Quick and Easy

Vegan Potato Salad

June 16, 2020
Photo by Gena Hamshaw
Author Notes

This vegan potato salad calls for a homemade mayonnaise with an aquafaba base. It’s an inexpensive alternative to store-bought, dairy-free mayonnaise, and it—along with this salad—is a great use for something that you might otherwise discard after opening a can of chickpeas. The mayonnaise is both lighter and thinner than conventional, store-bought mayonnaise; it gives the potato salad richness without a heavy mouthfeel, and it’s pleasantly tangy as-is—no sour cream needed.

I like to use small Yukon gold or yellow creamer potatoes for this salad, so that I can boil them whole. Once boiled, I peel and throw them into a mixing bowl, giving them a quick mash before even adding the mayonnaise, which contributes to the extra-creamy effect of the dish. I chop my mix-ins and herbs finely, so that they don’t disrupt the smashed texture too much.

I’m half Greek, and when I was growing up, dill made appearances in everything (my mother wouldn’t even put mayonnaise on a sandwich without mixing in a little heap of dried dill first). I’ve carried on the family tradition, putting dill into soups, spreads, dips, smashed chickpea salad, grain salads, and more. If you hate dill—and I’ve met a lot of people who do—you can replace it with chives, chopped green onion tops, chopped basil, or a little extra parsley.

I like the way this salad tastes a few hours after it’s been mixed, when the red onions are still pungent and the herbs are still a little crisp. But it keeps nicely, too, and the leftovers will taste good for up to three days in the fridge. The recipe makes 4 to 5 cups as written, so if you’re serving a crowd, you can easily double it. I usually serve this dish as a side, with grilled tofu or tempeh kebabs, and turn leftovers into a meal by folding in some chickpeas, chopped broccoli florets, green beans, tomatoes (whatever needs using), and serving it all over a bed of greens. —Gena Hamshaw

  • Prep time 2 hours 12 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow creamer or small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons aquafaba mayonnaise (see headnote), or a vegan mayonnaise of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion (increase to 1/3 cup if you prefer more)
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed, finely chopped Italian or curly parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed, finely chopped dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes whole. Boil for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Run them under cold water for a couple minutes. When the potatoes have cooled a little, cut them in half and pinch the skins off. If the potatoes are large (more than 2 1/2 inches in diameter), quarter them. Transfer the peeled and halved potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Use the back of a spoon or a handheld potato masher to smash them partially, leaving some halves intact.
  2. Fold the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and salt into the potatoes. When everything is well mixed, add the celery, onion, and herbs. Mix well. Taste, then add freshly ground pepper to taste, along with an extra pinch of salt, an extra splash of vinegar, an extra spoonful of mustard, or any other adjustments you’d like.
  3. Chill the potato salad for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.