Herbed Vegan Potato Salad

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Just as creamy as classic potato salad but so much better for you and more flavorful! This mayo-free vegan potato salad features perfectly tender potatoes coated in a creamy, tangy dressing that’s packed with fun flavors and takes just 30 minutes. Perfect side dish for BBQs, potlucks, and picnics. 
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
5 from 9 votes

I never thought I’d be saying I looove potato salad, but this herbed vegan potato salad is actually lit (are we still saying lit?). I used to hate potato salad because, well, it was basically potato chunks swimming in gloopy mayonnaise, served out of industrial-sized plastic buckets at school events and fundraisers. Bland, a somewhat mushy texture, and an obscene amount of mayo.

But, here I am, two decades later, sharing a potato salad recipe that I actually really love. It features perfectly cooked baby potatoes coated in an incredibly creamy dressing that’s tangy and packed with so many fun flavors. There’s no mayo and it’s made with plant-based whole foods, yet it’s perfectly creamy and indulgent-tasting. Bring it to your next summer picnic, potluck, or barbecue, and I guarantee it’ll a crowd pleaser.

creamy vegan potato salad with dilll in a white bowl on a green backdrop

Why you’ll love this herbed vegan potato salad

Summer perfect and easy. Potato salad is a quintessential summer recipe, and I promise that one bite of this recipe will bring the taste of summer. Bring it potlucks, barbecues, and picnics! Plus, it’s easy to make ahead of time and can be made in 30 minutes.

For more perfect-for summer non-traditional salads, be sure to try my Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad, Sweet and Spicy Smashed Cucumber Salad, Instant Pot Pearl Couscous and Lentil Salad, or Charred Corn Salad with White Beans.

Just as creamy as the classic but better for you. This potato salad is made with wholesome plant-based ingredients but you’d never know it because it tastes so creamy and indulgent! Instead of mayo, the dressing base consists of tahini and coconut yogurt, two of my plant-based superstar ingredients. It’s naturally gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and has no added oil.

Way more flavorful than classic potato salad. A traditional potato salad always felt lacking in flavor to me (perhaps, I couldn’t taste the flavors because all I picked up was copious amounts of mayo). So, I carefully crafted this recipe to add lots of punchy and fun flavors.

It’s tangy from two kinds of mustard and capers/caper brine, fresh and citrusy thanks to lots of dill and lemon, sharp from red onions and chives, earthy and vegetal from celery seeds, and has a unique kick thanks to jalapeño peppers.

Versatile and easy to customize. Whereas classic potato salad has to be served chill (warm mayo = disaster), this potato salad can be served warm as soon as you make it, but it’s also delicious chilled. For customization ideas, read the Frequently Asked Questions section.

How to make vegan potato salad

First, gather your ingredients!

flatlay of ingredients for vegan potato salad with ingredients labeled

Cut small potatoes in half (larger potatoes in chunks) and cover with cold water; season with salt. Simmer just until tender – a fork pierced into the potatoes should offer the slightest bit of resistance. Drain the potatoes and rest in the colander for 5 minutes to dry out but keep warm.

baby red potatoes steaming in a colander

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together the tahini, coconut yogurt, and mustards.

ingredients for potato salad dressing

Add in the garlic, lemon zest and juice, celery seeds, caper brine, salt and pepper. Whisk the dressing until well combined.

ingredients for potato salad dressing

Add in 1 tablespoon of the chopped dill and stir to combine.

woman's hands whisking dill into potato salad dressing

Coat the warm potatoes in the dressing, gently tossing.

woman's hands tossing potatoes in dressing for vegan potato salad

To the potato salad, add the capers, red onions, jalapeños (if using), and toss gently.

adding onions and capers to potato salad

Finish with the remaining dill and chives, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

adding chives and dill to vegan potato salad

Serve warm or chill for at least one hour.

closeup photo of vegan potato salad with dilll in a large white bowl

Tips for making this recipe

Pick small, waxy potatoes

For potato salad, you want distinct pieces of potatoes, not mushy blobs stuck together So a waxy, thin-skinned potato is best, as they have the least amount of starch and keep their shape when boiled. Thin-skinned potatoes also cook more quickly, and to keep things even speedier, I use small-sized potatoes (they cook in just 8 to 12 minutes).

The most common varieties of small, waxy potatoes to use in this recipe: baby red potatoes, fingerling potatoes, and new potatoes. At some grocery stores, you might also find “peewee potatoes” (also great and very cute).

