This vegan potato salad is the best classic American style potato salad: creamy, tangy, mixed with celery, green onion, and dill pickles.

Vegan potato salad

Ready for the best vegan potato salad? We’re not just saying that (promise). You know, that potato salad your Grandma makes, or you get at the veggie deli counter? This one is just like it. Except, it’s made of plant based whole foods. And it tastes even better than the mayo-laden glop that sometimes graces summer pitch-ins! We’ll show you how to make vegan potato salad like your grandmother did it, but with a few tricks to make it vegan. Ready to get started?

The secrets to vegan potato salad

Of course, you can use storebought vegan mayo to make a vegan potato salad. Which, is pretty easy to find these days! But instead of mayonnaise, our secret ingredient in this vegan potato salad is…cashews! That’s right, we’ve made a vegan cashew mayo and man is it good. (Here are a few more examples of creamy cashew recipes…)

Now, how to make vegan cashew mayo? It’s very simple to make vegan mayonnaise; here’s the break-down:

  1. Soak the cashews. Soaking cashews in water makes them break down to make a smooth sauce. Alex and I have a high speed blender, so typically we only soak for about 30 minutes, 1 hour if we have time. But the longer you soak the cashews the better! If you think of it, soaking overnight is fantastic. A high speed blender is perfect for blending the cashews, or a really good standard blender. The cashews form a thick cashew cream when blended.
  2. Blend the cashews with spices and seasonings to form a cashew mayo. This recipe uses yellow mustard, white wine vinegar, garlic powder, and a hint of maple syrup. The result is a creamy spread that tastes like mayonnaise, but it’s fully vegan and dairy-free!
Making classic vegan potato salad

Tips for making a classic creamy potato salad

Now, for this vegan potato salad we wanted to create the classic American style potato salad. You know, the kind your Grandma makes, or the kind you can pick up from the grocery deli counter? We did quite a bit of research into classic picnic potato salad, and here are our other secrets:

  • Use Yukon gold potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes are perfect for classic picnic potato salad because they hold their shape when boiling and absorb the creamy sauce.
  • Add vinegar to the potatoes after boiling. This is a typical trick for potato salad; we learned it from Foodie Crush’s best potato salad. It really does make for the tangy flavor that’s typical of a classic potato salad.
  • Mince up some dill pickles. Our favorite potato salad uses chopped dill pickles along celery and green onion to add a satisfying crunch.
Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad | A Couple Cooks

Video: Watch how to make vegan potato salad!

The best way to learn how to make something? Watch how it’s done! Here’s a video of Alex and me making this vegan potato salad in a collaboration series with our friend Tessa of Handle the Heat.

How to serve it!

This vegan potato salad was a huge hit in our family — and beyond! Our two-year-old Larson absolutely adored it. A dear friend of ours has declared it her favorite potato salad: ever! She makes it often in the summers and it’s always a huge hit with her family! Basically: all signs point to delicious on this one. How to serve this potato salad? Here are a few ways we’d recommend:

Storage info

This vegan potato salad saves well! It actually gets better in the fridge. Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 5 days. Or, you can make this salad ahead up to 2 days in advance.

More recipes with potatoes? Go to our Best Potato Recipes (or Vegan Potato Recipes).

This vegan potato salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad | A Couple Cooks

Classic Vegan Potato Salad

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 10 1x


This vegan potato salad is the best classic American style potato salad: creamy, tangy, mixed with celery, green onion, and dill pickles.



For the potato salad

  • 1 cup Cashew Mayonnaise (below)
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 large celery stalks
  • 5 green onions
  • ½ cup minced dill pickles
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • Black pepper

For the cashew mayonnaise

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water. Soak them while making the recipe, at least 30 minutes if using a high speed blender and about 1 hour for a regular blender. If you think ahead, you can soak the cashews overnight before making the salad. (You also can make the cashew mayo in advance.)
  2. Boil the potatoes: Quarter the potatoes, keeping the skins on. Place them in a large saucepan filled with cold water. Bring it to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until tender when pricked with a fork. Drain and rinse the potatoes under cold water. Allow to cool slightly, then peel the skins off with your fingers and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place the potatoes into a bowl and sprinkle with the white wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Mix and let stand until ready to assemble.
  3. Slice the celery stalks in half lengthwise, then thinly slice them. Thinly slice the green onions. Mince the dill pickles.
  4. Make the cashew mayonnaise: After the cashews have soaked at least 30 minutes (more, if time), drain them. In the bowl of a blender, place the cashews, water, olive oil, yellow mustard, white wine vinegar, maple syrup, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Blend on high for several minutes until smooth and creamy. (Makes about 1 cup; store refrigerated if making in advance.)
  5. In the bowl with the potatoes, mix in the cashew mayonnaise, celery, green onions, pickles, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Potato Salad, Potato Salad without Mayonnaise, Vegan Potato Salad, Plant Based Potato Salad, No Mayo Potato Salad, Picnic Recipe, Barbecue Recipe, Summer Recipe

Looking for more salad recipes?

Outside of this vegan potato salad with cashew mayo, here are a few of our favorite salad recipes:

Last updated: February 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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