Italian Potato Salad is easy to make, healthy and full of the bright and delicious flavors of Italy. This is a perfect make-ahead side dish for picnics, BBQ’s, cookouts or potlucks because it has no-mayo. Additionally, without the garnish of parmesan cheese, this is a gorgeous vegan salad that everyone will love.
This no-mayo potato salad is absolutely amazing for easter dinner with Lamb Chops because of the fresh herbs and lemon. Also, this side dish is perfect for BBQ’s alongside Grilled Dry Rubbed Wings or as a special dinner with Rib Eye Steaks.
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What Is Italian Potato Salad
Italian Potato Salad is a super easy and luxurious no mayo potato salad with the flavors of lemon, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs. This side dish can be served immediately. However, allowing the salad to rest in the refrigerator overnight allows the flavors to marry. In other words, this potato salad tastes even more amazing the next day. This makes it a perfect make-ahead side dish for holidays, barbecues, cookouts or special meals that need to be simple.
Health Benefits of Boiled Potatoes
Carbohydrates have received a bad reputation in recent years. However, certain types of carbohydrates have been linked to all kinds of amazing health benefits such as helping to control weight and protecting against disease.
Even more exciting, cold boiled potatoes have an impressive amount of resistant starch. Resistance starch has been found to be beneficial to gut bacteria and found to reduce insulin resistance. In light of this information, this no-mayo potato becomes even more appealing.
Ingredients Needed for this Italian Potato Salad Recipe
Potatoes and Onions
- Thin Skin Potatoes (aka Waxy Potatoes)– This variety of potato has thin smooth skin, has a very creamy texture and tends to be smaller compared to russet potatoes. The best kind of potatoes for this recipe is either Yukon gold or red potatoes. Pro Tip: Use potatoes that are similar in size so that they cook evenly.
- Red Onion– Finely chopped red onion add a crispy texture and mild flavor that makes this salad very interesting. Also, its deep purple color is a beautiful contrast to the dark green herbs.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil– Look for olive oil bottles that have an estate or mill name along with a harvest date. This is one of the easiest ways to know if the oil is good quality because real olive oil has a short life span.
- Lemons– Both the zest and the juice are used in the side dish. The lemon zest brightens this dish and the juice enhances the flavors. For anyone who is allergic to citrus, replace the juice with red wine vinegar and eliminate the zest.
- Crushed Garlic– Garlic adds a delicious flavor to this salad. Additionally, crushing the garlic intensifies the garlic flavor. Allowing this Italian Potato Salad to rest overnight in the refrigerator helps all the flavors to marry. In other words, the garlic will not be overpowering the next day.
- Salt– The addittion of salt is important because it enhances flavors. I use Maldon’s Sea Salt for everything from cooking to baking and as a finishing salt because of its low iodine content and incredible flavor. Pro Tip: If using Maldon’s Sea Salt for baking it is important to first crush the salt using a mortar and pestle.
- Cayenne Pepper– A very small amount of cayenne pepper is added to this recipe because it adds just a slight kick to the salad. The amount added creates a warmth very similar to what black pepper adds to recipes.
- Fresh Herbs– Dried herbs can be used in place of fresh herbs. However, using fresh herbs adds a delicious brightness. For this recipe I used 1 bunch of Italian parsley (aka flat leaf parsley). 1 container of fresh oregano and 12 large basil leaves.
How To Make No-Mayo Italian Potato Salad
- Scrub potatoes well, transfer to a large pot and fill the pot with cold water 1 inch above potatoes.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat and then lower to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender but slightly firm.
- Drain and let the hot potatoes cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in garlic, lemon zest, cayenne pepper and salt. (My favorite garlic press and zester.)
- Finely chop the Italian parsley, oregano, basil and red onion using a chefs knife and cutting board. Stir into dressing.
- Once cooled, cut potatoes into disks and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Pour dressing over top of potatoes and stir well.
- For best results, let potato salad rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.
- Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
This potato salad is absolutely divine with my favorite ingredients of fresh herbs, lemon and garlic. However, listed below are a few fun twists for this salad.
- Italian Cured Meats– Add in about 1 cup of your choice of diced Italian cured meats such as prosciutto or salami.
- Artichoke Hearts– 1 can of drained artichokes hearts that are cut in half would be a tasty addition.
- Olives– 6 ounces of either black, green or Kalamata olives would be delicious.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes– A 3 ounces bag of julienne cut sun dried tomatoes would add a sweet and tart twist.
- Capers– 1/4 cup of chopped capers adds in a briny tartness. This addittion is especially delicious for anyone who loves olives.
- Green Beans– The addittion of green beans is very common in Italy. To add green beans to this recipe lower the potatoes to 2 1/2 pounds. Use 1- 1/2 pounds of blanched green beans and keep the dressing the same.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will this potato salad last?
Stored in an airtight container, this no-mayo potato salad will stay fresh for 3 days.
Are there other ways to cook the potatoes for potato salad?
Boiling is the best way to cook the potatoes because this technique helps to hold the moisture in. However, baking the potatoes is also an option.
- Wash potatoes well and pierce with a fork.
- Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of oil and bake at 350℉ for 40-50 minutes or until fork tender.
- Let cool to room temperature and proceed with recipe.
Should the potatoes be cut before cooking?
For this recipe I do not recommend cutting the potatoes before cooking.
How many pounds of potatoes are needed per person?
A safe estimate is approximately 1/2 pound of potatoes per person.
What is the best type of oil to use for this salad?
I highly recommend to use extra virgin olive oil because of its delicious flavor and health benefits.
Can this salad be frozen?
It is not recommended to freeze this potato salad.
More Make Ahead Salads
Italian Potato Salad
- 5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes *or red potatoes, see note #1 below
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil see note #2 below
- 1/3 cup lemon juice *from approximately 2 large lemons, see note #3 below
- 1 tablespoon crushed garlic *from approximately 3-4 large cloves, see note #4 below
- 1 tablespoon Lemon zest *from 2 large lemons
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bunch Italian parsley *finely chopped, about 2 cups
- 12 large basil leaves *chiffonade, about 1/2 cup- see note #5 below
- 1 cup fresh oregano *finely chopped, from 1 container- about 1/2 cup
- 1/2 medium red onion finely diced, about 1/2 cup
- garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano *optional, see note #6 below
- Scrub potatoes riding them of any dirt or debris. Transfer washed potatoes to a large pot. Fill the pot with cold water covering the potatoes by 1 inch.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat and then lower to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are fork tender but with a slight firmness, about 12-14 minutes.
- Drain and let potatoes cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl whisk together the oil and lemon juice. Stir in the garlic, lemon zest, salt, cayenne pepper, fresh herbs and red onion.
- Once cooled, cut the potatoes into round disks and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the top of the potatoes and mix well. This potato salad can be eaten immediately. However, it tastes even more amazing the next day after resting in an airtight container in the refrigerator over night. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. (optional)
- 2 1/2 pounds potatoes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon crushed garlic (about 2 large cloves)
- zest of 1 lemon
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
- 6 large basil leaves