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13 Unexpected (Yet Totally Delicious) Ways to Make Potato Salad Without Mayo

updated Aug 8, 2023
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Classic German Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

It’s hard to beat a classic potato salad made with creamy mayonnaise. But good news for the mayo-averse: The winning combination of potatoes and mayo isn’t where this backyard barbecue favorite ends. There are a number of condiments that work equally well as a potato salad dressing — so whether you’re in need of a mayo substitute or you’re simply in the mood to bring something different to the party this year, you’ve got plenty of options.

Mayo-Free Potato Salads

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Lemony Greek Potato Salad
Inspired by Greek potatoes, this easy potato salad is packed with bright, tangy flavors.
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Red Potato Salad with Scallions and Radishes

This salad has green onions for savory, and red radish slices for crunch and color. The ponzu gives just a hint of zesty citrus flavor, and it cuts through the heaviness of the potatoes. The smoked olive oil goes a long way, giving a lightly smoky flavor to the salad.

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Italian Potato Salad
This mayo-free potato salad is made extra colorful thanks to green beans, cherry tomatoes, and lots of fresh herbs.
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Warm Potato Salad with Cilantro and Toasted Cumin

Yes, you can dress your potato salad with just olive oil. Good olive oil can be equally as rich and flavorful as mayo. Again, toss it with the potatoes while still warm to ensure they’ll absorb it easily, and toss in extra spices or chopped fresh herbs, too.

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Potato Salad with Lemon Tahini and Dill Dressing

The sesame paste most commonly used to make hummus not only lends creaminess to potato salad, but also adds nutty, toasted flavor. It's sure to have people guessing what the secret ingredient in your salad is.

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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.
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Crispy Sheet Pan Potato Salad
Crispy smashed potatoes tossed with arugula, bacon, red onions, and a whole grain mustard vinaigrette.
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Cheezy Potato Salad

Sour cream and potatoes are a natural pairing (think: baked potatoes!). Like yogurt, sour cream brings creaminess with the addition of tang. It can also be used in place of or in combination with mayonnaise.

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Potato Salad with Yogurt, Arugula, and Dill

If you already have a tub of Greek yogurt in your refrigerator for your morning granola routine, you have one of the best substitutes for mayo ready and waiting. You can swap in all or some of the mayo called for in a potato salad recipe with Greek yogurt. You’ll just want to opt for full-fat to achieve the richest, creamiest taste (alhough low-fat can be used if you prefer).

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Classic German Potato Salad
Baby red potatoes, chewy bacon, and lots of fresh herbs are tossed in a warm bacon dressing for a flavorful, potluck-ready potato salad.
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Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Pea Shoots, Pesto and Hazelnuts

Stir pesto into most things and it will be better — and that definitely includes potato salad. Pick up your favorite store-bought brand to keep things easy on yourself, or if you have an abundance of basil in your backyard, make your own.

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Tomato and Mozzarella Potato Salad with Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing

A splash of buttermilk is often added to traditional mayo-based potato salad to thin out the mayo and offset it’s full flavor with a touch of tang, but it can also be used on its own if you’re looking for a little creaminess that’s not overpowering.

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Bacon-Lovers' Potato Salad

The simple vinaigrette you use to dress your green salad every night is also a solid choice for your potato salad. To get the most bang out of it, toss it with the potatoes while they’re still warm, so it can soak into them and make each bite extra flavorful. Or, go bold with a vinaigrette made of bacon fat.

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