The Best Vegan Potato Salad You’ll Ever Eat

Jump to Recipe
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 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes
5 from 169 votes

This vegan potato salad is guaranteed to make you the star of your next summer BBQ or potluck.

It feels funny to write that because, well, I used to hate potato salad. The potato salad I grew up on was dowsed in gloopy mayonnaise, served out of industrial-sized plastic buckets at school events and fundraisers. Yuck.

But, here I am, two decades later, sharing a potato salad recipe that I genuinely love. It features perfectly cooked baby potatoes coated in an incredibly creamy dressing that’s tangy and packed with so many fun flavors. Plus, despite being made without mayo, it’s perfectly creamy and indulgent while still being pretty wholesome.

Table of Contents
1. Why you’ll love this recipe
2. Ingredient Notes
3. Step-by-step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. Frequently asked questions
6. Recipe Card

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

Why you’ll love this recipe

Replacing mayonnaise with something better. If you grew up in the United States, you probably have at least one childhood memory of a repulsive potato salad drenched in mayonnaise.

Here, that’s not a problem because mayo is replaced by a combination of tahini and coconut yogurt, two plant-based superstar ingredients. They add creaminess and flavor without weighing the potatoes down. The result is a potato salad that’s not only unbelievably delicious, but also gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and without 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.

ad for meal plans program with picture of woman with button

It’s tangy from two kinds of mustard as well as capers, 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.

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 Actually Good Quinoa Salad, Vegan Pasta Salad, Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad, Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad, or Charred Corn Salad with White Beans.

close-up of vegan potato salad with onions and jalapeno peppers visible.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

This ingredient list for this vegan potato salad deviates from the standard gloopy mayo-based potato salad in a few important ways.

flatlay of ingredients for vegan potato salad with ingredients labeled

Red potatoes. A waxy, thin skinned potato works best here. Their small size mean they cook quickly and they hold their shape well. See the Tips section for alternatives and additional detail.

Tahini. Tahini adds a creamy and slightly nutty flavor to the potato salad, enhancing its richness and depth. My preferred brands are Soom Tahini, Seed + Mill, Beirut Tahini Sesame Paste, and Baron’s (affiliate links).

Unsweetened coconut yogurt: Coconut yogurt provides a delightfully tangy taste. 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. And this should be obvious, but you need to use a plain, unsweetened variety (no one wants raspberry-flavored potato salad!

Substitute: 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. If using sour cream, you’ll likely need to use less lemon juice and salt.

Mustard. Dijon mustard and yellow mustard combine to lend a sharp and tangy flavor, which helps to balance the richness of the other ingredients.

Celery seeds. Celery seeds contribute a subtle and slightly bitter flavor, reminiscent of celery, which complements the other ingredients and adds a pleasant herbal note.

Fresh dill leaves. Fresh dill leaves offer a fresh and herbaceous taste, bringing a unique and vibrant flavor to the potato salad. I know not everyone is a huge fan of dill. If you’re not, substitute with flat-leaf parsley or just use less.

Capers and caper brine. They add tangy and briny flavor, providing a unique and slightly acidic taste that complements the other ingredients.

Substitute: Don’t have capers? You can substitute them with 1 finely chopped dill pickle and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pickle juice.

Jalapeño pepper (optional). If included, jalapeño pepper adds a spicy kick to the salad, balancing the flavors with its heat.

Step-by-step instructions

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.

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?

This potato salad makes a wonderful addition to any barbecue, potluck, or picnic. It would be just perfect next to a veggie burger or some charred veggies hot off the grill.

It would work beautifully alongside these grilled tofu skewers. And I have a whole guide to vegan grilling for you to check out.

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

Watch! How to Make Vegan Potato Salad

The Only Potato Salad Recipe You'll Ever Need
The Only Potato Salad Recipe You'll Ever Need

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 :)

The Best Vegan Potato Salad

5 from 169 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 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
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.

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 540mg | Potassium: 813mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @rainbowplantlife and hashtag it #rainbowplantlife

4.98 from 169 votes (48 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment & Rating

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating along with your comment! It helps others discover my blog and recipes, and your comments always make my day :) Thank you for your support!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe




263 comments on The Best Vegan Potato Salad You’ll Ever Eat

  1. Jae

    5 stars
    This is the only potato salad I’ve ever had, and I loved it! My sister (who doesn’t cook) even asked for the recipe and made it herself just a few days later! Simple to make and, for the most part, all ingredients that I typically have in the kitchen anyways.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so happy that the potato salad turned out well for you, Jae. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and for trying out the recipe!

  2. Engin

    This one is on repeat in our house. My husband and I both love this potato salad! I love the nice crunch from red onions and the creamy texture without mayo. Thank you for an easy and delicious recipe.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Engin, 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!

  3. Meranda

    5 stars
    It was incredibly easy to make and very tasty

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Meranda, thank you so much for your kind review!

  4. Ankita Gandhir

    5 stars
    Excellent potato salad, a weekly treat in our household.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We appreciate your feedback and support, Ankita. Thank you for leaving a review!

