatoes will take about 15-20 minutes.
Can I use russet potatoes to make potato salad without mayonnaise?
You can absolutely make this vinegar potato salad with russet potatoes! The type of potato you use in potato salad will depend on personal preference and taste.
Russet potatoes have a grainy, fluffy, open texture and are fantastic at absorbing potato salad seasoning! However, waxy potatoes – such as red skin or fingerling – have less starch and retain their shape better during boiling. If you are using russet potatoes, make sure you do NOT continuously boil the chopped potatoes or they will fall apart.
How to make a potato salad dressing without mayo?
Using a vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise in potato salads results in a fresher flavored potato side dish that’s also healthier and lighter. The silky fresh herb vinaigrette enhances the overall flavor by allowing all the individual ingredients to really shine. Instead of masking them with a heavy condiment.
To make no mayo potato salad dressing: Simply whisk together extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and seasonings together in a small bowl to emulsify. Then, whisk in fresh herbs (if using) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Et Voila! Vinaigrette dressing for potato salad.
When to dress potatoes with vinaigrette?
When to add dressing to potato salad depends entirely on the type of dressing you plan to use.
If you are using a vinaigrette, you need to dress the potatoes right away, while they are still warm! Warm potatoes will absorb the vinaigrette and become more flavorful.
When using a mayonnaise-based potato salad, you need to let the potatoes cool completely before tossing them with a dressing. Warm potatoes will cause the mayonnaise to break and your salad will become very oily.
Why use vinegar in potato salads?
Potato salad will taste bland unless the potatoes are properly seasoned. Adding acid, specifically vinegar, to potato salad will help brighten up the flavor. You should layer the vinegar and add it to both the cooking water and to the cooked potatoes while they are still warm.
Pro-tip: Vinegar is especially needed if you are serving your potato salad cold! As a rule of thumb, cold foods need to be seasoned more generously than foods served warm.
Which vinegar for no mayo potato salad?
The type of vinegar in potato salad depends on personal preference, but you should use an all-purpose vinegar such as white wine, rice wine or even apple cider vinegar. Steer clear of flavored vinegars such as balsamic.
Why add sugar do I use in potato salad?
The difference between a good and great potato salad is a balance of flavors (and textures). Adding a sweetener, such as sugar, to the cooking water helps balance out the vinegar.
If you properly cook your potatoes in a mixture of vinegar and sugar water, you should not need to add extra sugar to the potato salad dressing. However, if you prefer a sweeter potato salad, you can certainly add sugar when dressing your potatoes!
Why do no mayo potato salad recipes get watery?
There is nothing sadder than a watery potato salad! To avoid a water-logged salad, follow these tricks:
- Cut the potatoes into chunks, halves or quarters. Cut potatoes will cook faster and more evenly than whole potatoes. Whole potatoes have a higher chance of the outside turning to mush before the inside is finished cooking which can result in a watery potato salad. With that said, do not cut your potatoes too small or they will have a higher chance of overcooking and turning mushy!
- Drain the potatoes thoroughly. Make sure you thoroughly drain the potatoes in a colander before adding any dressing. If your potatoes still seem watery, drain the potatoes and then return them to the pot. Place the pot on stove over LOW heat for minute to cook out any extra water clinging to the potatoes. Make sure you stir the potatoes and be careful to not overheat the potatoes or they will turn mushy.
- Add vinaigrette dressing to warm potatoes. Do not allow the potatoes to cool completely before adding the olive oil based dressing. Warm potatoes will soak up the dressing better than cool potatoes. Cool potatoes will repel the dressing and result in a ‘watery’ salad.
How many calories vinegar based potato salad?
The precise amount of calories in a vinaigrette based potato salad with no mayo will depend upon the brand and amount of ingredients used. This potato salad no mayo recipe serves 10 to 12 people and has approximately 211 calories per serving based upon 10 servings.
How to make potato salad without mayo?
Red skin vinegar based potato salads are simple to make and ultra-flavorful. Waxy red skin potatoes hold up better to boiling than starchy russet or Idaho potatoes, so they are also stress-free to prepare!
- Cook the potatoes: Add potatoes to a large saucepan or pot and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 1 1/2-inch. Bring the water to a gentle boil over high heat. Add in salt, sugar and vinegar. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, vinegar, Dijon, crushed red pepper flakes and a generous pinch of sugar. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Whisk until fully combined. Add in the parsley, dill and cilantro. Stir until combined.
- Finish the potato salad: Drizzle half of the dressing over the warm potatoes and gently toss to combine. Add in the green onions, celery and red onion. Toss again. Drizzle in the remaining dressing to taste. Gently toss until everything is coated. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.