If you can only find full-sized red potatoes, cut them into chunks about the size of the halved baby potatoes (see the photos in in the “how to make vegan potato salad” section for a visual reference). And if you can only find Yukon gold potatoes, these are your next best bet. They are not as waxy, but also not as starchy as Russets (I do not recommend using those in this recipe). Again, cut them into chunks.

Cook potatoes in cold water and season with salt

Cooking potatoes in cold water helps them cook more evenly. They’re dense little guys and require more time to heat through than most other veggies (are potatoes considered veggies? thoughts?). Adding them to boiling water can lead to mushy on the outside and undercooked on the inside.

And seasoning the water with salt is essential for a rounded depth of flavor. If you wait to add salt at the end, it won’t penetrate into the interior of the potatoes.

Don’t overcook the potatoes!

Soft potatoes are great for creamy mashed potatoes, but not for potato salad. For reference, I simmered these baby red potatoes for just 8 minutes.

Tip: To test whether the potatoes are done, insert a fork into a potato. It should give just the slightest resistance. You do NOT want to wait until they fall apart when forked.

Allow the potatoes to dry

I allow the potatoes to briefly dry in a colander for 5 minutes to drain off excess water. Drier potatoes will enable the dressing to better cling to each potato, making for a delightfully saucy potato salad.

Dress the potatoes while warm

The nice thing about making a non-mayo-based potato salad, is that you can serve it warm (if you wish). I love serving it warm after making it – it feels a little more grown up and elegant. And since we’re not using any egg-based ingredients, it’s okay to dress the potatoes while warm. Dressing while the potatoes are still warm helps them absorb more of the dressing and the flavors.

That said, if you have leftovers, this potato salad is also very tasty once chilled.

Ingredient Tips

For the coconut yogurt, I recommend using the best variety you can find, as it’s a key ingredient. My favorite coconut yogurts are thick and tangy: CocoJune, Culina, and GT’s CocoYo. I have purchased all of these brands at Sprouts and Whole Foods. And this should be obvious, but you need to use a plain, unsweetened variety (no one wants raspberry-flavored potato salad!

If you can’t find a good-quality plain coconut yogurt, you can use use vegan sour cream. My preferred brands are Kite Hill Foods and Tofutti (this one is quite thick, so you might need to add a spoon of water). If using sour cream, you’ll likely need to use less lemon juice and salt.

For the tahini, my preferred brands are Soom Tahini (affiliate link) Seed + Mill, the Whole Foods 365 brand, and Baron’s (affiliate link).

I include a range for the amount of dill, as some folks are big fans of dill (hi, me) and some are not. If you hate dill, obvi don’t use it (you can use flat-leaf parsley). Like dill but not love it? Use 1/3 cup. And if you love dill, use the full 1/2 cup amount.

creamy vegan potato salad with dilll in a white bowl with garnishes on a green backdrop

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I serve potato salad with?

Serve it plain and bring it a barbecue, potluck, or picnic!

If you want to serve it alongside other summer sides or salads, try this Instant Pot Pearl Couscous and Lentil Salad or any of the salads in this roundup of three vegan salads.

For a comfort food pairing, serve alongside my Crispy Baked Mac and Cheese.

And if you have my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook, this potato salad would be FABULOUS with the Baked Beans in Chapter 2

Can I make this ahead of time? How do I store it?

Sure, if you don’t care to serve it warm, you can certainly make it ahead. It will stay good in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

How can I customize this potato salad?

Glad you asked! There are lots of options.

Substitute the capers for pickles (see the “notes” in the recipe card). Swap the celery seeds with finely celery leaves (or thinly sliced celery).

Not a dill fan? Add some parsley for color and freshness instead. You can also replace the chives with thinly sliced scallions. Got baby mouth? Skip the jalapeño. Or for more tangy, add a spoon or two of pickled jalapeños.

For a nutrition punch, add 1/2 cup of blanched green beans or asparagus, or thinly sliced raw radishes, red/yellow bell peppers, or finely shredded red cabbage. The potato salad is quite saucy so it should be able to coat this amount of veggies.

closeup photo of vegan potato salad with dilll on a white platter

If you love this herbed vegan potato salad, please leave a rating and review with your feedback and tag me on Instagram with your remakes :)

Herbed Vegan Potato Salad

5 from 9 votes
Just as creamy as classic potato salad but so much better for you and more flavorful! This mayo-free vegan potato salad features perfectly tender potatoes coated in a creamy, tangy dressing that’s packed with fun flavors and takes just 30 minutes. Perfect side dish for BBQs, potlucks, and picnics. 
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Keyword: gluten-free, no added oil, nut-free, potato salad, soy-free
Serving size: 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (900g) baby red potatoes, fingerling potatoes, or new potatoes