  5. Christie Smith

    5 stars
    Excellent potato salad!! My vegan and non vegan friends all loved it. Would highly recommend this recipe. Yummy!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Christie, we’re so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a review :)

  6. Jessica shaw

    5 stars
    This potato salad is not traditional but still tasty. The red onions add a nice crunch and the celery seed takes it to another level! This recipe was very easy and very tasty! I highly recommend making it!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Jessica! It makes us happy to know that you enjoyed the recipe.

  7. Jennifer Sherwood

    5 stars
    Delicious! Potatoes were perfectly cooked and the dressing was savory and unique – very popular item at my family July 4th party!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so happy that the potato salad turned out well for you, Jennifer. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and for trying out the recipe!

  8. DT

    5 stars
    I really loved this recipe. It was not only delicious but it came together so easily. I would definitely do it again.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, DT!

  9. Melissa Dahan

    5 stars
    Delish – will remember to scale back on the dill next time.

  10. Erica De Pieri

    5 stars
    I made the recipe with a couple adjustments since I didn’t have all the ingredients and it was great! I’m looking forward to trying it again

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Erica, we’re so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a review :)

  11. Dana Lawlor

    5 stars
    Love this salad!! So tasty and creamy without mayo! The use of tahini is genius!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Dana, Thank you so much for such a fantastic review! Appreciate you taking the time!

  12. Maria R

    5 stars
    This recipe was a huge hit for everyone I made it for! Non-vegans couldn’t believe it didn’t have mayo and said it tasted just like what they would expect potato salad to taste like. And I on the other hand am not a huge potato salad fan but thanks to this recipe actually like it now! Thanks for the great recipe! 10/10

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      So cool to hear this recipe turned you into a potato salad lover, Maria! We’re happy everyone enjoyed it :)

  13. Liz

    5 stars
    This will be my go-to potato salad for the summer. The fresh dill is so great. My partner is not a fan of capers, but I added some pickled jalapeños for that salty brine instead. Brought it to a cookout and it was a hit!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Liz,

  14. Carie Whalen

    5 stars
    I’ve made this 3 times already and it is just perfection. I used Vegan Sour Cream, as I have a hard time finding the yogurt, and it was perfect. Love the deep flavors in this. My non-vegan family also loves to eat it with me. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      That’s awesome, Carie! We’re happy to provide the recipe, thank you for the lovely review :)

  15. Jennifer

    5 stars
    Wow! Never would I have thought to put tahini in potato salad, but this dressing is so amazing, I would like to put it on everything! My only regret is that I did not double (or triple or quadruple) the recipe.
    This is not merely a substitute for a “regular” non-vegan potato salad; this surpasses traditional potato salad any day!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re over the moon to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Jennifer. Thanks for your kind words!

  16. Melinda Iris Alltree

    I haven’t tried the recipe yet but was looking at savoury cashew cream recipes.
    Could you use instead a savoury cashew cream as the dressing?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Melinda, you could try that, but cashew cream dressings tend to thicken quite a lot and sometimes dry out, so the potato salad might get clumpy and thick after the first 30 minutes or so. Assuming you’re trying to replace the yogurt and tahini with cashew cream, you’ll still need a tangy component, so we’d suggest keeping the rest of the recipe the same and adding more lemon juice or caper brine to taste.

  17. Janeal Downs

    5 stars
    This was so flavorful! Honestly, I was a bit sceptical because it didn’t look like the southern potato salad my family makes. I was never a fan of yogurt, so I substituted for the vegan sour cream. I was pleasantly surprised when all the flavors combined. This was a quick recipe and so good! Even my family (who are sometimes hesitant to try vegan recipes) enjoyed this one!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We appreciate your feedback and support, Janeal. Thank you for leaving a review!

  18. Elizabeth

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! So, I did make some substitutions, as I was trying to clean out my fridge. I had the genius idea to use leftover homemade hummus to make the dressing — it supplied the tahini, the lemon, the garlic, the herbs, plus chickpeas for extra protein — and then the capers and caper brine and more lemon juice took it over the top. I added finely diced celery and Vidalia onion, and since I didn’t have fresh dill, I used dried. I followed the steps of the recipe exactly, including the recommended cooking time for the potatoes, which was essential info. The potato salad was definitely the most flavorful vegan salad I’ve ever made — highly recommended!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for such a wonderful review, Elizabeth! :) Happy to hear the recipe turned out well even with all of the substitutions. One recommendation I have for the next time you make this is to use fresh dill! It really does make a huge difference. Cheers :)

  19. Catherine

    5 stars
    DELICIOUS. creamy, tangy, so flavorful, and really customizable! I’ve made it with parsley and mint instead of dill, I’ve added tomatoes, I’ve added celery. Such a good recipe. Got lots of compliments today at a birthday party!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Catherine, Thank you so much for such a fantastic review! Appreciate you taking the time!

  20. Maggie

    5 stars
    Really good recipe! Thank you! It makes a lot, and we ate half of it the first dinner! Sadly didn’t have fresh dill, and subbed dried, and wouldn’t do that again. Better to use another fresh herb I think – perhaps basil and parsley. I also went a little too aggressive on the mustard, and would go a little easier next time – and next time there will be, as in spite of my blunders, this was really excellent, and very easy to put together.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Maggie! We appreciate your feedback and support :)

Development Alchemy + Aim