I love it when simple ingredients come together in an easy recipe to create something this delicious. This herbed potato salad may be egg-free, mayo-free, gluten-free and vegan, but it is tangy and packed with flavour. All thanks to fresh herbs and a delicious preserved lemon and mustard dressing.
Dress the still-warm potatoes in the lemon mustard sauce to absorb more flavour, and serve the salad at room temperature. It can be made a few days in advance and travels well, so it’s perfect for a summer picnic or BBQ!
Allison Roman’s tangy potato salad is the first no-egg, no-mayo potato salad that ever appealed to me. I adore my mother’s classic potato salad (I know I’ll never make it as good as her, so I won’t even try). But Allison’s healthy, tangy potato salad without egg or mayonnaise is right up my potato salad alley.
In this simple potato salad recipe, the main deviation from Allison Roman’s salad is the lack of celery. I like celery (like in my Bloody Mary), but not too much. So, I opt for a celery-free potato salad with a sprinkling of celery salt for that subtle herbaceous flavour without the in-your-face-celery hit.
The dressing is tangy and packed with fresh herbs. But if you’re looking for a creamy no-mayo potato salad, try this dill red potato salad with a creamy yet light yoghurt dressing.
Potato salad ingredients & substitutions
- Potatoes: I use small Mediterranean Nicola potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces – the smallest cut in half and larger into quarters. They have flavourful, yellow, waxy flesh, making them ideal for potato salad. You can use your favourite waxy potatoes (like fingerling potatoes, baby red potatoes or new potatoes).
- Preserved lemon: Two golf ball-sized Beldi preserved lemons weigh roughly 50 grams. Homemade preserved lemons tend to be larger, so use half of a homemade preserved lemon (or 50 grams). If you don’t have preserved lemon, substitute a teaspoon of salt and the zest and juice of a whole lemon (about three tablespoons of lemon juice) or try this stovetop recipe for a preserved lemon substitute, but make some preserved lemons for next time!
- Spring onions: You can use any form of young onion, like spring onions, scallions or green onions. You can also use finely diced red onions.
- Apple cider vinegar: I prefer apple cider vinegar, but you can also use white wine vinegar or pickle juice (if you have a jar of dill pickles lurking in the fridge). Red wine vinegar will affect the colour of the potato salad, but it is fine if you are using red potatoes.
- Dijon mustard: You can also use whole-grain mustard or yellow mustard if that is what you have. Or try another Dijon mustard substitute.
- Olive oil: I am obsessed with olive oil and always use good quality extra-virgin olive oil in salads. But you can use your favourite salad oil. Just avoid a strong-tasting oil, like toasted sesame oil or flaxseed oil.
- Celery salt: I use a homemade celery salt of ground celery seed and salt. It introduces a mild celery-like taste to this otherwise celery-free potato salad. You can use shop-bought celery salt (made from celery seeds or celery leaves), replace it with regular salt or see celery salt substitute for more alternatives.
- Black pepper: Always fresh, coarsely ground black pepper for me.
- Flat-leaf parsley: You can also use curly parsley or celery leaves. Or double up on the dill.
- Fresh dill: I love dill in a potato salad, but if you don’t have any, you can use more flat-leaf parsley or introduce new fresh green herbs like chives or tarragon.
How to make potato salad without mayonnaise
Making a no-mayo potato salad is very similar to classic potato salad.
Use the best quality potatoes you can find. Give them a good scrub (no need to peel them for this recipe), and slice them into even-sized chunks. Then boil the potatoes until tender and drain them well.
Mix the cooked potatoes with the dressing while warm (to absorb more flavour) and allow them to sit and cool to room temperature before serving.
Here are the simplified steps for making potato salad without mayo:
Step 1: Cook your potatoes
Cut your potatoes into bite-sized chunks. I slice small potatoes in half and quarter larger ones.
Add your sliced potatoes to a large pot with one tablespoon of salt. Cover the potatoes with cold water. The water should be about 2 cm / 1 inch above the potatoes.
Place the pot on high heat until the water boils. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender – about 8 to 10 minutes. You should be able to pierce a potato with a paring knife, but they should not fall apart. Drain the potatoes.
Step 2: Make your dressing while the potatoes cook
While the potatoes cook, grab a large bowl (large enough to fit the potatoes later). And combine the chopped preserved lemon (or lemon zest and juice), the vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil and celery salt.
Add the white parts of the sliced spring onions. Reserve the green part for the herb mix.
Step 3: Coat the warm potatoes with zesty dressing
Once drained, tip the warm potatoes into the bowl with the preserved lemon mustard dressing. Warm potatoes will better absorb the flavour of the sauce!
Gently toss the cooked potatoes and set the bowl aside to cool down.
Step 4: Add the herbs
Allow the potato salad to cool to room temperature and stir through the flat-leaf parsley, dill and spring onion greens. Or, if you plan to serve the potato salad straight away, there is no need to cool the salad first.
