French-Inspired Potato Salad

updated Jun 21, 2021

An easy recipe for a mayo-free potato salad that's light and tangy thanks to Dijon mustard and fresh herbs.

Serves4 to 6

Prep25 minutes to 30 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

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french potato salad in a bowl
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

This recipe is part of Kitchn 100 — the hundred recipes you need right now. Check out all of the amazing dishes, from Kitchn and beyond, here.

This simple, stunning potato salad is what every modern-day summer table deserves. We’ve replaced the mayo with two types of tangy mustard, a shocking amount of herbs, and just the right amount of oh là là, resulting in a lighter, fresher salad that’s just as easy to devour. The flavors are inspired by the classic French salad Niçoise — without the eggs, olives, and tuna, of course, but with that punchy Dijon vinaigrette we all know and love.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Choose-Your-Own Herb Adventure

Instead of weighing down the potatoes with mayonnaise and hard-boiled eggs, we’re lifting them up with scallions and fresh herbs. If you’re a fan of German potato salad, this one is similar — but we’ve lost the bacon to make it lighter (and veg-friendly).

The fun lies in choosing your herbs. Parsley alone will get the job done, but I encourage you to mix and match if you’ve got more than one herb on hand. Tarragon is oh-so French, and its anise flavor is a lovely match with potatoes; dill adds even more brightness to the mix; and basil is so summery, it will never fail you here. No matter what combo you choose, you’ll have one seriously good potato salad on your table this summer.

French-Inspired Potato Salad

An easy recipe for a mayo-free potato salad that's light and tangy thanks to Dijon mustard and fresh herbs.

Prep time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2 pounds

    small red or Yukon gold potatoes (no larger than 2-inches in diameter)

  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 cup

    loosely packed fresh tender herbs, such as parsley, basil, dill, tarragon, or a combination

  • 4

    medium scallions

  • 1/3 cup

    olive oil

  • 1/4 cup

    red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon

    whole-grain Dijon mustard (or additional 1 tablespoon regular Dijon)

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place 2 pounds small red or Yukon gold potatoes and 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt in a large saucepan. Cover by 1 inch with cool water, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the herbs and scallions, and make the dressing.

  2. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh tender herbs. Thinly slice 4 medium scallions.

  3. Place 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl. Whisk well to combine and emulsify.

  4. Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander and rinse under cold water just until they are cool enough to handle but still warm. Halve the potatoes (or quarter if large) and transfer to the bowl of vinaigrette. Gently toss to coat the potatoes. Add the herbs and scallions and toss lightly to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow for the flavors to meld. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.