Basic Vegan Potato Salad Recipe

Homemade vegan potato salad
Homemade potato salad Aleaimage / Getty Images
  • 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
Ratings (18)

Looking for the perfect all-vegan potato salad recipe? All you really need is to swap out the mayonnaise for a vegan mayo in most recipes, and make sure there's no eggs or meat. Or, try a simple recipe made from scratch, such as this one. 

This is an easy and simple recipe for a basic vegan potato salad, using vegan egg-free mayonnaise. This vegan potato salad is perfect to bring to a picnic, potluck, or for your outdoor vegetarian barbecue.

Don't have any vegan mayonnaise on hand? Why not try making your own? Here's how to make homemade vegan mayonnaise

What You'll Need

  • 5 to 6 red, white or Russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I like Vegenaise brand best)
  • 3 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives (optional)
  • 1/4 cup vegetarian bacon bits (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the water from the pot and cool the potatoes completely, about 15 minutes.
  3. Peel the potatoes completely and chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside (Alternatively, you can leave the peels on some potatoes for more texture)
  4. Gently toss together all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, add the potatoes gradually and cover with the ingredients until evenly distributed.
  1. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Chill for at least one hour before serving, if you have enough time. The flavors would be best after an overnight refrigeration.

Cooking Tips and Ingredient Substitutions

Potato salad is appreciated as a dish that acts as the yin to the yang of sweet side dishes like baked beans; however, you can give this potato salad some extra swagger with additional spices. Though this recipe is perfectly delicious and complete just as it is, if you'd like to give it a little something extra, here are some suggestions to make your homemade vegan potato salad extra tasty for guests:

  • Add freshly ground black pepper for extra bite
  • Top and mix in 2 teaspoons of paprika for a smoky taste addition 
  • Add 1/2 cup of yellow mustard to add some extra tang to the dish
  • Add 4 ounces of minced or diced pimento for a succulent sweet taste
  • Add 3 tablespoons of sweet pickled relish or chopped gherkins for a taste twist
  • Add fresh herbs such as dill, tarragon, rosemary, parsley, chives, scallions, or a combination 
  • Capers can be added to the dish  

Tweaking Traditional Potato Salad Recipes

​Potato salad, an American summer staple, did not originate in the United States. Spanish colonization brought the potato from South America to Europe in the 1500's and it eventually developed in Europe, most likely in Germany, before making its way back to North America. Now the dish is made worldwide.

Going vegan may be easier than you think! Knowing how to replace ingredients in traditional recipes to make a recipe vegan is the key to bringing them into your new healthier lifestyle. Traditional potato salad dishes from all over the world are called Olivier salad or Stolichny salad, patates salatasi, Rus salatasi, ensaladilla rusa, or Kartoffelsalat. Many of them use hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise in their recipes. Removing these ingredients will almost always make them vegan. If using a vegan mayonnaise is undesirable (or you just don't have any on hand), you can replace it with olive oil and Dijon mustard to add creaminess and to help the potatoes and spices meld together. Though the color may be off-putting, avocado is also a great healthy fat to add to a potato salad in place of mayonnaise.