Vegan potato salad puts a healthy spin on an American classic

Vegan Potato Salad: Easy & Healthy Recipe

Published: June 2022

Nothing says summer like backyard picnics and potato salad. Want to wow your friends and neighbors with a healthier version of this American classic? Our easy and healthy vegan potato salad has a few flavor twists that will blow your mind and challenge your previously "favorite" potato salad recipe...even if you're not vegan!

To level up the classic potato salad recipe, this vegan alternative has added fiber and protein with chickpeas and cauliflower. Plus, it has a combination of antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes and white potatoes, making for a much healthier meal or side dish. It's dressed with an oil-free cilantro-lime and tahini blender dressing rather than the traditional eggy mayo that is full of unhealthy fats and oil. This tahini dressing gives it the creamy texture that you are used to, but with an added sweet, zesty and slightly nutty flavor.

Also in this recipe, the potatoes and cauliflower are oven-roasted, which imparts a nice char flavor. Then the cooled veggies are tossed with chickpeas, onions, celery, peppers and that sweet and zesty dressing.

Feeling hungry yet? With a 10-minute prep time and 40-minute cook time, this tasty vegan dish is less than an hour away!

Is potato salad vegan?

Traditional American potato salad is decidedly not vegan. It almost always has a heavy mayonnaise dressing mixed into the potatoes. Many people also add hard-boiled eggs to their recipe, making potato salad a side dish that is the opposite of vegan! What could easily be a vegan recipe has long been prepared in this un-imaginative way, with mayonnaise and eggs being the prevalent flavor. Like most Americana, the dish is not colorful and lacks bold flavor and varied texture. Of course, some people have their signature add-ins that give this dish a little bit of variation. But most classic potato salads do not stray too far from onions, celery, Dijon mustard or vinegar, and eggs as mix-ins.

How long does potato salad last?

Depending on the ingredients list, most mayo-based potato salads have a shelf life in the refrigerator of about three days before getting really eggy and smelly. This vegan potato salad will last for up to five days in the fridge thanks to the lack of animal products and the addition of lime, which acts as a natural preservative. Any dish will taste better if eaten within three days, but this one should still be edible for up to five days. As always, if your food begins to smell of vinegar, has bubbles or starts to feel slimy, you should throw it away.

How to make vegan potato salad

In classic potato salad, the potatoes are boiled until soft, then cooled and mixed with mayo, eggs, sometimes Dijon mustard and the other ingredients. However, my favorite way to make potato salad is to oven roast the potatoes rather than simply boiling them. I do this to bring out more flavors in the potatoes and improve on the texture. The potatoes are slightly crisp and golden outside and soft and craveable on the inside. This technique is a great way to add flavor to vegan recipes in general, but it is particularly effective here. Once tossed with the dressing, oven-baked potatoes hold up longer and taste really good! Everyone always raves about my mayo-free roasted potato salads, and I think you will, too.

Vegan Potato Salad: Step-by-step

Servings: 5 side dish portions

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Ingredients

The ingredients for this vegan potato salad are healthy and full of nutrition. They are also affordable and easy to find in most markets.

  • 4 yellow potatoes, medium sized, cut in bite-sized cubes, skin on
  • 4 sweet potatoes, small, cut in cubes, skin on
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut in florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 oz canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ½ red onion, diced into small pieces
  • ½ bunch cilantro leaves and stems
  • ¼ cup tahini (vegan)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ½ tsp salt

Preparation

This veggie potato salad is simple! While the potatoes and cauliflower are roasting, you can chop the celery, onions and bell peppers. The dressing is quick and easy to make in a high-speed blender while you wait for the potatoes to cool.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a large sheet pan, place prepared potatoes, sweet potatoes and cauliflower, then drizzle with olive oil. Mix with hands to coat, then spread out in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, turning once halfway. Once finished, let cool.
  3. To a high-speed blender, add cilantro, tahini, lime juice, maple syrup, salt and water. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  4. To a large bowl, add red onion, celery, bell pepper and chickpeas. Once cooled, add the potato, sweet potato and cauliflower.
  5. Add the blended dressing to the bowl and toss well. Taste for salt and add more if desired.
  6. Serve as a side or over a bed of arugula or lettuce for a full vegan meal.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving
Calories: 459 kcal
Carbohydrates: 80 g
Fiber: 15g
Sugar: 12g
Protein: 13 g
Fat: 11 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g
Sodium: 613 mg
Potassium: 1622 mg

Tips for Success

What vegetable goes with potato salad?

I like the combination of potatoes and cauliflower very much. The starchiness of the potatoes is complemented by the fibrous cauliflower, and the cauliflower gives the potato salad a bit more moistness. Cauliflower is also a cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories and carbs and high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Onions and celery are great vegetable additions to this salad, adding a little bite and some freshness. In this vegan potato salad, we include some chopped raw bell pepper for a bright and sweet crunch and to give it more visual interest. If you would like to eat potato salad as a meal, it tastes delicious on a bed of arugula or your favorite salad greens!

Is there a gluten-free version of vegan potato salad?

This vegan potato salad recipe is gluten-free as there are zero gluten-containing ingredients. Even regular Americana-style potato salad is usually gluten free because mustard, mayonnaise and eggs do not contain gluten. When prepared dairy-free and egg-free, potato salad is a dish that almost everyone can enjoy (although, if you are concerned about the ingredients be sure to check the labels of any store-bought components!).

What are the best potatoes for a salad?

The best potatoes for a salad are Yukon gold potatoes or small potatoes like fingerlings or baby potatoes. These types are not mealy like a russet and get soft quickly when roasting or boiling. I also like sweet potatoes, as they add quite a bit of flavor and have a pleasant texture. I always love to use two different types of potatoes for textural and visual interest.

Is vegan potato salad healthy?

This vegan potato salad is very healthy. It doesn't have much oil but it has healthy fats from the sesame tahini. This recipe has a decent amount of protein (13 g per serving), thanks to the chickpeas. It also has healthy fiber from the cruciferous cauliflower, celery and peppers. Both white potatoes and sweet potatoes are rich in potassium, vitamin C, B6 and other nutrients, and the sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index, so they support already-healthy blood sugar.

Do you get enough vitamins and minerals from potato salad?

The classic potato salad with potatoes, celery, and mayonnaise is not as nutritious as this vegan potato salad recipe. White potatoes do not have the beta-carotene of sweet potatoes, and the limited ingredients in the classic salad make for a lackluster nutritional profile. This vegan potato salad recipe aims to be both nutritious and delicious.

Of course, no dish will fulfill all of the vitamins and minerals you need, which is why taking supplements to fill any gaps in nutrition is recommended. (If you don't know what you might need, this health quiz might be able to help.)

While potatoes of any color are rich in potassium and iodine, you might want to supplement with minerals to help maintain the healthy blood pressure that potassium supports. Combining potassium with magnesium can magnify the health benefits of these nutrients and support not only arterial health, but also the health of your heart, bones and muscles.

About the Author: Sara Tercero is the chef behind the popular food blog BetterFoodGuru and the author of the cookbook Plant-Based Diet in 30 Days. Her specialties are veganized Indian-inspired curries, giant rainbow salads, and healthier Mediterranean and Mexican-inspired dishes. It is Sara's mission to prove that plants are delicious and to help others cook and eat their way to health and happiness.

Website: https://betterfoodguru.com

References

Scientifically Reviewed By: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N

By: Sara Tercero