This herby potato salad is packed with fresh spring flavors and is made with no mayo and no eggs! It's a great vegan option for potlucks or anywhere you need a healthy side dish.
If you're looking for a healthy side dish to make this spring, this is it! I know that a lot of people don't like mayo, so I wanted to share an easy mayo-free potato salad recipe.
The herby dressing is similar to pesto because it's made with fresh herbs and olive oil. This is a pretty quick dish that comes together in under 30 minutes!
Serve during Easter or spring get-togethers alongside vegetarian pasta salad, tahini coleslaw, and broccoli salad.
- Mayo-free: As much as I love a good mayonnaise-based potato salad, this is a great option for those who are looking for a lighter potato salad or who just don't enjoy mayonnaise. Olive oil and herb-based potato salad made with lemon juice, cilantro, dill, and chives.
- Flavors: Tangy, herby, zesty, and light from a combination of fresh herbs, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard.
- Quick & easy: Comes together in under 30 minutes. While the potatoes boil, prepare the dressing in a blender. When the potatoes are cooked, simply toss everything together!
- Dietary features: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, egg-free
Ingredients and substitutions
- Baby potatoes: This is a catch-all term for small potatoes called new potatoes. Choose baby potatoes that are a little bigger than a golf ball. I use tri-colored potatoes, but any gold or red baby potato works well in potato salad.
- Fresh herbs: Cilantro, dill, and chives are the fresh herbs used in this recipe. Don't like cilantro? You can use an equal amount of parsley.
- Green onions add texture and extra onion flavor. Also known as scallions.
- Lemon juice and lemon zest add light, bright flavor to the dressing. One large lemon usually yields 3-4 tablespoons, while a small lemon yields about 2 tablespoons.
- White wine vinegar contributes additional zest. An equal amount of white vinegar can be used as needed.
- Dijon mustard adds a tangy and sharp flavor. Whole-seed mustard also works.
Steps to make
Boil the potatoes
The first step to making this herby potato salad is to boil the potatoes until fork-tender. Add the sliced potatoes to a medium saucepot and cover with an inch of cold water and 1 tablespoon of salt.
Bring the potatoes to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat to a low simmer. Simmer the potatoes for 8-12 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
Reserve at least ½ cup of the potato cooking liquid. This is used in the herb sauce to add creaminess and it helps the herbs cling to the potatoes.
Make the herb dressing
Roughly chop the herbs. This doesn't need to be precise, it's just to make the herbs blend more easily. Reserve a handful of chopped herbs for garnishing.
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until mostly smooth. It's okay if some small herb pieces remain.
Toss the herb dressing with the potato salad. Garnish with green onions, fresh dill, and any other fresh herbs.
Potato salad tips
- Slice potatoes before boiling: This makes the potatoes cook a little more quickly and it is much easier than slicing hot potatoes.
- Don't overcook potatoes: The potatoes should be fork-tender. This means that a potato can be easily pierced with a fork without much resistance.
- Mash potatoes for more texture: If you prefer a chunkier potato salad, I recommend roughly mashing ~⅓ of the potatoes before adding the dressing.
- Add extra herbs on top: Garnish the potato salad with herbs from the sauce.
- Serve warm or serve chilled: This potato salad is great warm or chilled. If chilling, transfer to the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Warm potato salad should be enjoyed immediately.
- Serving ideas: This potato salad is dairy-free as-is, but it goes so well with crumbled goat cheese or feta. Vegan feta is also a great option.
I recommend using waxy potatoes in potato salad. This includes red potatoes, Yukon gold, baby potatoes, and French fingerling. Waxy potatoes work best because they are low in starch, whereas starchy potatoes like Russet are better for roasted potatoes. Learn more about different types of potatoes in this potato guide.
This is one recipe where I don't recommend using dry herbs because fresh herbs are much more flavorful and are the backbone of the recipe.
Fridge: Store the herby potato salad in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Do note that the recipe is best day of because the potatoes will absorb the dressing over time.
Make ahead: Both the dressing and potatoes can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. Keep the herb dressing and boiled potatoes stored separately until ready to serve because the potatoes soak up the dressing over time.
Freezing: Potato salad can be frozen for up to 3 months. Store in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. It will take at least 8-12 hours to thaw in the fridge. Do not thaw at room temperature!
Looking for more spring sides?
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Herby Potato Salad (No Mayo)
- 20 ounces baby potatoes see note #1
- 1 tablespoon salt more to taste
- ½ cup potato cooking water
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ bunch chives sliced; (~0.5 ounces)
- ½ bunch fresh dill roughly chopped (~0.5 ounces)
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped cilantro see note #2
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice from one large lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest from one large lemon
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar sub regular vinegar as needed
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- ½ cup sliced green onions
- freshly ground black pepper
- Rinse the baby potatoes. Slice the smallest potatoes in half and any larger pieces into quarters so that all pieces are similar sizes.
- Place potatoes in a medium pot. Cover with an inch of water. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce to a low simmer. Simmer uncovered until fork-tender, about 8-12 minutes. Reserve at least ½ cup potato cooking water before draining the potatoes.
- Meanwhile, make the herb dressing. To a blender or food processor, add the olive oil, sliced chives, fresh dill, roughly chopped cilantro, lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, and ¼ cup reserved potato water.
- Blend the dressing until mostly smooth. Taste for salt and herbs. Add extra potato water as needed to thin the dressing to a pourable consistency.
- Add the cooked potatoes to a large bowl. Toss with the herby dressing.
- Cover and chill the potato salad in the fridge for at least 2 hours before enjoying, or serve immediately as a warm dish. Garnish with the green onions, additional fresh chopped herbs, and freshly ground black pepper before serving.
- Baby potatoes: Any waxy potato (French fingerling, red potatoes, new potatoes) can be used. Cook time may differ based on the type of potato.
- Cilantro: An equal amount of fresh parsley can be used if you don't like cilantro.
- Herb amounts: I buy 1-ounce containers of fresh herbs and use about half of them in the dressing. Additional herbs can be chopped up as a garnish.
- Leftovers: Refrigerate leftover potato salad in a closed container for 3-4 days.
- Make-ahead instructions: Store the dressing and potatoes separately. Toss the potatoes with the dressing and garnishes just before serving.
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