Vegan Potato Salad with Cashew Mayo

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 you’ve had? And we’re not just saying that. This vegan potato salad is the result of years of research into what makes a perfect classic potato salad. You know, that potato salad your Grandma makes, or you get at the veggie deli counter? Except this one is made of plant based whole foods, and tastes even better than the mayo-laden glop that sometimes graces summer pitch-ins. Here, we’ll show you how to make vegan potato salad like your grandmother did it, but with a few tricks to make a vegan better for you version. Ready to get started?

Related: 25 Best Salad Recipes | Dairy-Free Recipes | Seasoned Potato Wedges

Video: How to make vegan potato salad

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The secret to vegan potato salad: cashew mayo

Of course, you could use storebought vegan mayo to make vegan potato salad. 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. How to make vegan cashew mayo?

It’s very simple to make vegan mayonnaise. The first step is to 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. However, the longer you soak the cashews the better! So if you think of it, you can soak them overnight too. A high speed blender is perfect for blending the cashews, or a really good standard blender. (If you don’t have one, consider investing in it!) The cashews form a thick cashew cream when blended.

After you’ve soaked the cashews, you simply blend the cashews with spices and seasonings to form a cashew mayo. For this recipe, we’ve used yellow mustard, white wine vinegar, garlic powder, and a hint of maple syrup to soften the flavors. The result is a creamy spread that tastes like mayonnaise, but it’s fully vegan and dairy-free! (If you have a cashew allergy, simply use vegan mayo instead.)

Making classic vegan potato salad

The other secrets to this vegan 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

This recipe is…

This vegan potato salad recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Incredible No Mayo Potato Salad | A Couple Cooks

Vegan Potato Salad

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  • 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
  • 1/2 cup minced dill pickles
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • Black pepper

For the cashew mayonnaise

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 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 1/2 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, 1/2 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:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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