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.
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.
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
- Add cut-up red potatoes, water, white vinegar, and season with salt in a large stockpot.
- Make sure cold water is at least 1″ above the potatoes.
- Bring stockpot to a boil over high heat.
- 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.
- Drain potatoes and spread cooked potatoes onto a baking sheet.
- Set baking sheet aside.
Prep Lemon & Herb Dressing
- In a small bowl, combine zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon salt, ground pepper, and olive oil, and whisk gently until combined.
- Add minced down onion, thyme, parsley, and chives and mix well.
Combine Dressing & Red Potatoes
- 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.
- Let dish set to cool for about and flip one more time before serving to gather any settled oil.
- Serve this potato salad warm or at room temperature.
How long to boil Red Potatoes for Potato Salad
We typically bring ours to a rolling boil and boil an additional 10-12 minutes till fork tender. Do not overboil, or they become mushy. You can also pressure cook red potatoes.
Potatoes should be chopped before boiling. First, boiled potatoes are softer and harder to control (plus hot) on size. Second, they cook much faster, and you can pick the perfect consistency.
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.
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.
Serve potato salad with
Related Potato Side Dish Recipes
- This crockpot red potatoes and onion recipe is a set it and forget meal that is ready when you are.
- Absolutly a family favorite, once you know how to make smashed red potatoes, you will never eat a bland side dish ever again.
- While flavorful red potatoes are part of so many recipes this crispy creamer potatoes that are oven baked with golden brown bottoms are DELISH.
- Salty Side Dishes top reader loved Potato Side Dish Recipe here <—- includes Parmesan!
- Air fryers make the best roasted potatoes.
- Sick of babysitting that Russet potato in the micrwave or oven? This Ninja Foodi Baked Potato Recipe is the secret to crispy skins and soft, tender centers.
- Dump colorful whole mini potatoes together for a no fuss dish that looks as beautiful as it is tasty.
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