Dressing

  • ¼ cup (56g) tahini well-stirred
  • 4 ounces (112g) unsweetened coconut yogurt*
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed with a press or finely minced
  • 1 medium lemon, zested (2-3 teaspoons zest)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds (optional but recommended)**
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • ⅓ to ½ cup (5 to 8g) fresh dill leaves, finely chopped***
  • 1 tablespoon caper brine****

Salad ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • ½ cup (50-55g) thinly sliced or shaved red onions
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced (this is optional; keep the seeds in for a spicy kick)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped chives (or thinly sliced scallions)
  • Flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • Wash and scrub the potatoes but leave the peels on. Cut baby/new/fingerling potatoes in half; cut larger potatoes into chunks.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a saucepan and cover with an inch of cold water. Season generously with kosher salt. Bring to a simmer and maintain a decent simmer for 8 to 12 minutes until just tender. If the fork pierces the potatoes with the slightest bit of resistance, the potatoes are done.
    Note: For reference, the halved baby red potatoes I used took only 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, yogurt, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, celery seeds, caper brine (not the whole capers), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper until well combined. Add 1 tablespoon of the chopped dill and stir together.
    Note: If the dressing is too thick, whisk in a tablespoon of cold water.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander (reserve a little of the cooking liquid in case it's needed). Let the potatoes rest in the colander for 5 minutes to dry out, but don’t wait until they have cooled down.
  • Add the warm potatoes to the dressing and coat evenly and well. If needed, add a spoon of the cooking water to bring everything together (I didn't need to).
  • Add the capers, red onions, and jalapeños to the potato salad, and toss again gently. Sprinkle the remaining dill and the chives on top before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm, or chill for at least 1 hour.

Notes

* If you can’t find a good-quality plain coconut yogurt, you can use use vegan sour cream. My preferred brands are Kite Hill Foods and Tofutti (this one is quite thick, so you might need to add a spoon of water). If using sour cream, you’ll likely need less lemon juice and salt. 
** If you don’t have celery seeds but have celery salt, substitute 1:1 and use ½ teaspoon kosher salt instead of 1 teaspoon. Or, add 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery leaves when you add the dill to the dressing.
*** Use the lower end if you’re not a big fan of dill (I love dill, so I use the full ½ cup)
**** Don’t have capers? You can substitute them with 1 finely chopped dill pickle and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pickle juice.

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13 comments on Herbed Vegan Potato Salad

  1. Charlene

    Everything I prepare from your recipes is the most delicious meal. When I discovered you on youtube I already had your cookbook and was enjoying the instant. My vegan heart sings! Thank you

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for the kind words, Charlene!

  2. Sara M

    5 stars
    Best Tater Salad EVER! So much pow, pop, and wow in my mouth. I used shallots because I had a lot of them on hand and I like ‘em better than red onions. We’re having this today with leftover Charred Corn Salad and Baked Beans. Yum!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Isn’t this potato salad amazing, Sara?! Thanks for the wonderful review!

  3. Krista

    Outstanding. This will be my go-to salad for summer get-togethers. Thank you. You are my one-stop shop for delicious vegan recipes. I know every one I try will be delicious!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Krista, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  4. Sophie

    5 stars
    I served this at an outdoor gathering for 20 people so I tripled the recipe. It was delicious, and I appreciated not having to worry about giving everyone salmonella poisoning with the vegan dressing. The leftovers are still delicious and didn’t dry up at all, unlike mayo-based potato salad. I’m not a dill fan so I replaced it with tarragon, which worked great. Thank you for another great recipe!

  5. Renee

    5 stars
    I accidentally bought vanilla unsweetened coconut yogurt but I don’t think it drastically affected the flavor. I loved this dish! It was perfectly tangy and I definitely prefer it over non-vegan potato salad.

  6. s

    5 stars
    I had this warm and used the potatoes I had available (a mix of white, orange sweet potato and purple inside Japanese sweet potato) and it was delicious. It also tasted good cold. the flavours intensified.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  7. Gwen Greco

    5 stars
    WOW a burst of flavor!! Closed my eyes after the first bite to admire the deliciousness. I would eat this everyday, truly. Perfect for the warmer days ahead, too.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Gwen!

  8. AVey

    Did you just call me “baby mouth”? 😂🤣❤️

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