Taste and season with more salt (or celery salt), black pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil.
The potato salad is at its best a few hours after finished. Or get ahead and make the salad the night before and refrigerate overnight. Just bring the salad back to room temperature before serving.
See the recipe card for the full homemade potato salad without celery, eggs or mayonnaise recipe.
Homemade potato salad questions
Which potatoes are best for potato salad?
The best potatoes for potato salad can hold their shape well during boiling but still have a firm yet creamy texture. These waxy potatoes include small and large red potatoes, blue, purple and fingerling potatoes. Examples of waxy potato varieties are Charlotte, Maris Peer Jersey Royals, Bintje, Asterix, Viktoria, Maria, Annabelle and Nicola potatoes (which I use in this salad).
Starchy potatoes, like Russet potatoes and Idaho potatoes, are better suited for baking, mashing and frying.
Yukon gold potatoes are great baking potatoes but have a slightly lower starch content. So, along with Maris Piper potatoes in the UK, they are considered great all-purpose potatoes. And you can certainly use either of those for this potato salad recipe.
How long does potato salad last in the fridge?
Homemade potato salad (with or without mayonnaise) will keep well in the fridge for three to four days – if stored properly.
Place the potato salad in an airtight container and seal it well. Make sure the container is clean, and use only clean utensils when serving potato salad from the container.
If you took your potato salad on a picnic where it was unrefrigerated, it is best to eat the potato salad by the next day.
Allow refrigerated potato salad to come to room temperature before serving.
How long to cook potatoes for potato salad?
It takes about 8 to 10 minutes to cook bite-sized potato chunks once the water is boiling (which takes another 10 minutes over high heat).
First, slice your potatoes into even bite-sized chunks. Then place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. The water should be about 2 cm / 1 inch above the potatoes.
Place the pot on high heat until the water boils. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender – about 8 to 10 minutes. You should be able to pierce a potato with a paring knife, but they should not fall apart.
Is potato salad gluten-free?
Typically, yes. This potato salad recipe uses naturally gluten-free ingredients. Most classic homemade potato salads do too. But if you are allergic to gluten, always check the labelling on shop-bought potato salads in case of thickening agents and other additives that may contain gluten.
What to eat with potato salad?
This simple potato salad is a great side dish for any meal. Eat it alongside grilled meat or vegetables at your next summer BBQ. Potato salad is a South African braai (BBQ) staple.
Because this potato salad has so many fresh herbs and zesty, preserved lemons, it is the ideal companion to seafood. Serve it with grilled or smoked salmon alongside a green salad.
A simple potato salad is perfect for summer picnics. Pack some crusty baguettes, dips and spreads to serve with the salad.
This no-egg potato salad without mayonnaise is the best potato salad recipe to prepare for a crowd. It is not only a simple recipe to prepare in advance but also naturally gluten-free, vegan and utterly delicious.
Herbed Potato Salad (No Egg, No Mayo)
- Large pot for boiling potatoes
- Large mixing bowl
- 2.2 pounds potatoes, cut in bite-sized chunks
- 1 tablespoon salt
Preserved lemon and mustard potato salad dressing
- 2 small preserved lemon, seeds removed and roughly chopped (or lemon zest and lemon juice of one whole lemon)
- 4 spring onions, sliced finely (white and green parts kept separate)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil and more to drizzle
- 1 teaspoon celery salt, plus more to taste
- black pepper
- ½ cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- ½ cup packed dill fronds, roughly chopped
- Place your sliced potatoes and one tablespoon of salt in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with cold water. The water should be about 2 cm / 1 inch above the potatoes.
- Place the pot on high heat until the water boils. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender – about 8 to 10 minutes. You should be able to pierce a potato with a paring knife, but they should not fall apart. Drain the potatoes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, grab a large bowl (large enough to fit the potatoes later). And combine the chopped preserved lemon (or lemon zest and juice), the vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil and celery salt. Add the white parts of the sliced spring onions (reserve the green part for the herb mix).
- Once drained, tip the warm potatoes into the bowl with the lemon mustard dressing. Gently toss the cooked potatoes and set the bowl aside to cool down.
- Add the flat-leaf parsley, dill and spring onion greens once the potatoes have cooled to room temperature. Or add them straight away if you plan to serve the potato salad immediately.
- Taste and season with more salt (or celery salt), black pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil.
- I slice small potatoes in half and quarter larger ones into chunks (not wedges). The sliced potatoes should be bite-sized. See the section for the best potatoes for salad.
- See instructions and substitutes for ingredient details.
- Potato salad is at its peak a few hours after assembly, once the potatoes have absorbed the zesty dressing flavours. However, you can serve it straight away. It will also last covered in the fridge for three days. Allow the salad to come back to room temperature before serving.
- This recipe draws inspiration from Allison Roman’s tangy potato salad.
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