Hold the mayo, please! This herbed potato salad is coated in a delicious lemon-olive oil dressing instead. It’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free so everyone at your backyard barbecue will be able to enjoy it.
Ahhh summer – filled with backyard barbecues, late-night campfires, and lots of gatherings with friends and family. And if you’re anything like me, your favorite part of these potlucks is being able to try a bunch of new and delicious dishes.
My favorite side dish to bring to any summer get-together is this herbed potato salad. A spin on the classic French potato salad, this recipe is lightly creamy from the olive oil and potato starch, but still bright and flavorful thanks to the lemon, herbs, and garlic.
Since this recipe can be served either warm or cold, you can make it either last minute or a few days ahead of time. Like a traditional potato salad, this recipe pairs well with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, steak tips, sandwiches, and more.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect side dish for your Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Fourth of July cookout, keep reading to learn how to make this herbed potato salad.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Allergen-Friendly- This potato salad recipe is not only mayo-free, but it’s also vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free. It’s the perfect side dish to bring to any potluck or summer get-together!
- Healthy- As far as barbecue side dishes go, this is one you don’t have to feel guilty indulging in. Each serving is a good source of fiber, heart healthy fats, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
- Fresh and Vibrant Flavors- There’s nothing heavy and boring about this potato salad. Between the bright and tangy pop of lemon and the fresh, aromatic herbs, your party guests are going to be raving about how amazing this potato salad is.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Red Bliss Potatoes- I like to use red bliss potatoes for this herbed potato salad because they’re waxy and hold their shape better than a starchy potato like a russet. Other types of potatoes that would work well include fingerlings, new potatoes, and Yukon golds. Make sure you scrub the potatoes well prior to cooking and leave the skin on.
- Lemon Juice and Zest- Both the lemon juice and lemon zest add a tangy pop of freshness to this potato salad. The citrus flavor pairs well with the garlic and herbs.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Instead of the mayonnaise that you’d find in a traditional potato salad, this recipe uses olive oil to make a creamy, delicious lemon olive oil vinaigrette instead.
- Fresh Herbs– While you can use any combination of herbs you enjoy, I think that the flavors of basil, parsley, and chives go exceptionally well with the lemon and garlic. I actually foraged the chives from my own backyard!
- Dijon Mustard- Even if you’re not the biggest fan of dijon mustard, don’t leave it out. It acts as an emulsifier for the dressing, making it creamy and delicious. I promise, you can’t even taste it once everything is mixed together.
- Honey- I use just a bit of honey in the vinaigrette to add a touch of sweetness that balances out the acidity of the lemon juice nicely.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this herbed potato salad with lemon-olive oil dressing.
Step 1: Cook the potatoes. In a large stockpot, combine cubed potatoes and salt. Fill with cold water, covering the potatoes by about 1-inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, skimming any starch that rises to the top. Once the water is boiling, reduce to medium-low and continue simmering the potatoes until they’re tender (about 10-15 minutes). Drain the potatoes in a colander, then transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Set them aside for 10 minutes to cool and to let any remaining water evaporate.
Step 2: Make the vinaigrette. While the potatoes cool, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
Step 3: Mince the herbs. Roughly chop the herbs, removing any tough stems, and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the herbs about 7-10 times or until they are finely minced. If you don’t have a food processor, just use a knife to finely mince all of the herbs.
Step 4: Mix everything together. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and stir well to coat. Toss in the fresh herbs and fold them gently into the potato salad. Serve immediately if you wish to enjoy warm. Otherwise, let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours or refrigerate to serve cold.
5 Quick Potato Salad Tips
- Tip #1: Use waxy potatoes. As previously mentioned, waxy potatoes hold their shape better when cooked. This means your potato salad won’t turn to mush when you mix it together with the dressing.
- Tip #2: Start the potatoes in cold water. By starting the potatoes in cold water instead of hot, you ensure that your potatoes will be cooked evenly. Starting the potatoes in hot water cooks the outside too quickly, resulting in a potatoes with a mushy outside and firm inside.
- Tip #3: Season the cooking water. Just like you would with pasta, you want to season the cooking water with salt. The potatoes will absorb a bit of the salt while they cook, leaving you with a more flavorful potato salad.
- Tip #4: Cook the potatoes just right. Sometimes easier said than done, cooking the potatoes just right is key to a well-textured potato salad. You want a fork to pierce the potatoes with little resistance, but not make them completely fall apart.
- Tip #5: Dress the potatoes while they’re still warm. For a vinaigrette-based potato salad, you want to dress the potatoes while they’re still warm. This allows the dressing to absorb into the potatoes a bit, making the dish more flavorful. For a mayo-based potato salad, the opposite is true.
Here are a few ideas for how you customize this herbed potato salad.
- Additional Herbs- While I like to use basil, parsley, and chives, you can get creative and experiment with your favorite herbs. Dill, mint, and tarragon also work well in potato salad.
- Bacon- If you’re not following a vegetarian or vegan diet, a tasty addition to this herbed potato salad would be some crispy bacon bits. Simply mix them in while you’re folding in the herbs.
- Cauliflower- For those of you who are trying to watch your carbohydrate intake, either substituting all of or part of the potatoes for cauliflower is an option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, I actually think this potato salad tastes better after a day or two because the flavors have time to meld together and absorb into the potatoes a bit more. I recommend making this recipe up to 3 days in advance. If you’d like the freshest tasting herbs, chop them up and mix them in the day you plan to serve.
If you’re serving this at a potluck or cookout, you can let the potato salad stay at room temperature for up to 2 hours. You can also store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing or reheating this recipe.
While you can use dried herbs, I don’t recommend it as it will alter the fresh, vibrant taste that makes this recipe so special. If you do need to use dried herbs, use half the amount called for in the recipe.
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- Crispy Honey-Chipotle Brussels Sprouts
- Ancient Grain Salad
- Red Lentil Pasta Salad
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- Lemon-Garlic Roasted Chicken
Herbed Potato Salad
- 5 pounds red potatoes scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup fresh basil chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ cup chives or green onions sliced thin
- In a large stockpot, combine cubed potatoes and salt. Fill with cold water, covering the potatoes by about 1-inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, skimming any starch that rises to the top. Once the water is boiling, reduce to medium-low and continue simmering the potatoes until they're tender (about 10-15 minutes). Drain the potatoes in a colander, then transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Set them aside for 10 minutes to cool and to let any remaining water evaporate.5 pounds red potatoes, 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- While the potatoes cool, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.½ cup extra virgin olive oil, ⅓ cup lemon juice, Zest of 1 lemon, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Roughly chop the herbs, removing any tough stems, and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the herbs about 7-10 times or until they are finely minced. If you don't have a food processor, just use a knife to finely mince all of the herbs.½ cup fresh basil, ½ cup fresh parsley, ¼ cup chives or green onions
- Pour the dressing over the potatoes and stir well to coat. Toss in the fresh herbs and fold them gently into the potato salad. Serve immediately if you wish to enjoy warm. Otherwise, let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours or refrigerate to serve cold.
- Potato salad can stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Did you try this recipe?
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