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No Mayo Potato Salad

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This no-mayo potato salad with a lemon, herb, and olive oil dressing is a lighter take on a German potato salad with still that well-known delicious seasoned taste. The best part of no mayo salads is they make a great side dish (and a classically served potato salad for BBQs) but leave out all the extra mayo.   

But don’t think these potatoes are lackluster! They are tender, soft and with olive oil, a lighter take for the ultimate summer side dish. 

no mayo red potato recipe.

Why you should make this Herbed Potato Salad

Warm or Cold – This is one potato salad side dish that can be served warm or cold. Unlike potato salads that contain eggs and mayo, there is no need to let the potatoes cool before going on to the next step. In this recipe, this dish can be served up immediately with warm, tender herbed potatoes or cooled down for a more traditional picnic. 

Filling – NoMayo potato salad is pretty filling. Like a classic potato salad recipe, this is pure comfort food and goes terrific with a burger, pulled pork, or BBQ chicken wings. The fresh flavors help keep the potatoes feeling light and way less clunky. 

Healthier – There is no doubt some debate when eating potatoes in general. Many people believe that the carbs in potatoes are always a no-go. I do not subscribe to that. I adore potatoes as a side dish, and there are many ways to enjoy them that don’t wholly weigh them down. This vinegar potato salad with the right amount of herbs and less potent oil push the mayo out while still providing the most flavor.

Ingredients

The key to this recipe is to get those potatoes boiled, add all the delicious flavor, and let “salad” cool down for proper serving. There are no heavy mayo, mustards, hard boiled eggs, or “creamy” ingredients to smother the potatoes, instead of relying on letting the flavor of the red potato shine through.

  • Red potatoes – grab a bag of the small red potatoes. 
  • White vinegar – I love the tang of white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar is also a fair substitute if needed. The flavors will change a bit but still taste great with the herbs. 
  • Lemon– fresh lemons are always amazing in recipes because you get the zest and the fresh lemon juice.  
  • Olive oil – Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the only oil used in no mayo potato salad. Substituting for other oils like vegetable oil or canola will remove some flavors and be more of an oily mess. 
  • Onion – Use a white onion (tangy) or yellow onion (sweeter) and finely chop the onion down. 
  • Seasonings –  dry thyme, dry parsley, dry chives, kosher salt, and black pepper.

How to make Mayo-Free Potato Salad

Prepping Potatoes for Potato Salad

  1. Add cut-up red potatoes, water, white vinegar, and season with salt in a large stockpot.
  2. Make sure cold water is at least 1″ above the potatoes.
  3. Bring stockpot to a boil over high heat.
  4. Continue to boil potatoes for about 10-12 minutes, or until they are just tender. Be careful not to over boil the potatoes, or fall apart and not hold up as a potato salad well.
  5. Drain potatoes and spread cooked potatoes onto a baking sheet.
  6. Set baking sheet aside.
prepping boiled red potatoes in a pot

Prep Lemon & Herb Dressing

  1. In a small bowl, combine zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon salt, ground pepper, and olive oil, and whisk gently until combined.
  2. Add minced down onion, thyme, parsley, and chives and mix well.
making lemon and herb dressing with fresh lemon, measuring out ingredients and whisking at the end

Combine Dressing & Red Potatoes

  1. Drizzle lemon herb dressing mixture over red potatoes, taking care to cover all areas of potatoes on the pan, and carefully toss to coat in the oil. I find that using a metal spatula works great for this.
  2. Let dish set to cool for about and flip one more time before serving to gather any settled oil.
  3. Serve this potato salad warm or at room temperature.
pouring lemon and herb onto sheet pan

Why use a sheet pan over a bowl for this potato salad recipe?

It’s so much easier to spread the dressing over all potatoes and flip potatoes without crushing the cubes.

Various Ingredients

While this potato salad is quite like a German potato salad, there are some missing ingredients that you can add if you prefer. 

  • Crunchy Bacon – I like to use my air fryer bacon recipe and sprinkle on a bit of crunchy bacon at the end. 
  • Dijon Mustard – Many lighter potato salads draw more flavor from dijon mustard. Just whisk together olive oil and dijon before spreading on potatoes. 
  • Fresh Herbs – It’s winter here in my area, so fresh herbs are harder to come by. However, if you can use fresh herbs, those always taste the best. They do not require any softening and bring a homemade taste to any recipe. 
  • Alternative Seasonings: Chopped Green Onion and Fresh Dill are alternative and quality ingredients to alter this no mayo recipe.

How to store potato salad

Mayo-free potato salad can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Just remember that olive oil tends to solidify in the fridge cool air, and the potatoes may need to be set out at room temp for about 10 minutes before serving. Do not freeze this dish. 

close up of red potatoes and herbs
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No Mayo Potato Salad


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
No Mayo Red potato salad with light lemon, herbs, and olive oil dressing is a delicious potato side dish that can be served warm or cold and includes no creamy mayo dressing. Perfect as a side dish for dinner, picnic, or potluck, this lighter and healthier potato salad often reminds people of a German salad. Use fresh herbs or dried this dish is a refreshing potato salad side dish!

Ingredients
 

  • 3 lbs. red potatoes cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt plus 1 teaspoon seperate
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion chopped into very tiny pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dry thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dry parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dry chives

Instructions

  • Before getting started, cut (but do not peel) red potatoes into 1 inch pieces.
  • In a large stock pot, add cut up red potatoes, water, white vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt.
  • Cold water should be at least 1" above the red potatoes for proper boiling.
  • Bring stockpot up to a rolling boil over high heat.
  • Continue to boil potatoes, for about 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Be careful not to overboil potatoes or they can fall apart and become mushy. They should be soft enough to eat but firm enough to retain shape.
  • Carefully drain potatoes from water and spread warm red potatoes onto a baking sheet. Set the baking sheet pan aside. 
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the herbs and spices – this includes zest of lemon, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon salt, ground pepper and olive oil and whisk until combined.
  • Immediately add tiny chopped onion, thyme, parsley and chives and mix well again.
  • Drizzle lemon and herb dressing over red potatoes and use a spatula, toss to coat as much of the potato as possible.
  • Let pieces of red potatoes set to cool and flip one more time before serving.
  • This potato salad can be served warm or room temperature for best flavor.

Notes

Why use a sheet pan over a bowl for this potato salad recipe?
It’s so much easier to spread the dressing over all potatoes and flip potatoes without crushing the cubes.
Various Ingredients & Alterations
While this potato salad is quite like a German potato salad, there are some missing ingredients that you can add if you prefer. 
  • Crunchy Bacon – I like to use my air fryer bacon recipe and sprinkle on a bit of crunchy bacon at the end. 
  • Dijon Mustard – Many lighter potato salads draw more flavor from dijon mustard. Just whisk together olive oil and dijon before spreading on potatoes. 
  • Fresh Herbs – It’s winter here in my area, so fresh herbs are harder to come by. However, if you can use fresh herbs, those always taste the best. They do not require any softening and bring a homemade taste to any recipe. 
  • Alternative Seasonings: Chopped Green Onion and Fresh Dill are alternative and quality ingredients to alter this no mayo recipe.
How to store potato salad
Mayo-free potato salad can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Just remember that olive oil tends to solidify in the fridge cool air, and the potatoes may need to be set out at room temp for about 10 minutes before serving. Do not freeze this dish. 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 815mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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