Customizing this recipe for no mayo potato salad
Are you looking to make a few additions to this dairy-free potato salad? Wonderful – I encourage you to make this recipe your own! Get creative or simply eliminate the ingredients you don’t like and substitute the ones you love! Below are a few easy ideas to get you started.
What seasonings can I add?
Seasoning the cooking water is key to a great potato salad. Since potatoes will absorb some of the seasoning while cooking, it is imperative your cooking water is generously seasoned with salt, vinegar and sugar (more on that below). A flavorful potato salad has potatoes that are seasoned from the inside out, and that all starts with the cooking water!
Potato salad can be seasoned with as much or as little flavor as you like! You can either let the potatoes shine with just a few seasoning additions, or jam pack your salad with tons of flavor and texture! It’s your potato salad, so you should make the rules and use the seasonings you prefer!
Best seasonings for no mayonnaise potato salad
If you are looking to spruce up prepared potato salads, any of the below seasonings pair great with potatoes:
- Fresh herbs – basil, chives, cilantro, mint, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme
- Dried herbs (see above)
- Garlic – fresh cloves or powder
- Onion powder
- Celery – seed or salt
- Cheeses – parmesan, cheddar, fontina, goat, gouda, manchego, pecorino
- Chili Peppers
- Pepper – ground black and white
- Italian Seasoning
- Everything but the bagel seasoning
- Old bay seasoning
- Mustard – plain yellow, stone ground, spicy or Dijon
- Lemon juice
- Dill pickle juice
- Hot sauce or Sriracha
What ingredients can I add to this recipe for potato salad without mayo?
Any of the below are a delicious addition to this mayonnaise free salad with potatoes!
- Pickled Onions
- Crumbled Bacon
- Diced ham
- Chopped Fruit – pear, pineapple, apple
- Cheese – parmesan, goat cheese
- Hard boiled eggs
- Refrigerator Dill Pickles or Relish
- Diced bell pepper
What fresh herbs to use?
Herbs are a delicious, easy way to add fresh, herbaceous flavor to your salad with potatoes. Try mixing and matching herbs (fresh or dry) to create a potato side salad that is perfect for you and your taste buds!
- Cilantro (Coriander)
Herb combinations to try in potato salads
- Parsley + Dill + Cilantro
- Basil + Oregano + Rosemary
- Tarragon + Parsley + Chives
- Mint + Scallions
Serving potato salad without mayonnaise
Are you looking for new and exciting ways to serve your mayo-free potato salad? Below are a few of my family’s favorite ways to serve and enjoy this recipe!
How much herb potato salad per person?
The exact amount of potato salad needed to serve a crowd will depend on various factors such as how many other sides you are serving and your guest’s appetites.
As a general guideline, you can assume each person will eat ½ cup or 4 ounces of potato salad.
- 4 people – 2 cups or 1 pound
- 8 people – 4 cups or 2 pounds
- 10 people – 5 cups or 2 ½ pounds
- 12 people – 6 cups or 3 pounds
What goes with potato salad mayo free?
Potato salad without mayonnaise is an extremely versatile side! Whether you serve this potato salad at a family gathering, summer barbecue or as a side dish to your weeknight dinner, this dill potato salad is a delicious compliment to any menu!
Entrees to pair with red potato salad
- Barbecue Chicken or Turkey
- Barbecued or Smoked Meats
- Skewers and Kebabs (sweet and spicy pork skewers, roasted shrimp skewers)
- Beef (beef tenderloin, beef roasts, and Fajita Steaks)
- Pulled Pork or Pulled Chicken
- Roasted Chicken or Roasted Pork
- Barbecue Brisket
- BBQ Ribs
- Fried Chicken or Chicken Fried Steak
- Homemade Hamburgers or Black Bean Patties
- Hotdogs or Sausages
- Breaded Fish and Fried Fish
- Spiral Ham
- Amazing Chicken Wings
Sides to pair with potatoes
- Vegetables – like prosciutto wrapped asparagus, roasted mushrooms, or sautéed peppers and onions
- Corn – Corn on the Cob with Avocado Butter or Corn Salsa
- Pasta Salads – Pasta Salad with Peas, Tuna Macaroni Salad or Orzo Salad
- Tomatoes – Tomato Salad, Bruschetta, Caprese Salad
- Beans – Bean Salads and Baked Beans with Bacon
- Cabbage and Coleslaw – Spiced Coleslaw, Mexican Cabbage Slaw, or Fried Cabbage
- Alternative Side Salads – Avocado Corn Salad, Broccoli Grape Salad, Burrata and Peach Salad, and Cucumber Salad with Avocado.
