Need a vegan summer side dish for your picnic? Learn how to make Italian Potato Salad with vinegar and olive oil. Made without mayo!
Potato salad – such a classic side dish to serve at potlucks yet there are so many ways you can dress it up.
You’re familiar with traditional mayonnaise-based potato salads and even Amish potato salad with mustard, but what if I told you one of the best ways to make it involves olive oil and vinegar?
This easy Italian Potato Salad without mayo is exactly that. It’s an olive oil based potato salad balanced with vinegar, onion, garlic, and parsley.
I learned this recipe from my dad who learned it from his mom. Now I’m teaching it to you for your next picnic.
What is Italian Potato Salad?
Italian Potato Salad is a cold olive oil based potato salad often served as a picnic side dish.
It’s not often you see a potato salad without mayo. In fact, because it’s tossed with olive oil and vinegar, this potato side is 100 percent vegan.
I’m not vegan, so you definitely don’t need to be either to enjoy this recipe! However, I have several vegan friends who would appreciate this recipe because who wants to be left out from eating potato salad?
What is the best kind of potatoes for potato salad?
I used russet potatoes for my Italian potato salad. They’re starchier than most potatoes and soak up the dressing quite nicely.
Because of the high starch, they do have a tendency to fall apart more easily, so you want to be extra careful you don’t overcook your potatoes.
Peeling is optional. Personally I always peel mine.
How To Make Italian Potato Salad
Making the best Italian Potato Salad is easy! First things first, start cooking the potatoes.
The best way to cook potatoes is to put them in a large pot, cover them completely with cold water, add some salt, then bring to a boil.
This method ensures the potatoes are cooked all the way through. If you were to add them to boiling water like you do with pasta, the outsides would cook while the insides would still be hard. By the time the insides would cook, the outsides would be mush.
Once the water boils, turn the heat down to a simmer. Potatoes are fragile and if you continue to cook at a rolling boil, the speed of the water will throw them around, causing them to disintegrate and fall apart.
While you wait for the potatoes to cook, whisk together the dressing. I highly recommend using the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can afford. The taste will make a huge difference since there are so few ingredients.
At this point, the potatoes need to be dry and cool. Rinsing them under cold water will not only help stop the cooking process, it’ll cool down the potatoes.
Make sure you leave enough time to chill! Refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to allow the flavors to develop. However, if you’re in a hurry to serve, chill for at least 1 hour minimum.
Can you make potato salad the day before?
Yes, you can make potato salad a few days before serving. In fact, I recommend letting the potato salad chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours to allow the flavors to develop.
As long as it’s properly stored in an airtight container and not left sitting out for more than 2 hours, Amish potato salad can last about 3-4 days.
What Can I Serve With Potato Salad?
Getting ready to plan a cook out or a picnic? Here are more recipes you can serve with potato salad:
- Amish Macaroni Salad – Every picnic I’ve been to always has both macaroni and potato salad. Keep with the Amish theme and make this pasta salad.
- The Pittsburger – Usually when there’s pasta salad, there’s also burgers. This hamburger with fries and coleslaw is a Pittsburgh staple.
- Greek Portobello Mushroom Burgers – Need a meatless option for your cookout? Check out these vegetarian mushroom burgers!
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (roughly 4-5medium potatoes)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider or white distilled vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (preferably kosher)
- 1/2 cup sliced white or yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste or 1 garlic clove, minced
- Add the potatoes and a handful of salt to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook until fork tender, about 5-8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Spread in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Cool for 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking: In a large measuring cup or jar, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic, and salt. Taste and add up to an additional 1/4 teaspoon salt if needed (it should be slightly salty because this will season the entire potato salad).
- Stir garlic and onion into the dressing. Let marinate while the potatoes finish cooking.
- Add the cooked potatoes to a large bowl then pour the dressing on top. Mix everything together until coated.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until cold (24 hours is preferred to allow the flavors to develop).