- Chopped Salads – Chopped BLT Salad with Avocado and Italian Chopped Salad
Storing potato salad recipe no mayo
Food safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to storing leftovers! Make sure you follow the simple tips below for properly storing homemade potato salad!
Can I make mayo-free potato salad in advance?
Potato salad actually tastes best if made in advance! Preparing your potato salad in advance allows the flavors a chance to meld and marry. Since the flavors will intensify with time, I recommend making potato salad at least 1-2 hours in advance.
Pro-tip: If leftover red skin potato salad has been stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, add more fresh herbs to brighten and freshen up the salad!
How long will mayonnaise free potato salad last?
Potato salad should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, potato salad will keep for up to four days.
If you are serving potato salad at a party, it will keep at room temperature for two hours.
If you are serving potato salad at an outdoor barbecue or picnic, it will keep for about 1 hour.
Pro-tip: If serving potato salad at an outdoor event, I recommend storing the salad on ice in a cooler for a longer shelf-life.
Can I freeze this no mayo salad with potatoes?
While you can freeze vinaigrette potato salads, I do not recommend it. Upon thawing, the liquids in the potato salad will separate and become soupy.
If you would like to freeze potato salad, I recommend cooking, cooling and freezing just the potatoes.
Can I eat this no mayo potato salad recipe cold?
Potato salad without mayonnaise can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled depending on your preference!
Perfect for any and every occasion, this mayo-free herb potato salad will become a household favorite!
See below to find out what readers are saying about this tried and true recipe for Potato Salad without Mayonnaise!
- “Delicious! Quadrupled the dressing measurements and used yellow mustard.” – Vienna
- “Fantastic vegan potato salad” – Ashley
- “Amazing 👏” – Trisha
More potato side dishes!
The best Potato Salad without mayo recipe 👇
No Mayo Potato Salad Recipe
- 1 Saucepan or Pot
- 1 Small mixing bowl
- 1 Whisk
- 3 pounds Small Red Potatoes – scrubbed, washed and quartered (SEE NOTES)
- 2 TBS Granulated Sugar – PLUS a pinch for dressing
- 4 TBS White Wine Vinegar - divided
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2-3 cloves Garlic – minced
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- ¼ - ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – to taste
- ½ Cup Fresh Parsley – gently packed & chopped
- ¼ Cup Fresh Dill – gently packed & chopped
- 3 TBS Fresh Cilantro – gently packed & chopped
- 4 Scallions (green part only) – thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
- 3 Ribs Celery – finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small Red Onion – finely diced (about ¾ cup)
- Cook potatoes: Add 2 ½ quarts of COLD water to a large saucepan or pot. Add potatoes and bring the water to a gentle boil over high heat (SEE NOTE). Once boiling, add 2 tablespoons of salt, all of the sugar, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the water. Then immediately reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they're fork tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, drain the potatoes in a colander, and transfer the warm potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
- While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar, Dijon, and crushed red pepper flakes, along with a generous pinch of sugar. Season with 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. Then, whisk until all the ingredients are emulsified and fully combined. Add in the fresh parsley, dill, and cilantro. Stir until combined. Taste the herb vinaigrette dressing and adjust to suit your personal taste before setting aside.
- Toss the potato salad: Drizzle half of the dressing over the warm potatoes and gently toss to combine(SEE NOTE) . Add in the scallions, celery, and red onion. Gently toss the potato salad again. Next, taste the potato salad and adjust as you see fit, adding more dressing if the potatoes seem dry, salt and pepper for overall flavor, and herbs for freshness. Then, gently toss the potatoes again.
- Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Serving Warm: For the best flavor, let the no-mayo potato salad sit out on the counter for 10 minutes before serving - this gives the flavor a chance to marry and meld. Serving at Room Temperature: Follow instruction above; however, let the herb potato salad sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. (Do not leave the potatoes salad at room temp. for more than 2 hours.)Serving Chilled: Store the potato salad in the refrigerator. Remove the salad from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes (Note: You want the potatoes to be chilled, not freezing cold). Gently toss the herb potato salad before serving.
- Potatoes: You can also use Yukon Golds and Fingerling Potatoes. Just be sure to check on the smallest potatoes while they're boil as the cooking times vary.
- Boiling potatoes: Do NOT continuously boil the potatoes or they will be more susceptible to falling apart and becoming mushy.
- Dressing potatoes: Make sure the potatoes are still warm when you toss them with the dressing. Warm potatoes will soak up the dressing much better than cool potatoes!
- Storage: Potato salad can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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